using play on to record

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Thanks to all those who have posted  comments on using the  Play on service for recording during  off peak times . This is working out well for me. 
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david lightsey

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Posted 4 months ago

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Yea. Off-peak is the key or use the cloud. During primetime speeds can drop to the point you cant record successfully.
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Andy Schack

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David, depending on your TV model, you can put those mp4 files on either a thumb drive or ext hd. My previous TV could read a thumb drive but NOT an ext hd.....my new one can. Get you a 4T or larger ext hd and you can really pile on a lot of content. 

Andy
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david lightsey

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Andy, I downloaded the play on app to my roku device  and it connects to the pc that I downloaded the videos to. thru the wireless network I can play ,pause etc . using the roku remote control. I believe that  you said that you live in Fl. I was wondering how your speeds are(if you are on ViaSat 1) I am in S. GA  my speeds are very good, ranging from 15 mps to 40 mps..  I hope this is not temporary!
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Fairly exhaustive discussion of it at:

https://community.viasat.com/viasat/topics/video-download-workaround

Also some tangential discussion in M.E.M's recent posts:

https://community.viasat.com/viasat/people/mem_if88j7w8is6x0 

In a nutshell, however, the recording occurs in the cloud servers - you then download the completed recording and you get an email when it's finished - same data hit (maybe even slightly less) since you only need to download once and downloading is quicker than recording with a real time stream as done with PlayOn Desktop.  See first question at:

https://www.playon.tv/faq?tab=cloud


(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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David,
You said "Could  you elaborate on "using the cloud". Wouldn't that double you data usage. "

Yes. You can end up downloading the same file twice unless you take steps to prevent this. PlayOn Cloud and PlayOn Desktop are two separate products that do different things.

Case 1: You want a copy of your movie on your Android or iOS

Case 1a: You have a LNFZ. If you want to avoid being charged by Viasat for this download, go to PlayOn Cloud settings and set the download timeframe slider to on. Then select your beginning and ending download times to coincide with your LNFZ. You will also get a link mailed to you to download to other devices. You should initiate the download from this link during the LNFZ also.

Case 1b: You do not have a LNFZ. In this case, you are going to be charged for the data to download from the cloud to your android or iOS. You will also get a link mailed to you to download to other devices. You will be charged by Viasat for both downloads.

Case 2: You do not want a copy of your movie on your Android or iOS but you do want to be able to download the move to a different device. In this case, use parental controls to prevent streaming to you Android or iOS. In my case, my router is an Asus RT-3200. This setting for this router is located in the AiProtection tab. Here you can prevent streaming to any individual device. The data transfer to the cloud still occurs but this does not involve Viasat  You will also get a link mailed to you to download to other devices.

            Case 2a: You have LNFZ: Then download during your LNFZ the cloud file in the link emailed to you  You should not be charge for any data at all using this method.

            Case 2b: You do not have LNFZ. Then the best you can do is to be charged only once for the data downloaded. In order to do this you need to take steps to prevent your Android or iOS from receiving this data also. The default setting for PlayOn Cloud is to download this data to your Android or iOS.

Note that nothing above involves the desktop version of PlayOn, which you do not need if the above satisfies your needs.

Now I could be wrong on everything I said above. In which case then disregard everything I said.

I hope this clears things up.


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Rique

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TLDR; Streaming seems to use more data than downloading - I've got theories (which are probably uniformed ones), but anecdotally, I've consistently observed downloading to be more efficient than streaming with regard to data usage.

Read on for more, if you like:

From my personal experience, the data hit was definitely not the same when comparing streaming vs downloading the completed file through the use of the PlayOn Cloud service. I ran comparisons to check this and used more data with  streaming than with downloads.

I assumed that was due to an increased back-and-forth in data exchanges inherent in streaming (perhaps due to error checking which I assumed would be very "chatty"). I'm not sure, TBH, if I was correct in my assumption - I only know what the results of my personal comparisons showed - and the differences were largely non-trivial.

