[Amazon Fire TV + Android TV] The Giant Bomb Enthusiast App

Avatar image for mister_v
#51 Posted by Mister_V (2451 posts) -

Just noticed pushing down brings up the controls, Just like i asked for! great work dude.

Avatar image for fireworksordie
#52 Posted by fireworksordie (26 posts) -

thanks again for keeping us updated. been loving the app a whole lot!

is there any way you could add the ability to navigate around the playbar with the "cursor" in order to be able to select the pause (and fast forward/rewind) button so that devices without a pause button could pause the videos without having to back out? i'm not sure if that would interfere with how it works on the fireTV so i understand if that's not really an option. even if there was just an option to double-click the main select button to pause a playing video - some sort of implementation of this would be hugely helpful.

Avatar image for soulmanim3
#53 Posted by soulmanim3 (110 posts) -

How has the Fire hardware and this cool looking app held up to the switch from 720 to 1080p/60fps? Similar issues as the Roku users?

Avatar image for tyn0mite
#54 Posted by tyn0mite (142 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: As of late is seem to be having a recurring issue... When I start watching a video it will play for a few seconds and then the video will freeze while the audio continues to play. It never seems to self correct and if I fast forward or rewind the video will resume but again freeze. Maybe this is just me having an issue? Other video apps are buffering and playing videos just fine following these issues with this app. This occurs with all "quality" selections. Still, great app!

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#55 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

Thanks for all of the reports of video playback issues everyone - I wasn't seeing this issue because I watch everything on the 2nd gen box and the 2nd gen stick.

I dug out my old 1st gen stick and yeah, it's pretty bad. Video playback on recent videos is completely broken (video frozen, audio continues).

I'm looking into it now! No idea what it could be right now - I can see Exoplayer reporting a ton of dropped frames in the logs though.

Thanks for your patience everyone - looks like I've got some figuring out to do...

Avatar image for vegetashonor
#56 Posted by MakoTitan (1105 posts) -

HOLY CRAP I JUST POSTED A NEW FORUM POST ASKING ABOUT THIS!!! LOL!!! Awesome duder!!!

Avatar image for ptys
#57 Edited by ptys (2240 posts) -

Looks cool man, I'd use it! You need to get some Luchadeer in there, perhaps as a wallpaper and the GB icon on the right left next to the search, perhaps with the "Giant Bomb" title larger and over on the right side. Just my thoughts, keep it up.

Avatar image for vegetashonor
#58 Edited by MakoTitan (1105 posts) -

I KNOW this would be an incredible undertaking, but are there any plans to upload the old endurance runs? I frequent them all at least once a year, mainly because I miss the Vinny and Jeff combo, plus I loved some of that old Ryan Davis content. Thanks Duder. The app is AMAZING!!!

Quick Edit: I also noticed that other series only go back so far such as Metal Gear Scanlon. How difficult is it to get the whole series of things on the app? I'd it drawing directly from GB, or are you meticulously putting these up individually? Regardless, it's coming along fantastic!!!

Avatar image for ltgrimdark
#59 Posted by LtGrimdark (79 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: That spinner looks really good :)

Don't know if it helps any, but I dug out the GB Video Buddy again last night on my 1st gen stick and gave some newer GBeast videos (Super Mario Bros. 2 & Double Dragon) a try on that app. I had some buffering issues in HD quality, although that could just have been my internet acting up. When streaming videos in High quality everything was smooth as silk. So at least it does not seem to be a hardware issue.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#60 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@ltgrimdark: Yeah I tried the same thing. Not sure if the GB Video Buddy is using Exoplayer as well or not, but it is good to see that it's not a hardware issue. Just gotta figure out how to fix it for the GBEnthusiast app! Thanks for the extra data :)

Edit: Looks like the GBVB struggles with recent HD videos on my end as well. The dropped video frames are very similar but not quite as bad in the GBVB but it's still pretty unwatchable.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#61 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@vegetashonor: Hey, thanks for the kind words! Check out a reply I made on the first page of this thread about older videos - it's a pretty long one but the gist of it is that older videos will get back-filled over time every time a refresh happens.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#62 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

Alright, I found a bug that was forcing all videos to attempt to play the HD version regardless of the selected quality.

