Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trying to rationalise this revolution

I phoned talkback tonight for the first time in years.  I was puzzled over the announcement that Coliseum Sports Media Management has the rights for the English Premier League (EPL).  All the whizzkids tell me "this is the future - you can livestream sport onto your computer!".

I didn't get much out the talkback host except something along the line of "get used to it, this is the future!". 

Um, yeah.  I know that.  But I can't see the benefit for someone like me who enjoys watching the EPL on my new(ish) large-screen TV. 

If I've got this right, at the moment the satellite streams it into my TV aerial and I watch it on TV.  I can record it and watch it at will on MySki.  I have a remote.  I can pause and rewind both the TV and the recording.  I can watch any game I want, live or recorded.  I can fast forward the bits I don't want to watch.  I can do this from the pleasure of my home.  Downside: I can't play it on a portable device, but I can access numerous websites on my phone from anywhere to watch clips etc.

So now the feed will come in through a cable, and not the satellite dish.  The cable cannot be connected to the TV (yet) so it has to be connected to a computer or an Apple device.  I can watch the footy on that (after paying $150 per year ON TOP of my Sky subscription (which no longer gives me English football any more)) BUT to connect that to my TV and get the decent view, I have to buy an Apple TV set.  I also have the data cap to worry about, which means a further $25 per month to Telecom for my data increase that the streaming through the internet will involve.  Upside: I can have a website subscription to their fancy website and watch the EPL on an iPhone or tablet while sitting in a cafe somewhere.  If that's an upside.  I can do that now; I just can't watch every game, on demand.

So the result, I think, is this: I pay Sky TV the same amount for less products and have to pay someone else (or two) a lot more money for a product I used to get on a better screen in a more comfortable environment all for the luxury of being able to have the EPL "on demand" when I want it.  Notwithstanding I can get it on demand now, prertty much (through MySki and assorted websites).

The other thing I can't figure out is that there are livestreaming sites out there now: Justin.Tv and are but two of them.  And Triathlon has been doing this for a year or two through
Yet this is supposed to be revolutionary?  To me it sounds a little fucked up to be honest.  You see, if Sky figured out how to transfer recordings from MySki to a portable device, such as an iPhone, then I could copy my recordings from MySki and watch it on my device at my pleasure (if I felt that way inclined, which I don't). 

Real user pays sport would be great.  I'd pay nothing for Sky, and just pay $40 for the US Masters, or $10 to watch the FA Cup final, for example. 

We're a long way from that yet, but that's the nirvana IMHO. 

Is it just me, or is this "revolution" actually nothing new, rather it's just a different way of delivering essentially the same product?  


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

No. It's a revolutionary new way of extracting more money from your wallet. Nothing more, nothing less.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I forgot to add:

At least you haven't got Channel Nine choosing you national cricket team!

Anonymous said...

It's segmentation. I wouldn't pay one hundred a month for sky but I will pay 100 a year to watch a sport I like.
I signed up to the NBA league pass. I suspect colosseum will use similar tech. i can watch four games at a time on my pc (in theory), stream it to tv through x box, watch it on phone or tablet. Basically anywhere there's wireless. Oh and I can watch live or on demand.

the biggest issue is bandwidth to my home even though we have a fibre cabinet 100 metres away. That can slow and fuzz pics. When its good its very clear. A locally served system may help with that. It hasn't had a n impact on my 40g cap.

Justin tv etc tend to be low definition and can't handle fast sports movement in my experience.


pdm said...

Nick - you can transfer it from your computer to your TV. I don't know how but our son in law in London has been doing it for years.

When we were there from 2009 - 2011 we watched most AB games that way.

Shane Ponting said...

The latest TVs have the smarts to let you divert the internet tv stream directly into the tv no apple tv dongle needed.

And given the app store a lot of them have it wouldn't surprise me if some of the better ones even get a proper app released specifically for this (given they've already got an Android smartphone app for it, it's pretty easy to bake a release for the sufficiently capable tv platforms).

If you aren't getting fibre any time soon, get a Cat6 cable run from ETP to modem, and have a PTC285-spec splitter installed at the ETP. You will then have the assurance of best-possible internet speed and reliability.

Nick K said...

Thanks pdm & Shane. But this brings me back to the original point: What's the fucking point of all this? It's going to cost me more and it's cumbersome. I already have a direct feed into my TV - it's called the satellite dish! How is this a revolution?

Shane Ponting said...

Nick the revolution is that the supplier no longer needs access to a multi-million dollar satellite out in space to deliver content to you. In a vacuum context that means nothing to the consumer, but it has the potential to support greater competition, more channels, and in the future greater definition (4K streaming anyone?).

The monopoly power of Sky has not just been content agreements but the technology platform as well.