Info for Your Squashgame

PSA live - rubbish? not anymore!

Published: 19 Nov 2006 - 01:22 by nickhitter

Updated: 12 Mar 2009 - 07:12

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Does anyone else think that the quality of matches on PSA live is absolutely god awful?  They describe their 'High res+' 'as excellent quality' but I just downloaded US open final between gaultier and shabana and the frame rate is terribly low causing it to look really jerky, and there is loads of 'shearing' when the camera moves fast. Furthermore they obviously have no clue how to produce audio as there is no compression on the vocal mics causeing loads of distortion, one commentator is too loud, the other you can hardly hear! hardly 'excellent quality' also why they have to be in stupid RealPlayer format which means you can't just play it on windows media player and convert it to DVD easily is beyond me. what's wrong with an avi file? I'd hate to see what 'low res' looks/sounds like!

I know it's only 3 quid a match and you can't expect much but if they spent as much time engineering sound and video as they did collecting stats for nerds then it would be a lot better! I think I'll be paying for the Squashlive.com productions in future.....

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From hothead - 12 Mar 2009 - 07:12

rippa rit- i believe squash can become a specatator sport given the chance. it would take time and i agree it is a catch 22 situation but still the first thing is that squash should be shown free on tv.

now a days players like ashour, wilstrop , shabana etc are playing very exciting squash and if shown on tv they will capture the imagination of kids with their magical play.

in the mean time squash matches should be distributed freely on the net. and I think squash equipment manufacturing companies like prince, dunlop, wilson, head etc could provide sponsorship money for this purpose.

also can you believe that at my club where may be we are about 20-30 players, only 2-3 players have watched squash on video. they are playing squash but they have not watched any of the top players play squash ever.

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From rippa rit - 27 Nov 2008 - 06:37   -   Updated: 27 Nov 2008 - 06:41

hothead - squash being broadcast on tv has been a forever problem.  All sports tv in this country rely on sponsors, and we see the tennis with heaps of sponsor ads coming over the screen, and it is a popular tv viewing sport.  The cost of paying for a tv broadcast is expensive too.  Our camera technology has held us back when the sport in this country was bursting at the seams.  Viewers could not see the ball, it was hard to follow the rallies as it happens so fast.  Technology has improved a lot now and it is time to have another go, meantime the sport is struggling to put up money.  It is a catch 22.

I think we could get tv on the screen if the sport is able to pay, even an ad with a good rally would be worth a go....it has always been said squash is not a spectator sport but a participant sport, and I have to agree with that - yes, we still need advertising and promotion just the same. Hey, we have plenty of good features to skite about, eg weight control, fitness, lungs, reflex, active, circulation, all weather, sun safe, time effective, etc..

The pro players flock to where the prize money is the highest, and without a top field of players the sponsors are hard to sway.  Major sponsors are not interested unless their brand name makes the telle.  So maybe one day........to raise money for charity often helps get good promotion, eg Heart Health, Children's Hospital, etc and that takes money too.

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From hothead - 26 Nov 2008 - 21:07

I live in India and I don't know the dynamics behind squash on tv or the lack of it. It must be that squash audience are very low in numbers to merit free coverage on sports channels.  but even if squash audience is low , I think that squash authorities can do something so that sports channels broadcast either matches in their off peak time( late night or early morning etc) or when nothing live is going on in other sports. In India sports channels when they don't have any live programming keep on showing wrestling or repeats of few year old cricket matches etc. They have a programme even on rallying but nothing on squash ever. Now I guess squash is a popular sport in India and every club has squash players.



so i think something must be done to bring squash in lime light in terms of tv coverage.

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From rippa rit - 15 Oct 2008 - 08:28   -   Updated: 15 Oct 2008 - 08:29

PSAlive has some fantistic matches on Day 2, World Open 2008, Manchester. White retires and three former No. 1's go out.

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From rippa rit - 12 Oct 2008 - 08:49

News from PSAlive today "a record 46 matches on PSAlive this week...."