It turns out that the High and Low quality videos work fine on the 1st gen Fire TV Stick, but HD does not.

I'm still trying to figure out a solution for HD videos not working, but I just submitted an update to the app store that fixed the quality selection bug so you'll be able to work around the issue and actually watch recent videos by selecting High or Low.

In the past I've seen the app store take 1-2 days for updates to go live, not sure if the weekend will delay it though. The version with the quality selection fix is 1.05.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#63 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

Alright, the update with the playback fixes has been released on the app store (and the APK has been added to the original post with release notes).

Due to the fact that issue was causing a lot of recent videos to be unplayable for people I've given it less time to bake in the pre-release testing channel so please bear with me if there are some minor issues. The main thing is people with 1st gen devices should be able to watch all videos now when they select any quality level (though 1080p60 will downgrade to 720p60).

@fireworksordie: I decided against making the playback controls selectable since on FTV devices the DPAD is used for a faster FF/RW (30 seconds instead of 15 seconds using the FF/RW buttons). However, I've made it so the center DPAD button (the select button) now acts as a play/pause button during video playback since that was previously unused. Hopefully that will take care of your biggest issue of not having a good way to play/pause videos with your remote. You won't have access to the regular 15s FF/RW but DPAD left/right will get you 30s FF/RW.

I don't have a Shield to test with so let me know how it works out for you!

Avatar image for fireworksordie
#64 Edited by fireworksordie (26 posts) -

your solution is working perfectly on both my ShieldTV and MiBox! thanks a ton.

Avatar image for flstyle
#65 Posted by FLStyle (6705 posts) -

Trying the app out while I catch up on the Rocket League rubber match, seems to be good quality.

Avatar image for mac122
#66 Edited by MaC122 (93 posts) -

Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to make this app. I really do appreciate it.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#67 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -
Avatar image for vegetashonor
#68 Posted by MakoTitan (1105 posts) -

HEY! Still loving the app! I noticed one thing I was wondering if you could help change. Whenever I'm watching a series and I get done with an episode, it ALWAYS kicks me back to the most recent episode in that column. For instance, I was watching the best of Giantbomb from oldest to newest, and everytime I got done with one, I was placed all the way back to the newest one on the list. This can be a bit annoying at times. Is there anything that could be done? I appreciate all your hard work! Take care!!!

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#69 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@vegetashonor: Hey, thanks for the kind words!

That row-position-reset issue is super annoying and the #2 thing on my prioritized list of things to fix*. I've taken a couple stabs at it already but it's trickier than I expected due to some of the limitations of the Android leanback library. I haven't given up yet though!

* The #1 issue is a frequent crash during app launch.

Avatar image for digitaldiatribe
#70 Posted by digitaldiatribe (116 posts) -

Anyone else experiencing videos just stopping and leaving it on a black screen? It doesn't do anything until I hit back button or the play button to return to the video's quality selection screen and start the video again from where it left off. I can only assume the Fire TV is ignoring the app and loading-but-not-loading the screensaver? It doesn't happen all the time but happens every once in a while, it just happened to me now while watching this week's GBE Playdate.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#71 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@digitaldiatribe: Yep, I'm aware of that issue. It's been annoying to debug since it only happens if you don't interact with the app for more than 30 or so minutes before the video ends. If you do anything (play/pause, show controls, FF/RW) in that time span before the end of the video then the app will correctly return you to the quality selection activity when the video finishes.

I've added it to the list of known issues in the original post.

