Friday, July 30, 2010

UniFi HyppTV Review

In my last blog post, I’ve written about my UniFi IPTV setup. In this post, I thought I share my brief experience with the UniFi IPTV service itself — namely, HyppTV.

Main menu

Channels

The HyppTV IPTV service runs on its own dedicated network. For IPTV, TM has allotted 8Mbps of bandwidth which is good enough for HD streaming and more than enough for SD streaming.

There are currently 22 channels with more channels to come by the end of the year. Out of these channels, only 2 channels are in HD.

DSC02159

Channels are classified into three — Live TV, Video On Demand (VOD) and inter@ctive.

Remote control

Live TV includes local and international broadcast channels. Local channels include free-to-air channels like TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV, TV9, etc. Some of the international channels include Australia Network, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge, Fashion TV HD, LUXE.TV HD, Star Chinese Channel, etc. Some of these channels are Premium channels.

Come September 2010, for VIP5 and VIP10 customers, a separate subscription will be required for Premium channels. For VIP20 customers, the Premium channels will be part of the package.

In VOD or pay-per-view if you like, there’s a selection of Hollywood, Malay, Chinese as well as Bollywood titles.

Movies typically have a validity of 24 hours. Within that 24 hours you can watch the movie as many number of times as you like.

One of the highlights in the VOD offering is the Hollywood Premiere Series; this selection contains the latest TV series — available 24 hours after the US release.

For TV series, validity is typically 30 days or longer.

Video On Demand

For some titles, free previews or trailers are available on demand. Purchasing a VOD title is easy; just select the title from the on-screen VOD catalog (see above) and enter a PIN. During this preview period, TM is giving out free trial tokens.

Once purchased, the title is ready to be watched immediately or anytime within the validity period.

For VOD, playback control is available i.e. pause, fast-forward, reverse and bookmarking.

There’s even an option to rate a title. The average rating for a title is displayed in the on-screen VOD catalog.

inter@ctive channels include flight info, Malaysian history, Malaysian football and games (see below). I understand more interactive services will be added on later. Can we expect a YouTube channel? That would be nice isn’t it?

Flight info

Games

IPTV Video Quality

In general, the colors from IPTV seem more vivid compared to the colors from Astro — at least on an SDTV. HD channels will still play on an SDTV but the aspect ratio need to be manually adjusted.

Though UniFi’s IPTV service is not affected by the rain as in Astro, occasionally, there’ll be those nasty picture artifacts similar to Astro. Nevertheless, those artifacts often disappear fast enough before becoming annoying. Note that I’m using HomePlugs for my IPTV setup. A wired network connection to the IPTV may give better experience.

Switching between channels is almost instantaneous but I’ve observed some stuttering in the first few seconds after a channel switch — possibly due to buffering?

There’s also Picture-in-Picture (PIP) (see below).

DSC02160

Concerns

To view IPTV on the television set, all equipment necessary to support IPTV like the fiber broadband termination unit, residential gateway and set-top box (STB) must be turned on. If HomePlugs are used in an IPTV setup, that must be switched on too. So, as you can see, should any of the equipment fail, IPTV won’t work!

To add to the concern, the residential gateway (DLink DIR-615) provided by TM has been reported to be very fragile; it tends to get fried.

I’ve placed the gateway unit on a heat sink and hooked it to a surge-protected electrical socket as one of the measures to add more robustness to the whole setup.

Is HyppTV another Astro?

Well, one of the inevitable questions is whether TM’s new IPTV service is a worthy replacement of Astro.

At least for now, I don’t think so. Content is a bit limited at the moment though there are channel overlaps. However, things might change in the future!

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88 comments:

resistiveload said...

You know the STB remote control can actually LEARN 4 buttons of your existing TV remote? Maybe you want to blog about it. How?
1) Point your TV remote to STB's remote.
2) Press and hold "Scan" button for about 2 seconds. The green LED will lit up permanently and remote is in learning mode.
3) Press the BLUE POWER button and green LED starts blinking. The remote is ready to learn IR patterns of your TV's POWER button
4) Press and hold your TV remote POWER button until the green LED of STB's remote stop blinking
5) Press "Scan" button again to off the learning mode
6) Do the same to "TV/AV" ,VOL+/- buttons

Now, your IPTV remote has just learned new tricks, and you can leave your TV remote aside when enjoying IPTV!!

Jason said...