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From rippa rit - 12 Sep 2008 - 12:03   -   Updated: 13 Sep 2008 - 08:43

PSAlive moves to flash transmission Chicago Open.  Full Press Release at this link.

Here is the link to the recent Dutch Open matches through u-tube.

Congratulations to PSAlive for their initiative in bringing such great viewing and top squash to the public.  It is clear, it is distinct, it is easy to access, and the front wall makes a breat billboard for the sponsors.  Well done.

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From mike - 04 Sep 2008 - 10:47

psalive.tv are also going to be experimenting with Flash streaming (like the rest of the internet) at the Forexx Open. They are hoping it'll offer better quality than Real.

I've never tried the streaming though, instead preferred to download a DivX I can watch again more easily.

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From rippa rit - 04 Sep 2008 - 08:35   -   Updated: 04 Sep 2008 - 08:38

PSAlive have advised they will be at the ForeXX Dutch Open and more details will be at this link. Nick Matthews (ENG) and Nicol David (MAS) are the top seeds. 

Qualifying finals on the third day in Amsterdam

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From drop-shot - 11 Mar 2007 - 04:44   -   Updated: 11 Mar 2007 - 04:45

.... Healthy. When five people tell you "you are wrong" you still can hold to your opinions, but you should revise your POV. Peace.

Anyway, it was topic on PSALIVE, not the contemporary vs. ancient squash

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From ugochuik - 11 Mar 2007 - 03:51

Sleave, just a healthy discussion. My own opinion. I respect the opinions of folks today. We all enjoy different kinds of squash. Gracias

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From drop-shot - 11 Mar 2007 - 03:03   -   Updated: 11 Mar 2007 - 10:00

You know what, Mr. Ugochuik,  let me surprise you. The world spins all the time, let's call it "evolve", so does the game called squash. Court is different, rackets are different, balls are different, shoes, etc...

I respect your love for "ol'school game" but please do respect the game today. I doubt if Jansher Khan or Jonnah Barrington could survive one game with say, Olli Tuominen, to not toss the names from top 10. Why? because nowadays thay do not let you play length length length all the time... Read carefully what Iamspartacus wrote and you will find yourself  picky and boring. But I am not in the mood for fights and there is no need to argue. You can't teach old dog new tricks, can you?

P.S. Willstrop-Ashour game was top nodge quality. Fast, agree, food for thought, agree. So it was fast food. or fast foot.

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From ugochuik - 11 Mar 2007 - 02:07

Interesting, I guess thats how one day cricket has become more popular than test cricket. These days I can hardly meet a cricket fan who enjoys watching test cricket. This is the fast food squash, I guess.

Power played this quick paced squash, actually changed the game with his style of playing. Yet he was world class. I agree that there is a new style of playing but yet great players are few. 

Guess i am still of the old school...Length as stock game, straight racquet, lobs. I really find this new style boring. But I enjoyed watching Power, so there must be something these players don't have.

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From nickhitter - 11 Mar 2007 - 01:48

Amatuerish play??? don't make me laugh!

I think you are a little out of touch. It's pointless to compare players of old with players of new. You can't take a player out of his time. Let me tell you something - with every generation athletes in all sports are getting faster, stronger and more accurate all the time. With advances in training techniques, new more powerful and accurate rackets, better sports supplements etc. There's is no way that jahangier Khan would have been able to compete if you just dropped him into 2007 at the level he was. In the same way as in 15 years time there will be a player that will make Amr shabana look like a world number 30! The whole game has changed. The tin is lower and  the scoring is different which has made game much more attacking based. This is why you get all the wrist work and attacking deception play these days. It's the only way you can win a match! Even a traditional style player like Nicol had to adapt his game in the latter part of his career to include more wrist flicks and the like. Players like Ramy Ashour are so fit and fast on a world class level that if the opposition played a traditional length game they wouldn't have a chance. He'd retrieve it all for days. But that's not to say that Jahangier isn't still the best player of all time - he may well be - but because he had the greatest success in his time. Not that he would be better than players are now.

