Crimson Media Watch: DirecTV, mirroring

AS COUGFANS steel themselves against what looks like another year without the Pac-12 and DirecTV reaching an accord, the specter of lots of night games also looms. There could actually be fewer night games this year than last, maybe, but there could be a trade-off to that as well.

That trade-off could mean more regional telecasts, and therefore more Pac-12 games going on at the same time in the earlier Saturday windows.

It's important to note there have been no modifications yet, the conference and the carriers have only talked to this point. The Pac-12 wants less night games at the behest of their member schools after alumni and fans complained. The networks would prefer to keep on filling those night game windows with Pac-12 content. There were 17 night games on the Pac12 Networks and 16 on ESPN and Fox Sports 1 last season.

If a reduction is going to be made, the most likely solution would appear to be more regional telecasts on the Pac-12 networks. DISH, for example, has always opened up alternate channels when there have been multiple Pac-12 games overlapping. But there's no guarantee they, or other carriers, will continue to do so. Most carriers, according to the Mercury News, offer the national feed only or the national feed and one regional feed.

So if you're in the Bay Area and have Comcast, you only get the regional and one national channel. So you might not get the Cougs on the Pac-12 Nets on a given weekend. The hope is that the conference could help convince Comcast when there's overlap to offer an alternate channel(s), but Comcast isn't required to do so under the terms of the contract.

So, and again nothing has been decided yet, but it could end up this year that there are more regional telecasts and if you're outside the state of Washington and want to watch the Cougs, your carrier may instead be broadcasting another Pac-12 team(s). If you're in the state of Washington, you're going to get the Cougs -- but your carrier might not be showing the Oregon-Utah game you wanted to watch or record that's going on at the same time.

The solution offered by the Pac-12 Networks is that all the feeds are online – so subscribers with a carrier who offers the Pac-12 Networks can watch any Pac-12 feed/game on their mobile device or computer.

But how many of you want to hold your iPad, android phone or sit in front of your laptop for 3-plus hours?

CF.C EXPERIMENTED a little this weekend, hooking up an iPad, an Android phone and a laptop to an HDTV when the Pac-12 was showing spring games live this weekend. Instead of DISH, we tried Comcast, since that's the carrier most people have.

The picture looked great streaming on an iPad. But Comcast wouldn't allow it to be viewed through the stock Safari browser and forced us to download an app in order to view it. That app then would not let us mirror to an HDTV, with a message popping up stating we could enjoy this "great video" only on our mobile device. Same thing trying stock and alternative browsers on Android via Comcast - you had to have the app and the app wouldn't allow mirroring.

Thanks a lot Comcast. Your reputation as the Anti-Christ of TV Carriers is clearly undeserved.

We had better luck with the laptop going through a browser (Firefox) rather than an app on Comcast. The quality again looked great on the laptop itself. But that quality suffered a bit when mirroring that picture to an HD screen via an HDMI-to-HDMI cord.

On the mirror, interestingly, the commercials (film) still looked great, HD quality even, but the game (video) was not as smooth. It was still certainly watchable, but you could tell you were watching a stream.

One other note: There are untold variations that could affect the quality of a stream on your specific device and configuration but the first box to check off is this: Whether you're watching a Pac-12 Network stream or trying to hook up a mobile device to your HDTV, it's key that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal. Nothing else will matter without that.

If you've got a mobile to HDTV solution in streaming the Pac-12 Networks to your HDTV that's worked well for you, by all means let us know by emailing us here.

NOTABLE NOTE:
The prospects for a Pac-12 / DirecTV deal continue to be clear as mud. "No progress on DIRECTV," Scott said last month. "Have no new news there." With the launch of the SEC Network this fall, and the assumption they and DirecTV will eventually come to a deal, some think the Pac-12 will have to capitulate and accept DirecTV's terms -- and then offer the same lesser rate to its current partners. But that's all speculation at this stage. No one knows if Year 3 will be the year the Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV come to an agreement.

Cougfan Top Stories