Panel 2 Video Quality

As previously mentioned, we’re upping the video quality on Panel 2 for a little while to gauge response. It may cause some of your systems to buffer more than in the past. It will be running at approx. 700kbps for video and 96kbps for audio for a total of 796 kbps for the evening. Email in and let us know how it works for you!
Thanks,

Justin

39 Comments

Justin, I think you should spend some time investigating the issues that some of us, myself included, have with the current quality.

I have a fairly decent spec’ed computer, with a very fast internet connection, but I still find all video (both live and archived) jerky, and constantly slow, along with garbled audio and intermittant audio.

I’ve e-mailed recently about the issue, and it was passed along to the technical team, but I haven’t heard any more back.

Can you let us know what could possibly cause these issues, and if there is anything we can do to help diagnose the problem?

Tonight’s video on panel 2 is much better in terms of no jagged play but the qaulity of the picture in terms of sharpness and color is the same. You really cannot tell with the small frames for each game. However it is nice that the video plays very smooth in the panel for all games.

I too have a greater than T1 connection and the video is jerky and slow, audio is intermittent and slow as well. I have a two-monitor setup (my laptop, and an external monitor). If I make the external monitor the primary monitor and try to view the audio on the laptop screen it slows down even more, but that may be more my setup than MLB’s issue.

As for Panel 2, the improved video quality is barely discernable from the other panels.

Right, i’ve finally got a smooth video feed.. (updated drivers, turned down hardware acceleration a bit, got rid of media player 11), but the audio is still stuttery and out of sync 😦

As for panel 2, the picture is alot sharper and smoother than the others. I can certainly see a difference 🙂

The panel 2 picture is sharper, however it stays frozen or jerky as before. The Atl/Fla audio is poor, however the Cardinal audio is good, except of course when it is cutting in and out. I am not receiving this through AOL.

Incase anyone wants to know, i’ve managed to solve my stuttering audio problems. I did this by setting a default soundcard in the “Audio” tab in “Sound and Audio Devices” in the Windows XP Control Panel.

I’m now enjoying Mosaic thoroughly 🙂

I’m loving the video and audio on panel 2. This is great!

First off, system specs. Athlon 64 3400+, 2gb RAM, 7800GS. Internet connection is 15/2.

Panel 2 states it is playing at 796kbps, but the video is playing just like before. Delayed and choppy. Viewing a single game produces the same result. However, image quality has improved in Panel 2. I am running no other bandwith intensive applications as I run Mosaic.

Last night (Tuesday) Panel 2 had better quality video, but was choppy. Tonight (Wednesday) Still great video, and not choppy at all! Significantly better than panels 1 & 3.

I find Panel 2 to be sharper than 1 and 3, but still a bit jerky during action. Audio is fine. No significant difference in buffering time between 2 and the other panels.

I have resolved the issue. Going by the comment made earlier about uninstalling Windows Media Player 11 Beta, I did so as well. It rolled back to Player 10. Now everything works perfectly. Video and audio are in perfect sync. This is the only action I took to resolve this issue.

I think the higher kbps on panel 2 is draining the Red sox bullpen on Panel 3.

Is there anything you can do to help with the pitching?

AMD 1600+ (1.40 GHz,) 768 MB RAM, GeForce 4 Ti 4200 (four year old computer with a two-three year old video card). My internet connection is an upper tier residential cable internet connection.

I’ve noticed the quality is much better in Panel 2, obviously, but it’s more than just smoother animation.

The players look blockier in Panels 1 and 3. In Panel 2, it’s easier to make out the curves of their shoulders, for example. Once one sees that change, others appear, though similarly minor (seeing the lawn mower patterns in the infield much easier during pitches, stuff like that.)

One audio hitch occurred, when I switched to Firefox to bring up this website – the audio fell a second or so out of sync, but fell back in line when I went to another panel and back. I’ve changed back and forth since then, and the audio has remained ok.

I noticed the video would hitch a little bit when using the arrow keys to switch back and forth between screens inside the panel. I’ve never seen that with the 496 Kbps panels. This was the only consistent “error” I found. Again, mostly minor.

Once the panel’s video feeds froze when I switched back to Mosaic from Firefox, though the audio kept going. The video caught back up within 2 seconds. Again, only happened once, despite me intentionally going back and forth, to get it to repeat itself.

Most interesting, though, the sharper resolution on the players brought a kind of “ghosting” around the players. I find it similar to a television without cable, and just an antenna (remember those?) 😉 The image is just about perfect, but there’s a Halo-kinda image around the people moving around the screen.

