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Setanta-i Wish List: What’s Missing


For those of you who have had a chance to experience Setanta-i — the new broadband video service from Setanta Sports, you should be now sold on how incredible the interface is plus the quality of the video and the array of features available (read the product review here).

But after experiencing Setanta-i — no matter how it’s improved leaps and bounds compared to Setanta Broadband — there are still some enhancements which would take it into the next stratosphere. Here’s my wish list of feature enhancements:

  1. Add matches from Setanta Xtra. Right now, the only lucky souls who can get Setanta Xtra content are the ones who have DirecTV or an annual subscription to Setanta Broadband. The ideal solution to make Setanta-i more attractive is to make all live Setanta Xtra games available in addition to the ones shown on Setanta Sports. This will greatly add to the amount of games Setanta-i customers will be able to watch on a monthly basis.
  2. Watch a game from the beginning even if it’s already in progress. If you log into Setanta-i while a game is in progress, you can either record it and wait until the game is over to watch it, or you can watch it live from that minute of the game onwards. However, a beneficial feature would be able to have a third option — which would be to watch the game from the beginning.
  3. Add Tivo-like functionality. It’s possible that this may already exist, but if so, I haven’t been able to find it. But I would love to be able to log into Setanta-i and have more options regarding what content to pick and choose to subscribe to. Personally, I would like to indicate in Setanta-i that all future Premier League games should be recorded for me, as well as football related shows such as the Friday Football Show and Football Matters. I don’t want to have to go in there every week and set which games to record or not, if at all possible.
  4. Add more interactivity. This would not appeal to everyone, but it would a welcome feature to either switch on or off the ability to interact with fellow soccer fans who are also online watching the game at the same time. It could be as simple as an instant messenger that’s built into the corner of the Setanta-i screen that allows fans to chat with one another during a game. Setanta should proceed with caution regarding adding this feature to make sure it doesn’t reduce the quality of the actual live video of the game, but if it’s possible to add, this would be a massive differentiator for Setanta and would be a glimpse at the future of watching soccer online.

The more I use Setanta-i, the more I’m impressed by it. To me, this is a much better experience of watching a game than on television. I’m also really looking forward to being able to watch the Champions League via Setanta-i beginning next season (albeit at an additional charge, to be determined by Setanta). If only all of the Premier League games from Fox would be available via Setanta-i, that would be a dream come true.

What do you think about the above recommended feature enhancements, and what other features do you think Setanta should consider adding to Setanta-i in the future? Click the comments link below and let us know.

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  1. cramsdal

    October 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Belay the above comment about Setanta not reneging on their contract. Yes, indeed they have. I received no notification of the change, but correspondence with Setanta-i customer support (yes … unbelievable! an actual exchange of e-mails!), I was told the following: “Any new or renewed annual subscription since April 2009 no longer includes PPV events.” I get all the non-PPV events I need on TV, so, since any old Joe can subscribe to a PPV on the fly without an annual or monthly fee, what’s the point. Now I have the choice either to pay what will amount to several hundred dollars per year to watch the events on the still unreliable Setanta Internet service or pay to take my family to public showings. In my case that means going to a sleazy bar full of drunks!
    New report card:
    Video Quality: 10/10
    Content: 1/10
    User Interface: 5/10
    Customer Service: 1/10
    Value for money: 1/10

  2. cramsdal

    October 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    In many ways Setanta-i is a great improvement over Setanta Broadband. The video quality, for example is outstanding. However the interface is somewhat annoying and seems to have been designed by someone who is unfamiliar with Windows standards. Other than the scrolling and other issues mentioned by others, “Remember me on this Computer”, for example, should mean remember me forever rather than until I logout. I have reported this and other irritants but, as others have said, customer support seems to have all but disappeared for this service. In my early days experience with the Broadband service it was outstanding. Now, if you get any response at all, it typically does not actually relate to the problem raised. As for people claiming that they can’t get PPV and Xtra content with their annual subscriptions now; I have occasionally had that problem when logging in, but it does seem to be a bug rather than Setanta reneging on their contract. The one VERY annoying problem I have at the moment is the occasional appearance of an error message in the middle of the screen claiming that “there is a problem” and telling me to “try again later”. All the while the video continues to stream with no problem at all … other than the bloomin’ error message sitting in the middle of the screen with (again, unlike Windows standards) no way to get rid of it.
    Overall then:
    Video Quality: 10/10
    Content: 8/10
    User Interface: 5/10
    Customer Service 1/10