Avatar image for vegetashonor
#72 Edited by MakoTitan (1105 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: Awesome that you're looking into it. If it's any consolation, I've had ZERO crashes. Great app, great interface, great guy making it happen. Can't wait until I'm not kicked back to the begining of a list ;) Lol. Thanks man!!!

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#73 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

Just released a new version - I finally managed to fix the crash that would happen when the app was OOM killed in the background and relaunched. You may have noticed that sometimes when you launched the app it would show up momentarily before bringing you right back to the FTV home screen. And sometimes when you launched the app into the quality-selection screen and tried to press back to browse videos it would just close instead. This update (1.071) should fix both of those issues (plus a smaller issue with unlinking and relinking your account).

I've updated the main post with the patch notes and a link to the new APK.

Avatar image for jupham
#74 Posted by jupham (38 posts) -

I just found this while looking at the Kodi plugin running on my firetv. This is so much better. Great Job!

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#75 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@jupham: Thanks for checking it out and the kind words, enjoy!

Avatar image for aardvarkbarber
#76 Edited by AardvarkBarber (70 posts) -

I'm attempting to watch through Metal Gear Scanlon 1 and as far as I can see, I can only browse back until the beginning of Metal Gear Scanlon 4.

EDIT: Refreshed videos via the button at the bottom of the app and now I can see everything !

Avatar image for baag
#77 Posted by baag (31 posts) -

Thanks for this, been using it on my Nvidia ShieldTV for a month or so. Works amazingly well, I love the interface - the app installs and has a proper 'icon' on the ShieldTV main menu.

Just a quick question - any chance of getting this uploaded to the Android TV version of the Google Play store? I don't know how much work that involves?

Again, Awesome work so far!

Avatar image for gerriam
#78 Posted by Gerriam (47 posts) -

@baag said:

Thanks for this, been using it on my Nvidia ShieldTV for a month or so. Works amazingly well, I love the interface - the app installs and has a proper 'icon' on the ShieldTV main menu.

Just a quick question - any chance of getting this uploaded to the Android TV version of the Google Play store? I don't know how much work that involves?

Again, Awesome work so far!

As a fellow Shield TV user I would like to second this request. Having an Android TV app that works with that Play Store would be mighty fine...

Avatar image for digitaldiatribe
#79 Posted by digitaldiatribe (116 posts) -

Was surprised to see that this week's Bombcast's animated thumbnail works in the app. Was surprised that even there I see Drew's blinking, lol.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#80 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@digitaldiatribe: Heh that was a pleasant surprise for me too - definitely not something I had done any testing for.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#81 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@baag, @gerriam, @crackity_jones, @fireworksordie: Hey Shield TV users!

I'd love to upload the app to the Play Store for users like yourselves but I only have Fire TV devices handy and am not in a huge rush to drop $200 on a Shield so I have proposition to make:

If at least a couple of you are willing to be my brave test subjects and join a beta channel through the Play Store then I'll release it for Android officially.

A few things:

  • I'd need you to use the app at least once a week (and let me know if you are no longer available to do so). This is just so I can be somewhat confident that at least one person has seen and used the app on this device prior to pushing updates from the beta channel into prod. I usually let updates bake for approximately 1 week in the beta channel for FTV and would do the same for Android. This is really the most important for the initial release to ensure it's not completely broken out of the gate - subsequent updates should be mostly okay without frequent testing since FTV and Android TV devices are so similar.
  • I'd need you to be willing to report issues to me, either here or at gbenthusiast (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • I'd only support Nvidia Shield devices for now, but I'd be willing to add more Android TV devices to that list if I get any users of other devices volunteering to be in the beta channel.

Let me know if any of you are interested/willing - the best way forward would be to email me at gbenthusiast (at) gmail (dot) com with what device you'd be using (I think there are at least 2 different Shield TV models) and the email you'd like me to add to the beta pool.

Thanks!

