4oD on Playstation 3

Published by Tyro D. Fox in the blog The Leather Bound Book. Views: 418


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[size=+1]4oD on Playstation 3[/size]

Bloody, stupid hunk of junk...

As far as I can work out, the 4oD app on the PS3 is broken. Or just sloppily put together. Compared to the far, far better BBC iPlayer app on the same machine, its buggy, awkward to use and arrogantly refuses to remain on your machine where it would likely have an easier job of things. Or at least have a better GUI.

The idea of 4oD, Channel 4's online catch-up service, is far more attractive than BBC's iPlayer or the ITV Player: everything is online to watch for nothing. Wonderful. Compared to the BBC's approach of only serving up recent programs, Channel 4 have attempted to replace DVD sales with sweet, sweet Ad money. I don't mind adds to be able to watch something that much. It lets me check stuff inbetween halves of shows. Not ideal but I'll live as long as I get my Father Ted fix.

It's the application itself I moan and complain about here.

BBC iPlayer is resilliant and quite reliable in my experience. The GUI has had some though put in for each device its on, so the PS3 has something you can navagate nicely with a PS3 controller. The Wii still has the better UI for my money over that one because of the Wii remote. PC is still king with the iPlayer but its not the most comfortable. A Wii or a PS3 can have a sofa and a massive TV. Anyway...

4oD is a web app that is run from the PS3's pitiful Web Browser. That first problem should raise issues as the web browser is slow, awkward to manuver with and barely registers some of my commands as I hammer buttoms trying to get it to do anything.

So Channel 4 gives us a white, stylish looking site that I always thinks resembles a hospital hallway adorned with adverts, with only a few important buttons. The directional buttons will snap to buttons making navigation bareable compared to the left analouge stick which shoves the cursor around. If this was on all the buttons throughout the app, it would be great. Trying to get the video player to do anything requires the analouge stick rather than the d-pad for example. None of that Youtube stuff where the whole screen is a button to stop and start the video. Nope, the cursor hurridly scuttles towards the play button like it knows it's late for something rather than the insta-warp with the D-pad.

Then there's the playback itself. I've had quite a few problems. On the same video, it's frozen about three times. Furthermore, the browser has actually given up trying to play the video. It told me that the memory ran out and told me to try again.

Now that I've complained, I doubt it'll ever go wrong again thanks to life messing with me.

Oh no, wait! There it goes! Frozen again after about 15 miniutes.

I still believe that 4oD needs to have a dedicated PS3 app to make it a far more reliable service. The thing is that the PS3's days are numbered. I doubt they'll bother trying to update something with a life span of around a year tops. I can't say I blame them but I can't say I forgive them either with the Beeb's app looming over them. Comparatively, it feels lazy. Just send them to the site and done! Knock off and down the pub.

Compared to all the other apps on the...Hang on...It's crashed again. One of the adverts has downed the mighty PS3 again.

Anyway, compared to the other apps on the device, of which there isn't much, 4oD looks out of place. Its as solid and robust as a rally car made of breadsticks. I'd have better luck trying to fly out of my window to the shop than watch something uninterrupted.

But I think the other reason we won't see an app like the iPlayer is becuase the PS3 is awkward to code for, apparently. The archetecture is overly complex, or so I've heard, and there isn't a great deal of RAM under the hood. I know that for sure as its the reason Skyrim's autosave feature locks up the whole game. A web app would be easier to knock up because your not mucking with PS3 code.

While I understand that, I'm unsympithetic as I load up Escape From Colditz again so I can carry on from where I left off once PC world and that Ginger Beer woman gets out of my face. I'm starting to wonder what my dog would look like with dentures and what colour foundation my skin actually is.

While I like the Prius song, I still believe a bit of reliablitity could have come from a dedicated app. My vague guess is that the RAM is running out, causing everything to lock up, just like Skyrim as it tries to run the video just inside the already buggy Web Browser.

In conclusion, use the PC version. Or the Youtube channel where guys you know can stream stuff properly do the heavy lifting.

Oh...don't get me started on the Youtube app on this thing.
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