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Watching the World Cup. A back door into the Fox Cave

By johnboy 12 September 2011 22

xbox

Last week we became alarmed by Nine’s abysmal coverage of the Rugby World Cup. The ABC’s Drum site has gone so far as to compare Nine’s behaviour to the phone hacking scandal in terms of the scope of the outrage.

By Saturday I became convinced something special was taking place and I was missing out.

But what to do? Spend the next month in the pub (expensive and bad for my health? Try and get Foxtel installed at this late date and then be locked into a long term contract?

Che informed me of an alternative.

If one has an xbox, and and xbox live gold account, and a fast internet connection one can take on a no obligation, low cost foxtel contract, bump in the sports package and get dedicated 24/7 world cup coverage.

So with the conclusion of the Australia/Italy game I headed into the Canberra Centre to get an xbox. (I had been thinking of getting a current console for some time).

EB wanted to sell me an xbox next week when they had better stock in store.

In JB Hifi the staff were too busy being cool to explain the packages to me.

In Dick Smith there appeared to be no staff at all aside from a cute girl standing by the door smiling at the customers entering and leaving without purchase having been unable to get service.

Finally the “Game” store next to Aldi had staff who actually wanted to sell me stuff.

They did a good job too and by the time I had the xbox, a copy of “Space Marine” (brutally murder scum with lower class accents to boost your health!), a controller charger, and a bonus game to go with the kinect camera thingie I was lighter by $650 that other stores apparently had no desire for.

Getting it all back home I discovered the one thing they hadn’t sold me was the HDMI cable needed to connect an xbox to my housemates’ new TV.

Approaching store closing time I raced back into Civic and procured the cable for the best part of $40.

Getting home I entered a twilight land of logins, credit card details, and account setup.

If you don’t have a hotmail account then you’ll need to get one (over a decade after I abandoned my old one when Microsoft bought them out), this has to be done on a computer.

In fact throughout the process I was flipping between tablet and xbox. You will need a computer you can operate in front of the blighter.

There were setbacks and reverses. It is not a simple process. (if you already have an xbox and a live gold account set up already it will be much simpler).

But then it all clicked! There was the USA scoring their solo try against Ireland live!

(The foxtel with sport worked out around the $30 mark)

Frankly to watch Morne Steyn be transformed into a speed bump by Jamie Roberts (South Africa v. Wales) last night was totally worth all the time and money.

The picture looks like good TV, the buffering carried it through the obligatory ADSL dropout.

And now I don’t need to miss a game.

Plus I can now hack orcs into little bleeding, writhing, screaming pieces on Space Marine and also feel more invested in Zero Punctuation webisodes.

The plan is to turn off the foxtel subscription once the cup is over and then fire it up again next year when the Brumbies’ season kicks off.

Well done Nine, you’ve driven me into pay tv land. Bad luck WIN, no ads for you.


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22 Responses to
Watching the World Cup. A back door into the Fox Cave
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Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 10:58 pm 13 Sep 11

The Antichrist said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Little_Green_Bag said :

…It’s all very puzzling when you consider that the owners of Foxtel also partly own – or have heavy financial involvement with – the rugby codes. 25% Foxtel owner News Ltd owns 50% of the NRL and has involvement with the Super 15, 25% Foxtel owner Channel Nine has multi-million dollar contracts with the NRL and ARU for TV rights, and 50% Foxtel owner Telstra has a million dollar sponsorship of the NRL competition and naming rights. Yet the AFL is given their own dedicated channel.

Something isn’t right here.

Agreed. If they lessened the coverage of the rugby codes, they could probably run two AFL channels.

+1. It may have something to do with the national popularity of the aussie game. 🙂

Exactly.

The AFL’s crowd figures and metropolitan TV ratings dwarf the other codes.

As for broadcasting in proper HD? None of the networks do or can when filmed and ingested using standard definition technology.

Deckard 7:14 pm 13 Sep 11

dvaey said :

But thats okay, because now youre paying for Foxtel and they still get to show you the ads non-stop.

No ads during play at all on Fox sports.

Something I’m more than happy to pay for…

The Antichrist 5:45 pm 13 Sep 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Little_Green_Bag said :

…It’s all very puzzling when you consider that the owners of Foxtel also partly own – or have heavy financial involvement with – the rugby codes. 25% Foxtel owner News Ltd owns 50% of the NRL and has involvement with the Super 15, 25% Foxtel owner Channel Nine has multi-million dollar contracts with the NRL and ARU for TV rights, and 50% Foxtel owner Telstra has a million dollar sponsorship of the NRL competition and naming rights. Yet the AFL is given their own dedicated channel.

Something isn’t right here.

Agreed. If they lessened the coverage of the rugby codes, they could probably run two AFL channels.