 

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From andycoat - 11 Mar 2007 - 01:42

Sorry totally disagree - its this new face of squash that is turning the game more and more popular after years of boring boring line and length.

I'd pay to watch Ashour v Willstrop play match #2 any day (and I will on psalive whenever it happens) but its the old style that saw a big decline as we had endless marathon runners with rackets playing long tedious rallies.

No point harping on about who would win against Khan, etc - This is the game in 2007 and its thrilling to see our sport move forward.

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From ugochuik - 11 Mar 2007 - 01:18

Watching Ramy vs Willstrop, I am quite unimpressed. Amatuerish play. What happened to good length? Taking your stroke instead of playing the ball?

There were a lot of cross-cuts and drop balls. Their racquets didn't appear straight as balls where not going where intended. I wouldn't ask any young squash fan to watch the game. These guys wouldn't last against Jahangir or Jansher in their days.

The Squash is quicker but the mistakes are many, it is just that the folks were not calling for let or stroke. If they were playing Power or Khan in the 90's they would have lost this game easily, just from the inaccurate shots.

A lot of wrist play, I thought squash 101 was cut out the wrist play? I am not saying there are occasiona in squash to flick that wrist but not as a stock game. That is why the racquest isn't straight.

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From andycoat - 02 Mar 2007 - 06:05

So tonight's match is going to be really special Shabana v Ashour - I can't wait !

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From andycoat - 01 Mar 2007 - 09:21

The DivX is amazing quality for such a small file - I'm new to psalive but I cannot believe I'd not heard of it before... this site is a must for any squash fan - the commentary from the top pro's is so informative - They seem to be covering a lot of squash as well, I just got an email saying that they are covering some Scottish tournament which still have got a few top 30 players in.

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From stevo - 01 Mar 2007 - 09:13

I watched the DivX production of Palmer v Gough from Sweden, the video quality was excellent.

I am gonna download and watch Ashour v Willstrop tonight. I can't wait.

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From drop-shot - 01 Mar 2007 - 07:50

Just tonite we saw match of the season so far :
Ramy Ashour played for the first time James Willstrop and beaten him 3-1, but I tell you quality was top notge. Of the game I mean. Divx available as of now, so check it out. Two pretty nice magicians working with wrists snaps and flips and joggling the ball all over the court. Feast for the eyes

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From rippa rit - 01 Mar 2007 - 07:45   -   Updated: 01 Mar 2007 - 07:45

psalive have advised today that their new DiVX replays are available now for the quarters of the Tournament of Champions.

Let us know how they go.

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From andycoat - 24 Feb 2007 - 18:18

The DivX format is amazing - DVDs are now a thing of the past.

Looking forward to some great action from the TOC 07 - a brilliant match is due up live today Rasmy Ashour v Yasser El Halaby

Well done PSALIVE

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From stevo - 21 Feb 2007 - 14:43   -   Updated: 21 Feb 2007 - 14:43

Hey Sparty,
its good to hear the quality of the DivX downloads from someone who has tried it themselves. It sounds good, I might download one myself to check it out. What match did you download?

If it is as good as I am hoping then I will be dowloading a lot more matches than I currently do, as I am sure many others will. Which means more money for PSALive and in turn better quality (hopefully).

Its good to see PSALIve responding to user suggestions. If we didn't suggest then we might still be watching 60kbps live and 256kbps replays like at the start of the service.

Adrian,
if you read this thread again, you can subscribe to the post and you will receive email notifications. Check out the top of the thread for the subscription link.

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From adrian@psalive.t - 21 Feb 2007 - 10:43

Wow - this forum is getting busy.

I wish we'd get as many posts on our forum :D

A few answers from PSALIVE

The forum is coming out in due course - the whole site will be revamped to support a number of new features.

If anyone has a real problem with something then just email us - they get resolved quickly.

Yes things have got better since the early days in 04/05 so you should notice better quality replays and better quality production. The new presentation is really good now and we have done a lot of work on this over the past year.

