Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ukraine vs England - a good experience

I've been doing some work with a fabulous virtual team across Virgin Media this week to ensure that we were ready for today's Ukraine vs England match, which was shown online only (well, in cinemas also - but the point being it wasn't on TV).

We were all ready so I was able to relax and watch the match, which went very well for this Virgin Media fibreoptic cable broadband user in Surrey anyway!

The picture generally looked very good:
[Screenshot]

[Picture taken of my Acer AL1912 19" monitor from my smartphone's camera]

I watched the game on the 'High' stream (which was streamed at 800Kbps) and didn't spot any buffering, lost connections or anything. It was good on both the standard window and the full screen, and the sound quality was also excellent.

Overall a very good customer experience.

One unexpected side effect was my own version of multi-room, where I was able to watch the cricket at the same time:
[Cricket on my LCD TV on the left, football on 19" monitor on the right]

And that was a very exciting finish, so a good Saturday of sport all round.

I installed the ThinkBroadband Broadband Meter before the match to see what usage would look like, and almost immediately as soon as I closed the window this popped up:
As I installed it about 1 minute before the match, it's safe to say it used up about 1GB of traffic then.

Some more stats and graphs from the ThinkBroadband tool:
It all went very smoothly really, which is less than you can say for Andriy Shevchenko's penalty taking!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post thanks. Some thoughts ...

    Disclaimer: I didn't watch the match. I find football as gripping as cricket, golf and watching paint dry ;-)

    Those that I know that watched it found it an acceptable experience. Fair enough.

    But I question the validity of watching TV on t'interwebs. I don't do it, neither do I listen to the radio on the fridge. Just becuae things are possible doesn't mean that it's a good idea.

    Looks like this was a big bandwidth hit. Acceptable for VM customers who would have been STM'd very quickly, but still had an acceptable service. Those on bargain-basement ADSL connections probably blew their bandwidth limit and were mugged for excessive payments to resume service.

    I can't help but feel that with all of the bandwidth that VM have available that this should have just been a plain-vanilla PPV event - Surely the VM brand has enough leverage to get these special event rights?

    An interesting experiment, but I really don't see much future in internet TV when cable and satellite can give us more broadcast bandwidth than we'll ever need.

    But then, I'm just a Luddite :)

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