October 28, 2009

Streaming Blazers Games. Worth It?

The iPod is considered by many to be one of the greatest inventions of all-time and rightfully so.  After all, the thing inspired a gajillion knockoffs and eventually led to everyone's newest pet, the iPhone.  The streaming of Blazers games however, is not the next iPod.  But is it still worth it?

For the opening game of the 2009-10 season, we decided to stay in and punish pints on our comfy new couch in front of our lovely HD TV instead of mustering up enough energy to venture out into the wide world of sports bars.  (Plus my dilated eyes were a wee bit frightening.)  While at home, midway through the first quarter, just after spotting a KGW logo in the bottom corner of the screen, I remembered something!  All KGW games would be streamed on Blazers.com!  And as the owner of this blog, I felt compelled to fork out the $3.99 and give readers somewhat of a review.

1.  Sign-up/Purchase Early!  At first, I tried to login with my Iamatrailblazersfan.com login followed by an attempt with my ticket login and neither worked.  Basically, this is a completely separate thing, so just go ahead and create a brand new account and save yourself the agony.  Once you've created a new account and paid, the site is not smart enough to redirect you anywhere relevant and if you are like me, may find yourself sitting there confused for a moment. After realizing this, head back to the main page where you'll be prompted to install some fancy new streaming software which doesn't take long at all.  And once that finishes up, you should be good to go.  Like I said at the beginning, do this EARLY.

2. Performance!  With software installed, the stream started right up and actually had decent quality.  (You get to choose high or low.)  I really didn't run into connection issues until midway through the 4th quarter.  Some point in there, the stream decided that the game was already over which prompted some not so nice tweets.  A refresh or two later and it sort of came back.  And then died.  And then came back for good.  Overall, the performance was much better than I had expected.  Even the delay compared to the TV feed was fairly minimal.  Props there.

3.  Perks!  You can rewind and replay stuff all day long during each half.  What I mean by that is the streams are broken up into two separate halves.  So as long as you start streaming the game from the beginning of each half, you have the option to drag the little progress bar back to catch replays, see what you missed on trips to the fridge, trips to the bathroom because of trips to the fridge, or to cap videos for everyone on Twitter to enjoy!  Just make sure you get all your first half rewinds in before the second half, because once it starts, the first half footage is long gone into the internet's abyss.

4.  Overall!  Was it worth $3.99?  Maybe if I didn't have access to the actual HD footage for free on my TV.  Is it worth it if you for some reason don't get KGW but live within the 150 mile radius?  Absolutely.  As a blogger, I had a blast grabbing clips and popping them up on Twitter for all those unable to watch the game.  The service surprisingly ran well and other than the 4th quarter hickup, I have no complaints.  OK, I do have one.  When I signed up and paid for the game, it said I would have access for 24 hours, but I can't seem to find an archived version anywhere.  Hmmm.

Like I said at the beginning, this is not the next iPod, but if somehow, someway, the organization finds a way to stream the Comcast games as well, it's a great option for those without channel 37 (or 737 if you're ballin'.)

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Cal 10/28/09 5:16 PM  

It's awesome that their even doing it, and I'm willing to give them a few games to work out the kinks, actually.

I moved to Denver last year and was excited to see this option to watch my Blaze dogs!

kellex 10/29/09 8:32 AM  

It is great that they are doing it, but $3.99 seems a little steep. I cant imagine that a ton of people actually paid for this service. We just did it to give everyone a review.

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This Portland Trail Blazers blog definitely isn't your basic "recap/report the news" kind of blog. We tend to lean a little to the sporadic and unsystematic side of this young and sexy basketball team. Oh, and you'll definitely see a lot of Blazer Dancer action around here, so bring your bucket of ice.

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