Additionally, when researching this, I found a wide divergence of opinion. In many cases, I think that was because responses weren't provided to the actual question ("which option uses less data") - and were more along the lines of a response to a qualitative comparison ("which option is better"), which of course begs the question... what is meant by "better" with such a question?

I did read one explanation which could possibly account for the differences I've seen (source was Quora, so not necessarily an authoritative source):

"Streaming uses more data than download, given the same bitrate and resolution video. With streaming, using HLS, which is the current streaming standard, you break your video file into many 3–5 second stand-alone video files, each with it’s own headers and wrapper metadata, then you have a master XML file that tells the player where to get each piece. If you’re delivering different quality options, often the master XML will have a catalog of all the different options and the player is expected to pick the best version of the next chunk to grab."

The above doesn't seem to be referencing error-checking, but rather references the HLS streaming standard. The result, however, seems to be in line with my (admittedly uninformed) theory... streaming is likely to be inherently more "chatty" (this seems obvious to me).

My bottom line conclusion is that I've personally observed that I use less data when downloading Netflix than when streaming - even at the same resolution - and that I think that's due to the technologies which streaming requires.

Obviously, YMMV.

(apologies for presenting this in such an uncertain tone, but I'm hardly an expert in this case and my "evidence" is, after all, anecdotal)

-- Rique
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I think I would agree that a downloaded file would be more compressed and optimized.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Yes and remember PlayOn (regardless of whether Desktop or Cloud) is streaming, recording the playback and saving in mp4 format not necessarily the same encoding used to originally stream it. 
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Andy Schack

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David, I typically use my VS2 connection for downloading....our VS1 beam is so congested I hate to contribute to it being even MORE congested. My VS2 speeds are typically 14mbps dn, under 1 up. I've got Roku on each TV but prefer to use PlayOn Cloud for the reasons Labs outlined. With our incredibly rainy summer we've had so far, it would be kinda hard to stream a 2 hr movie without an interruption. 

Andy
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I've been gone almost a week. Coming home and seeing threads like this show me that there is hope for the human race.

If I were forced into an "unlimited" plan, I have a feeling I would get the cheapest bronze plan available and download video content using Playon Cloud since it would basically bypass the low video quality of the Bronze plan.

But as long as I can stay grandfathered in on Liberty 12, I'm staying put.  Carry on...
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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There's no real absolute answer, it depends on any number of factors including resolution, frame rate, encoding, content provider, etc. You can only estimate.

https://toolstud.io/video/filesize.php



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Andy Schack

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I should have said that I only use about 300megs per hour. That is with my VS1 system and my Roku set to .6mbps. That was pretty much set in stone data-wise in my case. Now when it comes to downloading, even with the same series, different episodes vary in file size. When I get home tonight I'll look up a few of them for examples. 

Andy
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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If on Windows, look at the file's details:



The only sure thing is that this video if streamed in identical fashion and compression would require probably 1.44 Mbps to play back smoothly (but that's not really the way streaming works - it's complicated and adaptive and apples to oranges).

Total bitrate * duration = file size

And remember, Windows uses KiB, MiB, GiB for file sizes - in this case 5.00 MiB (or MB as Windows displays it). And yeah, I know... no math please so just click on the General tab (math corrected).

P.S. That one shown is a cartoon - they can get away with that low of a bitrate for 720P because it's highly compressible without loss of quality. 
(Edited)
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Andy Schack

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Finally home....long day. I just checked and I've got a Cloud recording that is exactly 1 hour long and it is a 590meg file. That is with the record setting set to SD. When I would stream with my Roku and had the bit-rate set to .6mbps it would have roughly used 320mbs for the same show. Pic quality looks the same to me but my TV has a pretty good upscaling engine. 

I canNOT express enough to make sure your new tv (if you are in the market soon) has a good scaling engine......just being a 4K tv isn't enough. I see new 4k tvs all the time that, to me, have a sub-par picture quality. Now if the tv is 40 in or under, you probably won't be able to tell.....buy a 70" and you definitely will. 

Andy
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Yea. You are saving data when you stream because of your settings. Not really apples to apples. Would be interesting to see if recording in the cloud and streaming direct with no throttling or downgrading of video would eat a similar amount of data.