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I know this has been discussed previously, but I find the video quality on the AFL website to be totally unacceptable. I don't have problems with feeds from other sites and I cannot understand why there has been such a marked deterioration in the video quality over the last two years. I'm awaiting a new DirectTv install for Setanta but I feel that is only a partial remedy.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I may improve this?

Posted by admincms on April 10, 2007

I concur that the quality is very disappointing and pretty much inexcusable.  The only explanation I can think of, assuming this is not deliberate degradation of the product, is a severe lack of server resources to support the video feeds.  AFANA has forwarded a number of fan complaints to the AFL and Telstra so I have to assume they are aware of the situation.   How to improve it?  Other than use the highest bandwidth connection available to you on your end and complaining regularly to Telstra and the AFL I am at a loss to say what you can really do about it. 

You'll not find the same problem with the DirecTV feed since Setanta gets the video fed to them directly from the source network by fiber optic cable.   In any case, what you get by way of Setanta will not have any effect on  the quality of the AFL web site.
Posted by Tols on May 18, 2007

Is anyone else still experiencing problems watching the replays from afl.com.au? I've been a member there for 3 yrs now, and this is the first year that I've found it to be really bad. Can download match replays, but the the streaming vid quickly gets sc**wed up, slows, tries to reload, or just plain stops altogether. I don't have probs streaming vid material from other sites such as YouTube etc, so I reckon its an AFL.com.au or Telstra BigPond problem.

Anyway, since I'm bored on a Friday night I just spent 2 hours on the phone negotiating Telstra (that sure was fun), I finally found someone who knew what I was talking about and managed to connect me with the very well hidden department that handles AFL.com.au technical support. Note that there is no known way to reach this department unless you are reading this blog! So I thought it just might be helpful to other folks out there like me who are having problems with the alf.com.au match replays.

OK - here is the phone number, and there is a very helpful bloke there named James. From USA, call Australia, 011-612-9242-0275 then option 4, then option 2. I hope this continues to work and helps a few people here in the USA. Also James tells me that they will accept reverse charges calls though I didnt try this myself. But it seems then that you can call them for free from USA to get tech support. Which is pretty good.

Now as for the several suggested solutions that James proposed:

1. Open Windows Media, click on Options, and unclick the box UDP. Buggered if I know what this does, but James the man says do it.

2. Uninstall Flash (from Add/Remove Programs). Then go to Macromedia and download it again and reinstall it.

3. Ensure that Java is all up to date, since the vid feed relies on this

4. Deactivate any firewalls you have in place (just whilst you are watching the game... remember to reactivate them afterwards)

5. James also reckons that the afl.com.au website has been designed for Internet Explorer v6. So if you have IE7 it might not work properly... in which case it, might be worth removing it and then load up IE6 on your computer instead

Try the above steps and if those don't help to improve the quality then give James at Telstra a call at the number above. And if you get any additional good tech suggestions or feedback then please post it here!

Also, since I'm an honest bloke, I told James at Telstra that over here in the USA folks are currently able to access the AFL content and match downloads free of charge at the moment. He seemed surprised and hopefully he does something about it... as my thinking  is I'd rather pay a few dollars for it and then get a good quality service. If everyone is freeloading, then that stuffs things up. So hopefully they'll sort this out... sorry if you've been freeloading but I reckon that I'd like to see this match replay service be further improved and that will only happen if Telstra makes money from it.

Good luck, and go Hawks

Cheers, Tols

Posted by Swans500 on May 18, 2007

I paid my BigPond subscription last year but the vid quality was bad then. Havent tried it this year as I find that paying ITVN/Setanta far superior value, that being 2 live games and one delay per week so far.
What REALLY ticks me off about the AFL site is the radio coverage.
2 seasons ago it was still possible, outside of Australia, to access direct any radio station covering footy. I loved tuning in to 6PR for instance, between games to hear the talkback/panel shows etc. NOW....AFL.com turns on their switch with moments to spare before each game, and disconnects not all that long after the conclusion. Meanwhile....in between games, even if it involves hours, I cannot get access to ANY footy/talk station even though it is between games or an hour AFTER. Added to this, being a Swans fan, I used to choose the the TripleMMM Sydney coverage. This year that avenue has been denied and I am FORCED to listen via "enemy" stations...LOL!  Or I may want to listen to the Eagles via 6PR but only 3AW is provided. While this may not affect fans IN Australia as they can tune free to air....I think it is p**s-weak treatment of oversea supporters.

Dennis James,
Pittsburgh,PA.
Posted by jackn2mpu on May 28, 2007

Agreed, the match video quality is the pits. Was on dial-up for the longest time and finally went to DSL (Verizon 3 mbs, not the low speed 768k). Figured the quality would go up. It didn't. Oh yeah, in this mix I also changed over to a Mac Powerbook for my web surfing and Photoshop work. Can't for all that I've tried to get the matches to play on the Mac.  Use Apple's Safari and when the BigPond player comes up a message shows where one would expect the video to play that the selection I made is not available. Try Firefox and get a separate error message box saying something like " cannot play file; check length........". Opera? I get neither of those; in fact, I get nothing - just the BigPond player window with most areas having nothing in them but background graphics/colors. And Microsnot does not have a Mac version of Internet Exploder.

Thankfully I can still get the video on my old Toshiba laptop but having to run an anti-virus program at the same time screws-up the video quality more than it already is.

Why oh why did I ever renew my BigPond membership? I'd let it lapse for a couple of years and figured with the dsl things would go swimmingly. As the old Broadway tune says: "'Tain't necessarily so!"
Jack
Posted by admincms on May 28, 2007

Jack,

Have you checked these links:

http://www.afana.com/drupal/node/408#comment-238

http://www.afana.com/drupal/aflradio#comment-237

I'd also note that we covered this in one of our TV and Media newsletters...  apparently there is a work around for Mac users.  Even works for some non-Macs.
Posted by jackn2mpu on May 28, 2007

Jack,

Have you checked these links:

http://www.afana.com/drupal/node/408#comment-238

http://www.afana.com/drupal/aflradio#comment-237

I'd also note that we covered this in one of our TV and Media newsletters...  apparently there is a work around for Mac users.  Even works for some non-Macs.


Yep, checked those out, and they are ONLY for audio, not video. There has been nothing here about video and Macs, at least nothing I can find. Oh well, it doesn't  matter, because the AFL site is down as of right now. I can get the match audio no problem without using VLC on my Mac. I have the Mac version of the Windoze media player. I even tried using Opera and having it identify itself as IE, but no soap.
Jack

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