ALMS TV Broadcast Package v2

#26 Signatech Nissan Oreca 03 Nissan: Franck Mailleux, Lucas Ordonez, Soheil Ayari (Darren Pierson)

#26 Signatech Nissan Oreca 03 Nissan: Franck Mailleux, Lucas Ordonez, Soheil Ayari

I am writing this while watching the FIA GT1 race at Abu Dhabi streamed from the GT1 website.  I’m not watching it on my laptop, I’m watching it on our oldish (2001) 55″ HDTV.  The quality is not as good as the SpeedTV livestream of F1 practice, but it is quite watchable.  Tomorrow, we will watch the GT1 race from Zolder.  Streamed.  In 16:9. On the Internet.  On our TV.  Using whichever of the three different flavors of internet providers to which we have access.  For fun, I might hop onto one of my neighbors’ un-secured wi-fi networks.  It won’t matter who the provider is, we will be able to watch.  That is how the intrnet works.  If you have access, you can watch.  You don’t need to be in a club.

To be clear, I still think that the ALMS decision to stream the races is a good one.  To also be clear, they need to step up their game.  Sebring was a disappointment.

We were at the track for the Sebring weekend but we might as well have been in Timbuktu as far as watching the coverage on ESPN3 went. Scratch that.  If we were in Timbuktu, might have had a better chance assuming the feed was actually up when we tried to watch.  Why was I trying to watch the race if I was at the track?  It was the middle of the afternoon on raceday and I was back in the RV taking a break and I wanted to keep up with the action.  We tried to log in with our Verizon data account.  Overloaded system and when we finally got through, Verizon cell data isn’t an authorized partenr with ESPN3.  Ok, we will use the ALMS website link…..wait, its a link back to ESPN3.  What happened to the ALMS mirror?  Crap. Fail.  OK fine, I can hop onto several other local wi-fi systems.  Nope, access denied by ESPN3.  This is crazy.  Fine! I will PAY to use the Sebring wi-fi system.  Luckily, that network was so crushed that I could not even login.  If I had been able to login and pay I would have found out the the Sebring Track ISP was also NOT on the ESPN approved provider list.  This is crazy.  After poking about a bit, Kim figured out a way to get around the ESPN3 login requirements and we w……..e.r……e………..abl……..e……………….to connect to the f………………………………..eed and w…………………..atc………………………………..h a few jumpy minutes of the race.  Then the feed crashed and locked up.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Wait! we have XM in the RV, Radio Le Mans ALMS coverage is always on XM.  Nope, this year there is no XM feed.  AM track radio, bah.  Its 2011 and we are surrounded by enough technology to send Apollo13 to the moon in style and instead we are listening the the most forward thinking racing series on, wait for it; AM Radio.  At least we could hear what was happening. Big props to the RLM people for directing me to the AM signal.

A few days ago, I decided to take a look at the archived race on the ALMS website.  The feed is 4:3! Who shoots anything in 4:3 in this day and age?  Are they using BetaMax as well?  Not only was it 4:3, it was overly compressed and had more mosquitos in the video than I could stand.  I shut it off.  The statement coming from the series regarding ESPN’s blocking of non-qualifying ISPs is ludicrous.  The assertion that the fans need to tell their ISPs to pick up the payment to ESPN3 is about 15 years off of the mark.  It may have worked in the infancy of SpeedVision but the comparison is not even close.  Cable/Satellite TV is a closed loop, the internet is open.  I find it hard to fathom why the ALMS can buy into the idea that the viewing paradigm has/is shifted to internet streaming and on demand viewing while still clinging to highly outdated thought patterns of how the net works.

I understand and approve of what the ALMS is trying to do but this version of effort isn’t going to work.  There are too many series out there doing this correctly. I hear that the ABC replay was pre-empted by a long winded tennis match.  Nice.  I sincerely hope that most of these teething pains have been addressed for Long Beach. I need to close now because I want to watch the LMS race from Paul Ricard last weekend.  Somehow I am able to watch all six hours of that on my TV….in HD.

-Darren

#050 Panoz Racing Panoz Abruzzi: Ian James, Benjamin Leuenberger (Darren Pierson)

#050 Panoz Racing Panoz Abruzzi: Ian James, Benjamin Leuenberger

 

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