Overall, it seems to me a question of smoother animation and sharper resolution vs. more frequent audio and video hitches (though they were still VERY occasional, say, ten times instead of nine. That kind of ratio.)

I could go either way, though that hitch moving back and forth between screens in the panel gives me pause. I was really impressed when I first was using Mosaic that switching audio feeds didn’t affect the video at all. Then again, I might just get used to it eventually.

Perhaps having an option for the viewer to choose 496 or 796? Is there a way to split the difference?

Thanks for all you do, Justin. This adds a human element to this service, instead of just feeling like just some uncaring chunk of the MLB Juggernaut.

Thanks very much for the feedback guys. I really appreciate it, as does the team. We’re going to leave panel 2 like this for another day or two before making tweaks to address comments, to try and get some additional feedback and ensure we’re getting good data back.

For those of you that are still having choppy video problems, give some of the suggestions as identified by you all here a try:

– adjust hardware acceleration up or down

– upgrade your video/audio drivers to the latest version

– ensure you’re running windows media player 10, as opposed to the new beta version 11 (which we’re going to begin testing with as soon as we feel comfortable with the current version).

if 6 games start at 7:05 why dont you put all of them on the same panel instead of having to switch from panel to panel?

Panel 2 video quality is much better. Currently watching 2 games on panel 2 and it rebuffers every 20-30 seconds consistantly. Makes watching games in the mosaic view annoying.

Same computer on panel 1, where there are 3 live games there has been no rebuffering, but the quality is obviously worse.

If I had a choice of the two panels, I would choose panel 1’s lower quality with less rebuffering, than high quality and constant rebuffering.

The widescreen view is still annoying since the feed is not 16:9. Everything is stretched and out of proportion. Fill the final feeds be 16:9 or will the top and bottom bars be removed so the picture is not warped?

Hey everyone, Ive been running mosaic on and off now and im kinda frustrated due to the network stream errors I have been encountering. Id say the video is running at 496kb/s on the third page, however the second page wont even load for me, I get network stream errors all the time. A little about my computer: P4/2.4c overclocked to 3.0ghz, 1gb pc3200 DDR, my fsb is around 1000mhz, ATI Radeon 9600xt pro, ATI TV Wonder Pro, Windows XP Media Center Edition, all the latest drivers and direct x have been installed. My internet connection is a standard comcast northeast connection, with mosaic running i get 4920 kilobits per second, 5204 kilobits per second without it running…so I think my internet connection has enough headroom to receive the additional bandwith on page two. Can anyone shed some light on why I might not be able to get the second page running?

We’re working on doing better aspect ratio conversion within hardware back here. Hope to have it up and running asap – this will solve the stretching issues you’ve mentioned.

trey, how are panel 1 and 3 working for you – seeing network stream errors there as well?

Do you have any trouble watching regular mlb.tv via the website?

Gee.. nothing like installing a Beta Mosaic over a Beta Windows Media Player I always say. Sounds to me like folks are bgging for ‘Beta’ problems. hehe

Maybe the installer for Mosaic should so a simple registery check for the installed version of WM and then complain to the individual that they need to roll back to a stable version of WM before continuing – or – face the risk of it not working properly. Novel idea, eh? 😉

Frame rates are up in page 2 Justin – my guess is you have cranked them to 16 – 18 or so when watching a single game and 12 – 14 in multi-game mode.

While the frame rate speed is better, and I know you are working on the proportions, the one thing that grabs me quickly is the pixalization quality. Frame speed is up but pixalization is higher. That tells me – just a guess here – that you are continuing to work with the same quality of captured video stream and it might be too small (400×300 maybe or a CIF or QVGA?). I would guess you are using an VC-1/SMTPE codec.

Maybe you should consider stepping up to a higher profile since you seem to be using Microsoft’s codecs?

Just some thoughts..

Now the bugs.. hehe

— Archives are short.. Pirates game today has just 4 innings, for example.

— video is shutting off instream and forcing the user to ‘reload page to view media’. What a hassle. It would be fairly simple to add a self-seeking timing mechanisim that forces the player to find the stream “X” milliseconds after it loses a connection. Just a thought.

— I noticed your updates on Mosaic seemed to also update the regular MLB.tv product. This might be why the MLB.tv flavor is now shutting down instream a lot more than Mosaic?

Just thoughts for you..

Panel 2 much better. Still would like to see the size of the boxes increased some. Also, would like to see game times match up on the panels. I very rarely get six games on one screen.

I appreciate your reactions to the feedback though.

Pirate, thanks very much for the comments.

