Yahoo Live Shutting Down

Back in March I was able to watch the Winter Music Conference shake its groove thing at night thanks to Yahoo Live.  It seems that Y! Live will be shutting down on December 3, 2008.

Earlier this week I read about Revver having financial issues, but the Founder answered the rumor and stated that they were simply migrating to a different and better provider.

I personally dont believe  him, but lets pretend that its the full truth.

I would be curious to see how the financials of companies like Blip.tv, Justin.tv,  Viddler, Vimeo, etc. and how they will weather the months ahead of fewer ad dollars to spend.

Watch Sunday Night Football Live Online

It was another weekend of football around my house. With the Chicago Cubs going down in 3, my hope was for a good showing by my college teams and the Bears to win over the Lions.  All went well for my teams – and Dave was happy.

As I wrote up my experience with Live Streaming MLB Playoffs, I started to be upset at myself for not commenting on the better NFL experience.  So tonight, I am doing just that.

Sunday Night Football with John Madden and Al Michaels is a great way to wind down from the weekend for me.  The problem in my house has become the number of shows on Sunday nights that everyone wants to watch. It has made it difficult for me to just sit and watch, until I found out they were streaming the Sunday Night Football games online. How awesome is that, the NFL live and online?

Unlike the attempt by TBS and MLB for having MLB Playoffs Live Online , it seems that the NFL and NBC have done everything right.

Initial Sunday Night Football View

NFL Live on Sunday Night

As you can see, they give you a few views and the picture is very clear.  You can follow players around, watch the broadcast,  watch the cable cam, or pick the sideline cam. All give you great angles and if you dont zoom in on any one you can watch them all at the same time (not fully but you get an idea of what is going on everywhere).  When in this view (or even when zoomed in) and you mouse over either the right or left sides you are given the option to switch to a different view. This again, just makes it such a smooth UI to use.

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Watch MLB Playoffs Live Online

Recently I was able to watch a Sunday Night Football game live and online and it was great. Everything about it was great. The video quality was good, the sound, the option to switch back and forth from different camera angles – all I can say is that it was well done.

Tonight I had some work to do and thought I would see if I could watch the Cubs online. What do you know, but I can. Great I thought to myself, this is awesome.

Not so much.

UPDATE:

I figured out where to get audio for the MLB Playoffs. It is from ESPN so it doesnt match the video exactly that MLB and TBS show, but it gives you some sound. If you go to ESPN Radio and hear the ESPN team covering the game – I cant tell you which one to pick but tonight the Dallas, Tx channel has the game. Like the entire setup by MLB and TBS it’s not perfect but it works.

END UPDATE

MLB Game Online

I added in the white lines (where the video was playing) to show you how they have it set up. It simply uses Windows Media player to stream the video.  The page loads with 4 screens which I figured out later can be set to the full video area by clicking the Mosaic, Backstop, Pitcher, Dugout or Batter icons. How was I suppose to know those were buttons?

Once I figured that out – it was nice to have a bigger picture.  The quality wasnt bad but it wasnt great. The sound – what sound? They piped in the sound that the camera picked up. There werent any anouncers or anything, just the sound of the crowd. This isnt exactly watching baseball online if you ask me. Luckily for me I live in Chicago and get WGN – so I listened to them. The problem with this is that the video was lagging some minute or so behind the radio broadcast. Another strike against MLB Gamecast or MLB Live and Online.

The final straw came when the video just stopped.  So there I am, watching a blank screen. I kept trying to refresh the page but couldnt find a nonflash area on the page. Finally I got it, but had to wait for it to buffer, load, buffer, and finally play. Talk about another stike against them.

So lets recap:

Sound Quality: Strike

Usability: Strike

Video Quality – Foul Ball

Streaming: Strike 3!!!

And that is when I turned it off.