Player app picture quality?

l_a_evansl_a_evans Posts: 4Member
So I recently cancelled sky and got a YouView+ box. I didn’t realise (before I bought it) that when you go back in time on the guide and select something to watch, that it would open it in a player app. This would be ok accept the picture quality is really poor. I compared this to the same program on the same player app on my samsung smart tv, using exactly the same ethernet connection and the picture quality on the tv apps is far superior to the YouView apps. 

I can’t seem to find any settings on the apps on the YouView box to improve the picture. Am I missing something? I can’t see why the box and tv would be so different? 

Live HD is very good though, as is Netflix. NowTV not so good. I was really hoping this box would be the one do it all option (one box, one remote, freeview+, Netflix, NowTV and on demand catchup apps. Sadly not at the moment. 

Any help with this will be much appreciated. 

I really don’t want to have to keep switching from box to tv apps and keep switching remotes. 


  • scottscott Posts: 2,055Member ✭✭✭
    edited 4 July 2019, 12:40PM

    What App is it that is poorer. Most of the PSB players are poor SD quality but that is across the board on all devices, with only the BBC iPlayer approaching anything decent. Now TV is the only player that really suffers against other devices as that is SD movies only, but that is due to change very shortly (although the amount it will change may vary on who your ISP is).

    Can you point me to what programmes you are trying and I will compare against the Apps built into my LG TV and see if I can see the same. I have to admit I struggle when I have to watch catch-up as the quality is so poor, another reason a recordable STB will never be replaced by a stick only offering at the moment, but I find that is true whether I watch it on my YouView player or my Apple TV4K box, I would be surprised if there was any difference between the player on the Apple TV and my built in apps but I am happy to look. 

  • John LJohn L Posts: 444Member
    Hi l_a_evans, welcome to the Youview forum, what a lovely sunny day! 
    Yes, if only there was one solution, nothing is future proofed, but if that fails you lose all your recordings! In my opinion, not the best idea. I spend all day switching from Freeview, Youview & Freesat from my Samsung TV. It only takes me 2 seconds & it all works very smoothly (for me). The advantage (for me) is being able to record without too many clashes + also Youview is not my main pvr due to using my pvr a lot for searching recordings. I don't have time to watch the whole show. Until Youview sort the dark banner out when using fast fwd/rwd (you will see this when you fast fwd recordings - its annoying (for me). At the moment there are not many  options unless you want to spend money. I think Sky have got a monopoly, hence why their prices are "Sky" high on extra channels etc. (I would where Sky got it's name from!)

    I can fully understand your frustration if you are used to better picture quality. I can't compare it to Sky, as I have never used Sky. The only thing I can think of is the settings in each individual player: BBC iPlayer you can change settings from standard to HD. Have you been able to do this & what do you think of picture quality? If your Sky setup was 4K, then I can imagine the downgrade in quality depending on your tv picture resolution. Trust I may have given you some thought & an idea regarding picture quality. Maybe ask around family/friends & see how their picture quality compares to your setup. Let us know how you get on. John L
  • l_a_evansl_a_evans Posts: 4Member
    Thanks for the replies.

    FWIW I’m using:
    500gb BT YouView box  
    Samsung J5500 43”

    Both connected to a gigabit ethernet switch then direct to TalkTalk WiFi Hub (stable 71Mb faster fibre). No poweline adapters. 

    As a test i tried “The Gadget Show” on My5: Much better on tv app. Then tried “Crystal Maze” on All4: Much better on tv app. Films on NowTV app are even worse but I know that Samsung TV is receiving 720p and YouView is only getting SD (as i discovered on NowTV site). BBC iplayer seems to be good/the same on both. This is why I’m baffled.

    I can’t find any picture quality settings in the apps at all.  

    I understand that Sky’s catchup system is quite different as it downloads and doesn’t stream. My sky was HD not 4K as TV is HD not 4K. TV is a few years old and user interface can be quite slow. 
  • scottscott Posts: 2,055Member ✭✭✭
    edited 4 July 2019, 2:17PM

    Thanks for your reply. I will try both those programmes across my YouView boxes, Apple TV and LG TV apps to see if I can see a big difference (I never liked watching ITV/Ch4/Ch5 on demand as I think it was always poor).

    As you say SKY use a different system for their catch up and that can be higher quality as it is download not stream and they were late to game incorporating 'players' and tried to keep everything looking like it was coming from SKY, but that doesn't explain the difference between the TV app and other devices.

    Not sure how old this article is but it seems to suggest the Samsung stream is sub par as opposed to some Streaming sticks (although it fails to mention a bit rate for YouView boxes)

    Bitrates on My5

    My5 video quality on computers,  is on average streamed at 610kbps depending on your connection. Although watchable on the small standard window, in full-screen mode the sub-standard definition streams clearly show the low bitrates used.