@resistiveload, thanks for the cool tip. I'll try it out.

Tedd said...

jack here....do u know how to watch tv program on my laptop since i got the iptv sex box but dun have tv..

Gary said...

I would like to ask how do you find out the user and pin when accessing the service for the first time? I can't seem to find any information about them on the confirmation slip.

Jason said...

@Gary, in my case, the installer verbally revealed the IPTV username and PIN to me.

Jason said...

@Jack (Tedd), I suppose you were referring to the IPTV set-top box (STB)? ;-)

Here's an idea: How about hooking up your notebook to the STB via a USB A/V capture stick?

Gary said...

I see. So there is no any default username and pin combination? Guess I'll just have to call the center?

Jason said...

@Gary: Yes, it's best to give them a call.

Anonymous said...

just wondering, but how does one unsubscribe from a channel that needs points every month?

zerol said...

Hi,

Just wanna inquire on the VOD? Are the movies listed the same with those showing at the cinema?

Thanks.

Jason said...

@zerol, if you're referring to the latest Hollywood movies from the VOD selection, they appear to be as recent as 4-6 months since their first screening in our cinemas.

sy1n said...

Hi there! Nice post and very informative! Would never have found out about 'homeplugs' if not your your postings :)

Question, there's only one STB box. Is there any chance of hooking up two different TVs located in different part of the house?

Jason said...

@sy1n, glad that you've found some useful info here.

On hooking up 2 TVs to a single STB, I don't think it's possible. You could however hook one at a time. The STB unit is pretty portable anyway; you can attach it to the TV you want to watch as and when you need it.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to hook 2 or more display to stb, just need a av splitter. there are also wireless av transmiters. But all these can only be done (feasibly) in SD not HD.

Jason said...

@Anonymous, thanks for the tip on AV splitters and wireless AV transmitters!

Anonymous said...

How do you change the screen aspect ratio? Mine is not selectable

Jason said...

@Anonymous, in my case, I changed the screen aspect ratio using my TV remote. I suppose most modern TVs should allow that; older ones may not.

Anonymous said...

Extremely understandable information. Many thanks!

zamniks said...

hi Jason, hope u are well. Just want to check, how often u power off your BTU? So far, I just turn off the router but not the BTU. Any harm to power it on/off daily? One more thing, do you use usb port on the router for your cooling fan? Thanks

Jason said...

Hi Zamniks, like you, my BTU is on 24/7 and I power my router on/off daily. Well, it's been like that since last July and I can say so far so good!

I don't have a cooling fan for my router. Instead, my router is placed on top of a "DIY" heatsink -- which is actually an unused old router with metal casing. :)

zamniks said...

hi Jason, is BTU will always be the property of TMUnifi?. Only setup box, home getaway and dect phone price are published but not the BTU. Any idea?

Jason said...

Hi Zamnik, I believe the BTU may be part of the leased equipment as stated in the T&C.

Monkey Boy said...

Hi Bro Jason,
im really stuck now..
after reading this i actually bought a homeplug WL556E and eventually it was quite difficult to setup. i dont get it how u able to setup it up, which homeplug are u using?
thanks

Jason said...

Hi Monkey Boy, are you trying to stream IPTV content from your router?

I'm using a pair of Aztech HL110E homeplugs for this purpose.

From what I understand, the WL556E is a WiFi repeater. Since it doesn't use the electrical wiring to transmit data, it's not a homeplug powerline device.

UniFi uses a special port configuration for IPTV streaming. I don't think you can stream IPTV via WiFi.

Shim said...

Hello Jason,

If my Residential Gateway unit faulty, if it possible for me to change it with other brand. If possible, does it neet to be reconfigure the unit?

Jason said...

Hi Shim,

I suppose you can go for another brand but you definitely need to do configuration regardless of the residential gateway model.

Anonymous said...

how can i watch unifi tv @ hypptv on my laptop since my tv is away for broken

Jason said...

@Anonymous, perhaps you can try hooking up the IPTV STB to a USB A/V capture stick attached to your laptop (though I haven't tried the solution myself).

Gary said...

Jason,
May I know which button you push to make all channel in 1 screen as pic 2?
Thanks for your blog and advice that my unifi setup with homeplug working fine. Though some difficulties when setting up because the technician are actually students from tm that doing their practical work and has no experience with homeplug at all. I need to call up the vendor for technical support and finally figure out.
Besides that, I am using TP-Link 200mb homeplug and it work very well. It's cheaper and with 2 years warranty. Only RM75/unit. I bought 4 units.It's a good choice.

