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  1. #1

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    Universal Sports - 2010-11 Season Question

    Does anyone know if Universal Sports will be covering figure skating for the upcoming season (Grand Prix events, Worlds, US Nationals)? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    The wiener takes it all
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    Well, Universal Sports/NBC Sports have the TV and online rights already to 5 out of the 6 ISU GP events (minus Skate America) and the GP Final in 2010-11.

    Skate America's rights package is directly negotiated with USFSA and not the ISU, and the Skate America event was shown last season on TV on NBC (some live segments) with the other segments available on Universal Sports TV on same-day tape. Online live coverage of Skate America was on icenetwork.com.

    Based on last season and how they are handling events such as the Track and Field meets this summer, I think the following scenario is probable (There has been no official confirmation of any of this because the start of the season is still far off):

    Live Online Coverage
    Skate America: icenetwork.com (paid subscription required)
    All 5 other GP events and GP Final: universalsports.com**
    (**there will probably be a subscription required. This summer universalsports.com introduced a premium live/on-demand video streaming service that requires a paid subscription. I have no idea what the pricing will be, but they seem to be charging between $9.99 and $19.99 for multi-month sport event series, such as the Track & Field Diamond League).

    TV coverage
    Skate America: NBC and Universal Sports TV (live and taped [same day])
    All 5 other GP events and GP Final: Universal Sports TV (probably taped, same-day)

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    HisWeirness - Thank you.

    I currently have Universal Sports via Comcast, but will be changing providers (long story).
    And Univ Sports is not on AT&T, and I assume will not be since NBC&Comcast are together now.

    So another question - how is watching Univ Sports over the web - good quality?
    Availability - live? plus after the fact - available for a few weeks??

    And Icenetwork - again how do folks like the quality??

  4. #4
    The wiener takes it all
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
    And Univ Sports is not on AT&T, and I assume will not be since NBC&Comcast are together now.
    Universal Sports has a convenient page where they list all of the TV markets were they are available via over-the-air (antenna) and/or cable.

    You can also go here and input your zipcode to see what the Universal Sports TV availability is in your area.

    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
    So another question - how is watching Univ Sports over the web - good quality?
    Availability - live? plus after the fact - available for a few weeks?
    I have not watched Universal Sports' new premium live online video (which is supposed to be HD I think) but I have been satisfied with their web video quality (using a high-speed cable-internet connection) for 2010 Worlds (the most recent big event covered online and on TV on Universal Sports).

    You can go here to see what their 2010 Worlds coverage was like (it is still archived here after 3-4 months on this page). All of this video coverage was mostly available live when the event was happening, and then on-demand shortly after the live event ended.
    The most recent version of Microsoft Silverlight is required to watch.

    All Universal Sports TV coverage is not HD at this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
    And Icenetwork - again how do folks like the quality??
    Icenetwork streams at two different rates (400k and 700k), and they are ok (not HD). The quality of the video seems to depend on the feed source and the speed of your internet connection and computer hardware/operating system.
    Most icenetwork video complaints are about USA viewers being erroneously geoblocked from watching content.

  5. #5
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    I watched a lot of the internet skating feeds during season and after on Universal sports with no problems and enjoyed them immensely even though it required silverlight to run (Which I downloaded and used, and is still active in my machine). But now (Months later) when I try to sign in (With the email address and password I had previously used) I get the message that no one with my email address is registered; so after my OLD sign in was repeatedly declared invalid even though it was previously accepted, and going through their "Retrieval" precess (Which always rejected my entry of the changeable "Secret Code" even though they were typed exactly), I tried to "Join" as a new member but every time my application reached the place where I'm to copy the "Secret Code" and submit it (All numbers and easily discernable) I always get another "Error" message so now can't "Sign UP" as a new member or retrieve my "Old" registration. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, how do I (Or can I) rectify it?? I can't find anywhere on the website itself to help me. It looks to me like their software correlation of the "Secret Code" during sign in or registration and the server are out of Sync since the secret code changes but is not accepted with any submission and always fails with the same error message.
    Last edited by harvey; 07-11-2010 at 11:56 PM.

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    I hope that UnivSports will indeed show the entire GP series + Euros/4Cs/Worlds again this year on television...for me, the ONLY way to watch...relaxed, on my sofa, pushing the DVD recording button. I'll eat lettuce leaves all year to save for whatever a TV subscription may cost.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by HisWeirness View Post

    TV coverage

    All 5 other GP events and GP Final: Universal Sports TV (probably taped, same-day)
    Thanks for the info. I wonder if the Superbowl would be as popular if it was tape delayed.

    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post

    And Icenetwork - again how do folks like the quality??
    I paid for subscriptions the last 2 seasons. When I tried to watch men or ladies events, I usually got a black screen.

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    The one problem I've had with icenetwork is that for popular events, like US Nationals, sometimes the quality was not good during the event. However, it was fine on demand later.

    I have had the blank screen problem. I had to be sure that explorer was on it's latest level, and that Windows Media player was on its latest level. Then there were some settings on Windows Media player that I had to change. However, there is a "how to" on the site that had clear directions.

    I don't know whether it works with Firefox or not.

    And it doesn't like Proxy servers at all. You get the black screen then. With a proxy server, it cannot be sure where you are logging on from, and some events are restricted by country.
    Last edited by DORISPULASKI; 07-19-2010 at 09:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polymer Bob View Post
    I paid for subscriptions the last 2 seasons. When I tried to watch men or ladies events, I usually got a black screen.
    I had that problem a LOT, eventually I called IN and verified my address; they did something to fix it (I have no idea what, though).
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

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    Honesetly, I've always had a pretty good experience with IN. The blank screen sounds awful, and I feel for those who have had to deal with that. Luckily, I've never had to. ......yet.

