Friday, November 25, 2011

Webcasting from Murrayfield

I looked in at the Murrayfield rink earlier today to see some of the play, and take some photos of the webcast crew at the Edinburgh International. I mentioned before that there is a nominal charge this year (just £3) to view the webcasts, all of them, really just so the organisers can get an estimate of the interest there is out there in the provision of moving images. Will it be in the tens, or hundreds, or thousands? What do you think?

Now I'm home and watching on my own laptop the second game to be webcast, between Jay McWilliam's team and the experienced Thomas Ulsrud side from Norway, making their first visit to the Edinburgh International, complete with their distinctive colourful trousers (of which Skip Cottage is a big fan, but you already knew that!).

Ulsrud counted four at the first, and I enjoyed (perhaps not the right word) watching how that happened. The video stream was pretty smooth, although the sound quality was not good at all to begin with, very broken up, and difficult to listen to. However, this problem was soon resolved and I was able to enjoy the wisdom of the commentary team, Robin Aitken and Trevor Dodds, without problem for the rest of the game! All in all it was a good viewing experience.

And here are the aforementioned Trevor and Robin. They had a short stint this evening as Ulsrud's team were dominant and the game was over early. I look forward to reading the McWilliam team's own thoughts on their blog in due course.

Here is the hub of the operation. Andrew Mitchell, nearest us, was helping out his brother Alex whose operation this is. That's him behind. At the back is Natalia Konopka, a student from Poland currently studying at Dundee College, who is helping out on the team.

John Good was up the gantry working the end-of-ice camera today.

I read with interest (here) how the organisers had discussed which games they wanted to webcast. They didn't ask me for my advice of course, although I would have thought they might have known. See above. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN WATCHING A TEAM IN BLACK PLAYING AGAINST A TEAM IN BLACK, and that is how today's first game looked when the webcast started. I don't think that game is available yet to view on the catchup, so maybe things got better. It really is time for some of those involved in our sport - and I'll mention no names - to do things in a professional manner. (Mr Grumpy tonight, sorry.)

It was interesting to make the comparison between the Edinburgh efforts and the webcast from Wetzikon (the ZO Women's Curling Champions Tour event) also on this evening. The Laola output is extremely high standard, as I've mentioned before. Nothing of course beats being at an event in person, but this season I've realised, for the first time, how important it is for many to have access to webcasts and the like if they want to enjoy their sport, and are forced to do so 'from a distance'. It certainly beats just following a line score.

For all the end by end linescores from Edinburgh, go here. Some action photos are here.

More webcasts are scheduled for today, Saturday, see here.
Photos © Skip Cottage