Lost TV Satellite Signal, Couldn't watch Rudy Giuliani or Sarah Palin, Streaming TV to the rescue!

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Tom Keating
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Lost TV Satellite Signal, Couldn't watch Rudy Giuliani or Sarah Palin, Streaming TV to the rescue!

sarah-palin.jpgI was watching the Republican National Convention (RNC) speeches last night, toggling between CNN and FOX News, when a major rain storm hit Connecticut causing a lengthly loss of satellite signal. It was the middle of Rudy Giuliani's hard-hitting speech when I lost all of my TV channels. I have to get my nightly politics "fix" or I'm a grumpy blogger in the morning.

The highly-anticipated speech from Governor Sarah Palin was still to come and it looked like I wasn't going to be able to watch it live. Sometimes CNN offers live streaming coverage, so I headed over to CNN.com and sure enough they were offering a live streaming video feed. But alas, it didn't work. Only the audio worked and I got a green box for the video feed. Perhaps their web servers were overloaded by others doing the same thing I was? There was a lot of media 'buzz' surrounding last night's convention speeches, in particular Palin, so I'm sure lots of Internet users were watching via their PCs.

Next, I headed over to FOXNews.com but couldn't find the live feed link. Then I remembered I recently installed TVUPlayer from TVU Networks, a P2P TV channel streaming application and I recalled that FOX News was one of the channels it supported. I fired up TVUPlayer, and clicked on FOX News. It gave me a warning that the channel was experiencing technical difficulties, and prompted 'are you sure you want to continue". This was an error I had never seen before. I clicked continue and it started to stream, but it was very choppy. CNN's video streaming is screwed up, FOX News video streaming is choppy what's going on here? I have to wonder if CNN & FOX News experienced a higher streaming demand last night. Whether it was pro-Palin supporters or simply people curious to check out Palin, something was going on last night. I've never had streaming issues from two major websites simultaneously.

Anyway, I gave up on FOXNews.com and went to the channel list in TVUPlayer to look for another news channel. Interestingly, only FOX News and a local ABC News channel was listed in the channel line-up. No MSNBC or CNN or Headline News. Cable news networks that don't permit live streaming are missing out on a huge audience and shooting themselves in the foot if you ask me. You can sell commercials/ads in live streaming feeds or simply use the same TV commercials. Regardless, you can monetize and more easily track the number of Internet users streaming your video feed than using the antiquated Nielsen Ratings system, which is based on "sampling" data.

Anyway, then I saw C-SPAN and C-SPAN-2 in the channel line-up. Nobody watches C-SPAN, so surely their servers will have plenty of bandwidth available! I launched C-SPAN and the video quality was superb. I was able to catch the second half of Rudy's speech and the beginning of Sara Palin's speech live on my computer. Phew! Gotta love the Internet! After about 30 minutes, the storm died down and I got my live TV satellite signal back and I switched back to my TV.

I suppose I could have watched the speeches on Youtube when they get posted, but it's just not the same thing as watching an event live. I for one cannot wait for the day when I can stream live any TV channel over the Internet. I might even be willing to pay a few cents for the privilege.

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