World Cup & Wimbledon & how to watch it?
- 2 Jun 06, 01:18 PM
Blimey! I had always thought this would cause a bit of a stir, but I had no idea how much.
For me personally, it's part of a very long journey. I was around when we launched the BBC Sport Website and we were putting on postage stamp sized video on to stories. In those days, we had no internet rights and most people weren't really aware of them.
How the world has come on. Since we relaunched our Audio & Video services around Athens 2004, we have got to the stage where in the UK, the majority of our television output is now available online.
There have been plenty of questions posed so far, so I thought I would try to cover some of those off and give people an idea of how to get the streams if there was any confusion.
Firstly, let me point you in the direction of a really useful page on the site. It deals with some common questions that are asked on a regular basis about our services. You can find that page here
Now to look at some of the other issues:
The BBC Sport Website currently supports both Windows and Real Media. If you are unaware of how to switch between those, you should get an idea from the link posted in the previous paragraph.
We always get questioned as to why we support those formats. So here's some of the reasoning behind that. The BBC in the early days of the web, took a decision to work with Real Player. At the time and given the state of the industry, it made sense. One of the main reasons behind offering content in Real is that it works on many platforms (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux). In 2004, we took the decision to start supporting Windows Media as well.
Now there is always going to be a divide in why we picked those two formats. However, we all know that Windows is the most prevalent operating system out there and when you unpack your new machine, Windows Media Player is already on there. Real gives us the ability to deliver to other operating systems.
I know this wasn't the case during the iMP trial. I myself was frustrated by this given that I am a Mac user. However, please uderstand that this was a trial. It doesn't mean that we are going to stop supporting non-Windows users. As a public service organisation, we aim to make sure as many users can access our content. It is the same reason that we make sure our website works on as many browsers as we can make it work on.
With regard to the quality argument. It isn't that dissimilar to the formats question. We do understand that there are lots of us out there with nice new 8Mbps connections (it's great isn't it?), but we need to make sure that the majority of people in the UK can access the content. While broadband is huge, we can't guarantee that everyone has a certain connection speed, or that your work network will be able to cope.
That said, we are still looking at what we might be able to do. For example, we offered higher quality clips during the Winter Olympics.
One last thing on quality - please do have a look at the BBC's Multicasl trial. This does deliver high quality streams to users who have connections with the listed ISPs. And to pre-empt that question, we will work with any service provider that wants to work with us. If yours isn't on the list - please ask them to take part in the trial. Full details are here.
Hope that helps. I'll keep trying to give you answers to everything you throw at me.