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Old
09-23-2012, 09:54 AM
  #1
geowild
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AHL Live & the Aeros

So, I cancelled my automatic NHL CI re-up, in part to send a message to Bettman and the league.

However, I'm contemplating taking the season pass for the Aeros on AHL Live, which is internet streaming only, but if you have the right hardware toys (a computer or laptop with hdmi-out, and a broadband internet connection) you can feed it to your big screen TV.

Anyone used AHL Live before? Is the feed of high enough resolution and bit-feed to look good on a big screen TV?

I haven't made a decision yet. At some level it feels like I'd be supporting the owners financially during the lockout, which feels wrong.

At another level, if there was ever a year for a Wild fan to be watching every Aeros game, this is obviously that year. Even if the lockout is settled quickly, and Granlund goes to the Wild, that's still going to be a very interesting Aeros team chock-full of legitimate Wild prospects.

Any other opinions on this out there? The package is still "coming soon", but they are advertising an "early bird" price of $149 for a season pass of all home and away games for your AHL team. $349 if you want all AHL games (yeah, that's high, but unlike NHL CI, they have to provide equipment and play by play on some games that wouldn't otherwise be broadcast).


Last edited by geowild: 09-23-2012 at 02:44 PM.
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09-23-2012, 09:59 AM
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I know Jbcraig1883 has subscribed to it in the past, so perhaps ask him for his experiences? Based on what I've heard and with no actual experience with it; it's not without it's issues.

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09-23-2012, 02:31 PM
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Jbcraig1883
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I have never done the season pass. However, like you, I am considering it for this season.

I have done several single game passes and have done a playoff series or two. With that said, do not expect NHL quality feeds. Some feeds are pretty good but some are blurry due to equipment and lighting in the arenas. Also, if a feed is down or it is blurry, do not expect quick feedback or immediate service.

As for quality on a big tv, I would not know. I have not purchased a high quality HDMI cable so I have only watched them on my TV. My guess is that they would be a little pixelated.

I am looking for a high quality HDMI cable for streams so if you have any recommendations, let me know (price/quality/etc).

Hope this helps.

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09-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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geowild
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbcraig1883 View Post
I am looking for a high quality HDMI cable for streams so if you have any recommendations, let me know (price/quality/etc).

Hope this helps.
Monoprice is a company I hear mentioned a lot for inexpensive/high-quality HDMI cables. Personally, I usually just buy "AmazonBasics" brand for cabling, as they are good price and high quality (plus I have Amazon Prime).

The Early Bird price apparently lasts until 10/19, so we've got a couple weeks to consider the matter and watch developments.


Last edited by geowild: 09-23-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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09-23-2012, 03:00 PM
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Jbcraig1883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geowild View Post
Monoprice is a company I hear mentioned a lot for inexpensive/high-quality HDMI cables. Personally, I usually just buy "AmazonBasics" brand for cabling, as they are good price and high quality (plus I have Amazon Prime).

The Early Bird price apparently lasts until 10/19, so we've got a couple weeks to consider the matter and watch developments.
Awesome, thanks!

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09-24-2012, 09:19 AM
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HobeyBroten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbcraig1883 View Post
I am looking for a high quality HDMI cable for streams so if you have any recommendations, let me know (price/quality/etc).

Hope this helps.
Also, don't get pulled into the hype of "high quality" HDMI cables, a person will not tell the difference between a $100 cable and a $10 cable. Nothing, especially streamed content, will be of high enough quality to notice the difference with today's TVs, not even blu-ray which is currently the only thing capable of 1080p.

Just my $0.02.

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09-24-2012, 02:18 PM
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geowild
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Originally Posted by HobeyBroten View Post
Also, don't get pulled into the hype of "high quality" HDMI cables, a person will not tell the difference between a $100 cable and a $10 cable. Nothing, especially streamed content, will be of high enough quality to notice the difference with today's TVs, not even blu-ray which is currently the only thing capable of 1080p.

Just my $0.02.
Oh, agreed. The standard is the thing. Either they meet the standard, or they don't. Tho some no-name cables might be of dubious quality, so you at least want a manufacturer with a solid reputation *and* a clear statement of what standard the cable meets. If you get into really long cable runs, the expensive cables might start to make more sense, but mostly they are just a way to separate the naive from their money.

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-H...zonBasics+hdmi

http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10240


Last edited by geowild: 09-24-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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09-24-2012, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by geowild View Post
Oh, agreed. The standard is the thing. Either they meet the standard, or they don't. Tho some no-name cables might be of dubious quality, so you at least want a manufacturer with a solid reputation *and* a clear statement of what standard the cable meets. If you get into really long cable runs, the expensive cables might start to make more sense, but mostly they are just a way to separate the naive from their money.
Word

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09-24-2012, 06:49 PM
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I've subscribed for several years.

1. The quality varies, but I don't think it will ever be big screen quality. It varies from good on the PC to barely in color, or jerky/frozen video.

