Monday, January 7, 2008

Hockey TV is maddening

Trying to catch a hockey game on television has never been more complicated for me. And it mostly has to do with technology -- oh, and greedy cable providers. My problem begins with my recent purchase of a High Definition LCD television. Hockey games in HD look awesome. However, watching CBC, or trying to get a game on Sportsnet is not always all that straightforward. For one, you never know whether or not the game advertised is an actual HD broadcast.
For instance, the onscreen Rogers' TV guide will indicate a Leafs game on their HD channel. However, living in the Ottawa area, what happens is that we are delivered a Sens game instead. Fair enough. I'd rather see the Sens anyway. The problem is, however, that Sens game isn't broadcast in HD, so I'm getting a poorer quality reception -- even though it's on the HD channel.
And Sportsnet has the maddening habit of listing a game, then blacking it out. Or, it will have a game, but not show it on their HD channel. Most times a Sens game is blocked out is because the local "A" Channel is broadcasting it. This analog channel always looks like crap, so I can't stand to watch such a poor quality broadcast. So instead of it being broadcast on Sportsnet's HD channel, because we're in Ottawa, we have to watch this terrible looking broadcast by a bunch of amateur on-air personalities on the shite "A" Channel.
Only TSN is consistent and you get what they say you're going to get. Thank you TSN.
Adding further to my misery is the Rogers' sports packaging. You can purchase Rogers' Centre Ice package for about $30 per month, or $200-and-something for the season. You get all kinds of games with this package. Except in HD. They only offer a spattering of games on channel 490 in HD. So why would I fork out that kind of money to watch analog broadcast games?
This all makes me angry.

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