Monday, 15 September 2008
Liverpool vs Manchester United, via a dodgy web stream
As I was at a wedding back home in Northern Ireland, my only football this weekend was watching the first half of Liverpool vs Manchester United on streaming site Justin.tv.
Justin.tv is a streaming site where users connect their telly up to their computer, and broadcast whatever they are watching. Originally set up to allow people to broadcast video gaming, it seems to have grown into a legally dubious way of re-broadcasting various satellite channels. Go there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and you’ll find most matches being broadcast. I ended up watching someone broadcasting Sky Sports over the service, along with around 23,000 other viewers. Given that several other users were broadcasting the match, it soon adds up to quite a few people not being included in Sky’s overall viewing figures.
Quality varies from user to user – some are blocky and jerky, some are very reasonable quality. It’s all done using embedded flash, like youtube and other video sharing sites, meaning you don’t need to download any clients like TVUplayer or SOPcast.
The channel is broadcast in a window about a quarter the size of your computer screen, with a chat window on the other side. The chat window is annoying, there’s no two ways about it, and unfortunately there’s no way of hiding it. Whilst it’s a nice idea, to let people discuss the match in progress, in reality most people use it for fairly basic insults of the team they don’t support, to make various sexist, racist or homophobic insults, or to ask who scored the goal. Every minute.
The match itself (as much as I watched of it) was a pretty exciting, fairly open contest. United look like they could run a cricket score to begin with, before gifting Liverpool an equaliser and falling apart from there. Not having seen the second half, I can’t comment on Liverpool’s winner, but it would be interesting to see how Liverpool would have performed had they not giftwrapped the equaliser.
I did catch the last 10 minutes of Real Madrid vs Numancia last night, seemingly the only part of the game not to contain any goals, but thankfully they won, and was the final result in a small accumulator I had, returning the princely sum of 2p for my stake of 1p. I’d been on a bad run until then, loosing 6 on the bounce. I’ve done a small accumulator for the Champion’s League, based on some of the home “bankers” there look to be. Fingers crossed my luck is changing!