An Early Xmas Present: EHF to give me the bits for Euro 2010!

As the self proclaimed world’s #1 proponent of internet web streaming of Handball matches I was very pleased and a little surprised by the EHF’s recent announcement of their upcoming Euro 2010 web package. The key sentence:

“All games of the EHF EURO in Austria will be available on the internet at a 500 kbit/s rate as well as at a [u][b]1.5 Mbit/s[/b][/u] rate so that subscribers can optimise the service to their own technical possibilities.”

For those of you who don’t know, 1.5 Megabit/second is a dramatic step up in service compared to previous offerings for the World and European Championships where speeds of 450 and 750 Kb/s have been the norm. 1.5 Mb/s isn’t quite the same picture quality you typically see on TV, but it’s very close and there’s a lot less pixilation when compared to 750 Kb/s.

Unfortunately, the service will not be available everywhere. Sorry handball fans in Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Belarus you’ll be restricted to the TV matches in your respective countries. Not too often is it better to be a Handball fan in say, India or the U.S, but as long as TV executives are still living in 1999 instead of 2009 we’ll have to suffer through these archaic rights restrictions.

Finally, perhaps I shouldn’t celebrate too much just yet as it remains to be seen as to whether the actual package will match the advertisement. The Euro 2008 service was to put it kindly, less than satisfactory. The Euro 2010 throws off on 19 January.

EHF (16 Dec 09): Follow the EHF EURO 2010 live on your computer!:
THN: World Championship Handball Web Streaming: Slow, but Steady Progress (16 Jan 09):
Handball Video Streaming ($43 vs. Free): Hmmm…. I’ll take Free, Thank You (14 Feb 08):
THN: Women’s World Championship Video Streaming: More Bits Please (6 Dec 07):