Sunday, January 17, 2016

Another exercise in frustration

AKA Cyberspace Mysteries.

Since moving back up here to the tundra and deciding to live in the middle of nowhere, the only way the S.O. and I get to watch television is via streaming. Most networks now let you watch their prime time shows after a delay of anywhere from 1 to 30 days after an episode originally aired, which means we see stuff like "Survivor" a day later than every one else. We don't actually have too many problems finding what we want with one notable exception: sports.

It doesn't matter what sport it is, no one wants to watch an event after the outcome is already known. The S.O. has become quite adept at finding sites for watching NASCAR or football, although the quality of the streams can vary quite a bit. Once in a while he gets lucky and the network carrying the game or the race will live stream the event free. Doesn't matter if it's a sketchy site that's pirating the broadcast or the actual network, though. If it's a live stream, things inevitably get weird. The only way to describe it is to say the stream hiccoughs. It skips. It's like data packets drop out when the buffering slows down. Weirdness ensues. There'll be a hiccough and a race skips right over a couple of laps. Color commentators get cut off in mid-sentence. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's annoying. And last night?

I'm not sure if it was a kindness or an irritant, but the football game went from "We're in overtime. Kickoff in a minute" to a screen saying "Commercial break" to hearing an announcer say "and the Cardinals move on in the playoffs with a final score of 26." The S.O. went from hoping for an overtime miracle to sitting there dumbfounded muttering what the hell?? I'm not sure just how many minutes overtime actually took up, but the S.O. saw none of it. It felt kind of like when you're listening to an LP on vinyl, someone bumps into the record player, and you go from track 1 to track 3 with nothing in between. Very, very strange.

That whole thing with live streaming can be weird. We watch the local news as a live stream, but it can be odd. Sometimes there are commercial breaks; sometimes the stream starts a couple minutes later than it would if we were actually watching it as an over the air broadcast and the stream just runs straight through, no commercials at all. It's definitely a mystery.

Every so often someone suggests we spent money on DISH. I don't think so. With the live stream, there's the problem of hiccoughs. If we had DISH, right about the time things got interesting, the dish would fill with snow and the S.O. would miss key plays because he'd be outside with a broom. Either way, he ends up cursing -- and right now the cursing is free.  


  1. The biggest problem with most streams is you can't adjust the resolution or quality of the stream. They want to stream in Hi-Def which might be fine if you have a very fast internet connection like cable internet, but if we had cable, why the fuck would we want to stream something we could just watch on cable??

  2. Well, I've never seen a fucking football game worth watching anyway. :-)

    My wireless internut for thirty bucks a month works pretty good at Utube so I just watch movies and other stuff there.

  3. I got a ROKU for Christmas and I'm sort of loving it..but it takes a bitch of a time to load each channel ..and my internet is so crappy I can't watch hbo or showtime so I'm gong to have to up grade to a higher mg..but it has to be at least a 3 and mine says it gets a 3 I've never seen it actually hit a 3...and dish sucks..but direct is good and things have improved since they first came out..especially if you get it thru AT&T


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