Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

I Wish I Really Could Watch TV Anywhere

Last night I ended up at the bar of a mass production restaurant in Broomfield, CO eating unhealthy food of marginal quality while drinking club soda with some of the saddest looking pieces of lime I have seen in a while. No, I’m not a down-on-my-luck recovering addict, just a guy who really wanted to watch the Boston Bruins play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2011 NHL Eastern Conference Finals.

Unfortunately, my hotel room here does not carry Versus. Nor did the hotel bar. From my experience as a hockey fan, that’s pretty common.

Naturally, as a tech guy, I thought I would simply fire up my laptop and watch the game using my Slingbox to watch my TV back home in New Hampshire. Alas, either because of typical poor quality hotel room Internet access or perhaps more likely because I’m in a hotel with a bunch of other geeks who tax broadband more than your average business traveler, the connection was so bad that it would be less painful to call my wife and ask her to set the phone next to the TV so I could listen to the game that way.

Needless to say, listening to the game over the phone wasn’t really an option.

So I asked around at the hotel and was referred to a nearby local establishment that might have the game. And they did. In fact, it seemed like a good place to go to catch pretty much any sports action as the place was full of flat screen TV’s showing basketball, baseball, and hockey. Of course, it also had some poor guy playing a guitar while using his voice to butcher the singing of a wide range of country, folk, alternative, and rock music.

But that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to choose where to watch the game on TV. It requires greater consistency from a wide range of providers and can’t be fixed easily by just one player in the ecosystem.

And we’re not there yet. Hopefully we will be soon.

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  1. Obviously initiatives like ‘TV Everywhere’ are designed to help solve some of these problems, but they would need to be multi-platform and work over mobile (3G) and traditional IP networks.  The rights to stream content (both ads and the real content) over any and all networks are not easy to line up.  Then there’s the cost.  Many think portability should be a value add… or better yet… many think they can get customers to pay for this access.  The question is… how much would you have paid to be able to watch the Bruins game over a mobile connection?

    1. I would happily pay to watch the Bruins or other sports of choice over a mobile connection if I was assured of good streaming quality.

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