P.S. - If there are any FTV users out there who want to help out with testing, I'm always looking for more people to add to my FTV testing pool. Hit me up via email to get yourself added (and include which FTV device you use). The way the testing pool works is I add you to the list, you accept the invite, then you'll add the (testing) version to your device via amazon.com like normal. You'll get automatic updates same as before, just 1-2 weeks prior to everyone else.

Avatar image for crackity_jones
#82 Posted by crackity_jones (49 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: consider me in. You can PM me here or on twitter @addison_l

Avatar image for baag
#83 Posted by baag (31 posts) -
Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#84 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@crackity_jones, @baag: Thanks for your interest - I submitted the app to the Play Store (beta channel) last week but it's stuck at the moment. The app approval team over there think I'm impersonating Giant Bomb and have suspended my account but I've got top men (Rorie) on the case. I'll let you know when I have any updates for ya.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#85 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

The latest version (1.08) has been published to the Amazon App Store. See updated top post for patch notes + APK link.

Avatar image for paliv
#86 Posted by Paliv (251 posts) -

Loving the fire tv app. Thanks for the hard work and dedication. Sometimes it's nice to watch videos on a couch. Keep up the stellar work!

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#87 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@paliv: Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know you're enjoying the app :)

Avatar image for fireworksordie
#88 Posted by fireworksordie (26 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: hey- sorry for not responding in a timely manner. i've been having an issue ever since around the time when GB started moving to 1080p with my download speed from GB seemingly being much more limited (it's not my bandwidth - i have a 300Mb/s pipe). as a result i've been getting pretty constant stuttering, even sometimes in medium and low videos, on not just your app but video buddy as well. so i've been very hesitant about submitting anymore feedback because it's pretty difficult for me to tell what's an issue with your app and what's an issue with the GB servers.

i'm hoping it improves soon, but in the meantime i've been using video buddy to download to my shield tv storage and playback without streaming. i don't know if this (local storage saving) is something you could implement in your app, because yours looks way nicer on the shield, but i realize this would likely be pretty low priority. in any case, if you think me troubleshooting would still be useful, i would be happy to help.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#89 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@fireworksordie: Hey, no worries! I've got a couple other Shield users beta testing it for me. Sorry to hear about your streaming problems!

I'll add local downloads to my list of things to look into, but it might be a while before I get to it. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#90 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

Version 1.12 has been released. This includes a handful of changes but the most exciting one is definitely live stream support.

Keep in mind that the live stream support is still fairly early, so expect it to have a few rough edges. It's been a little difficult to test properly since I work during most regular GB live streams but I managed to write most of it using test streams from other sources (e.g. Apple) and took some time off last week on Friday to make some more improvements and do some testing on a real GB stream.

A "Live!" row will be added when a live stream is in progress and it should automatically find the best quality for your bandwidth, but you can manually select a quality (i.e. a "track") by pressing the menu button on your remote while watching the stream.

This support is only for GB hosted streams and does not include Twitch or Youtube streams - you'll have to use the Twitch or Youtube apps for those.

Let me know if you run into any problems and please be as detailed as possible in your reports - thanks!

Avatar image for ltgrimdark
#91 Posted by LtGrimdark (79 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: Wow, this is great! Thanks again for all your work!

Avatar image for mister_v
#92 Posted by Mister_V (2451 posts) -

Just watched the last hour of the podcast live. Worked great! Awesome job.

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#93 Edited by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@ltgrimdark: I've had a number of requests for this functionality so I jumped at the chance to implement it when support was added to the API for live streams. Enjoy!

@mister_v: Glad to hear it worked for you, thanks for the feedback!

Avatar image for poisonmonkey
#94 Posted by poisonmonkey (473 posts) -

The live functionality is just brilliant, this is just what I wanted, thank you duders :-)

Avatar image for ramsaya92
#95 Edited by Ramsaya92 (7 posts) -

@alecgdouglas. Currently experiencing an issue where I am unable to mark videos as complete or reset progress. Any videos I haven't watched yet don't save my progress through them and ones I had started watching don't clear when I finish them. Any ideas?

