Archive for the sport Category

Using the Eurosport Player

Posted in sport, TV with tags , , , on May 5, 2013 by bytor

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Here are some brief experiences using the Eurosport Player service, which I am trying so I can follow the Giro d’Italia bike race.

  • I am using a Windows 7 laptop and Chrome browser, and using the service from UK
  • i have a fairly decent broadband connection (about 20Mbps)
  • You can subscribe to the service either on a month by month (cancel anytime) for £4.99, or a yearly subscription (£2.99)
  • There is a separate Android (and iOS) service, I believe it is a separate subscription
  • The Android app gets the worst ever reviews on the Google Play store. In fact, now I can’t even download that app even if I wanted too, as it has mysteriously become “unavailable” for my devices, or my location. (It wasn’t like that a few days ago)
  • The streaming quality is not bad, about standard def, but definitely not HD. I had a pretty constant connection while watching for a couple of hours. Only the very occasion short pause or buffering.
  • It looked reasonably good when fed into a 40″ LCD TV using standard VGA cables.
  • The video quality is better than those types of streams or videos you see on youtube or other “unofficial” sources.
  • There does NOT appear to be any “catch-up” or on-demand facility to watch videos for Giro after they have been broadcast.
  • Eurosport are showing all the stages of the Giro live on one of their two channels, and there is a highlights show about 10:30pm each evening which lasts about 60-90 minutes.
  • Since the Giro occurs during the day, I can’t watch the live broadcasts except weekends, although there is a lot of good action on the weekends including the main time trial and the climax in a couple of weekends from now. So will be reliant on the highlights shows (and their timing since no catchup) during weekdays.
  • the support from Eurosport regarding this service is pretty poor. Their twitter account hasn’t been active since about 2 years ago. The comments on the Google Play store about the Android app suggest attempts to contact Eurosport for service issues fall on deaf ears.
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Amazing goal

Posted in sport with tags , , on February 13, 2011 by bytor

Damn. I don’t really like football that much, and I don’t like Wayne Rooney, but his goal against rivals Man City was pretty special.

How to make F1 exciting

Posted in sport, TV with tags , , , on April 4, 2010 by bytor

The Malaysian grand prix was not quite as exciting as last week’s at Melbourne, but it was pretty good with another winner, and plenty of action and overtaking (especially Lewis Hamilton coming from 20th on the grid to an eventual 6th place). And there was not even the usual afternoon monsoon on race day to spice things up. However, one of the reasons for the fun and games was the mixed up grid which was itself caused by rain on the Saturday.

We cannot guarantee rain during a race or qualifying, but it is clear that the backwards grid set things up for a good chance of action. Talented drivers like Hamilton and Alonso in fast cars making their way through the pack is likely to produce a spectacle, but how do we do this in a fair and consistent fashion?

What is qualifying for? It is to reward fast cars/drivers with a better starting position for the race and hence a better chance of winning the race or getting points. If we had random starting positions it would be exciting but very unfair. Perhaps if we had a grid based on reverse qualifying positions? Of course in order to persuade drivers not to deliberately qualify last in order to get pole position you would need to award championship points as an incentive. What about 6 points for fastest qualy then 5, 4, 3 etc. That should be enough for front runners to be tempted into going for it and then have the challenge of picking through the pack.

But as Hamilton’s charge today showed, even a fast guy will have difficulty getting past another reasonably fast guy (i.e. Sutil today) so the “overtaking problem” still needs to be addressed.

Why the Wii is so successful

Posted in games, sport, technology with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by bytor

I had an interesting insight into the Wii from a non-gamers perspective. I now understand how Nintendo has made such a killing over the past few years with it’s white wonder.

I recently went round to a colleague’s house for a small gathering and after eating we were relaxing and chatting and suddenly our host asked if any of us had a Wii. I hadn’t noticed she had one nestling beside the TV and then I also noticed the big white thing half hidden under some floor cushions was the Wii balance board!

Turns out my non-gamer colleague had Wii Fit Plus – and apart from the obligatory (and packaged in with console) Wii Sports, this was the only game she had. And she loved it and used it most days. But she doesn’t have any other “traditional” games, and probably never will. And the console wasn’t even connected to the internet.

This is why the Wii has been so successful. I truly hadn’t appreciated that consoles could exist like this….

BTW I was rubbish at the Hula Hoop game.

Insects of the world, unite

Posted in sport with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by bytor

Am I imagining this, or are the insects of the world conspiring to disrupt our human sporting activities? Not so long ago a swarm of giant flying ants halted a cricket match in South Africa during the Champions Trophy semi-final.

Now, a soccer World Cup qualifier between Mexico and El Salvador had to be temporarily halted by a huge swarm of bees.

I’m waiting for a plague of locusts.

A mini, nay micro blog post

Posted in sport with tags , , , , on July 11, 2009 by bytor

While following the first Ashes test at Cardiff, on Test Match Special on Radio 5 Live Sports Xtra, I heard Aussie ex-fast bowler and now BBC match summariser Jason Gillespie utter the funniest off the cuff remark I have heard for some time.

Ricky Ponting, Australia’s captain had just got yet another hundred. “Dizzy” Gillepsie said:

“He’ll be as happy as a fat spider..”

No idea where this comes from but it sounded funny at the time. You can follow Jason Gillespie on Twitter (@Jason_Gillespie)