The NCAA Finals: Joost About Perfect
Brian Dipert - April 9, 2008
Was that a great game Monday night, or what? I was on retreat this past weekend so didn’t get a chance to catch Saturday’s NCAA Final Four matchups, as follow-up to my recently documented Joost experiences. But particularly given that several of my former co-workers at Intel were Kansas alumni, therefore rabid Jayhawks fans (as if there’s any other kind…), and had slightly infected me with their disease, I wanted to make sure I watched the Finals.
My Joost Live Test experience this time around was much improved compared to last time, although I hadn’t done anything different on my end; same Joost client revision, same laptop and location, same 802.11g tether to my router, etc. For some unknown reason, I was able to stretch the Joost playback window to dimensions of 1600×1200 pixels (i.e. to the maximum vertical resolution of my Hanns.G LCD). However, horizontally stretching it beyond that point would still blank out video playback, and full-screen mode would still freeze the GUI.
Now that I was viewing a much larger representation of the game image, I need to correct something I said last time:
I eventually figured out that if I switched from the ‘high quality’ to ’standard’ stream, the crashes completely went away. Frankly, I didn’t discern much of a quality difference between the two streams, anyway…
Actually, at high playback resolutions there’s quite a noticeable difference, and as such I tolerated occasional Joost client crashes (and even more regular brief playback pauses) in exchange for more detailed images.
By my count, the Joost client crashed twice in the first half, once at halftime, twice in the second half/overtime combo, and once during the post-game festivities, much less often than in my previous Live TV ‘high quality’ experience. Fortunately, none of the forced relaunches happened during critical moments of the game, and in fact most of them luckily manifested during commercials
I got no ‘temporary loss of signal’ screens in the first half, and only a handful in the second half/overtime combo. As before, after a few-second delay the video stream would automatically resurrect. All in all, I’m quite impressed with this Joost experiment. Will it scale to more simultaneous content ‘channels’ from a technical standpoint, and what compelling content license deals will Joost be able to secure? Time will tell…