Points of View


BILLY'S CONTRACT



In issue 193 of Monkey Business I made comment about the quality of Pools' streaming service. Has it improved since then?

Definitely, yes, but not by much. However that is a step in the right direction. Mind, after watching the FA Trophy match at the Shay, I'd say Pools have some stiff competition. At first I thought they were using the same provider as Pools.

Our next streaming broadcast was against Stockport and though not brilliant it was an improvement over previous efforts. Next came Halifax on Boxing Day at the Vic which I was really looking forward to. Turkey sarnies and a big mug of tea on the arm of the chair being the order of the day.

I had previously set my laptop up to the television in good time and when the picture appeared prior to kick off it looked far better than anything that had previously been served up by the provider. However minutes before the teams came out on to the pitch the whole thing went pear shaped as the picture froze, and for the best part of twenty minutes. In a moment of madness I tuned into the radio commentary on Radio Tees Cleveland Valleyside to listen to the match. It has got to be said that Eddie Kyle talks and awful lot of sense.

Billy's Contract Junior on the other hand went on-line and was reading out the comments which numerous disgruntled would-be viewers were putting on message boards. One Halifax fan, having the last laugh, said that if Pools fans thought their streaming service was poor, Hartlepool's is even worse. Other comments were too rude to print here.
"To the outsider it would appear that Pools have employed some sixth-form media studies student to have a go at putting a streaming service together as part of their course work."

Eventually a picture of a satisfactory quality was restored. I decided to watch the game with the sound turned down whilst listening to Eddie Kyle's commentary on Radio Clevelandside Tees. After a few minutes I had to turn Eddie off off as it wasn't in sync with Pools' streaming service, which was a minute or so behind what was happening on the radio.

With that I turned the streaming service sound back on the with the Pools commentator, as he does every home game, profusely apologising for the problems encountered during the broadcast and saying that it was the provider that was at fault and not Pools. The question which has to be asked is, if this provider is not cutting the mustard why have Pools not, like some other clubs, sourced their streaming service from an alternative supplier.

To the outsider it would appear that Pools have employed some sixth-form media studies student to have a go at putting a streaming service together as part of their course work. Either that or Pools have engaged the current provider because they were cheap.

It would be interesting to see how many Hartlepool United supporters have stopped using this streaming service thus ultimately costing the club much-needed revenue.

Instead of displaying crowd attendance figures it would be good to see how many fans 'streamed' each match. A bit of interest if nothing else.

I have just watched the Notts County match and the calibre of their streaming service was light years ahead of Pools' provider. Excellent picture quality. No freezing, jumping or blurring. Interviews with players and staff prior to kick off (as opposed to a camera focusing on the Cyril Knowles stand for quarter of an hour). More of the same at half time including half time scores around the grounds (as opposed to a camera focusing on the Cyril Knowles stand for quarter of an hour).

Notts County's streaming also provided the viewer with various different camera angles. A camera following the flow of play - and keeping up with it. Action replays were the order of the day.

Even the basics were covered such as having a clock showing how many minutes of game time had passed, and if a player was booked, subbed, sent off etc., his name would be shown at the bottom of the screen.

At first I baulked at paying the £12 which County were charging but in retrospect it was worth paying a bit more for a very professional and entertaining product and, unlike that provided by Pools and their current provider, it was, dare I say it, 'easy on the eye.'

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