    Video quality on iOS devices is around 1560kbps. on the iPad, the streaming quality appears acceptable for the enlarged tablet screen.
    AirPlay quality is very poor, this is not an ideal way to view My5 content to your large TV screen. The iOS device must remain on, whilst the video plays on both screens, this will quicly drain the battery, so connect the device to th charger.

    On Android, Video quality is adequate for a mobile displays, though not for tablets.
    Bitrates on Android are around 1540kbps – a good SD quality stream.

    On Xbox One bitrates are around 1490kbps.

    On Playstation 4, Video quality for Demand 5 is very watchable, though still standard definition with an average bitrate of 1600kbps.

    One of the best and cheapest platforms to access My5 content is with the NOW TV box (under £10), or a UK purchased Roku box.
    Video quality on the Now TV/Roku platform is excellent, with an average bitrate of 2140kbps. This places video quality somewhere between SD and HD, a good quality SD stream.

    My5 offers a static bitrate of 1500kbps on Samsung Smart TVs. If bandwidth limitations prevents this bitrate from being used, viewers may have to utilize a lower blurry or pixelated stream. 1500kbps video quality is almost as good as SD offered on BBC iPlayer.

    Downloaded content was available with a screen resolution of 720 x 408 at an impressive bit-rate of 1,200Kbits/sec. This was clear enough for viewing on laptops and TV screens.

  • John LJohn L Posts: 444Member
    Hi l_a_evans, 
    The first thing I would consider is the Powerline adaptors. The Youview pvr as you may know is not wifi, but powerline is the more powerful option once set up correctly with your router. You should find a lot less stuttering & buffering (hopefully!). Yes the Samsung tv apps are excellent, mind you I found Youtube was better on Freesat app, than the tv. I can't remember what my setup was at the time. The tv might have been wifi only. I changed things around so many times when upgrading/fixing problems.
    I think technology is going through various stages at the moment & every manufacturer is claiming HD, when its not always what it seems! Even HD content on tv isn't always true full 1080p/i HD, but upscaled instead. Yes, Sky does work differently with with the download of films. I remember many years back when I had a old Freeview pvr that could download recordings. Can't remember the brand, might have been Goodmans/Bush? It had very unreliable software! How times have changed. Hope you are able to find a solution that works for you.
    Be interested to know if the Powerline adaptors help in any way. John L
  • l_a_evansl_a_evans Posts: 4Member
    I think there maybe a misunderstanding about power line adapters. I don’t need them, I’m hardwired from devices to router via a network switch. I stated I didn’t use them just to rule it out. 

    I found settings on iplayer and are set to best quality. The other players definitely don’t have this setting.

    shame my5 doesn’t specify their bitrate for youview (that i can find).
  • John LJohn L Posts: 444Member
    No problem L_a_evans, glad you are making some progress. John L
  • scottscott Posts: 2,055Member ✭✭✭
    So I have just watched the gadget show summer special across all three devices and they were all shocking sd quality but without any real discernible difference between them. I obviously don’t have a Samsung tv so can’t speak for that but I can say the players between the three devices I do have show no real difference (they are all shocking to watch). It would be interesting to try to find out if the Samsung does get a better bit rate than other devices (although to be fair any bitrate that still only offers a decent sd picture is unacceptable in this day anyway especially when viewing on a uhd tv that is having to upscale that image to display it).
  • l_a_evansl_a_evans Posts: 4Member
    So I’ve tested the tv and youview box against a now tv stick and the tv is still by far the best picture and now when i watch my5 on tv and press info, I’m getting HD.

    So looks like youview is good for freeview, recording and netfix but no good on any other player, so flicking back 7 days is pointless. Shame.

    I also noticed that the ethernet cable suplied with the bt youview box is only wired for 10/100Mbps. Is the youview box ethernet port not gigabit?
  • VisionmanVisionman Posts: 9,616Member ✭✭✭
    As it says on the tin, its a standard ethernet port.
  • VisionmanVisionman Posts: 9,616Member ✭✭✭
    I personally find the standard of commercial PSB apps across all devices to be a disgrace and have been for years. Even a constant flood of complaints hasn't changed their SD only stance.
    One only gets HD if they pay for it.
  • GoodbyeGoodbye Posts: 336Time out
    edited 6 July 2019, 5:00PM
    God there's no chance of free to air 4K then in our lifetime. 
  • zulu17zulu17 Posts: 970Member ✭✭
    edited 6 July 2019, 6:45PM
    The My 5 app on the Samsung Tv has Hd Content

    HD is available on Sky and Virgin Media and on Samsung using My5.
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