Road Games Like Zapruder, Apollo XI

The Texas Stars will be heading out to face division rival Abbotsford this week. It’s not quite as close as San Antonio, Houston, or Oklahoma City, so for the players it means flying well over 2,200 miles each way by commercial carriers in coach class, and probably a bus ride or two to boot.  Currently 11 points out of a playoff spot, the Stars need two wins this weekend against a team that, in five games against thus far, they’ve managed just one.

For the fans, a road trip means – well, for the bigger suckers among us who ponied up – it means watching the game at AHLlive.  The feed is so awful they added ‘live’ to the name to remind viewers they were in fact witnessing a biological event.  You never know what you’re going to get game to game. Some look like paranormal broadcasts. Others like the Zapruder film. You need to be a conspiracy theorist to pick out the action.

NeuLion hosts it. They do NHL GameCenter too, although you would never guess that these are both products of one company. Gamecenter is indirect proof that we put a man on the moon. AHLlive begs the question, “If we could put a man on the moon– wait is that Matt Fraser with the puck or Neil Armstrong with a golf ball?”

In the Western Conference, the only available props go to the Chicago Wolves organization, in part because of how quickly post-game they publish video highlights on their YouTube channel.

Even though NeuLion touts the advancement of Adaptive Streaming as a means of eliminating ‘buffering’, they don’t seem to be applying this to the AHL. The more fans who cram into the AHLlive virtual viewing booth, the more crowded the bandwidth, the worse the experience.

This sensational bout from last season between Luke Gazdic and Matt Kassian illustrates the quality as well as anything.  Great fight, atrocious feed.

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One Response to “Road Games Like Zapruder, Apollo XI”

  1. brandon
    March 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Very good article. Made me laugh as well as made good points about the viewing product. I only wish that season ticket holders would get free access to the content. Minor league hockey can be a harsh mistress when you are a fan. Sometimes you wait by the phone and she doesnt return your call.