They suggested doing a factory reset on the Chromecast and removing and re-installing the Stan app.
It sounded unlikely (it’s the real-life version of the IT Crowd’s “Have you tried turning it off then on again”), but to my surprise, it actually worked.
HDMI was still a problem though. They said it wasn’t supported.
So why doesn’t Stan support HDMI? An interesting answer came back:
“We are unlikely to support this method of streaming in the future due to DRM (Digital Rights Management) contractual agreements we have with the studios we licence our content off of. If anything changes, we will be sure to let you know.”
This is puzzling, given their main competitors Netflix and Presto seem to support it.
It’s worth noting that Stan (and I believe the others) don’t support my 2011-model Samsung smart TV either. Thank goodness for the Chromecast. It’s not as easy as being able to play directly just on the TV (with no other devices required), but at least it works — and navigating menus is far easier on a tablet than a TV remote control.
As one observer (I forget who) noted — there’s little point paying extra for a smart TV (over a dumb one) when an A$49 device like a Chromecast is less likely to become obsolete — or if it does, it can be cheaply and easily replaced.
I can think of two examples where digital media has limitations which affect the fidelity of playback in a major way: with music it’s gapless playback, often noticeable on MP3 players and with CDs on some players. With DVDs it’s layer changes, again, worse on some players than others.
This shouldn’t be the case, of course. Digital media of course is meant to be better than analogue, in every respect. I don’t know if there are standards mandated in the relevant formats, but perhaps there should be… or at least some documented workarounds, such as recommending where DVD authors place layer-changes.
After all, these kinds of things can ruin the enjoyment of a movie or piece of music if handled badly.
At last a chance for those people who still have their old VHS originals safely in storage, not even daring to pop them into a VCR for fear they wear out, to get shiny discs to replace them. Sounds like George Lucas got sick of being upstaged by all the pirated versions out there.
There’s an economic imperiative to make the salty popcorn, and movies short with action which avoids gripping plotlines – and it’s driven by the theatre’s concession stand. Coke calls the shots in the film industry.
This explains it all. It’s not about the razors, it’s about the blades.
What is it with DVD authoring that the production houses can’t put the layer changes somewhere sensible, like preferably between scenes where there’s no sound? Looking through Michaeldvd.com.au’s reviews, they note a variety of stupidly placed layer changes:
The Princess Bride — The layer change is at 49:58 – it is not a good layer change, because it interrupts the score, but it only lasts a moment. The R1 Special Edition has a far better layer change – it’s inside a silent black frame after Westley is knocked unconscious.
Virus — This is during a natural fade to black, but it is still quite noticeable due to the interruption to the music.
With TV series on DVD, most authors do the sensible thing and put the layer change between the episodes. But sometimes, evidently from pure laziness, they just let it fall elsewhere.
The Office — For some reason, the layer change does not occur between Episodes 3 and 4 (as I would have expected) but about 3:57 into Episode 4 (Title 4, Chapter 1).
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em volume 2 — This is an RSDL disc, and once again the DVD authors have inexplicably put the layer change within one of the episodes instead of between them.
Empires-Peter & Paul and the Christian Revolution — This disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change occurring at 2:30 in Episode II – a crazy and infuriating place to put it when it could have more easily and logically been placed in between the two episodes.
Given it’s a well-known drawback of dual layer DVDs, surely it’s not that hard to put the change somewhere where it won’t be noticed. Crap layer changes really destroy the atmosphere of a movie or TV show, and show up a big flaw in what otherwise is a very satisfying and popular domestic playback medium.
After watching Sin City the other day I decided I didn’t want to wait.
What I want is a directors commentary that I can take to the cinema with me. I’d download it, throw it on the pod and listen to it in the cinema. I’m sure it would be great for repeat business; go once to watch the film, then again to listen to the commentary. It would be spoken word, you could play it soft and no one would hear it.