First up, kudos to CBS for “getting it.” Steaming live video to tablets is an absolute no-brainer. There were almost 50 million tablets sold worldwide last quarter alone. That is a lot of consumers.
So, let me say “thank you” to CBS on behalf of the millions (I’m betting that there were millions) of consumers who took advantage of the live stream. It provided consumers the flexibility and choice we deserve when it comes to watching the biggest sporting event in the country.
Now, if you were only watching the big game on your tablet that would be fine. However, I made the mistake of having the television on at the same time as having the live stream on my iPad on my lap (I am sure many others did this as well).
The issue — and I don’t know if it was my connection or the WiFi I was on, or if it is a technical limitation of live stream — was that the stream to the tablet lagged the television coverage. It was not a short lag, it was considerable. At one stage in the first quarter, I got out the stop watch and timed it. The lag was 21.7 seconds. This was essentially streaming one play behind the live coverage on the television.
This made it impossible to have both the tablet and television on at the same time. And you guessed it, the big screen eventually won.
That said, I did like the fact that you had access to a curated Twitter feed and the commercials that you could play on demand on the tablet.
Perhaps the most exciting innovation was the ability to switch between camera angles at will. It made me feel like I was in control of what I wanted to watch. There was a second or so between the camera angles switching but nothing that marred the experience.
At the risk of looking stupid, the only other thing that I had an issue with was that I could not watch the game on the full screen. Try as I might, I could not find a way of expanding the picture to the full screen. It might be able to be done, but for the life of me I could not figure it out. I am sure someone from CBS will call me out on this.
Overall, I must say I was excited to watch the game on my tablet. We should be able to watch everything on live on tablet. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of live sporting events that are not available. At least there is one network that gets it. Congratulations CBS. Great game!