For the last two nights Yates has tried in vain to watch live coverage of the New Zealand v England test match. The operative phrase here is in vain. Yates’ family has a Virgin Media subscription, lots of sports channels because we all have different sporting interests. Other family members like motor sports, F1, speedway, NFL and Yates likes the cricket.
The TV Anywhere service is allocated to Yates to keep the cricket off the big screen tv in the lounge. That keeps Yates’ mother happy because she hates cricket and keeps the Yates’ knackers free from being headbutted by the parents’ dog. For those who don’t know, the TV Anywhere service is Virgin’s equivalent of SkyGo – “watch your favourite channels anywhere you have an internet connection” being the general claim. However, the truth of it, the experience if you will, is something rather different.
During the day, for general stuff, TV Anywhere isn’t exactly reliable. For live events you are truly fortunate if you don’t get “there is a problem with this content” and one of any number of error codes. From what Yates has seen of SkyGo things aren’t much better there. Friends prefer to go to the pub to watch football even though they could stay at home with their favourite drink and remain in their preferred state of undress (which is not at all pretty) were SkyGo any better than Virgin’s TV Anywhere.
Yet there are what Giles Clarke calls “Illegal streams” out there which provide a more reliable service than that which Sky and Virgin offer. Aside from the general contempt in which Yates holds Clarke and the “illegal streams” bit sounding more like a water sports movie (Google it if you don’t know, but don’t do it at work, or look at the Urban Dictionary), this shows the real problem with the tech at the moment.
It doesn’t bloody work.
Like Yates’ back foot cover drive it rarely works consistently. Just like the music industry claims that piracy has cost them billions yet has been very slow to offer reasonably priced downloads, so the same situation is here with subscriber sports tv.
Yet the BBC managed to deliver excellent web based coverage of the Olympic Games. Yates can watch HD episodes of Star Trek, the entire two series of Colditz or any number of features on YouTube or other sites all quite happily. Yet the service that he is paying for cannot deliver the live cricket promised.
And Giles Clarke wonders why people are going to these “illegal streams”?
The answer’s simple – the tech doesn’t bloody work!
At least the adverts on RadioSportNZ are a laugh even if the England team’s performances are laughable.
The message to Vermin Media and Sky is simple – you don’t charge extra for the “watch anywhere” service because it’s too unreliable. You can and must do better – if you were to charge extra for the service as is you’d be getting lots of less than polite phone calls and e-mails telling you where to go.