Obama, Streaming, and Wow

August 29th, 2008 by · 2 Comments

Obama gave his speech last night, and I was able to watch it live in HD and it was just astounding!  Big deal, you’re saying, we all did.  Yeah, but I’m in Beijing right now.  Yes, the one in China.  And not in some fancy hotel with a high powered internet link either – just a basic, slower than average DSL line in an ordinary apartment building.  Even wonderful YouTube, in all its low-res grainy glory,  stops and starts every 20 seconds here, CNN video takes 3 minutes even to load, and The Daily Show is lucky to play at all.

It was one thing to watch the cached stories, and most of the convention was at odd hours of the early morning for me so I hadn’t watched much until today.  Besides, it is politics, and as an independent I just can’t really get excited about party conventions.  But this was different, first it was a historic event (whether he wins or loses), and second it was live HD streaming some 8000 miles to reach me.  Live video can’t be cached, sending it across the pacific is hard.  Even the Olympics streaming wasn’t in bulk like this – lots of little streams and most people watched it later in a cached version.  I didn’t actually think it would work for the DNC for anyone outside the USA.  But not only did it work, it didn’t even have a glitch.  I could count the man’s teeth, it’s like I was there in Denver – I almost stood up when the wave came round to my seat.

So a hearty congratulations to Level 3 on their CDN showcase, from my point of view it was a roaring success!  And congrats also to Barack Obama, that was a heck of a speech.

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