We’re continuing to tweak the encode profile on the mosaics – and there’s no doubt in my mind we can do a lot better. Our source video is 25megabit mpeg-2 4:2:2 from the ballpark, converted into SDI within the environment for handoff to the encoders. I think the pixelization issue you’re seeing is a scale/multiplier problem at the moment – we’re trying to figure out the best ratio for scale within the hardware acceleration that accompanies directx playback and windows media at the moment.

We’ll check on the Pirates game – that shouldnt have been the case.

On the instream shutoff – while we can definitely do exactly that, if there is a problem with the infrastructure we need to be careful about throttling reconnects, as it has the potential to exacerbate the issue. We’re looking into better ways to do both this and the 30 minute timer.

Which updates specifically are you referring to? The two are essentially mutually exclusive, though mosaic does use the MLB.tv streams for single games.

Justin,

Games on Panel 2 at 796k yesterday looked very nice. The picture quality appeared better, but more buffering occurred. Hope you stay with the higher speed, and resolve the buffering situation. Thanks for your efforts to make the mosaic better.

Thanks very much. In the next week or so, we’re going to begin testing some new distribution technology that we think will help will the buffering situation. Its very much in R&D stages, but we have high hopes for it in the long term. Stay tuned here – we’re going to use one of the mosaic panels as the initial testbed and would much appreciate all of your feedback.

I can notice a big difference in Panel 2 versus 1 and 3. 1 and 3 are blurry and poor quality while Panel 2 has a clear sharp image. I am loving the quality in Panel 2. I hope you decide to increase 1 and 3. I have a fast cable connection and I’m having no bandwidth problems.
My video and audio quality are great after doing some tweaking of settings. Keep up the great work Mosaic team!

Hey Justin,

I’m really enjoying MLB.TV Mosaic, it’s pretty good for a piece of beta software. I noticed the quality is very good on Panel 2 now with the upgrade to bring the speed to almost 800 kb/s. I have buffering problems too but this is not unusual with my connection as i watch games sometimes during the day with many people online – too many people online can slow down a connection and cause buffering problems.

I hope you add the higher quality to the other frames soon 🙂 And when are you guys going to start having individual games in 700k video quality? That would be great!

Jared

Jared, Thanks for the comments. If our tests with new distribution and the mosaic go well, I think we’ll be distributing single games at higher quality also on a limited basis this year. We’ll keep you all updated as we progress.

I have not yet been sucessful in seeing Panel 2. I get a Network Streaming error. Panels 1 and 3 come in load and clear.

NB – the MLB streaming test comes in in excess of 3200 kbs.

Any thoughts?

With the release of 21 June, I can now see Panel 2. It is beautiful.

Of course, I can’t see Panel 3 (Streaming error, retry) but, hey, who wants to see the Rays vs. the D’Backs anyway….

I’m a huge fan of MLB.TV Mosaic. Panel 2 is much sharper than 1 and 3 but the sound breaks up every couple of seconds which drives me nuts. I just click on the game I want to see and move on. Panels 1 and 3 are poor in video but the sound is good. I’m assuming that once we click on the game itself it does not matter which panel we started from. Is that correct?

What I like most about Mosaic is the ease to track other games and the info we can see as we watch an individual game.

I have a DSL connection and run fast.

John

Oh for additional input I rand your bandwith check and I’m aT 1355. tHANKS. jOHN

I just wanted to let you guys know i’m also pulling for a higher bitrate for individual streams. Im not having any technical problems at the moment. Thanks for taking our feedback and working to improve the service.

Thanks very much, glad to hear it.

We’re actively working on a trial of the higher bitrate for the mosaics using alternative distribution. Stay tuned!

ditto, higher bitrate for the individual streams is needed. it’s a bummer to have higher res on the thumbnails and then have it go back to low-res when you click on the game you really want.

i’d also try pumping down 1M streams if you can.

Justin said:

“scale/multiplier problem”

understandable.. it is in beta and has come a long way. You’ll figure it out.

“Which updates specifically are you referring to? The two are essentially mutually exclusive”

I noticed a change to the original viewer after Mosaic installed its latest update in late June. It might have been on my end as I’m not seeing a continuation of the problem. Scratch this one.

I just subscribed but can no longer log onto MLB mosaic before I could and it would ask me to subscribe now it just says unable to log in.

I cannot watch any games due to a network stream error. I am using my laptop however at work it works fine on my desktop. Can anyone please give a a clue to how to resolve this issue since customer service has no idea. They even told me they never heard of this problem, he-he

I think a good gift for the president would be a chocolate revolver. And since he’s so busy, you’d probably have to run up to him and hand it to him.
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