Yes DivX downloads are available and the quality is very very good for the size of file (the most important factor). Better than the Hi-Res realplayer format. We now aim to go through some of the really great matches in the past few years and get those loaded.

Realplayer is the best format for Live coverage and always has been. I've seen various attempts using other formats and have never been able to see the ball.

Don't think its fair to criticise commentary - what some people enjoy, we get complaints about from others and visa versa. Many times we get the top PSA players in as co-commentators so I think that they understand what is going on.

Yes we did have some issues with sound - mainly because the whole show is produced by a single person and the only thing which cannot be easily monitored live is sound. We've got a few procedures in place to solve that now for trips like the TOC 07 coming up where only Russ is going to New York.

Please remember why we started this - because apart from reading about the match on a squash website to get results, tens of thousands of squash fans were never able to watch matches, never mind watch it live. Last weekend the British Nationals were covered - the 1st game between Willstrop and White was fantastic squash, we had Malcolm Willstrop hooked up so we could hear what he and James said to each other between games and members of John White's family watch from Aus and USA. Now doesn't that say that the service is working.

Of course we will improve and we never stop thinking about improving it. We are not here to profiteer and our DVD's have virtually no margin on them - The 4 TOC Quarters from 2006 were the best squash Quarters that I have ever seen and to be able to sell these to kids like we did at the British Junior Open for £11 makes me feel really proud that these kids will watch this amazing squash and want to persue their goals within the game. If someone gave me the raw material for free, I'd give the DVDs away - how else can we make squash more popular.

Thanks for everyones support - theres a lot more to do.

If you have ideas please don't post it here though - email me or post on our forum as I only get to read this excellent forum once every few months (wish it could email me when a new post is made).

 

 

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From nickhitter - 21 Feb 2007 - 09:12

I have now downloaded my first divX match and they are a massive improvement on what was previously available. The biggest improvement is the frame rate which is now really smooth without any shearing artifacts common on the real media versions. If all the productions get as good as the match I downloaded then I will now be downloading a lot! good job psalive!

regarding your post, Sleave "Hint for the others who love to complain and "criticise" or "give feedback":"

If myself and I'm sure many others hadn't made this suggestion then it might not have happened. PSA themselves say the improvements are due to popular demand so I don't really understand what you are saying. So no change there then, I guess!

Oh and by the way the price hasn't gone up either! even better!

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From drop-shot - 21 Feb 2007 - 06:33   -   Updated: 21 Feb 2007 - 06:42

Hey there,

Answer to czarcom:
Q: Why PSALIVE.tv won't join Squashlive.com for production?

Answer: for the same reason why BigMac is not available in Quick or BurgerKing or whatever else fastfood chain available in your country.


Hint for the others who love to complain and "criticise" or "give feedback":

This week http://www.psalive.tv introduced new format to be downloaded and owned by the members. DivX® Video Format is in the DVD/Video CD quality (it is like MP3 file versus AIFF in music) and comparing to anything what you have seen before it is mindblowing and breathtaking qiality of images. Future starts today... The most popular squash broadcasting channel on earth became more professional.

Some technical data for purists:
*DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. (formerly DivXNetworks, Inc.), including the DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality. The DivX codec uses lossy MPEG-4 Part 2 compression, also known as MPEG-4 ASP, where quality is balanced against file size for utility. It is one of several codecs commonly associated with ripping, where audio and video multimedia are transferred to a hard disk and transcoded. As a result, DivX has been a center of controversy because of its use in the replication and distribution of copyrighted DVDs. Many newer "DivX Certified" DVD players are able to play DivX encoded movies, although the Qpel and GMC features are often omitted to reduce processing requirements. They are also excluded from the base DivX encoding profiles for compatibility reasons.*

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From missing_poster37 - 19 Feb 2007 - 16:38

That is good news … but what about fixing the TV production too? Why can’t psalive join squashlive for productions?

