Why are some streams great while others struggle to stay live?
In the FASTHockey system, the quality of video delivered to you depends on two main factors: the available bandwidth speed at the venue and your bandwidth where you are watching the game.
Through our partnership with the worlds leading content delivery provider, Akamai, FASTHockey can ensure the best quality delivery is reaching you. This does not always mean that the feed will stream perfectly-- if there are connection or bandwidth issues either at the venue or on your local connection, you may experience some difficulty watching the game.
FASTHockey works with all of our partners (national governing bodies, conferences, leagues, teams, and tournaments) to ensure they are aware of any issues that arise and they are addressed.
Why do you not stream in High Definition?
High Definition broadcasts are supported on the FASTHockey Platform and can be seen in crystal clear quality without buffering or streaming issues. This is accomplished through our partnership with Akamai and use of their HD network. FASTHockey has delivered quite a few streams in High Definition with incredible feedback from our users.
Unfortunately, due to bandwidth limitations at the venues (and with our world-wide audience), as well as the higher cost of acquiring a good quality High Definition camera that can handle the high speed of a hockey game as well as the environmental factors (like temperature and low lighting) in a hockey rink, most teams have opted for Standard Definition broadcasts.
We think that High Definition is coming as the technology behind it becomes less expensive and the implementation of broadband networks around the world increases
Do you limit the quality teams can deliver?
Absolutely not! FASTHockey works with our teams to set up their webcasts to be of the highest quality that their venue can handle. This takes in to account the ability to deliver multiple simultaneous streams (called adaptive bitrate) so that users at home are not forced to try and watch a high quality stream when their personal internet connection is not fast enough.
We do use our expertise to tweak the streaming settings to ensure the highest quality stream the venues bandwidth can handle will be sent over the internet.
Why are some productions better than others?
Every production is up to the individual team doing the game. Some teams have multiple cameras, graphics, and instant replay while others may have a single camera at center ice following the play.
FASTHockey monitors each and every game on our platform for overall stream and production quality. We often send feedback directly to the team so they can improve their productions. Additionally, we share customer feedback directly with the teams so that they can use that information as well.
How come some games have audio talent and others do not?
Much like the video production, each team owns their own broadcast. While some choose to add play-by-play and color commentary, others do not. Each team makes their own decisions on the quality of the production they want to stream over the internet.
Is there any quality control in place?
Human beings watch and listen to all of our live broadcasts for any issues that arise. From internet bandwidth issues, to camera issues (like icons on the screen), to audio talent issues (like a microphone where a battery has died), we report and take action on each and every issue. Often, before the teams themselves even know they have a problem.
The moment an issue arises, somebody from one of our multiple Broadcast Operations Centers works to contact the team producing the event and advise them of the issue.
What about customer support. Who can I contact if there is an issue?
FASTHockey has a fully staffed Broadcast Operations Center during any live event. Customers who experience issues can submit a Support Request (often called a ticket). Our average response time is less than three minutes and will come via email.
When we are not broadcasting live, all tickets are responded to in less than one business day.
I want to broadcast my games on FASTHockey. Is there a cost?
FASTHockey has a variety of business models that can be built in to your contract. From pay-per-view to free-for view we work with each of our partners to server their unique business needs. Under most agreements, there are no out-of-pocket expenses to partner with FASTHockey and take advantage of all the features of our platform.
What if I want to edit or download a game?
Each of our partners has access to a wide array of tools on the FASTHockey platform ranging from our proprietary online editing suite to the ability to download full game files. Working together to define the security model for all of your content, FASTHockey can ensure your digital rights are protected where you want them to be and your content is shared in accordance with your wishes.
There are other streaming companies out there. Why should I work with FASTHockey?
FASTHockey is unique in our business model in that we are not only a streaming company but your complete digital media partner in our venture. Our goal is to understand your need and build a partnership that meets each and every one of your goals.
Our platform, built to support the specific needs of hockey organizations, has a unique array of features not found elsewhere. We integrate live and on-demand video, online editing and sharing, digital media marketing including integration with Facebook, Youtube, and others.
Lastly, we provide all the hardware and software you need to effectively broadcast your games on the worlds leading network-- Akamai. You have access to live online reporting with geolocation analytics and access to a growing list of advanced digital media functions. Partners get access to over 30,000 live games annually and 150,000 hours of on demand content. There are almost never any out of pocket expenses for you!