With technology always improving, sitting at home and watching sports is often times a better experience than being in the arena or stadium.
And why not, with HD feeds of games, on-screen scorebugs, a scrolling bottom line with updates from other games around the country, as well as your own food, drink, and bathrooms 10 feet away from the couch, it’s tough to get someone to actually go to the games because of how great the home viewing experience is.
In fact, we’ve almost become spoiled between all that TV offers, after all, it wasn’t that long ago that HD feeds of the games were not common, or that the scorebug was on the screen at all times. Heck, there was a time even more recent where ESPN only showed the bottom line at :28 and :58 past the hour, meaning before the internet and smartphones, you had to sit there for up to 29 minutes to see the score of your favorite team.
I watch a lot of junior hockey, and the streams range from very good with HD and a scorebug to, meh with HD but not scorebug, or meh with SD and a scorebug, or downright bad with no HD or scorebug. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you turn on a game.
But what if you could only choose one, a feed in HD, or having the scorebug on at all times? They’re both things that make the viewing experience that much better, but which is more necessary?
The Case for HD
The key here is that you are WATCHING the game and when you are watching sports, you obviously want the clearest, best picture available to be able to actually see what is happening. Especially in sports like hockey and golf where you are trying to track a small object as it moves around very fast. You like being able to see the ball or puck, and read jersey numbers, or be able to clearly see when there is a close play. When a stream is in SD or is just blurry because of bad internet, you lose that and it really does make the game harder to watch.
Plus, if there’s not scorebug, you still have an announcer, who if they’re good at their job, will often update you on the score and time left, of the camera operators will cut to the scoreboard during stoppages to show you those things. So even without a scorebug, you can find ways to relay the score to viewers. There’s no way to make a bad picture better.
The Case for Scorebug
Let’s say you have the game on but have chores around the house/apartment to do, or maybe you have to work late and you get home after the game has already started.
You either look at the TV when you get a second, or you plop down on the couch and flip on the game…and there’s no scorebug to get you up to speed on where things stand. You have no idea if the score is 10-1 or 1-1, how much time is left, what inning it is, anything. So then you have to stand there and wait for the announcer to say something, or hope that they show the in-arena scoreboard during a stoppage.
And then you have to keep doing that if you’re busy around the house, or even just not paying that close of attention to the game. Nod off for a nap and miss 20 minutes of action, you again have no idea what is happening if you turn the game on and there’s no scorebug. Also, imagine at a party where often times people will just turn a game on and turn the volume off so people mingle and check on the game but aren’t bothered by the sound. If there was no scorebug, how would anybody know who is winning?
It’s been a while since we did a poll, so which would you rather have, HD feed or scorebug?