Field Theory by Hadyn Green


iSky and I

And so we sat, on the couch, her with her iPad and headphones playing a snail racing game; me with my laptop shouting at the heavily pixelated image of men chasing a ball. Both under numerous blankets to keep out the cold.

I hadn’t planned on this. I had various options ready to go, so that I could watch the game through my TV. I mean, this is how I watch baseball from the other side of the world.

Early in the evening I asked if anyone could refer me to any websites that might be showing the rugby in a less than legal manner. Forgetting that I had (totally legit) access to iSky. However, iSky was its usual shitty self. By which I mean that when I went to watch the online paid television service, all I could see was a twirling arrow that promised a video would be on screen shortly, but which never came.

After two minutes of swearing I decided to check out some of the sites that had been suggested. Only one had the game on, but it was a decent feed and I was up and running in seconds. I sent a “fuck you” tweet to Sky and that was that.

… or was it? Well yes, actually.

The two “glitches” were the, now infamous, “Ad heard around New Zealand” and when the dodgy feed I was watching abruptly ended ten minutes before the end of the test. Thankfully I still had the iSky window open and even more thankfully, it was actually working. I have a feeling that iSky stops working when more than a few people are using it, so when everyone gave up on it, then it came back to life. iSky is the channel that only works when you don’t look at it.

The one thing I didn’t try was Igloo. A month or so ago I got an Igloo box. This was a work-related thing, but I thought that I’d use it to access the Front Row pay-per-view sports channel, maybe watch a bit of rugby and wrestling. Nope. The offerings were just a couple of Warriors games and UFC fights. I wish I had remembered to check again because the service is a bit better. Though the question remains as to why I would pay $15 for a single game of rugby ($15 for the Lions Tour games makes more sense than for a Super Rugby game) and why I can’t buy full seasons.

Right now I subscribe to MLB TV and NFL Game Pass (waiting to see if it will be free again this year). Both of these offer me live HD games, plus on demand HD games from the entire season. No need to record or muck about. It does cost a lot of money though for two sports, but the convenience is amazing. Especially with an Apple TV app (which is what the EPL pass wants to offer).

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