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Watching le Tour Online – Followup

Posted by Alan at 7:44 PM on July 5, 2010

Okay, it’s been three days of watching the Tour de France online and my experience has been less than perfect.  The audio has been fine, but the video has been, mostly, bad.  The Prologue,  on Saturday, froze continuously while we tried to watch the On-Demand version.  Yesterday’s Stage 1 was pretty close to prefect.  Today’s Stage 2 was great until around 50km to go when the video began freezing – and I mean CONTINUOUSLY freezing – as in, I had to refresh the page to get the video started again and then it would freeze again within a minute or two.

I was on the verge of calling, or emailing, Versus to cancel and ask (or demand) for a refund.

But, I will give them props for beating me to the punch and sending out an email today answering what must have been a landslide of feedback about these issues.  They even got rid of the Autobahn plug-in that they had been using, and which may very well have been the source of these issues.

Below is posted the email I received from Versus today.

Dear Tour Tracker user,

First of all apologies for the problems over the last few days with the Tour Tracker service. We know that many of you have experienced problems and have contacted us through our support email or posted your feedback online. We’ve responded to many of you, but while we’ve worked on fixing these problems we know many of you have not yet received a response.

Due to the problems with the Autobahn plugin, after today’s stage we removed the video player and replaced it with one that does not require Autobahn. Initial reaction is that this has fixed the streaming problems. This was also why the On Demand video of todays stage was delayed.

Another issue (particularly for the prologue) has been the start time of the coverage. We start the coverage when the International TV broadcast starts, some days this includes the start, some days it does not – it depends on when the host broadcaster in France decides to start the broadcast. The feed goes up on the Tracker at the same time as anyone in the world gets a TV feed.

The daily schedule of broadcast times is now published on the FAQ page: http://tracker.versus.com/faq

The other issue that many of you have commented on is the audio feed and the lack of background noise. We’re frustrated with this as well. We’re working hard on a resolution to this with the host broadcaster in France to correct the problem.

We’re cycling fans too and understand that the problems over the past few days have been extremely frustrating, we appreciate your understanding and hope you will enjoy the rest of the tour without any further streaming problems with the service.

Regards,
The Tour Tracker Team.

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