Monday, February 22, 2010

sweeping into the house

The two biggest complaints about the Olympic telecasts this past weekend were that many of the events were tape-delayed and that the USA vs. Canada hockey game, while live, was not in high-definition. Of the two, I think the non-HD offense is worse. There is no excuse for NBC to have relegated the popular match-up to a standard-def channel.

Admittedly, I am an HD snob. I filter my on-screen guide to list only the HD channels. As a result, I didn't even know the hockey game was on until I saw the complaints on Twitter about the SD broadcast. Today I watched all eight goals in eight minutes, in HD and found I enjoyed it. Sure it was delayed but I didn't mind. It was similar to NFL Replay, but faster.

The HD highlights were only a couple of button pushes away via the On Demand menu on my Comcast Digital Cable. Quick disclaimer: I pay for Comcast service but I get it at the employee rate because ten months ago I started doing testimonial spots for them on the radio.

The only curling I've seen is On Demand. When a bonspiel is boiled down to a minute, the sport actually makes sense to me.They seem to get points for wearing outrageous pants while putting their rock in the circle and hitting the other team's rock out of the circle. Does it deserve to be an Olympic sport? I don't know. It looks like an amusing backyard game, along the lines of croquet or bocce.

I have tried watching NBC's prime time Olympic coverage and have lost interest almost every night. The On Demand choices give me enough to satisfy my curiosity about events such as ski cross and also the opportunity to go back and see the events that people are talking about, such as the hockey game and last night's ice dancing. I like some of the short clip packages too. I just watched a one-minute collection of snowboard crashes.

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Blogger Brian said...

Frank, if you have Comcast, you should have gotten the hockey in HD. MSNBC and CNBC are both in HD on Camcast in Knoxville. MSNBC is in the 390s, watched the USA-Canada game there.

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Hi Brian,

I do have Comcast but I admit that I have probably never watched MSNBC or CNBC. Almost everything I watch has been recorded on my DVR or is on the On Demand menu.

I saw a lot of complaints about the hockey game on Facebook and Twitter but I didn't think to ask those people what cable service they have.

Thanks for commenting!!

Blogger Brian said...

MSNBC-HD was added quietly the week before the Olympics. Unlike most Comcast markets, we don't get messages telling us when new channels are coming, they just appear. We've had CNBC for awhile. They're only really needed for Olympic coverage, that's pretty much the only time I watch either. I don't need to see Keith Olberman in HD.

Comcast actually launched MSNBC-HD in something like 70% of their markets in time for the Olympics. It must have been really easy, since they of course own it now.

I use my DVR frequently, but I've only ever used OnDemand once. Does that make me odd?

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

It took me a while to get used to the On Demand menu. When my kids were here over Christmas, we watched an entire season of "Dexter" via On Demand and I got hooked on the technology. I have only seen "Cake Boss" via On Demand. Lately I've been watching "Archer" that way, although some of the episodes I could only get online, so I used


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