How Rapid Improvements In Digital Technology Made Live Sports Better: The Silent Improvements

2021-03-30 by Editor

Throughout the centuries, popular sports like football, rugby and cricket have changed quite significantly, and most of those changes were driven by technological advancements and their respective introductions to each sport. However, those advancements and changes pale in comparison to how much technology has changed the way people watch live sports. Most sports fans are well aware of the major changes, but today we are going to discuss the less obvious, but even more critical silent changes which have seamlessly improved our entire experience of watching live sports forever.

End of Buffering

It was back in 2005 that sports were broadcasted over the internet for the first time, although that did not get much traction due to low internet connection speeds. From roughly 2008-2010, live streaming of sports online started to gain some real popularity in the UK and abroad, because broadband connections were now at least fast enough for sports fans to stream live sports with acceptable quality and reduced buffering.

Most sports fans are aware of these changes of course, but a seamless change also happened in the following years, as broadband cable net became faster with each passing year. By the time fibre optic with its virtually unlimited range and astoundingly faster streaming capabilities gained mainstream popularity, buffering was already a thing of the past. By that time, cable broadband had reached its limit in terms of providing fast internet speeds, which was already more than enough to watch live football online in Full High Definition without buffering. We know that fibre optic is the future, but it was the silent improvements made in cable broadband technology that originally ended buffering for the most part.

Live Streaming on Smartphones

When broadcasting head honchos (Sky Sports, BT Sports, etc.) finally realised the potential of live streaming, they decided to launch their own streaming applications for compatible smart TVs, smartphones and tablets. By that time, we were already so used to streaming content on our smartphones, that the integration of live sports with smartphone applications happened almost seamlessly, but not without notice of course.

Suffice to say, sports fans were delighted by the fact that they could watch their favorite games even while on the move. Nevertheless, nobody was surprised by it, as that was inevitable at that point. What really did happen in silence was the impact this move had on viewership. Due to the wider accessibility, more people than ever before were watching live sporting events in not just the UK, but around the world as well.

4K Live Streaming: The “Big” Gift of Technology for Sports Fans

Big TV screens in the drawing-room are not exactly a new concept, but streaming live sports on a 4K, 77-inch OLED TV is now possible because:

  • Smart TV OS integrations have become the standard in almost all new television sets
  • Fibre optic unlimited plans allow huge data volumes to be consumed without going bankrupt!
  • Giant OLED and LED displays are a lot cheaper to manufacture today than they were even 2-3 years ago
  • Dedicated, 4K streaming apps make the experience seamless

More changes are due of course, because the internet will continue to get faster, and the quality of broadcasting will continue to improve. Even streaming live sports in 8K will become a regular event down the line, although that may yet take some time.

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