Gary

Jason said...

@Gary, it's channel 100. Glad to hear that you got your UniFi + TP-Link homeplug setup working fine. :)

Gary said...

Thanks a lot Jason, All the best...

Joe said...

Hy Jason,
I'm Joe..
i wanna ask u.
How to make the view likes the second image from this blog?
i just installed Unifi.
do i have to terminate the old phone numbver?

Jason said...

Hi Joe, to get the mosaic view for HyppTV, just "tune" to channel 100.

It's up to you whether you want to terminate your old phone number. If you wish to retain the old phone service, just continue paying the monthly rentals.

Anonymous said...

@resistivereload Thanks dude! I've been wondering about how to sync it with the tv.

Took me a few tries though to get the first button to work. After that it was a breeze to set up the volume buttons.

Anonymous said...

If you are a new user, beware. After the promotional period (1 month) of free viewing, check your mosaic screen for any premium channels you did not subscribe. They will appear there together with the packaged (free) channels. In my case, I discovered 2 just premium channels there (mind you they cost you extra RM15 pm if you dont take action). I tried to contact Unifi accounts maintenance on 18/11/2011 without success.

Anonymous said...

hi,
i'm still a step behind to decide on subscribing uni-fi.. i have one question, since the iptv is sort of using the concept of streming video, will it use up the volume quota given, say the 60gb quota for the VIP5? And if yes, lets say if i watch a local channel for an hour, how much of volume data will it cost?

Jason said...

@Anonymous,UniFi IPTV runs on a separate port which is not bound by any volume quota. Hope that answers your question.

Thomas said...

Hi Jason Ong,
I came across your site by googling. It's very informative blog. May I know how to watch unifi IPTV with 2 TV? Currently my IPTV in my living room connected using homeplug. My question is how to watch IPTV in my second TV at my bedroom? Thanks

Jason said...

Hi Thomas, to watch IPTV on your second TV, you might want to consider getting a wireless AV transmitter and receiver set. If you google for it, you'll find more info on the devices. Hope that helps.

ijjah said...

hi jason, i'm new to hypptv. Which button should I use in oder to get list of channels with screen as displayed in your Picture numbered 2. thanks alot.

Jason said...

Hi ijjah, it's channel 100. :)

Traisoon said...

Hi everyone, please use TP-Link powerline adapter AV200 (PA211) or AV500 (PA511). No wall hacking and wiring. Work flawless. Ps: The AV200 (PA211) model available here but the AV500 (PA511) model will reach our market on January. I bought it earlier from UK.
Link: http://www.tp-link.com/common/subject/powerline/TL-PA511/?siteid=1

scootster said...

After about only two weeks my hypptv remote control doesn't work work anymore. The only function that is working is for TV only. Changed to new batteries still no go either.

Is the STB or the remote control is having the problem? Any advise

Jason said...

Hi scootster,

Do you mean you can successfully control your TV from the STB remote but not the STB itself? I'm just wondering if the IR receiver on the STB is faulty. Do you see the IR feedback light on the STB whenever you press a button on the remote?

hell said...

I plugged in my pendrive at the USB port bhind the decorder to watch movie & it automatically format my pendrive! BUt i cannot open the files. I hv a question, can the files in the pendrive go through the internet?

Jason said...

@hell, I'm not sure what the USB port on the STB is for. Perhaps it's reserved for some future use? Anyway, I think it's unlikely that your files in the pendrive will spread on the Internet.

Aneeshaa said...

Does the hypp tv com e free with unifi package ??

Jason said...

@Aneeshaa, UniFi consumer packages come with several free HyppTV channels. Premium channels require separate subscription.

ck said...

Hi Jason

Just got my Unifi and wonder how to connect the IPTV to 4 Tvs and watch different channels at the same time. I have all the cat6 cable connected to the Tvs but only one set up box.

I have read your blog but still not really understand as I'm not a IT savy guy. Hope to get your advice. rgds ck

Jason said...

Hi ck, I don't have a multiple-TV setup but from what I know, you can share the content stream from the single set-top-box using one wireless AV transmitter + 4 receivers (for each of your TVs). However, each TV will be showing the same channel content.

ck said...

Dear Jason

Referring to the AV transmitter + 4 recievers, may i know the brand and how much is it? can I get it at Plaza Law Yat? rgds ck fong

Jason said...