2. Count on about three games or so unavailable due to technical difficulties - including somebody not knowing how to connect the video feed at the stadium. This is known among Aeros fans as "AHLDead".

3. Count on several more without Aeros' audio for any number of reasons, including not knowing how to connect cables at the stadium.

4. Some games have only partial archives.

5. Count on anywhere from fair to really crappy customer service. If you scream enough, you can get a refund or voucher for unavailable games.

If this sounds like AHLlive needs to get their act together, you deduce correctly.

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09-24-2012, 07:02 PM
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Well, sounds like the best way to get into the Aeros is listening games on Sports Radio 610.

Not to mention, Joe O'Donnell is very good.

EDIT: You can watch the game highlights for free the next day on AHL Live.


Last edited by Fel 96: 09-24-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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09-24-2012, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonAerosFan View Post
I've subscribed for several years.

1. The quality varies, but I don't think it will ever be big screen quality. It varies from good on the PC to barely in color, or jerky/frozen video.

2. Count on about three games or so unavailable due to technical difficulties - including somebody not knowing how to connect the video feed at the stadium. This is known among Aeros fans as "AHLDead".

3. Count on several more without Aeros' audio for any number of reasons, including not knowing how to connect cables at the stadium.

4. Some games have only partial archives.

5. Count on anywhere from fair to really crappy customer service. If you scream enough, you can get a refund or voucher for unavailable games.

If this sounds like AHLlive needs to get their act together, you deduce correctly.
Hmm. Thanks for the scouting report (as it were). Of course, if the lockout continues, I'd think they'll find themselves with more customers and more scrutiny, so maybe this will be an opportunity for them to take a step up in reliability anyway.

I did notice a reference to a "scout feed" for some games, which was described as a single fixed point camera in the press box, apparently really intended for scouting purposes, and repurposed to provide the AHL Live feed as well. Presumably without play-by-play. I bet those are the ones they often forget to hook-up to the internet, or don't notice if there is no audio (scouts wouldn't care about the audio anyway).

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09-25-2012, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fel 96 View Post
Well, sounds like the best way to get into the Aeros is listening games on Sports Radio 610.

Not to mention, Joe O'Donnell is very good.
Well, that brings up an interesting question. . .how close is the sync on internet radio vs AHL Live "scout feed"?

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09-25-2012, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by geowild View Post
Well, that brings up an interesting question. . .how close is the sync on internet radio vs AHL Live "scout feed"?
Good point. That also varies. Sometimes right on, sometimes audio leads, now and then lags.

Then there case where try in sync audio leads gets hoppy.

Orthevideoleadsandtheytrytogettheaudiotocatchup.

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10-08-2012, 11:44 AM
  #14
geowild
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Well, the early bird pricing expires on 10/19, and the Aeros regular season begins on 10/13 (Saturday).

The NHL & NHLPA are meeting 10/10-10/11.

Probably I'll make a decision on a AHL Live Season Pass ($149) for the Aeros on 10/12 (Friday).

It's hard to see going too wrong with one of those --even if the lockout settles in October, and Granlund (and possibly Brodin) go to the big club, that's still going to be a Aeros team loaded with legit Wild prospects this year. Tho presumably several of them will all-at-once go to Wild training camp for at least a week at some point during the season if the lockout settles.

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10-08-2012, 11:52 AM
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That is what I am considering as well, and the timeline matches my own...

I have several options in how I hook it into the entertainment center, but so far, i have been very unimpressed with the quality of video for the AHL highlights... stretching it out to even just 1280x720 on a high quality monitor means the feeds look like ass...

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10-08-2012, 12:39 PM
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geowild
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
That is what I am considering as well, and the timeline matches my own...

I have several options in how I hook it into the entertainment center, but so far, i have been very unimpressed with the quality of video for the AHL highlights... stretching it out to even just 1280x720 on a high quality monitor means the feeds look like ass...
PQ seems to be highly variable. I haven't seen what Aero home games look like. But if you go up to the Aeros sticky on the last couple pages there's a link to the Oilers website with highlights from the OKC Barons game where Granlund torched them in OKC. That is quite good quality --probably would look good on a big screen TV even.

Wild scrimmage/pre-season streaming video from the X is generally kind of poor. Not horrible, but clearly not even close to HD. I suspect Aeros home video is not much better. But I've watched scrimmage/pre-season games from the X on streaming, and found it "livable" anyway. If Aeros home video is no worse, I'll get by.

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10-08-2012, 05:03 PM
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I justified it as I love hockey too much, that I'd be stupid not to order it during a lockout. Of course, the lockout could abruptly end and then I won't get 150 dollars worth. But my mindset is even if the lockout ends soon, our AHL team this year is going to be stacked (even if Granlund is recalled). So I'm aware that the video quality isn't nearly as good but I need something to watch in the meantime. I'm actually really happy too because I get to watch the first two games when they're happening. I get off work early Saturday and don't work Sundays. Pretty stoked about that.

