AMITIAE - Sunday 23 March 2014

MotoGP Video Pass - Watching Live Racing on the Mac and iOS Devices

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


It is the time of year when the motor racing season starts. For me that means Formula One and MotoGP with the related Moto2 and Moto3 classes. With the four-wheel racing, there is a Formula One Timing app for afficianados to follow the timing screens on iOS devices while watching on TV.

There is a similar app for MotoGP (all three classes - $25.99) but while the racing is available on TV, I just updated my Video Pass. I can watch the racing, plus other content, on my computer, or on iOS devices.

Screenshot from MotoGP Live Feed

There are a number of advantages to this approach.

  • Although the races are on TV, there are times when this is not at its best. In the past, there have been over-runs from other sports, most usually snooker. While I appreciate that many love to watch competitors pocketing the balls, to me it is like watching paint dry, particularly when I know that the Moto3 race has just started: TV companies seem to presume that because this is a lower class of racing, viewers will not be interested.

    Advertising is not a major interruption with the MotoGP broadcasts, but there are some breaks, most notably between races. With the commentators that Dorna provide, some of the interesting background is often missed by a 2-3 minute break, while the TV company tells us of its other offerings later in the week: mainly football.

  • Last year there were a number of clashes with the Formula One schedule. Fortunately, with the race times (shown in both sports as race time or local time) I can usually juggle things, watching the Moto3, Moto2, then Formula One and then a recorded MotoGP race using the Video Pass.

  • Times of races, are usually within a time-frame that runs from around 3pm to 8pm here. A Formula One race usually starts at 7pm. However, there are some races in America that cannot fit within these times (that would mean running some at around 3am there). Instead these appear here quite late. With F1 I may stay up, but prefer not to. I will try to catch the replay, but TV company scheduling does not always fit mine; and even when a rerun is shown in the schedules, I have come home in the past only to find that it is not being shown.

    This week, MotoGP is in Qatar and that means Moto3 at 23:00, Moto2 at 00:20, with MotoGP at 02:00. I will watch the first two, but will run the MotoGP race at breakfast time on Monday.

  • Rain. Not rain at the races - that is a part of the racing when it happens - but rain here. With the KU-band transmissions that the TV company here uses, rain means that the signal is cut. The company has the technology to run cables and in my last house that was how I was connected and the signal was never cut; but this condo receives its signal via a satellite dish on the roof and even the smell of rain cuts the transmissions.

    As if to prove the point, on Saturday (just after I bought the Video Pass), the heavens opened several months before the rainy season and Bangkok was soaked.

  • Other transmission problems exist with the TV service, such as sunspot activity which may cut the signal at periods. The local installation (such as my condo) may also have faults which could take time to track down.

These problems are occasional, not a permanent feature of the TV transmissions; but any fans expecting their favourite sport to be available at the press of a button who have that interrupted go from frustration to anger in a nano-second.

None of the above apply to the Video Pass, although once or twice over the last season there was some slowing of the feed. On the whole, it tends to be a little more reliable than TV on the days when things go wrong.

Screenshot from MotoGP Live Feed

The Video Pass can be purchased online via the MotoGP site. To the right of the screen is a link to the Video Pass: Subscribe Now.

There are a number of levels. I use the standard option that is priced at €99.95. There is also a Multi-screen option (€137.95) that gives a subscriber multiple views of the racing, including the ability to switch between views. Other race by race services may also be purchased.

With my standard service, I am able to watch the replays of a race or practice session that has already been run. These (and the live sessions themselves) are run in a browser window. The video can be made full screen. Several resolutions are available, although the service will sometimes start in Automatic mode, selecting the best for the available feed. Specific options on my computer are: Low, 360p, 540p and 720p. I tend to favour 720p as the images are beautifully sharp on my 13" MacBook Pro with its Retina display.

Controls also include icons for 10 second back and forward (on replay) play, stop/start button, sound mixer which in the race last year allowed levels of commentators and race sounds to be balanced (I favour higher commentary). There is also a bar for volume. A button at the far right selected full screen play. The timeline of the replays has a number of flags indicating incidents (red) or interviews (green) so that the user can quickly access these interesting points.

Screenshot from MotoGP Live 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.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page