AMITIAE - Sunday 20 October 2013
Cassandra: MotoGP TV Coverage and the Internet
By Graham K. Rogers
Like many from the UK, I had to play at high school, but managed to avoid it some of the time by going swimming instead which the headmaster thoroughly approved of. My sporting love, instead, focussed on the mechanical.
I can remember following Grand Prix racing since the 1950s when the cars had engines in the front. The same was so for motorcycle racing and was a fan of the late Mike Hailwood (whom I later saw at the Nurburgring in F1). I went car and motorcycle races quite often.
Of the two, I prefer 163 as the picture quality is better. It is the same feed but the Fox service handles the signal better than Star Sports: at least when it arrives at my TV. When I turned on the set for the Moto3 Race from Australia's Phillip Island, that was due to start at 09:00 here, even though the information bar showed "MotoGP World Championship - 08:57 - 13:00" I was treated to a baseball game (Detroit v Boston).
I know that there are thousands of fans of the sport and I am pleased for them. However, the number of fans that may wish to watch the sport in this region may be considerably smaller. For me, it is like Wagner: magnificent moments with boring half hours. No matter, Channel 108 - Star Sports - would have to do.
Except that during the course of the first race (Moto3 which is always exciting) the signal from Australia cut. Not once, but 4 times. On two occasions, for several minutes. If this was Formula One, I would be pulling my hair out.
Slowmo Screenshot from Dorna MotoGP Feed
However, Fox blotted their copybook by not switching to the MotoGP coverage when the baseball was over. Instead, viewers were treated first to Moto Cross, then to rallying - both recorded, not live - and finally to golf, an hour earlier than scheduled. True still showed the MotoGP information. I hate this arbitrary switching from advertised programs. Customers may plan their days around the programs they have paid for.
The service, which I reviewed close to the beginning of the season in April this year, works. I noted in that earlier review that the TV signal here is not 100% reliable. That situation remains, especially when it rains as the signal to the KU-band antennas used here cuts when that happens.
Screenshot from Dorna MotoGP Feed
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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