Update (UlangoTV 1.9.17): More Improvements on the Player
We are using now the brand new libVLC 2.1.0 from the VLC-3.0 development branch. Result is a better viewing of many problematic streams Stream! Thanks to the VideoLan team for it’s great job!
Update (UlangoTV 1.9.9): Improved Player
We have changed our default player. We ale now using the rock solid libVLC 0.9.10, which many of you may know from Version 2.2.1 of VLC available for many platforms. The result is in may cases a much better and stable rendering of streams!
After 3 months of development, we have now been able to place the latest version of our app into the Amazon App Store. Thus, the new features are now available on all devices running Android 4.2.2.
The new features are briefly summarized
- Support for keypad and touch operation.
- 20% more streams through RTMP support
- Account Management (Login / Registration / Device assignment) in the app
- Mark the “stable” Streams to separate them from the “wobbly”.
- “Vertical” navigation of stream alternatives for a channel
- Server-based management of playlists now out of the app
- Stream feedback popup for notification of errors and corrections
- Evaluation now without trial with time constraints
Support for Keypad and touch operation.
A major challenge in the app development is the simultaneous support of different types of devices with different input options and form factors.
TVs are typically controlled using the keypad on the remote control. It must always be clear where the focus is and what will be triggered by pressing the OK button.
With touch devices this not required. There is no OK button. The actions are triggered by direct interaction and gesture control.
A further complication arises from the mixing of the two techniques, for example, by using a wireless mouse, such as the Mele F10.
Furthermore, you can rotate touch devices, which already requires different layouts in one device. TV boxes as Amazon Fire TV or MBox (OrbSmart) have to cope with different resolutions of TVs.
UlangoTV 1.9 has addressed as a universal app all these problems.
20% more streams through RTMP support
The only drawback of the Android version compared to Samsung SmartHub solution has so far been the lack of support from so-called RTMP (Flash) streams. In UlangoTV 1.9 we use as an alternative to the standard Android MediaPlayer library libVLC of the Videolan player. This library is still in beta testing and we expect further improvements.
Flash Streams will automatically switch to this player. Switching also happens if the default player is not able to process the video signal. The change of the player is also possible manually using the stream-popup (menu button or long click when playing stream)
Account Management (Login / Registration / Device assignment) in the app
The coupling of new devices to an Ulango.tv account has now become much easier. Login with Facebook or Google or by email / password in the app – that’s all. After that a login is no longer necessary, since the device is identified with a unique address.
For orders, however, you must still visit our web site https://ulango.tv/shop. PayPal currently is the only supported payment method. Using the feedback button you may call us to give you the bank account for direct deposit.
The account management at any time can be reached from the menu, which is itself accessible by swiping from the left or the menu button.
Marking the “stable” Streams
It is in the nature of our concept that we constantly have to fight with inferior quality streams. For better identification we mark the currently good streams with a green dot. That does not mean that the other streams are unusable. The quality of the streams is always a snapshot and can change at any time in both directions.
“Vertical” Navigation Stream Alternatives to Channel
Very often – particularly for the “wobbly” streams there are more alternatives. Instead of looking at various places with different stream quality, it is now possible to directly navigate to the the alternate streams. If a better playable stream is found, this is detected by the system and we can optimize the entire presentation to the user.
Navigating on touch devices is done with virtual buttons and on keypad with the fastforward and rewind buttons. (Keys Up and Down are used for fast horizontal navigation between channels.
Server-based management of playlists now out of the app
Alle playlists are stored on the central server and are immediately available on all devices. Previously, these could only be maintained through the website. An important step is the setting and removal of channels into the playlists directly in video mode. Given at KeyPad Menu button is used. On touch devices, a long click is made on the video screen or in the description of a stream.
Stream Feedback popup for notification of errors and corrections
For our concept there is an urgent need to identify and correct bad streams as quickly as possible and incorrect assignments to broadcasters (Channel). At the end, we have built a reporting system, which is also accessible via the stream popup.
Evaluation now without Trial with time constraints
As our development is still in its infancy, new features will be introduced at relatively short intervals. Our Trials were restricted so that only after 6 months new trial could be ordered again. Now only registration is necessary and everyone has the ability to test up to 15 minutes per day.