You too can view streaming hockey — wherever you live

05Dec06

Like many Bay Area residents, I was plenty pissed off that our FSN affiliate decided not to broadcast a big Sharks game against division-rival Dallas. So it was my pleasant surprise to see that you could watch a streamed broadcast live on Yahoo sports. Good deal, right? Well it was, for a few minutes, anyways.

So I click on the link and things seem peachy keen other than the fact that the Sharks sucked balls. Then something weird happened — halfway through the second period, the feed stopped. When I clicked on it again, it said that I couldn’t watch it because of my broadcast area. This sucked worse than Jonathon Cheechoo’s season. First Center Ice screws me with blackout rules and now Yahoo?

The weird thing was that it was working fine at first. It just decided to stop.

Well, after some digging around, I figured out a way around this. So, fellow hockey fan, if your favorite team is blacked out in your area on TV and online, don’t fear — you can still watch it.

See, the trick is that the Yahoo player makes you sign in, thus it figures out what your zip code is and where that lies within the TV broadcast rights. So, just change your Yahoo ID to a different zip code, log back in, and boom, there’s your streaming hockey.

I have to say I was surprised with the quality of video, at least for the first 30 minutes I got it before I had to figure out the zip code trick. It didn’t freeze or buffer or pixelate; instead, it was smooth and crisp the whole time and I had no problem following the puck, even with such a small screen. If they had HD quality cameras and the bandwidth to transmit that kind of quality in a small size, it’d definitely be a viable alternative. It certainly looked better than the files on YouTube and Google Video.

The strange thing was that after I went through the zip code trick, the stream quality deteriorated to a more pixelated quality. I’m not sure if this happened just because or if this had something to do with a setting. In any case, it was still watchable and much better than not having the game at all.

Of course, the Sharks got shut out by an injured Dallas squad, so despite all of my technological fiddling, the night still sucked.

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2 Responses to “You too can view streaming hockey — wherever you live”

  1. 1 PuckClog

    Excellent news, thanks.

  2. 2 VeryProudofYa

    That’s a pretty neat trick.

    Luckily(or unluckily) I live in an area affiliated with no hockey teams at all, so I never have to worry about that.


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