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#96 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@ramsaya92: Hm, that sounds like a pretty annoying state for the app to be in. I haven't encountered this issue myself and I'm struggling a bit to come up with a reason why it might be acting this way.

There are a few things you can try to resolve this, in increasing desperation:

  1. Force stop the app and clear its cache. You can do this by going into Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Giant Bomb Enthusiast > Force Stop then Clear cache in the same menu. After you've done this, launch the app and try marking a video as complete or resetting progress. If it works now, great! Otherwise proceed.
  2. Clear the app data. Note: you'll need to re-authenticate and will lose any saved progress on videos. You can do this by going into Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Giant Bomb Enthusiast > Clear data. Once you've done this, relaunch the app and re-authenticate then check to see if it's working now. If it is, that's good (sorry about the data loss!) and hopefully it'll stay that way. Otherwise, the final troubleshooting step is next.
  3. Uninstall the app and reinstall it via Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Giant Bomb Enthusiast > Uninstall. Find the app in the Amazon App Store and reinstall it.

If none of these things work then something very strange is going on and we'll go from there. Let me know if any of these steps worked for you and I'll dig around the code a bit as soon as I get a chance to see if I can find any reason why the progress functionality might break like this. Sorry about the hassle!

Avatar image for ramsaya92
#97 Posted by Ramsaya92 (7 posts) -
Avatar image for fireworksordie
#98 Edited by fireworksordie (26 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: i'm using the live streaming feature on my shield TV right now and it's working perfectly. thanks a bunch for adding that in! best i can tell i'm getting the High stream, but is there any way to have an option to force High or Low (like on the website player)?

Avatar image for alecgdouglas
#99 Posted by alecgdouglas (107 posts) -

@fireworksordie: Hey there, glad to hear it's working well on that device as well. Unfortunately, the ability to switch the quality track is currently bound to the "menu" button, which is a button that the FTV remote has but the Shield TV remote does not (as far as I'm aware).

From looking at images, the Shield TV remote appears to only have dpad up, down, left, right, back, home, and microphone buttons. Is that correct?

I could maybe add in something like, I dunno, long-press the dpad down (or up?) button to bring up the quality selection menu - but I'm definitely open to suggestions.

The other option would be to implement my own navigate-able video controls bar but I'd have to ditch the slow/fast FF/RW using the FTV FF/RW + dpad left/right buttons, which I'm personally fond of.

I'll give this a bit of thought - maybe there's a better compromise that doesn't involve forking too much work to support devices with more limited remotes.

Avatar image for fireworksordie
#100 Edited by fireworksordie (26 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: yep! those are the buttons. that being said i was just thinking something like choosing the quality setting to launch the video in the horizontal bar, not unlike playing a normal video on your app. so you could have WATCH LIVE (AUTO) / WATCH LIVE (HIGH) / WATCH LIVE (LOW), and it could even respect the "default quality" setting you already have built in. i know i wouldn't have an issue with needing to back out of the video to switch stream quality - if anything starting fresh usually makes me less concerned about whether or not my stream is caught up and working correctly.

EDIT: i hooked up a wireless android keyboard to use the menu button, so that works for me as a temp fix until an alternative is implemented. i am streaming UPF right now and it shows me 3 options: Auto / 640x360, 1.13Mbit, id:0 / 1280x720, 3.13Mbit, id:1. is the 1080 stream not available from the API or is something funky on my end? and no matter what- thanks again! you've made my livestreaming experience much more hassle-free.

EDIT2: didn't mention this the first time because i wasn't sure if it was a one time thing, but after backing out of the livestream, then backing out of the app, i get a "GBEnthusiast stopped working" error message (i forgot to take a photo, so the wording might be off). i just hit the close button on the prompt and things are fine, but it seems like something with the stream maybe isn't closing properly? happened both times today - GBEast TLC stream and UPF.