Watching Films

Please read the various guides on how to watch the films you have downloaded:

Computer

1.  Downloads

When the file has downloaded to your computer, it will typically be in your download file, desktop or a place your browser specified. It is best to move it to a folder where you can keep all your downloaded films. If you do not have one, you can create one. The film will often open automatically in a player window for you to watch immediately. If you cannot find it, type the name of the film into the search function of the computer.

There are a number of ways that you can watch the film on your computer, though first check that you have the latest version of Quicktime Player and  iTunes installed on your computer. There are versions available for Macs and PCs.

The simplest way to watch a film is to double click the file and it should open in the Quicktime Player on your screen. You can then adjust it to fill the screen by View > Fit to Screen. If it does not open, right click Open With and choose Quicktime Player.

iTunes

Perhaps the best and most flexible way to watch films is to drag the file into your library in iTunes Movies. You have the film stored in a convenient place and you can watch it through the iTunes player. Significantly this now enables you to watch the film on iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Apple TV by synching the device with your iTunes Movies library. You may have to reduce the size to allow them to play on these devices. To do this in iTunes, highlight the film and then go to the Advanced menu and choose either Create iPod or iPhone version or Create iPad or AppleTV version, then select these new versions when you sync your device.

2.  Stream Purchases Or Rentals

If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can use a standard browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Google Chrome is recommended as it has the fastest java rendering of all standard browsers.

Open your browser and go to www.steepedge.com  Log into your membership and go to My Library where you will find a list of films you have purchased to own or rent. Click Watch Now on the film you wish to watch and it will open in a separate player window and be streamed to you via the browser. Adjust the size of the player screen as required.

Please note that we use adaptive streaming that alters the quality of the film as the Internet speed varies, enabling viewing even at 500 Kbps and over 3G networks. It will automatically play at the best quality possible. It also automatically alters the buffer, so with slow Internet connection the film will not play until it has buffered sufficiently to play without interruption.

However we must emphasise that good quality streaming requires Internet speeds of at least 2 Mbps and above 5 Mbps for HD quality. Measure your speed on BBC iPlayer Diagnostics or Internet Speed Test.

When you choose the full screen mode on the player, it has an effect on streaming. The film would typically change from 480 x 360 pixels at 512 Kbps to 1280 x 960 pixels at 1.8 Mbps. Crucially, to enable a successful stream at full screen resolution requires the film to be less than 70% of the detected bandwidth. In this example, a broadband speed of 731 Kbps is fine for the small screen player but when you go to full screen, you will require at least 2.58 Mbps or quality will be reduced and interruption or buffering could occur.

TV

Connecting your TV to the Internet is where much of the new and exciting development is taking place.

The traditional and simple way is to connect a laptop to your TV with a lead. The type depends on both the computer and the TV. The TV must be digital.

VGA

On a PC laptop you usually need a 15 pin male VGA to male VGA. A Mac has a digital output and requires an adaptor; depending on the age of the Mac it will be a mini VGA to VGA or a DVI to VGA. You should then connect the standard 15 pin VGA cable into the adaptor and the other end into the TV. Set your TV channel for VGA or the appropriate channel.

S-Video

This is slightly more complicated but typically produces a better picture. Connect the TV and laptop with an S-Video cable. This supplies the picture. You will then need a mini jack to RCA audio cable. The mini jack goes into the computer and the red and white leads go into the audio-in of the computer. Set your TV channel for S-Video input or the appropriate channel.

Wireless Converter

This is in effect a set top box which links via a wireless network with your computer. Various boxes are available.

Set your computer up for split screen (different view on TV and laptop) or mirrored (same view on both).  Adjust the screen ratio for the TV if necessary.

For full details and a definitive guide, follow the instructions for your TV and laptop computer.

You can now watch either downloaded or streamed films controlled by your laptop on your TV screen. The first time you set it up can be complex, but once done, it guarantees a better viewing environment.

TV Set Top Boxes

To simplify things, there is a new breed of TV set top boxes that are rapidly being promoted heavily in North America and are just starting to be available worldwide.

