Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WHT *Caveat Emptor Update*

Relegated to a Wildcat Hockey Tuesday posting this week.

Our 2008-2009 Men's Hockey Team put on two stunning periods of hockey against a seemingly overawed Holy Cross Crusader team last Thursday which seems like ages ago already. Despite the light crowd, some four thousand or so, the ice was incredibly tilted during the three score of minutes bouts that saw twelve goals scored in the student section end compared to just one puck finding the back of the net in the other. Maybe they were all sitting at the same end? Whatever the cause, I would be hard-pressed to believe that such a lop-sided affair has taken place more than a handful of times in a hockey game. I got to watch (almost) the whole thing on UNHWildcats.TV which I'll get to in a minute.

Notice I said two stunning periods? Well, that other period, not so much unless you were a Crusader fan. Holy Cross scored once with seven seconds to play in the first (the lone goal on that end of the ice) which came on a powerplay with the Wildcats under duress on a James van Riemsdyk tripping call. Then, beginning at ten-twenty of the second period, the visitors would score three more in the span of three minutes and fifteen seconds to tie the game at four while the Wildcats would go scoreless in middle stanza. Umile, having seen enough, sat a lackadaisical Brian Foster, which seemed like a bucket of ice water to the face for the napping 'Cats.

It would take just fifteen seconds for our 'Cats to strike in the third period with a nice hustling play by van Riemsdyk who curled around the back of the net allowing him to feed an open, streaking Sislo for the game-winner. But Sislo wasn't done. He would bury two more for a four goal game, a feat not accomplished by a Wildcat in years. Matt DiGirolamo earned his first victory in the Blue and White in the relief effort. Overall, a nice conclusion to the 2008 part of the season - hello 2009!


Now, my review of UNHWildcats.TV.

Overall I have mixed feelings toward the product. For the most part the video and sound were very good and deliver a pleasing experience, at least to a technologically challenged US crowd seeing that many countries have cable-quality full screen capability for less than what we pay for our bottle-necked services here. The main issues were video pixelation/blurring and sound screeches. The problems seemed to become exacerbated as the production went on until it was difficult if not impossible to make out anything towards the conclusion of the game. I do not know if this was caused on my end or theirs but I have heard similar reports from others having the same experience. Will I use the service again? Occasionally at best - it's just not worth it to me. Personally I would rather donate $200 a year to get the NHPTV Broadcasts back - ideally in HD! In the end my recommendation can only be caveat emptor.

*UPDATE* My caveat remains, however, I have now had two subsequent viewings which were far better and lacked serious issues, though there is a bit of ringing to the audio and there was one 30 second cutout in service, again with fault unknown. This is based upon my experience with an intermediate cable broadband internet package and base-g wireless home network.

Up tomorrow, our Wednesday Wildcat Alumni Weekly. Through the break: continuing coverage of 'Cats in the Pros and updates on our Future 'Cats. As well as extensive coverage of the IIHF 2009 World Junior Championships which will feature James van Riemsdyk and Blake Kessel.

Happy Holidays Nation!

Go 'Cats!


Blogger Jerome said...

wildcats.tv is an embarrassment. What options do we have? What options do the program have?

Dec 16, 2008, 5:19:00 PM  

Well, our broadband infrastructure is the real embarrassment.

But we have few options currently. I never bothered to view an NHPTV Webcast - but I suspect they had similar problems.

I wish people were more vocal with their opinion of UNHWildcats.tv. That is the first step. Though I'm sure that it has not been productive. I don't know enough about the other teams' webcasts but would love to hear from anyone who has experienced them.

I think an HD broadcast is the way to go in combination with a more robust NESN contract with Hockey East. If all the leagues could work out such contracts we could probably get decent coverage. Maybe the NHL Network will partner with the NCAA.

There are options but the money and the voice of the people has to be there - and it just isn't.

Dec 16, 2008, 5:30:00 PM  

What I really don't understand is why we can't get HD video of the game - or at least highlights - on YouTube.

Dec 16, 2008, 5:33:00 PM  

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