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Universal Sports becomes WCSN?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

So, I was planning on watching Solden earlier today, only to find out that it now costs $30 to watch events live and watch full replays... since when was Universal Sports WCSN?

post #2 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise To The Top View Post

So, I was planning on watching Solden earlier today, only to find out that it now costs $30 to watch events live and watch full replays... since when was Universal Sports WCSN?



It used to be WCSN, it's been Universal Sports for sometime.  Last year, it was free...don't know what's going on these days..

post #3 of 17

So the next question is "Is it worth it?"  If I can watch at my leisure, like On Demand, then I would guess so.  If it's more commentary than skiing then no.  Would like to be able to record for later viewing.  I remember watching some last year and it was jumpy and seemed to skip.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

So the next question is "Is it worth it?"  If I can watch at my leisure, like On Demand, then I would guess so.  If it's more commentary than skiing then no.  Would like to be able to record for later viewing.  I remember watching some last year and it was jumpy and seemed to skip.



Yea, I am pretty skeptical to actually buying the service. Last year there were lots of blackouts, some events that had no commentary at all, and some that over did it. Lots of lag issues as well.

post #5 of 17

I watching it from a hotel connection online as we speak.  Paid the $29.95.  It is On-Demand and has 4 Hours and 41 Minutes of the Womens GS in Soelden, I haven't got to the Mens yet but I understand round 2 was cancelled, so not sure how much they have.  They have ever racer, most of every run.  No commentary.  It's kind of choppy, but not unbearable.

post #6 of 17

I just paid $29.99 for Universal Sports' "Alpine Skiing World Cup Package", and I couldn't be more disappointed.  4 hours of coverage from Levi with no commentary.  Absolutely unwatchable.  4 straight hours of shooshing skis and crowd din.  Worse, the entire middle hour was a shot from a stationary video camera, overlooking the base area with spectators milling about, and "Event will return in a moment" plastered on the screen.  I haven't watched other events yet, but if the next event I watch is also this way, I'm contacting Universal for a refund.

 

It's remarkable that their management made the call to not only release this stuff, but to charge $30 for it.  Sporting events without commentary are not sporting events.  :-)  Hope they get their act together.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Brooks View Post

I just paid $29.99 for Universal Sports' "Alpine Skiing World Cup Package", and I couldn't be more disappointed.  4 hours of coverage from Levi with no commentary.


That is what you will get if you watch it live, if not you can skip forward through whatever you want.  Some people actually like the raw footage.  Sometimes I just play my favorite tunes in the background, or my friends & I do our own commentary devil.gif.

 

FYI, there is also a condensed TV broadcast with commentary that is usually up on the site within 12 hours of the actual event.  I just watched the Ladies SL with Steve Porino & AJ Kitt commentating, it wasn't too bad, but not nearly as much fun as the brits we used to get on OLN.

 

My complaint is the quality.  At least for me, it doesn't stream smoothly, often highlights won't load etc.  Today I got it plugged into my big screen, but couldn't get rid of the advert. on the right side.  I wrote a few emails after the Soelden races, but they weren't much help.  They did say they would give me my money back though, which I am tempted to do.  The problem is that they are my only option where I live.  So I guess I will live with the poor quality.

 

There was another thread on here a few weeks ago.

 

JF

post #8 of 17

I'm not dissatisfied with the 4 hours and no commentary, not at all.  I think I fall in the category that would prefer to watch it this way.  I cant stand the TV version where they only show a few highlights of the Americans and the winners.  Obviously the break is there because there was actually a break there in real time.  I haven't watched one live yet, but while watching on demand, skip over the center section between the bullets and you'll pick back up right where you left off.  The start of the final round.

 

I could complain about the quality, but it seems to be different depending on the internet connection.  I just watched the Womens Slalom from a 4 Points by Sheraton hotel in Bakersfield...and it streamed flawlessly for the entire span of the program.  In contrast, even on my home network, which I think is 7Mps or however that is rated, can be choppy at times.  I also am annoyed that I can no longer get it without the advertisement on the right side of the screen that makes the watchable area smaller.   If I manually expand it it gets fuzzy.  So I leave it small.  It isn't as good as TV, but there is 0% chance of getting the same program on TV at home, so I am happy with the $30 purchase.

post #9 of 17

Men's Slalom today was the same way. I sent a cancellation request. Hope they don't give me any problems.