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From rskting - 19 Feb 2007 - 02:24

PSA is great. the alternative is having NOTHING to watch in North America. Who cares about 50 cent a match or whatever it is. Just get DVD if anyone wants great quality for certain matches they really like. Having said that, if PSA could get DVD quality downloads, I'd pay more for the convenience. Oh, watching on the tv with pc hooked up is better than monitor.

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From nickhitter - 18 Feb 2007 - 03:55

Just got an email from PSAlive about they are going to be running new truly high res divX format matches for the replays. Great news!

This should be much better quality than what was previously available and I will definitely be downloading them as soon as they become available. I think it says a lot for the PSAlive team that they listened to the criticism and have made positive steps to improve.

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From missing_poster37 - 17 Feb 2007 - 05:18

I agree that squashlive.com produces great quality squash ... and I also agree that their price tag may deter people from purchasing matches ... but I don't agree with Adrians comment that squashlive.com is "fattening up their wallet" - it's simply production value ... squashlive.com obviously puts in more effort to provide better coverage in a more professional manner than psalive.com - which comes with a price tag of course. Everyone would agree that there is simply not much money in squash to start with (especially for the players!), so any profits that can be made should be put back into the productions ... hence squashlive.com is miles ahead of psalive.com as far as quality goes.

I simply don't think anyone is getting rich filming squash ... especially if your a player.

Anyways, thought I'd give my 2 cents ... better downloadable video quality is necessary for sure - and a cheaper squashlive.com product aswell.

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From rippa rit - 24 Jan 2007 - 07:29

Windys City Open Final - Shabana v Ricketts on psalive.

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From Viper - 07 Jan 2007 - 17:03

----------------------------------------------

Quote :

"psalive.tv is awesome".
"bermuda 2005 final between beech and power. IMO its not very watchable."---

----------------------------------------------------

A contradiction I feel.



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From markinjapan - 07 Jan 2007 - 16:21

psalive.tv is awesome and they will only get better.
The only match I recently downloaded that I had a problem with was bermuda 2005 final between beech and power. IMO its not very watchable.

That being said, everything from 2006 has been great.

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From stevo - 23 Nov 2006 - 10:31

I think you make some good points Spartacus.

I've been on PSALive since the start and the quality has improved quite a bit (although some recent productions have been decidedly dodgy). However I would like to see them trial a different format for the download. At the very least they could do one match and gauge what their members think.

As for squashlive, the quality of these DVDs is excellent, but the price is really too high. I don't think I would pay US$50 for a single match.

So yes, some middle ground is required, slightly better quality for a little more cost (although PSALive Hiresplus it has already gone up by 20%!)

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From nickhitter - 22 Nov 2006 - 21:58

Slavic, I have no wish to argue with you..but I feel you missed the point....

People are entitled to their opinions and none more so then when they are paying for a service. Psalive say they welcome feedback, and I chose  to post here as the psalive forum seems to be dead and I know that Adrian at psa live looks here.  

Regarding 'It's so easy to complain' I haven't just 'complained' but offered constructive ideas on what I feel would make the service better for me as a paying customer. If no one ever informed companies of how to improve their service for fear of being a 'complainer' then how do you expect anything to improve?

I am simply making PSAlive aware that there is a middle ground market between the £25 a match super produced squashlive and the  £2.50 PSA budget version that would be a happy medium to many  customers, that  i for one,  would see as an improvment that can be done with very little outgoing costs

And, yes you are correct! for me at the moment I would rather pay the current squashlive price and the quality that comes with it, rather than the current PSAlive price and the quality that comes with that.

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From drop-shot - 22 Nov 2006 - 17:39   -   Updated: 22 Nov 2006 - 17:39

Short and sharp answer to the Spartacus, after reading his first post:

Yes, you are picky, man.
Go and buy yourself a special christmas package at squashlive.com, do not forget to pay 450USD.

PSALIVE offers THE BEST quality for the value of 2,50 British Pounds. Think about that before you spit a voivod.

So far it's the only place when you really can follow "live" all the major events in squash. But of course it is so easy to complain, huh?

