Updated Viasat Browser

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I was wondering how the Viasat browser with the new data saver was working out for the ones who have tried it.  I still have have videos loading on some web pages I have been to.  Is there some setting I have to turn on to make it work?
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Dan White

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Posted 7 months ago

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Dan

Send an email over to browser@viasat.com our browser team will help you out with that 
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Old Labs

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The initial version of this feature only stops HTML5 audio/video preload.  The “disable auto-play” feature was not incorporated due to a Netflix interoperability issue; disabling auto play is anticipated to be in an upcoming release - that's from the development team since I had requested this feature.

You can check to see whether the "Audio/Video data saver mode" is on under Settings, Advanced, Privacy and Security.

I did some testing and the implementation does indeed cut down on the data used due to HTML5 audio/video preloading (not to be confused with auto play) - appears it assures at most a preload of metadata only unless the media has an explicit preload=none attribute. Allowing meta data typically give a preview so you can choose to play or not.  Showed a reasonably good savings in some extreme cases that I forced with multiple videos on one page.

Just remember preload and auto play are two separate things you can have preload without autoplay, but not vice versa. Probably some add-on or extension is available for Chrome that will work for disabling auto play. Most disable autoplay add-ons don't handle the impacts of preload without auto play (for the rest of the world it's an annoyance not a data issue).

Note it doesn't save you from the abuses of preloading caused by java script nor can it. Similarly abusive java script data usage is not limited to simply video/audio. But Chromium (upon which Sparrow is based) does allow turning off java script on a site basis - which I use on several sites that use java script solely for abusive purposes, automatic reloading/refreshing, etc.

With disable auto play and a complete implementation later it'll be invaluable to satellite internet users.

The only other thing I could ask for out of the development team would be an easier way to just declare a site encountered off limits to java script with a single click (similar to YesScript). Kind of clumsy the way it's implemented within the Chromium base but workable.
(Edited)
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DavidBrowserGuy, Browser Expert

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Something like this: viasat://settings/content/javascript?
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Old Labs

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On current version I have it's:

sparrow://settings/content/javascript

and yes that's the setting (perhaps I'm outdated recognizing that there's some additional rebranding).

In fact that's what I'm using to get to the functionality little quicker using a bookmark. From there you then have to click add for the block list , enter or paste a url to be blocked, and click Add to add to the block list.

But what YesScript (Firefox only) does is it adds a a toolbar button/icon (toggle style) and when on a site you want to block/unblock click the toggle button and it gets added or removed from the block list depending on current state with a simple single click (with no typing/pasting, and clicking another add button) - just a shortcut way of doing it wth a single click based on the current page to add/remove from the block list.

In fact I block alot of pages if I discover they function perfectly well without java script and that the java script has only been used for unnecessary cruft rathert than true functionality. So I'm constantly trying to see if a page uses java script for no purpose other than bright shiny objects and turn it off if that's the case. It's amazing how quickly web pages will load even int the moste congested periods when you remove all of the unnecessary cruft from them. Naturally our terrestial based friends typically don't care about that see no noticible difference.      

As noted the current way is workable and streamlining would make it smoother for me, but you've probably got bigger things on your plate right now I suspect. If you want I can send an email with a fuller description, let me know since the community isn't really well suited to reguriements gathering.

YesScript and NoScript have different philosophies (blacklist vs whitelist but both philosophies can be accomodated with those settings - sparrow://settings/content/javascript)

Best explained at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/yesscript/
(Edited)
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DavidBrowserGuy, Browser Expert

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The browser update that we made today extends the data saver feature to include blocking both preload and autoplay of HTML5 video and audio streams.