Hi ck,

I should think Low Yat Plaza would have it but if you do a search on Lelong.com.my, you should be able to find out available brands and their prices.

BTW, for your setup, you probably need 1 transmitter + 3 receivers (not 4 receivers as earlier stated). Lastly, do find out from these sellers if you need an AV splitter as well.

neato4u said...

Jason, how is the quality of our local channels? I saw some posts saying the refresh rate sucks.. how's the picture quality and does it lag very much from the normal broadcast?

Jason said...

Hi neato4u,

It depends how you connect the set-top-box to the residential gateway. In my case, I'm using homeplugs over very old wall electrical wiring to link up both the devices. Frame rates were so-so until I installed
power line boosters
to complement the homeplugs. I can say I'm getting excellent frame rates now. As for picture quality, certainly no complaints there—everything looks sharp.

If you're using direct wired network connection between your devices, I doubt quality will be an issue.

If in doubt, I suggest heading on to the nearest TMpoint for a live demo.

Mary Soo said...

Hi, I wonder how to unsubcribe one of the hypptv channel.

SpRiNg said...

HI THERE! NEED YOUR HELP SO MUCH! HOPE THAT U CAN REPLY MY COMMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! how to unsubscribe a premium channel on hypptv?

Jason said...

Mary Soo, you may log in to the UniFi customer portal to manage your subscription.

Jason said...

SpRiNg, log in to UniFi customer portal to manage your subscription.

SpRiNg said...

Ya, then whr should I go? My service? I search everywhere but I don't know where to edit the subscription .

Jason said...

SpRiNg, under mySERVICES, did you try Modify Bundle?

SpRiNg said...

Ya@@ nothing come out.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Do you know why I cant purchase the movies on vod? . After I put in the pin number nothing happen

Jason said...

Hi, for VOD purchase issues, I suggest contacting TM UniFi Center for support.

http://www.tm.com.my/hypptv/Pages/help.aspx?id=2#vod

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason, I got 2 television at home. 1 in the living room and another 1 in the room. I wonder if i can contact the unifi hypptv?

Jason said...

Hi (Anonymous),

To paraphrase one of the tips submitted by a commenter:

"It is possible to hook 2 or more displays to the STB. Just need an AV splitter. There are also wireless AV transmitters. But all these can only be done (feasibly) in SD not HD."

Hope that helps.

Farid Saidan said...

I have a question for y'all. I've just installed (myself) the HyppTV today but but but... how come all the HD channels are rather blurry. Like the same quality as all the SD channels. Not at all crystal clear and only slightly sharper than the SD ones. I've already set it to 1080i and before you ask, yes my TV is full HD and I'm using the HDMI cable. Just wondering is it because I'm currently using the 4MB Streamyx? I've already signed up for the 8MB one but not yet upgraded. The video quality also sometimes become rather pixelated and need to wait for few seconds before it becomes clearer. I need some explanation. Help!!!

Jason said...

Hi Farid,

I'm not really familiar with the technical aspects of the HyppTV service for Streamyx. Perhaps the line noise contributed to the less-than-ideal video quality?

Farid Saidan said...

I see. Thanks for your reply, first of all. Just out of curiosity, how are your HD channels like? Are they really crystal clear and sharp (like Astro's HD channels) or lower in quality as mine? Or is it my expectations are just too high? Lol.

Jason said...

Hi Farid,

As far as I can tell, the HyppTV HD channels on UniFi look crystal clear.

Anonymous said...

hi,
I say the blocks are by interference of cable whether its homeplug or a long cable.
For me im running a long cable from my room that has the desktop to the upstairs living room.(both are upstairs)
So i have a crap load of computer cables on the iptv cable.
After i take the cable out and put it aside, now its not pixalated anymore :D

Angie said...

Hi Jason,

I can only view the mosaic menu on my Hypp Tv. When I click on the channels itself I'm getting a black screen. Called the hotline but they said everything seems fine on their end.

How do I fix this? :(

Jason said...

Hi Angie,

Have you tried restarting the STB?

Steve said...

I'm trying to hook the STB to my computer monitor via HDMI but my monitor pop-up a msg recommended me to change the resolution to 1600x900 (60hz)which is the actual resolution of my monitor. I cant see anything on my monitor at the moment except for the msg. My question is how to successfully connect the STB to my monitor? I know this can be done via HDMI but my monitor only support DVI and VGA,and I've tried using DVI->HDMI adapter but the resolution matter is still poped-up, pls help....