 

@4ster: I scoured the Universal Sports site for a condensed broadcast but didn't see one. Do you have a link? Thanks!

post #10 of 17

Here is a link to the page it is on.  Look for the one labeled as TV coverage.  I know the site is difficult to navigate, not sure if it is worth it.

 

http://www.universalsports.com/premium/index.html

 

If anyone has any tips on a simple way to get Silverlite to work better please let me know.  I am not a computer engineer, so KISS.

 

JF

post #11 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post


I could complain about the quality, but it seems to be different depending on the internet connection.  I just watched the Womens Slalom from a 4 Points by Sheraton hotel in Bakersfield...and it streamed flawlessly for the entire span of the program.  In contrast, even on my home network, which I think is 7Mps or however that is rated, can be choppy at times.  I also am annoyed that I can no longer get it without the advertisement on the right side of the screen that makes the watchable area smaller.   If I manually expand it it gets fuzzy.  So I leave it small.  It isn't as good as TV, but there is 0% chance of getting the same program on TV at home, so I am happy with the $30 purchase.



I watched the one-hour women's recap, and it had a big ASICS ad on the right of the screen. On Sunday, the one-hour men's recap had no ad, and filled the entire screen. I dont think I did anything differently. Did others get a full screen on Sunday?

 

I watch on a laptop connected to a big screen TV. I have found that the quality depends on which laptop I use. I am now using a Dell with an HDMI output into the TV's HDMI input, and the quality was quite good. Almost as good as regular cable. Better than what I was getting through an S-video cable or from a Macbook connected to an HDMI input.  It pixelates a bit sometimes, particularly when the scene is changing quickly. And it freezes up for about 2 seconds every five minutes or so and then continue, but I am sure that is due to my internet connection. On my work computer, it runs smoothly (on my lunch break, of course).

 

Richr

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post


I could complain about the quality, but it seems to be different depending on the internet connection.  I just watched the Womens Slalom from a 4 Points by Sheraton hotel in Bakersfield...and it streamed flawlessly for the entire span of the program.  In contrast, even on my home network, which I think is 7Mps or however that is rated, can be choppy at times.  I also am annoyed that I can no longer get it without the advertisement on the right side of the screen that makes the watchable area smaller.   If I manually expand it it gets fuzzy.  So I leave it small.  It isn't as good as TV, but there is 0% chance of getting the same program on TV at home, so I am happy with the $30 purchase.



I watched the one-hour women's recap, and it had a big ASICS ad on the right of the screen. On Sunday, the one-hour men's recap had no ad, and filled the entire screen. I dont think I did anything differently. Did others get a full screen on Sunday?

 

I watch on a laptop connected to a big screen TV. I have found that the quality depends on which laptop I use. I am now using a Dell with an HDMI output into the TV's HDMI input, and the quality was quite good. Almost as good as regular cable. Better than what I was getting through an S-video cable or from a Macbook connected to an HDMI input.  It pixelates a bit sometimes, particularly when the scene is changing quickly. And it freezes up for about 2 seconds every five minutes or so and then continue, but I am sure that is due to my internet connection. On my work computer, it runs smoothly (on my lunch break, of course).

 

Richr


I still had the ASICS ad on Sunday.

I am doing pretty much the same as you describe with HDMI cable & HP w/Windows Vista.  My picture is still really jumpy & does not stream smoothly.  Every other video, from Youtube to full length TV shows run fine with the same set-up.  According to Universal I have enough Download speed.

JF

post #13 of 17

I just checked, and I can get the playback with or without the ASICS ad, depending on how I click my way through the Universal Sports site.