They use streaming to watch films and media content on TVs connected to set top boxes (connected to the Internet). Examples include Apple TV, Boxee, or GoogleTV (e.g. Sony Internet TV and Logitech Revue).

Apple TV

This device already works with SteepEdge because it networks via Wi-Fi with iTunes on your computer, so you can watch downloaded films which you have stored in iTunes. SteepEdge will roll out apps to enable streaming to these devices, and hence be compatible with these devices, in the near future.

iPad and iPhone
These are TV set compatible, so cables are available which connect your device to the TV. 

A number of devices are adopting AirPlay technology and this will help wirelessly connect devices, enabling a better and simpler connection between a range of devices and your TV. SteepEdge will adopt this technology as soon as it is available.

iPad, iPhone and Android

1. Download Purchases

The simplest and best way is to download the Movies file onto your computer and drag the film download into the iTunes library in Movies or go iTunes > File > Add to Library then navigate to where your browser stored the download (.mp4) file and Choose. This enables you to watch the films via iTunes.

You will probably not be able to transfer it to a mobile device as the bit rate of the file is too high or of High Complexity. For example, an iPhone or iPod can only play 128 Kbps files that are Low Complexity. The download file size will be too large to accomplish this so you will have to make a new version of the film file. This is easy.

In iTunes, highlight the film and go to the Advanced menu at the top of the page. Choose either 'Create iPod or iPhone version' or 'Create iPad or AppleTV version' depending on your end use. A new file will be created (it may take 15 minutes or more.)

When you sync your iPhone or iPad in iTunes, go to Movies, choose the film and it will be transferred to your mobile device.

Note: on iPhones you can watch via the iPod app.

Android phones do not always sync with iTunes, so you will probably need the help of an extra piece of software with allows this e.g. the free download Doubletwist  http://www.doubletwist.com or combine with JRT iSyncr from http://jrtstudio.com/iSyncr

At present there are global technical issues downloading direct to a mobile device. In particular the only way to download direct to an iPad or iPhone is via iTunes OR by using a third party App.

In particular the Apps ' iDownloader Pro' or alternatively 'Downloads ' enable downloading, storage, watching and connecting to a TV on iPhones and iPads. There are free and paid versions.

Films can be downloaded via this App by going via the Browser on the app and then going to www.steepedge.com on the browser, logging in, choosing your film and going through the purchase process as usual. The purchase will be put in your library in SteepEdge. When you hit the download the App will ask you what to do. The easiest is to go to Download. The film will then download and be stored in Files on the App.

Download the Apps from iTunes and then follow the instructions for each App as they will vary and be constantly updated.

AirPlay is being rolled out and many devices will be compatible with this technology. It will make film downloading and streaming a lot easier.

2.  Stream - Purchase or Rental

To watch streamed films on a mobile device, it must be connected to Wi-Fi Internet. However, streaming also works over the 3G network. Connect to www.steepedge.com through your browser. Log into your membership of SteepEdge and go to 'My Film Library' where you will find a list of films you have purchased to own or rent. Click 'Watch Now' on the film you want and it will open in a separate player window and be streamed to you via the browser.

iTunes

We recommend using iTunes to watch downloaded films from SteepEdge, because of the ease and its flexibility. First, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. There are versions available for Macs and PCs.

Once the film has been downloaded to the destination folder, file or location on your computer (usually set by your browser preference,) drag the film file (.mp4) into the library of iTunes Movies or go iTunes > File > Add to Library then navigate to where your browser stored the download .mp4 file and Choose. It will then be moved to your iTunes library.

You now have the film stored in a convenient place and you can watch it through the iTunes player. Significantly this now enables you to watch the film on iPhones, iPads, Androids and Apple TV by synchronising the device with your iTunes Movies library. Please note that Android's do not auto sync with iTunes without using third party software such as DoubleTwist.

You may have to reduce the size to let them play on these devices. To do this in iTunes, highlight the film and go to the Advanced menu and choose either 'Create iPod or iPhone version' or 'Create iPad or AppleTV version.' This will create a new version of an ideal size for your device. Label it accordingly and select this file when you sync your device.

See Apple for more help.