+1. It may have something to do with the national popularity of the aussie game. 🙂

watto23 4:31 pm 13 Sep 11

dvaey said :

But thats okay, because now youre paying for Foxtel and they still get to show you the ads non-stop.

People say that all the time to me, but the sports channels are pretty damn good for ad breaks. None of this delayed coverage so we can fit more ads in and generally a half of football has no ads in it at all.

Most of the ads on foxsprts are for other sports events, ie self promotion.

Still if people were given the option of more ads or pay more, I bet many would be happy to have a few more ads.

My gripe is how they do the packaging to get money out of me, for things I don’t want, but have little choice in deciding as I want a few channels, but have to buy packages to see them. OK i do have a choice i could easily not have them.

allyroger 11:18 am 13 Sep 11

mp2615 said :

Very interesting thread. I feel very acronymically challenged. @#4 and apologies if off post – Is the 576i why win breaks up all the time ? The new Grundig has line of sight to the telstrayama but we end up watching nrl on atv because dtv breaks up all the time. The other channels seem fine.

DTV needs a better quality signal otherwise it breaks up. ATV just goes fuzzy. You need a better antenna on your roof.

dvaey 8:43 am 13 Sep 11

“Approaching store closing time I raced back into Civic and procured the cable for the best part of $40”

A bit late now, but for future reference, both coles and woolworths sell HDMI cables for about $15-$20, and most stores are open until midnight. I picked up a full kit with HDMI, S-VIDEO, AV and RF cables, from Aldi for $20 the other day when I was put off by the $40 pricetag of the HDMI cable in DSE.

“Well done Nine, you’ve driven me into pay tv land. Bad luck WIN, no ads for you.”

But thats okay, because now youre paying for Foxtel and they still get to show you the ads non-stop.

mp2615 8:05 am 13 Sep 11

Very interesting thread. I feel very acronymically challenged. @#4 and apologies if off post – Is the 576i why win breaks up all the time ? The new Grundig has line of sight to the telstrayama but we end up watching nrl on atv because dtv breaks up all the time. The other channels seem fine.

allyroger 9:32 pm 12 Sep 11

AG Canberra said :

And when WIN actually show a game it is in dodgy 576i resolution. When oh when will WIN actually step up and start broadcasting in proper HD?

The picture on Foxtel HD on a newish LCD is truly astounding!

When they broadcast in HD it is pretty good, unfortunately a lot of it on fox sports is upscaled SD. ESPN HD looks great but I know a lot of you won’t like US sport. The sound however is atrocious – still 2.0. In fact only nat geo HD and Discovery and a few movie channels are broadcasting in 5.1. Honestly we should be expecting more in this day and age. The FTA channels are a complete joke – no wonder everyone is downloading “their” content commercial free, in HD and with surround sound in about 1 hour.

Fender 7:23 pm 12 Sep 11

Anybody know if this will work on a banned console? I did call Foxtel and posed the question but as usual they are as helpful as an ashtray on a motorbike. The console I speak of was caught when MS did the mass ban wave abt 2 yrs ago.

videodrome 5:36 pm 12 Sep 11

Little_Green_Bag said :


Agreed. If they lessened the coverage of the rugby codes, they could probably run two AFL channels.

They are. There is already an AFL and NRL channel.
Big Pond Sports only ever plays AFL.
There is even a frickin’ V8 channel playing endless repeats of guys hooning around months ago.
All that wasted bandwith!
Bring on the NBN and some decent competition in the digital space.

krash 5:32 pm 12 Sep 11

AG Canberra said :

And when WIN actually show a game it is in dodgy 576i resolution. When oh when will WIN actually step up and start broadcasting in proper HD?

The picture on Foxtel HD on a newish LCD is truly astounding!

I’m a huge fan of the Foxtel HD channels. Foxsports HD, ESPN 1 and 2 HD, BBC Knowledge and the Nat Geo HD channels.

But as far as watching any sport on free to air, I try my best to avoid it. I’m a fan of watching the real football (soccer) and when Channel 7 had the rights to the Socceroo games it was practically unbearable watching it with commercials showing every time the ball went out for a throw in. During the FIFA World Cup last year, English fans missed a goal that England scored, because there was a commercial on at the time.

@ Institute –

If you have Bigpond, the foxtel content is unmetered. You are right in saying that people who get this stuff need to be cautious about the bandwidth usage though.

The minimum bandwidth required for the stream is 1.5 Mbit/s which is 187.5 KBytes/s (8 bits in a Byte), so that’s about 675MB Per Hour, so your friend was pretty close.

Holden Caulfield 5:12 pm 12 Sep 11

Little_Green_Bag said :

…Not only that, they will soon be starting up a dedicated AFL channel to run 24 hours a day 365 days a year! So while rugby and rugby league fans have to put up with games being squeezed out for cricket, tennis and tournament tiddlywinks, the aerial ping-pong brigade can spend the dog days of summer ignoring the saturation coverage of Michael Clarke and company and watch classic AFL games all summer long.