  3. Mohsin Mehtar

    July 22, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Setanta-i content is not the same as the old Setanta Broadband. All PPV events now have to be bought whereas on the old broadband service they were free with an annual subscription. Also, Setanta-i no longer has a similar schedule as Setanta Sports whereas the old broadband service had a similar schedule to setanta sports. I’ve experienced many problems with the new Setanta-i service because they rolled it out without fixing all the glitches. All in all I’m very disappointed with the new Setanta-i service.

  4. brn442

    May 12, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Setanta i is a big improvement from the previous platform when it works. I got kicked off while trying to switch to full screen on the Newcastle/Middlesbro match and couldn’t get back on until the 80th minute. Business 101: You don’t change a platform on a subscription service in the middle of the season and not give the option of using the old one unless you’re 110% sure there will not be any hiccups. If you can spend the cash for the Premier League, you can for improving customer service and technical support, of as right now any email sent goes into a black hole. Nobody would care about recording matches if they were archived as before.

  5. brian

    April 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I just got confirmation that Setanta tech support has no idea what “aspect ratio” means. A week after I complained about the “stretched” image, I get this:

    “Thank you for your enquiry relating to watching Setanta-i content. Our default speed is now 1.8Mbps (High), which is a vast improvement on the previous 600Kpbs. The issue you may be experiencing may be speed-related and be dependant on the internet connection you have with your ISP (Internet Service Provider).”

    Well of course, my ISP is stretching your video because it’s so fast! (Just like it was my ISP’s fault when everything showed up as “unavailable in your region” a few days ago.)

    Any response Stephen Michael??

  6. The Gaffer

    April 27, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Kevin, no final announcement has been made regarding cost for Champions League matches and whether it’ll be included in the annual subscription or available at an additional cost.

    BH, the issues regarding the wrong GEO location have seemed to be fixed.

    The Gaffer

  7. BH

    April 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

    When this thing released all I read about were people who couldn’t log in because their browser said they were not in the US. Have those problems been fixed – and why was this thing released in the middle of crunch time in the season where any problems would impact important games?

  8. Kevin

    April 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

    How much more beyond my yearly subscription am I going to have to pay to see CL games next year? Gaffer, I know I asked the question about yearly subs and CL games a few weeks back…did you confirm this with the powers that be at Setanta?

  9. brian

    April 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

    When are you going to fix the aspect ratio?

  10. Doug

    April 27, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Gaffer, I’ve got to agree that Setanta-i is a huge improvement, and the quality is fantistic. I like your suggestions above. The one thing I’m disappointed about is that all the previous games this season and last season are no longer available via the archive. I’ve searched for games and come up empty. I also can’t browse them through the GUI.

  11. Ringo

    April 27, 2009 at 7:40 am

    I have a year’s sub and still can’t get the xtra games.
    Why can’t you scroll down on the home page?
    …and repeated e-mails using the on screen system still go unanswered.

    Overall(for me) though ,a big improvement this weekend.

  12. Stephen Michael

    April 27, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Dear Gaffer,

    Thanks for the positive comments about Setanta-i and for the suggestions. We very much welcome the feedback.

    I wanted to give some quick responses to your suggestions:

    1) We are working on this and should have some developments to report shortly.
    2) This is not something we can do in the very short term but it is a requirement we have identified and we are currently assessing some technology that would potenitally achieve this. We will keep you posted.
    3) We are looking at adding a “series link” type feature so you can record whole series / content categories. In the meantime, don’t forget that the VOD is available in the On Demand section anyway so you can navigate through that or use the search to find anything that you forgot to Record.
    4) This is a great feature and was actually part of our original plans but it was something we had to sacrifice in the short term in order to get Setanta-i delivered. It will definitely form part of Release 2.

    Thanks again for the feedback. We are very keen to maintain an open dialogue with you and all the other EPLTalk users.

    Warm Regards,

    Stephen Michael
    Director Of New Media
    Setanta Sports Group

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