Thursday, November 5, 2015

Australian TV Apps on iOS - Review (Part 2)

Part two of my Australian TV network apps on iOS review. These reviews are looking for the following criteria: picture and sound quality. General features and user interface. The catalog of available shows to watch. How advertising effects the watch-ability and if the app supports AirPlay streaming to a Apple TV. 

Note: These reviews are based on playback on a iPhone 6 and streaming to a 2014 Apple TV (not the newest one). These networks also have websites available where you can access many, if not all, of the same features. 

Part 2 of Aussie TV App For iOS: 

Notable Problems: Firstly, videos play with the iPhone's status bar overlaying. Great that I can see the time and my battery level - but this is annoying. Video sometimes failed to even begin - though it's funny - the advertisement played fine. And I say advertisement and not 'advertisements' because the same one played over and over. App is not even readjusted for larger iPhone screens and is still just enlarged to fit. 

Picture and sound quality: Just watchable. Video has poor frame rate and pixel banding issues. Could do with a much higher Bit Rate.  

Show catalog: Some on the shows available to watch are: American Ninja Warrior, South Park, Letters & Numbers, Ali G: Remixed, Australia with Simon Reeve, Awaken, Bref, Dateline, Fargo, Maison Close, If You Are The One, a lot of documentaries, and many more...  

Ads: Yes. Run through out the program. 

AirPlay support?: Sort of. I want to say "no". No button on the apps screen, however you can switch it on in the iOS Control Panel. When the iPhone screen sleeps, sometimes so did the playing video. Video also has a hard time resuming playback position after an ad plays and often stay in an endless crashed loop of not loading anything. Video would not even close when 'Done' was pressed. You no what - just don't even attempt to AirPlay video from this app.  

Picture and sound quality: Sound was good for iPhone or iPad. Picture quality adjusts with your internet connection, however the best I experienced looked just 'okay' on iPhone and could of been much better. The picture isn't high quality 'sharp' and there was definitely pixel banding in areas. The low picture quality is much more noticeable on iPad or when AirPlayed to a TV screen.    

Noteworthy Features: You can browse content by channel. Choose shows from ABC, or ABC 2, ABC 3, ABC Kids, News, Arts, and ABC Presents. 

Show catalog: A wide variety of shows are on the ABC networks, but to name a few: Doctor Who, Making Families Happy, Catalyst, Four Corners, Antiques Roadshow, The Beautiful Lie, The Next Step, Camp Lakebottom, Numb Chucks, Play School, and many more... 

Ads: In the couple of programs I watched, there was no advertisements. 

AirPlay support?: Yes! You can AirPlay the video to an Apple TV. 

A dedicated app just for kids, ABC KIDS iview app opened with volume that was not controlled by my iPhone's volume level. All sounds in this app (except playing video) do this. Really annoying. 

Based on the security of the Settings, I assume this app is intended for kids who cant read numbers yet. 

Picture and sound quality: Sound is fine, picture on the other hand is pretty low quality in my experience. It's 'okay' on iPhone and even streamed to a Apple TV, but it's not very sharp. 

Noteworthy Features: The app features a grid of shows to choose from. Tap a show to bring up available videos. Parents can also set a timer to lock the screen. 
Show catalog: Among the list are: Hey Duggee, 64 Zoo Lane, Bananas in Pajamas, Big Block SingSong, Bob the Builder, Dinosaur Train, dirtgirlworld, Emma!, Fireman Sam, and more...  

Ads: None that I saw. 

AirPlay support?: Yes! You can AirPlay the video to an Apple TV. 

Thanks for reading, be sure to share if you liked these reviews! 


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