It’s all very puzzling when you consider that the owners of Foxtel also partly own – or have heavy financial involvement with – the rugby codes. 25% Foxtel owner News Ltd owns 50% of the NRL and has involvement with the Super 15, 25% Foxtel owner Channel Nine has multi-million dollar contracts with the NRL and ARU for TV rights, and 50% Foxtel owner Telstra has a million dollar sponsorship of the NRL competition and naming rights. Yet the AFL is given their own dedicated channel.

Something isn’t right here.

Agreed. If they lessened the coverage of the rugby codes, they could probably run two AFL channels.

watto23 3:23 pm 12 Sep 11

Its annoying and apparently the real reason is Nine would get more for advertising during a delayed WC game, tha n it would for a live game on a digital channel… Surely this will change when everyone has to be on digital only….

Still i’ve had foxtel for years, but I watch many sports, in fact there is too much to watch. Last weekend I had too much Rugby WC and also college american football which i also like.

I hate paying Foxtel for sport, but at least they put it on live and show everything.

Probably would have been better if Ten/One got the rugby WC. At least they’d have put live sport on One even though its not just for sport these days.

Little_Green_Bag 3:16 pm 12 Sep 11

videodrome said :

I’ve been on this sweet deal since last year and was delighted to see a dedicated RWC channel. Due to living in an apartment complex full of stingy investors its the only way to get Foxtel after doing without for years. Be careful with the Super 15 tho. They only have 1 sports channel online and try and cram everything on there. It just doesn’t fit. Last season they were showing India vs England in the cricket instead of the Brumbies! Why they can’t deliver every channel online is beyond me. I asked but given that its half owned by Telstra customer service probably wasnt their first consideration.

Not only that, they will soon be starting up a dedicated AFL channel to run 24 hours a day 365 days a year! So while rugby and rugby league fans have to put up with games being squeezed out for cricket, tennis and tournament tiddlywinks, the aerial ping-pong brigade can spend the dog days of summer ignoring the saturation coverage of Michael Clarke and company and watch classic AFL games all summer long.

It’s all very puzzling when you consider that the owners of Foxtel also partly own – or have heavy financial involvement with – the rugby codes. 25% Foxtel owner News Ltd owns 50% of the NRL and has involvement with the Super 15, 25% Foxtel owner Channel Nine has multi-million dollar contracts with the NRL and ARU for TV rights, and 50% Foxtel owner Telstra has a million dollar sponsorship of the NRL competition and naming rights. Yet the AFL is given their own dedicated channel.

Something isn’t right here.

videodrome 2:28 pm 12 Sep 11

I’ve been on this sweet deal since last year and was delighted to see a dedicated RWC channel. Due to living in an apartment complex full of stingy investors its the only way to get Foxtel after doing without for years. Be careful with the Super 15 tho. They only have 1 sports channel online and try and cram everything on there. It just doesn’t fit. Last season they were showing India vs England in the cricket instead of the Brumbies! Why they can’t deliver every channel online is beyond me. I asked but given that its half owned by Telstra customer service probably wasnt their first consideration.

Oldmate 1:30 pm 12 Sep 11

Spot on Institute. Anything less than an unlimited plan will be severely impacted. That’s for the top resolution, and there are two tiers below that, but who wants to watch it in anything but hi-def glory. Apart from the drain on your monthly package, the rest is spot on. No dramas when it came time to bail…nice and easy.

Go you Wallabies.

johnboy 1:25 pm 12 Sep 11

Also the only decent fixtures list seems to be here:

http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/home/fixtures/poolstage.html

The calendar import files are particularly awesome.

Rollersk8r 1:18 pm 12 Sep 11

Be careful – I did the free xbox trial and still got charged.

I ticked all the boxes, which would have been $76 per month. It only confirmed what I already knew – that it’s poor value compared to the full HD subscription (especially when you’re supplying the box and the internet). So cancelled the free trial after little more than a week, yet the $76 appeared on my credit card after 30 days. Couple of phone calls to sort that out…

…and subscribed to the full deal anyway.

Held out on getting Fox for a number of years but have not looked back. The HD coverage is well worth the money. And Olympics next year, plus 9 live HD AFL matches a week, etc, etc…

AG Canberra 11:56 am 12 Sep 11

And when WIN actually show a game it is in dodgy 576i resolution. When oh when will WIN actually step up and start broadcasting in proper HD?

The picture on Foxtel HD on a newish LCD is truly astounding!

Institute 11:47 am 12 Sep 11

A mate of mine tells me that it the download usage for FOX over xbox live is in the order of 700Mb per hour. Worth noting depending on your internet plan.

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