October 06, 2006

Forget the jumbotron: (Scroll to the bottom, the last story) Kangaroo TV, a Montreal-area company with handheld video screens meant to let fans watch TV at events.

posted by SummersEve to general at 07:39 AM - 14 comments

Better suited for some sports than others. For example, fans at NASCAR races can listen into chatter between drivers and pit-crews and get live, in-car camera shots (This would be great for huge tracks like Pocono). And imagine how incredible it would be to sit on the 18th green and be able follow all the action.

posted by SummersEve at 07:45 AM on October 06, 2006

The world's gone mad. Do you want your TV coverage to be as close to the actual experience of being there as possible? Or do you want the actual experience of being there as much like watching it on TV as possible? My old man didn't use his pass for the last two days of the Ryder Cup because he wanted to "go home and watch it properly", i.e. on TV. If you want to follow all the action, stay home. If you want to smell the smells, hear the noise and see only what your eyes can focus on, go to the game. Live sport is like life - the thrill of trying not to miss the best bits is what makes it exciting!

posted by JJ at 09:24 AM on October 06, 2006

[but, with my geek hat on, those things are cool as fuck, and I want one]

posted by JJ at 09:24 AM on October 06, 2006

I gotta admit, my first thought was: God, what a horrible idea. Talk about killing the communal experience; if I wanted to watch TV I'd stay at home and save my cash for my crack habit. But Seve, I think you (and they) might have a point about events like car races (even more for F1 than for NASCAR, where at least you can see most/all the track) and golf. You can see all the event you paid to get into that way. That doesn't mean that overbroadcasting & ad creep wouldn't still be a problem, though, and if this becomes the norm at football/hockey/baseball games, that'd really suck.

posted by chicobangs at 09:42 AM on October 06, 2006

It took me a moment to work out which one of us you were calling "Seve" there.

posted by JJ at 10:34 AM on October 06, 2006

I could totally see this evolving into some sort of a live TiVo meets Google. Top Four reasons I might love my KTV: 1. Catch a replay of a great moment that I missed because I was getting food, in the facilities, sitting in an obstructed seat, chatting up some young lady, or getting beat up by the lady's boyfriend. 2. Catch a replay of a great moment I saw but can't believe I saw and want to watch over and over from several angles in between live plays. 3. Retrieve stats that are relevant to a developing situation as they are occurring (batter vs. pitcher, field goal percentages from relevant distances, free throw percentages, etc.). I know my cell phone might have this capacity, but I want all my info to come from one device. I'm already holding a program, pencil, hot dog, beer, and this unwieldy TV thingy. 4. At events where things are going on in more than one location (golf, tennis), see the play that caused the crowd over there to start cheering wildly. I don't see KTV as "killing the communal experience" so much as enhancing it. This way, I can spend three batters berating my buddy for dropping the foul ball without missing a thing.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:20 AM on October 06, 2006

How much do I have to pay when I "accidently" get drunk at a Bears game and either lose it or drop it in the toilet? The only thing I would like it for is keeping track of my fantasy team but wait...my cell phone already does that. Good for NASCAR, bad for other sports

posted by timdawg at 12:09 PM on October 06, 2006

It took me a moment to work out which one of us you were calling "Seve" there. You were totally hoping it was you, Ballesteros Jr.

posted by yerfatma at 12:18 PM on October 06, 2006

I like the concept of viewing angles and replays that I can control. IF THESE FEATURES ARE SUPPORTED ... I could see this being fun at soccer games; I'd be able to see if a player dived (or was truly fouled), was offside, or if a ball really crossed over the line. (Not to mention the pretty streaker running through at half-time.) This might really cause some crowd trouble, too. ;-) On a more general level, this might make up for having crap seats (too high up, behind a pillar, etc.).

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:19 PM on October 06, 2006

(I thought I'd try & slip "Seve" into subliminal use. Like a few others in here, I feel the need to not call you a douche every once in a while.) It's true events could have all those features (although the newer phone/web/PDA thingys have much of that capability already, and will only get smoother and more feature-rich*), and that this is probably the future of high-tech fan attendance, but that doesn't mean it won't come at a price, is all. *This is what ESPN Mobile was trying to do, I suspect. In two years, I have no doubt that that will be the norm.

posted by chicobangs at 03:42 PM on October 06, 2006

This has possibilities. It indeed seems to be more useful for some sports than for others. I don't watch baseball in the same way most do (I'm watching the umpires, pre-pitch defensive positioning, and perhaps what the runners are doing.), so it wouldn't be particularly good there. If I want to see a particular pitch, this is usually covered by scoreboard replay. NASCAR is a natural. If looks from various cameras are available, and they can be coupled with slow motion or stop-action features, this could be great for hockey and basketball. It would be excellent for football too, but I'm afraid I might linger too long on shots of the cheerleaders.

posted by Howard_T at 03:44 PM on October 06, 2006

Is there a zoom feature?

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:32 PM on October 06, 2006

I suppose the future will have wifi handset computer-type-cell-phone-looking-thingies that will get TV, radio, pretty much anything we want. Which I would guess will kill or at least force a restructure of satellite radio. But I suppose stadia could have special feeds keyed to these Kangaroo devices. I'd love it. Imagine being able to watch a hockey fight, a great catch, a bang-bang double play. How many times have you looked up to see a replay, be it a big hit, a great save, a great catch... Only to see some obnoxious guy screaming into a microphone, "WE'RE HERE IN SECTION 210 WITH JOE FROM CHERRY HILL. JOE WILL TRY TO WIN A $5 CINGULAR CERTIFICATE FOR HIS SECTION." Not saying that won't evolve to the handsets, but if I could avoid the stadium emcee idiots, even for just a few years, I'd pay a lot for this.

posted by SummersEve at 04:57 PM on October 06, 2006

You know I was hoping it was me. If you had one of these Kangaroo things, you could be watching stuff like this over and over again.

posted by JJ at 04:30 AM on October 09, 2006

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