  11. #11
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    I reduced my cable package to the minimum broadcast basic. Wanted to watch less television, wanted to pay less, AND realized that Universal Sports was one of the few additional channels in the minimum package. A definite less is more situation. They did replay Worlds to death last spring but I didn't mind really. So, hoping very hard that I'm not jinxing anything and that I'll be able to watch the Grand prix events at my leisure, taped or not I don't mind.

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    I am so excited, I have to share, and I know this group will understand.
    I want to dump Comcast for a variety of reasons, and I can only go to AT&T Uverse (live in a townhouse and a dish is just a pain). I got an antenna and software package and loaded it onto my laptop. Now my laptop gets local channels for free, including NBC and Universal Sports!!!!!!. The local NBC station is less than 2 miles away and friends without cable said they get it. So now I can dump Comcast and still get Universal Sports. I am so happy!!!!!

    The software also allow me to record too.

  13. #13

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    So which software package did you buy, smurfy?

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    I'd like to know, as well!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    I'd like to know, as well!
    Likewise

  16. #16

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    A friend gave me one that they bought awhile ago and didn't use. WinTV-HVR 950 (hybrid tv stick)
    I am not the best at computers, but it was very easy to install. It has a little antenna that is maybe 4 inches tall. Reception and picture quality is quite good.

  17. #17

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    When I researched TV capture cards before buying a new computer a few years ago, Hauppage products were getting good reviews, and the WinTV product sounds like an interesting option for folks who don't want to open up their computers to add a TV capture card (or don't have room for one). However, if its antenna is pulling in Universal Sports over the air, I think a simple TV antenna would allow you to receive it on your TV, asssuming that you have one of those digital-to-analog converter boxes or a TV capable of handling digital signals. I realize that is not the same as being able to record the broadcast on your computer, but I'd hate for folks to assume that the HVR-950 would allow everyone to pick up Universal Sports, irrespective of their location.

    Be sure to check the system requirements before purchasing; you'll need a fairly powerful computer. I also noticed that analog TV (such as programs from videotape) converted by the device takes up only about 1.5 GB per hour, suggesting that the HVR-950 converts everything to EP quality or a bit less. There are conversion tools (including internal capture cards) that give you at least one higher-quality option.

    I don't mean to be discouraging; I love being able to capture TV on my computer and burn DVDs, but it's worth doing a bit of research to be sure you've come up with the option that works best for you. I seem to get better IceNetwork results on my desktop than on my laptop. Though the laptop is newer and is a quality product, I didn't buy it specifically for video purposes, and it seems to be lacking the level of graphics capability needed to play video smoothly.

  18. #18
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    I tried IceNetwork for the first time last year. DSL became available in the area where I live. It wasn't bad at all and I watched on my laptop since that's all I have. I never experienced any black screen or blackouts. The streaming was pretty good also.

    I also had a good experience watching live streaming at the Universal Sports website. I had some trouble at first with the player freezing or stalling. I reported it and received some instructions from Universal Sports to uninstall Silverlight and reinstall it. The freezing problems cleared up after I reinstalled Silverlight.
    Angie
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    I have had very few issues with IceNetwork when I am at home.

    I do travel and a lot of the hotels I stay in have HORRID internet service that just won't support video. (Don't believe hotels when they say it's high speed,... it would be if only ONE user was on, but 100 laptops, not so fast anymore LOL!)

    But the replay is fun!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simone411 View Post
    I also had a good experience watching live streaming at the Universal Sports website. I had some trouble at first with the player freezing or stalling. I reported it and received some instructions from Universal Sports to uninstall Silverlight and reinstall it. The freezing problems cleared up after I reinstalled Silverlight.
    I had the same problem (It seems that you have to completely uninstall Silverlight and then reinstall it with the latest updates to make it work again, but recently I've had more problems with it (Silverlight or Universal sports).
    Just what we need. ANOTHER proprietary video system that you HAVE TO USE to collect content from one website that doesn't work on any others. Since then however it seems to have become even more erratic.
    1. Sometimes (When the website loads) when clicking on links that indicate that they have video, they play with no problems and at other times I get the message that there was a loading problem that will be fixed shortly but instead it freezes my whole computer including keyboard and mouse and I have to turn it off manually and restart to get anything back.
    2. Sometimes when I go back it tells me that my user ID and password are no good but I can play the videos anyway without being "Officially" signed in. At other times the videos won't play, I get a banner headline for it and they ask me to sign in (Either as an existing or new user) and I get rejected. If I close out and go back it's a crapshoot to discover which of the above glitches may or may not appear the next time. My conclusion; the Silverlight/Universal Sports collaboration has a lot of unresolved software glitches but I'd gladly pay a nominal subscription fee by the time the iSU season begins if they can straighten out all this erratic behavior .


    Same general topic, different subject.

    After further researching the HVR-950 on the Internet. One blog specifically stated that it WILL NOT WORK WITH DIGITAL TV AS TRANSMITTED ON CABLE OR SATELLITE digital transmissions. Therefore for me, since I have Dish network which is digital satellite, and no “Local Broadcast” NBC station, it would be useless for getting Universal Sports now, and as I understand it ALL stations will be required to broadcast in digital at some time in the future so it looks to me that unless you live in a neighborhood that has “Local Over the Air” availability purchasing one would not be a good idea.

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