Peace/love/squash

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From rippa rit - 20 Nov 2006 - 07:49

Adrian - firstly, I want to say I know this is difficult and hard to please everyone.  The things said above are good points and I agree with them too.

Because it is hard/impossible  to fastforward and rewind (then when you do rewind it goes back to the beginning and then this boring stuff comes on again)  the match and really mostly we only want to watch the play, not all the preamble which increases the download time considerably also.

The commentator does not seem to understand much of what is really going on in the play with respect to the players, eg tactics have changed from the last game. Player X has slowed the game down to get better length, etc  OR player A is working harder having to go around Player X and showing frustration with the lack of lets.  The comments I have heard have little feeling about the actual match sentiment if you get me.

Three to five hours to download a match is a long time, then any glitch means you get the beginning 3 times and still do not have a full match to watch, and one that you cannot rewind and fastforward as required.

Sorry I am no engineer, or tech person, and a bit useless, but only tell you why I cannot support the downloads.  I liked the idea when I went to look at a clip and it gave a sample of the various replays at various speeds, and that at least gives you some idea if the thing is going to work.

Hope this helps.

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From nickhitter - 20 Nov 2006 - 02:52   -   Updated: 20 Nov 2006 - 03:11

So I don't come across as just a moaning git here's some constructive suggestions. I've downloaded a few now so feel confident with the consistency.

  • Spend more time engineering the sound so both commentators are clear, the same volume and undistorted. Use some compression/gating so when the commentors stop speaking the sound of the match comes up. This is called ducking and is used by every single audio broadcast engineer worth his salt. This creates a balance between commentators and the match and stops you having to keep turning up the volume for match sounds, only to have to turn it down again when commentator starts talking.
  • Start commentating on THE MATCH! not what the co-commentators girlfriend is called and how long it takes him to pack on tour (does anyone really care?) This is SO distracting and just makes me turn the sound off. Also the amount of commentry is WAY to much. Usually best to only speak when something interesting is to be said.
  • Get some court mics so we can hear what the players are saying!
  • Encode the match differently for replays as opposed to live streaming. Edit them if neccesary to take out unneccesary break between games, boring stats/ graphs etc. This means you could encode the match in a high quality avi format(such as xvid) in it's entirety in about 500MB. This could be a very high frame rate ( at least 25fps) so it would look smooth and the resotuion would be better with less shearing, blurring and other unpleasant artfifacts. It would also play on windows media player, and be very easy to convert to DVD.

I (and probably others alike) would be happy to pay a little more for truely 'High res' replays (maybe £6 each) if some work went into them, rather than just saving the same transmission that went out live - mistakes, glitches and all. You could still offer the 'live' stream replay at the same cost if some people like all the stats graphs etc and don't mind the poor quality, aswell as this higher standard 'replay only' version I am suggesting.

 

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From adrian@psalive.t - 19 Nov 2006 - 10:20

My first response with several paragraphs but the reply did not save - so not going to really type it all in again but quickly:

Answers to Techie formats are in the forum (we're looking at new formats) but uncompressed AVI cannot be webcast.

We're had a couple of reports about hi-res being a little dodgey so I need to check this out myself and we'll contact everyone if this is the case. Obviously if something is wrong then it will be sorted.

Squashlive only do dvds and very expensive ones at that - $50 for a single match instead of $20 for 4 - we're virtually doing these at cost (i.e. for the good of the game and not for the fatness of my wallet) plus you get the top players commentating and good stats telling these games into perspective.

It was nice to see paul price - even bought his CD - his music is good

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From rippa rit - 19 Nov 2006 - 09:08

Yep - I know how frustrating it is and the time mucking about and then get no quality.
This is a previous discussion our members had during the British Open and some advice etc so if that helps you.

I got pretty browned off myself and have not tried again, particularly if it does not work and you used up all your download time, and they your server puts you on dial-up for the rest of the month - oops!

Adrian at psalive.tv says they welcome feedback so if you are technical go for it and maybe they will try new procedures...give it a go.

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