Live Coverage that isn’t Quite Live

Place two different televisions next to each other, tuned to the same channel and there is a good chance that they will not be in sync. Normally this is not a problem, but when it comes to watching live sport on TV, being delayed by a few seconds suddenly becomes an issue that one is interested in.

It is widely acknowledged (at least for cricket) that the best way to follow the game at home is to watch the pictures on the telly while listening to the coverage on the ABC. Yet doing this for the current test against India resulted in a delay by three or four seconds between the live coverage on the radio and the delayed coverage on the TV. This clearly suboptimal situation is what prompted this barrage of words here.

I’m not sure if Channel Nine deliberately delays their signal, if it depends on the particular TV in use, or if it is an unavoidable fact of life regarding transmission of TV programs. Either way, there is a need for a solution. Presumably the best approach would be to have a radio that allows you to manually tune to listen to a station on a delay of a few seconds so you can synchronise with the TV. With my expertise however, the only solution I have so far is to place the radio a long way away (about a kilometre) and take advantage of the slow speed of sound to achieve the desired delay. This is clearly impractical.

If it is (partially) the fault of Channel Nine, then not only would their argument for doing so marginal at best, but the time lags inherent (for at least some models) in the television transmission mean that there is a market out there for a technical solution. Any ideas? I’d like a radio with this delaying option to watch the cricket on, so there is potentially a large commercial marketplace out there.

6 Responses to “Live Coverage that isn’t Quite Live”

  1. Jasmine Says:

    Can’t you just tape both and watch the cricket later? Or look up the results when everything’s finished?

  2. bartogian Says:

    The whole point is to watch the game live.

  3. largestprime Says:

    you could go to the cricket…

    I think the main reason that the delay exists is because there is more information to encode/decode in a visual+audio signal than there is in a signal composed solely of audio. This is consistent with the fact that digital TV tends to suffer an even greater lag.

    Perhaps an attachment to a TV which intercepts the audio and either does nothing to it or replaces it with the radio signal… and that device would have a dial on it which allows you to adjust the lag. This device might also be able to mute the audio during the ad breaks.

  4. Jasmine Says:

    Channel 7 delay their signal when they film our events at Telstra Dome, but I don’t know why…….it seems to be on purpose though

  5. bartogian Says:

    Do you know how much Channel 7 delays their signal by?

  6. Jasmine Says:

    *shakes head* But I can show you my information sheet next time you come to Melbourne

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