Continuing My ITVN Rant

So, as I was saying…If you haven’t guessed already, I have a bit of a soccer habit. To be a bit more descriptive, I have a Manchester United flag placed prominently in my living room. What began as a cute little fascination and has grown into a religion. I check the blogs, sing the songs and watch every game.

I used to be able to watch all the games through Fox Soccer Channel, which is provided by my cable provider. But last year, Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports came to an agreement in which they would split coverage in America. This was problematic because Setanta is not available on cable and, since I rent, I’m not keen on getting satellite TV. So, I panicked a bit. I scoured the internet looking for some way to get my fix. I was in a bad place and the folks at ITVN said they could get me what I needed.

ITVN is a broadband television company. You sign up, they send you a receiver, connect that receiver to your router and, theoretically, it streams television stations through your internet connection. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it. When we first started using it we weren’t thrilled, but it was satisfactory. The video quality was lacking–it looks like streaming video looks when you enlarge it a bit too much–but it was certainly better than going cold turkey on game day.

Recently, however, it has gotten worse. The connection has gotten less and less consistent, stopping live games to re-buffer(if that’s the correct term) the connection. Today, however, was absolutely outrageous.

We get up at 8:30 to watch the game and get about :4 seconds into the match before its first interruption. From there on out we were unable to watch more than 30 seconds of the game without interruption. Connections lost, buffering, servers down. A million different messages all to say one thing: your connection is failing repeatedly. This type of stuff will make you act irrationally. You find yourself punching couches and yelling at inanimate objects. We missed goals, yellow cards, near misses and free kicks. We missed nearly the entirety of the game. This was Manchester v. Liverpool. This wasn’t Fulham v. Derby County. There are only two guaranteed annual matchups between these two teams, and I’ve missed one of them.

Of course, the no account bums at ITVN don’t have customer service representatives available on weekends. Only business hours Monday-Friday, when no one is watching. So I searched the net for some type of solution. They had the normal suggestions. Unplug some stuff, then plug it back in. Jump up and down while patting your head and rubbing your belly. Crap. So, while looking for some helpers I noticed they had a forum where you can, “participate in live public discussions!” For a good laugh, take a gander at it. Here is an excerpt:

Mossman writes:

This service SUCKS. I have had it for over a year and a half and it has been nothing but ups and downs (More downs) w/ these people. I have dealt w/ hearing ITVN say “It Setanta’s fault their satelite is the issue blah blah blah. We have heard that ITVN is experiencing difficulties etc. You guys have had many many months to rectify what seems to most of us to be the same problems over and over again. I have never come on here and bashed anyone or called you out, but today is the final straw. You are a typical company that is led by a bunch of unintelligent losers who can’t screw in a light bulb w/out f’n that up too. It starts at the top and works it’s way down and then the sh*t flows down to the poor people in tech support who get bashed over and over again. There is no communication, there probably isn’t a single person looking into the issues as we speak as it’s only 6am on a Sunday on the West Coast and so here goes another weekend w/ the same ole BS from ITVN. You would have thought that w/ the problems they had yesterday that they would have someone monitoring the service this morning w/ such a massive audience wanting to see the match. But no, Fabian is tucked in w/ his PJ’s on dreaming of dollar bills and the tech support people have been out all night partying on our hard earned dollars. Thankfully the other match of the weekend is on Fox Soccer which never has problems. Too bad they couldn’t get all of the EPL games and we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Anyway, if the WEBMASTER feels that this is too much on this message board you can go ahead and BAN me and at the same time you can PISS off………….”

Oh there’s plenty more where that came from. Misery truly loves company. I thought I was alone in my suffering. Everyone was experiencing the same exact thing. So, like a good little addict, I went directly to the dealer. I went to Setanta’s website and signed up for their browser-based broadband service in three minutes and was able to salvage the last 10 minutes of the game uninterrupted. You’re more than willing to deal with a 4×4″ screen when the alternative is so excruciatingly bad that you’d rather not see a second of the game than deal with the frustrations.


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