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10-08-2012, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Utterly Disgusting View Post
I justified it as I love hockey too much, that I'd be stupid not to order it during a lockout. Of course, the lockout could abruptly end and then I won't get 150 dollars worth. But my mindset is even if the lockout ends soon, our AHL team this year is going to be stacked (even if Granlund is recalled). So I'm aware that the video quality isn't nearly as good but I need something to watch in the meantime. I'm actually really happy too because I get to watch the first two games when they're happening. I get off work early Saturday and don't work Sundays. Pretty stoked about that.
I haven't made a final decision yet, but that's the way I'm leaning too.

If "all" I get to watch for most of the season is Coyle, Phillips, Zucker, Larsson, Bulmer and Hackett. . . well, I think I'm going to be okay with that. I wouldn't have said that about last year's Aeros team, but I think of any year in quite some time a Wild fan can justify an AHL Live season pass for the Aeros, whether there is NHL hockey played this season or not, it is this year.

If NHL/NHLPA settle on Thursday (I doubt it) with a revamped 82 game schedule, I might have a long talk about it with myself, but otherwise I'm likely to pull the trigger.

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10-08-2012, 08:07 PM
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The quality of AHL Live is pretty crappy overall, and the Aeros home games are probably the worst of the bunch, since they have a 480 x 260 widescreen image letterboxed within the 480 x 360 stream.
So the vertical resolution is 260 pixels of hockey, plus 100 pixels of solid green bars (top and bottom) with some graphics.
Well, at least the aspect ratio, altough letterboxed, is correct.

If you're looking to buy individual games and want the best quality available, I would recommend the Aeros @ Stars games.
The Texas Stars use a different interface for their streams, more akin to NHL GameCenter Live, with a 960 x 540 widescreen format and a higher bitrate.
So it's really three times the resolution of most other AHL Live games.
Sadly, it's a 4:3 image stretched out to a 16:9 format, which could be annoying, but it's the best quality you'll get on AHL Live.
(That same higher-resolution interface is also used by the Hershey Bears in the East, and I think Abbotsford used it once last season, but the Stars are the only ones using it consistently in the West.)

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10-12-2012, 12:21 PM
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geowild
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Just signed up for AHL Live Aeros Team Pass.

No NHL CI for me this year, even if they come back.

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10-12-2012, 01:15 PM
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Can you sub for individual games?

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10-12-2012, 02:31 PM
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where does one watch this scout feed you guys are talking about??

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10-12-2012, 06:25 PM
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geowild
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Can you sub for individual games?
You can buy individual games. You get a bit of a discount if you buy in packs of 5 or 10. I didn't do it that way, but the description says you just have to use them up before the end of the regular season (rather than having to use them sequentially, or designate in advance).

10 -- $5.99/each
5 -$6.49/each
1 - $6.99/each

At a 10 game pack you're close-ish to 1/2 price for a team season pass. ($59.99 vs $149.99). Tho if you want some flexibility in what teams you watch (e.g. not always an Aero game), that pricing looks better compared to the $349 all-league season pass.


Last edited by geowild: 10-12-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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10-12-2012, 06:32 PM
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where does one watch this scout feed you guys are talking about??
I haven't seen it yet, personally, but from their description it is pretty basic stuff. One fixed camera. I don't know that you can tell in advance what you'll get (a scout feed or a broadcast feed) per game.

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10-12-2012, 08:14 PM
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Question and Comments:

Question. If a person signs up for AHL Live for an individual team for the season pass, can you only watch games live, or can you watch them on demand?

Comments:

I was searching for a personal DVR since my house decided to go cable-less and just use antenna for TV. I ended up purchasing a pretty good laptop and a TV tuner card for it. I wanted something with an HDMI-out, windows 7 pre-loaded, and a good graphics card. Found a Gateway NV series that met those requirements and have been using it for close to a month now. I've liked it so far. Windows Media Center is just as good as any DVR program out there, if not better. My brother, on the other hand, built his own media PC from scratch. Horizontal box, Motherboard/CPU combo, Windows Media Center remote instead of a wireless keyboad/mouse....His initial TV card could not be fit in his PCI slot on the motherboard, so he switched to a USB one. He has not been as impressed as I have with mine. It seems to take a while for the TV card to "warm up" and pick up all the channels it's supposed to, maybe I don't notice this with mine, cuz I only record shows and watch them back later, hardly ever watch live TV.

The recordings are choppy sometimes, but i deal with it. The computer will wake itself up to record a show when it comes on, if you put it on sleep mode. If you have cable service already, make sure you look for a TV card compatible with the signal type first. I have no experience with this to help you, just passing on information I've heard others say, but it certainly can work.

The only issue I see so far is that the file types WMC saves the shows as are rather large (around 6.5 GB for a 1-hour show) but that's nothing an external HD can't fix.

I could have waited longer to look for laptop deals, but I knew my job would require me to work weekends and I wasn't about to miss a Vikings game, so I jumped on the one I got from the cheapest online retailer I could find.

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