 

If I click on the Alpine Skiing Viewer's Guide, and then click on "watch on demand" for an event, click "play now", I get a player that includes the ASICS ad, and fills up only half of my screen

 

If instead I go to the main page for skiing, click on "WATCH: World Cup Levi Men's Slalom", then click on one of the small squares above the player, I can get the exact same video, but without the ASICS ad and filling up the entire screen. 

 

Incidently, it doesnt seem to matter whether I log in or not.  Looks like Universal Sports is still working out some things.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like the archived videos will include the ad and have the small screen. The full screen version will probably disappear soon from the main skiing page.

 

Richr

 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post

Incidently, it doesnt seem to matter whether I log in or not.  Looks like Universal Sports is still working out some things.

 

Richr


I hope so, because it is sure a PITA as it is now.

 

I sent them another email this morning asking for some tips, haven't heard back yet.  Your observations about getting rid of the ad are interesting.  I must have haphazardly done the same thing when watching the Soelden races, one time the ad was there & another it wasn't.  I asked about it in my email, I wonder what their answer will be.

 

Thanks,

JF

post #15 of 17

Here is the context of my email to them & their reply:

 

>Hi,
>
>I watched the race again this weekend from Levi.  The streaming was no better, 
very frustrating.  I really don't want a refund, I want to watch the races!  Are 
there any tips you can give me to help make Silverlite run better?  My DL speed 
is 2.68 Mbps & UL is 991 Kbps.  All other internet videos from youtube to full 
length TV shows seem to run fine, even when hooked up to my big screen w/HDMI 
cable.  I am running an HP laptop w/Windows Vista.
>
>Also, can we get rid of the ASICS ad on the right side of the screen?  Most of 
the time when I go to watch the free highlights, they will not load.  While 
discussing this with others on an internet ski forum, many are having the same 
issues.
>
>I am not a computer engineer, just a race coach & World Cup fan, so please keep 
it simple.
>
>Thanks
There's not much I can do remotely to speed up your computer or to further 
troubleshoot the experience you're having.  2.68Mbps is at the low end of speed 
for residential users but should be sufficient.  As a comparision, is there 
another computer that you could test with?  Perhaps one at work or a friend's / 
family member's (either off or on your home network)?  If your computer is a 
laptop, can you try on another network?  Just trying to isolate network vs. 
computer to help point you in the proper direction.

Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate the advertisement in full screen 
mode at this time.  We appreciate your feedback and will take your comments into 
consideration as we evaluate future changes and enhancements to our premium 
viewing experience.

Sincerely,
Universal Sports

 

JF

post #16 of 17

I take it back!

 

Sorry, but my issue has been remedied. Universal does provide the TV broadcasts with commentary.  They replied to my complaint and explained that the TV broadcasts are there.  I went back to that area in my account, the same area I had been to before several times, and a number of videos were now available for each race, including the complete TV broadcasts with commentary.

 

I guess it takes a few days before those things show up on your account.  Be aware of that.

 

The quality is very good for streamed online video.  They look nice full-screen, audio is good, and so on.

 

Now I feel bad for posting this negative report.  :-)

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post

I just checked, and I can get the playback with or without the ASICS ad, depending on how I click my way through the Universal Sports site.

 

If I click on the Alpine Skiing Viewer's Guide, and then click on "watch on demand" for an event, click "play now", I get a player that includes the ASICS ad, and fills up only half of my screen

 

If instead I go to the main page for skiing, click on "WATCH: World Cup Levi Men's Slalom", then click on one of the small squares above the player, I can get the exact same video, but without the ASICS ad and filling up the entire screen. 

 

Incidently, it doesnt seem to matter whether I log in or not.  Looks like Universal Sports is still working out some things.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like the archived videos will include the ad and have the small screen. The full screen version will probably disappear soon from the main skiing page.

 

Richr

 



If I click in to watch via the Box above the player in the "Watch:  World Cup Levi men's Slalom" route, I get a condensed player missing some features like fast forward or rewind.  All I can do is pause, stop, play and start over.

 

I was able to navigate in without the ad or a small player during the Soelden GS weekend.  Can't figure out why it won't work now.  I think USports is doing this.

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