Jason said...

Hi Steve,

I haven't tried it out myself but based on my quick research on Lowyat.net, it seems that others are getting mixed results too when using a HDMI-DVI converter. Perhaps someone over at the forums can help?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

I am a new Unifi user. There are 3 x boxes come along with the installation (Getway, Modem Router, Hyptv STB). I wonder if the Getway should be stayed 'on' without turning off for 365 days a year as it connects to phone line??
I found that there is USB port in the HypTV STB and wonder if we can use it to watch movie files (AVI, MP4, WMV and etc) from Thumbdrive or Portable HD??
I can search web using that STB like normal PC (stream movie direct from website?) and how to install Google Play Store to the STB?
Kindly advise.

Jason said...

Dear (Anonymous),

Thanks for your questions. Here are my responses:

1) It's fine to leave the gateway 24/7. Just make sure there's enough ventilation around the device to keep it cool.

2) I don't know the answer to this one. Sorry.

3) I don't think it's possible. The STB runs on a closed system.

Razie Mat Saman said...

Q : I found that there is USB port in the HypTV STB and wonder if we can use it to watch movie files (AVI, MP4, WMV and etc) from Thumbdrive or Portable HD??

A : Yes, you can. From the main menu, select , and start play your movie as normal and it support subtitle too.

sanyog said...

hi,

typical issue , i have maxis fibre, 10 mbps , my brother has unifi, and hypptv subscription which he does'nt uses ,
so i tried to connect hypptv STB to thomson router nothing happens, connection status on STB first 2 lights green , no connection to iptv server
any configuration needed, or hyptv only works on unifi or stremyx

my setup
tm modem zte zxdsl 931d11, router - TG784N,

help friends

Jason said...

Hi sanyog,

HyppTV only works with UniFi or Streamyx.

Anonymous said...

I just got a 4mbps with hypp tv....channels arent clear....fuzzy...improve with viewing but still not great quality...is that nirmal.....?
Thanks

Jason said...

@Anonymous HyppTV over UniFi seems crystal clear to me.

Psicryptor said...

Hi Jason, sorry to revive such an old thread but I need some help.

I bought a TP-Link AV500 kit (1xpassthru homeplug with 2 ether ports and 1xwifi homeplug with 2 ether ports). Ive managed to connect both to the electrical outlets and they are working fine.

However, I cant seem to use unifi internet and Hypp TV at the same time (red port 4 from modem to Homeplug 1 port 1 for HyppTV, and normal port 3 from modem to Homeplug 1 port 2). At the receiving end, I have Homplug 2 port 1 wired thru Cat5 cable to HyppTV STB and laptop connected to wifi from Homeplug 2 for unifi internet). They just dont seem to be able to work together - TV stutters and freezes when net works, or net drops when TV works. I'm baffled. Please help.

Jason said...

@Psicryptor, from what I understand, you're trying to run 2 VLANs (data and IPTV) over powerline. Unfortunately, I don't have experience with this kind of setup. Perhaps you can try tweaking the QoS or VLAN priority settings on the powerline adapter using the bundled software. You might also want to try posting your question in Lowyat.NET forums; hopefully, someone can help you there. Good luck!

empithree said...

Hi Jason,

I have the same problem. The STB IR indicator shows the IR feedback light. But nothing changes. Not a single button does anything. Only remote to TV works.

Please help

Jason said...

Hi empithree,

Unfortunately, I'm not too sure why the remote is not working for your case. I think it's best to contact UniFi HyppTV customer support for assistance.

Good luck!

k k said...

Hi Jason. I am using streamyx as my area does not support unifi. And i run on 4 mb. I have the problem of buffering. I hv complained to TM but is no use. I hv connected my home theatre system. The problem is the sound comes out intermittent. I hv used AV,AUX AND EVEN OPTIC CABLE and is no use. I amusing SONY TV and PHILLIPS HOME STEREO. Please find me a solution. Thanks

Jason said...

Hi k k,

Have you tried isolating the issue by temporarily disconnecting your home theatre system and have the TV play the audio through its built-in speakers?

empithree said...

Jason,

Solved my problem by bringing the unit back to TM. The remote was damage, and need to be replace.

Hope that if somebody else have the same problem, can view my comment and help them.