Last summer I tried Eurosport Player. I paid 5 or 6 euros for a month, but the service was so bad that I quit my subscription after that. Just a short summary of the little things that annoyed me:
- Eurosport only let me use their player on one (1) computer. I have two computers on my desk. I work from my laptop and use the old Imac with its big screen for entertainment. But sometimes I prefer to watch videos on the laptop, for example if I’m going to bed. So I use two computers. Which is hardly unusual nowadays. But this was not allowed. And I’m supposed to pay for this?
- Since it’s technically possible, and since I’m paying, it would have been great if Eurosport let me choose which geographical version of their broadcasts I preferred to watch. But they didn’t. Instead I used a VPN to get Roberto Vacchi’s Swedish commentary.
- Player was full of bugs and annoying bad energy, such as the volume always starting at the *middle* of the level bar (why!), and that level bar sometimes freezing on screen even when you move away the cursor.
- Microsoft Silverlight.
- Can’t watch it on my Wii U or PS3, see above. This is true for Adobe Flash too, but SVT Play’s HTML5 video works beautifully on my Wii U, so it’s not impossible.
And those were just my minor complaints! My main complaint was that the video quality sucked like I’ve never ever experienced before in the area of professional networks’ paid services.
It always started ok if I watched the video in the small window in the browser:
When I chose full screen, it also started in ok quality for the first seconds:
But then it quickly switched to this quality:
And from there it just got worse. Now you would say it’s a bandwidth problem. But it worked in the small window; it’s the same amount of data that is transferred, just scaled to full screen! And look how beautifully the ZDF videos play:
Not to mention SVT Play:
Meanwhile, this is what I enjoyed on Eurosport Player:
Sort of reminding of this painting by Monet:
This was Giro d’Italia. As for Tour de France, I watched it on Eurosport on my regular TV with DVB-T in 576 pixels interlaced. Meaning a real resolution of 288 vertical pixels. So it’s very good news that the Tour this year will come back to ARD (the public service broadcaster in Germany), which I can watch in “HD” (720p).
Note: All screenshots in this post were saved in their original size as jpegs with quality 60.