Today was a good Day

Posted on: April 9, 2010 | Comments(6) | New Media, Race Tracks | By: Jarrod

Today was a good day.

For most avid IndyCar.com users…you’ll understand what I am talking about. Besides not having audio during the morning sessions of the day, both streaming and timing and scoring went really well. This was a breath of fresh air for all of us.

Here is a great comment from a fellow blog site:

…Plus: IndyCar.com video is gorgeous and clear. Con: No audio. They’re working on i– IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.-POP OFF VALVE-via twitter

My morning began at 2:30am when I arrived in Birmingham after driving 9 straight hours with my family. I woke up bright and early and headed to the race track to tackle the day with a list of updates to the Race Control and Timing and Scoring applications.

At about 9am, I sat down with Jack Arute, and the the two of us recapped his blog titled “SOS for IndyCar Fans”

We even found this YouTube clip below…. This is quite funny, but sad, and the purpose of the clip certainly hit home. Elvis attempts to watch Race Control

So as Jack and I sat in the television compound discussing everything from big budget production to Jack’s Stafford Speedway set up with wires and duct tape, we uncovered his entire experience. Everything that he said was frustrating because he was right, but the great part of the conversation was when Jack said something to the tune of…

I’ve seen your set up, and its still impressive that you get anything out, but we got to figure out how to make it better for the fans. My response to him was…you are absolutely right!

Fast forward to the first session of the day….

We were about 90 minutes out from the first Firestone Indy Lights Session of the day and we still did not have any connectivity to the Internet in the television compound. At each event there is a fiber line that runs between the timing and scoring booth and the television compound to light us up. I was told that there is over 100,000 feet of fiber ran at Barber. That’s insane! So with about 90 mintues to go, we had our IT staff putting the final touches on internet, finally lighting up our connections with about 30 minutes till go time. Then we had a snapfu with our load balancing of the timing and scoring data with 10 minutes to go.

Like a champ, or guy Nick terminated everything, refired them and we had data! With 60 seconds to spare, the application was open and data was correct and the video was up and running!

I had already notified everyone to be prepared for the email out to the execs stating that “Timing and Scoring will be down for the first session”. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

If you noticed today, the video quality improved throughout the day, and Timing and Scoring data normalized eliminating the funny data that was seen in St. Pete.

For me today was a good day. A lot of progress was made with the Live video streams and tomorrow we are going to tweak some more to give viewers a further improved experience. Was it perfect, no, will it be better yes and do we listen….absolutely.

On a side note, Barber Motorsports Park is awesome. There are tons of fans here and the facility is magnificent, a great place for IndyCar Racing.

#AV(nTHI2m)E

Comments

There are 6 comments for this post.

  1. Andy on April 9, 2010 8:02 pm
    Andy

    The streaming for the second practice session was great, thanks for the good work.

  2. David Zehr on April 9, 2010 10:46 pm
    David Zehr

    To me as a fan, this post is important as it sheds some light as to what you wizards behind the curtain do. I tend to be patient with tech issues, but having given up on it early last year, actually shows Arute’s point and the time HAS come to have this thing working.

    I can say it worked great for me today, and also two weeks ago watching various cams @ St. Pete and the IMS radio feed while watching my TV with the commentary muted.

    Now that it’s working, it is a real treat and the picture is great on my laptop! I can see I’m going to be addicted to this setup (TV plus laptop) for racedays as well.

    The whole site is vastly improved! Nice job (and keep it coming)! -DZ

  3. is it May yet? » Blog Archive » IndyCar.com Launches New Blog, Hurts Innocent Bystanders on April 10, 2010 5:18 pm
    is it May yet? » Blog Archive » IndyCar.com Launches New Blog, Hurts Innocent Bystanders

    [...] Because I hardly remember to visit all of the different IndyCar-related websites that exist already, IndyCar.com has decided to add another by launching it’s own official blog. They’re even making poor Dave Lewandowski write for it, because lord knows he doesn’t have to write enough for the league. You also get to hear a Krisloff declare that online streaming and timing and scoring is fixed forever and ever amen. [...]

  4. Andy on April 10, 2010 8:12 pm
    Andy

    OK, you got the compliment from me you deserved, and now you get the rest of the story from today.

    The streaming was great, and I was surprised that Versus had nothing but fishing shows on the big tube. But nowhere, all week on any related website or blog or whatever, did I see a notice that Versus was going to carry qualifying on a tape delay.

    Isn’t that the whole idea, to make new fans and boost TV ratings? You’re working really hard to meet the expectations of a very small number of hardcore fans. That’s admirable, and the quality of your content is improving.

    The ratings aren’t. If I missed a notice somewhere, that’s too bad for all the people who have an interest in making sure fans, and yet-to-be fans, get the word to watch the broadcasts that count the most.

    That’s the ones that sponsors pay for, and the ones that makes the ratings numbers sponsors want to see. Pointing eyeballs to the television set is the most important accomplishment that any of the “social media” efforts can accomplish.

    I got the memo from IndyCar buzz, half way through the Versus broadcast. That wasn’t my mistake. Versus counts numbers for all of the IndyCar related programming, and they likely didn’t get jack this evening. Tomorrow, against the Masters, won’t be much better.

    The big tube is the one that counts. That’s the big picture. There should be a far better integration between all of the related websites: they need to be kept up to date, and point anyone who wanders in directly to the TV before distracting them with anything else.

    Nobody is minding the Facebook pages for IRL or IZOD. The first thing anyone should see there, or on the IZOD website, is a time and network notice for the next IndyCar-related broadcast. Viewers can watch the clothing commercials there, and maybe even stay for some of the racing. And the ratings.

    This is the third race of a 17 race schedule, and there is little sign of an effective marketing strategy. That’s from a set of eyeballs that is looking very hard for one. The millions who need to be watching aren’t seeing much at all.

  5. Jarrod on April 10, 2010 10:17 pm
    Jarrod Krisiloff

    Is it May Yet?…

    Thanks for the comment. Don’t worry, your blog and the rest of the faithful IndyCar Blog supporters will not die. blog.indycar.com will never be a replacement for candid, honest feedback from enthusiastic fans. Much like traditional media, your blogs provide a certain level of credibility to what we all do.

    We’ll continue to embrace you and we hope that you’ll embrace us. People will come to blog.indycar.com to hear from the IZOD IndyCar Series, and they’ll go to your site to hear about the IZOD IndyCar Series.

    Here is a crazy idea, why don’t you guest post every once and a while to help drive people to “Is it May yet?”

    Thanks for the support.

    If anyone missed his blog post you can find it here: http://www.isitmayyet.com/index.php/2010/04/10/indycar-com-launches-new-blog-hurts-innocent-bystanders/

  6. Michael Condre on June 10, 2010 12:52 am
    Michael Condre

    Speaking of… let’s chat sometime about message boards in general and trackforum.com in particular :) Thanks!

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