The site is available on the Web worldwide, and through both Apple iOS and Android apps now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. In fact the site appears to be designed especially for mobile devices.
The mobile and desktop site includes articles, quizzes, photo galleries, forums, and more interactive features delving into more than two decades of the Stargate franchise. Fans can create an account, post comments, “Like” content, and rise through the ranks from “Airman” to “Ascended” in Stargate Command’s member point system.
The site will also offer fans insight into the production of Stargate Origins, the short-form series that will live on the service when it premieres in a few months’ time.
That’s available now in the United States, U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. (Why not worldwide? Legal agreements with local broadcasters and distributors may stand in the way in your country.)
The site had a somewhat rocky start on Wednesday with frequent page loading errors, a mis-coded profanity filter, and other annoyances (even drawing the attention of Variety). The MGM digital team and app producer TopFan have been busy with fixes since then, including better load balancing on the servers that has rendered the platform more stable.
Video Test UpdateTake a look at GateWorld’s “First Impressions” review of the site, which was based on a demo rather than the live version of the site and did not include video streaming tests. On that front Stargate Command does still need some upgrades to truly live up to its potential, including more smooth streaming of HD episodes and the ability to cast to a TV screen natively from the site’s video player using Google’s Chromecast.
Casting from the browser tab is far from ideal, and the service has a ways to go before it ought to be compared to billion-dollar players like Netflix and Hulu. But our Friday video test (Atlantis‘s “Progeny”) did work significantly better than one on Wednesday night (SG-1‘s “Sacrifices”). After a few minutes of low-res viewing the video quality caught up and was more consistent throughout the remainder of the episode, averaging between 480p and 720p.
Casting this way will still make the signal too dependent upon not only your local wi-fi strength but also the processing power of the computer. Watching on a computer, tablet, or phone should produce more consistently high-quality video streams.Finally, today we tested SGU‘s “Air, Part 1” by connecting a laptop directly to the television via HDMI cable. The streaming was smooth and high-res, playing flawlessly over wi-fi at (at least) 720p.
“Air, Part 2,” however, quickly proved unwatchable as it appears that the audio channels have been incorrectly mixed for Stargate Command’s stereo presentation (sidelining the main dialogue).
Though we still await official comment from MGM, it is noteworthy that this month’s initial launch of the site does not include apps for popular TV devices such as Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV. Stargate Command’s official Twitter account has indicated that the more popular devices are currently being explored in order to expand fans’ access to the service’s deep library of episodes and films.