TV Answer Man, I watched Thursday Night Football tonight (Thursday night) and the picture was great. No problems with the stream and the colors were very bright. But a friend of mine e-mailed me and said his picture was terrible. Lots of buffering. How can that be? — Gino, Jacksonville, Florida.
Gino, Amazon last night streamed its second exclusive Thursday Night Football game (Steelers vs. Browns) and the audience reaction was mixed, to say the least. Many fans on social media said the picture was terrific with vivid colors and no interruptions while many others said the picture was a buffering mess with the dreaded spinning wheel constantly on display in the center of the image.
And when I say ‘many,’ I mean many. Twitter last night was overflowing with both positive and negative comments:
The buffering begins. On the left, YouTube TV has been perfect all night. pic.twitter.com/ZoOsypAIeO
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 23, 2022
Not had an issue at all. Talk to your internet provider.
— Eric Lea (@EricWLea) September 23, 2022
This streaming football thing is so weird. I have a connection that's on the slower end, and I almost never have buffering problems with Amazon prime. Still, I know people that have better connections than me, and they get hit with the buffer all the time. Makes no sense.
— Evan Moore 🇺🇸🇺🇦🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏈🏈⚾ (@MooreHoops727) September 23, 2022
In terms of NFL streaming services Amazon is by far the best
— TH3Unapologetic (@Th3unapologetic) September 23, 2022
@NFL @PrimeVideo @amazon no my picture is not out of focus. This is just the prime video stream of the Thursday night football game…. Meanwhile, other streaming services can handle 4K no problem on my Internet connection. @NFLonPrime pic.twitter.com/KgUwvje9mf
— Bruce Comer Jr (@brucejr007) September 23, 2022
Trying to watch Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, and the quality of the streaming is horrendous! It is freezing and glitchy- actually unwatchable. So very disappointed…
— Kelly Friedman (@KellyFr58476011) September 23, 2022
Amazon needs to address these #TNFonPrime issues. In my opinion, there are still too many comments on social complaining about video quality being choppy, audio out of sync etc. you don't see this with NFL games streaming on FOX, NBC or CBS. #streamingmedia https://t.co/oxEjUz5PRx
— Dan Rayburn (@DanRayburn) September 23, 2022
Amazon is killing it with these Thrs. night broadcasts. Huge deal for streaming.
— Scott King (@ScottKingMedia) September 23, 2022
Get better internet.. it was working amazing here in Los Angeles
— Qba Libre (@RealQbaLibre) September 23, 2022
How is it possible that a single stream can cause so many different reactions?
Welcome to live streaming. The picture quality can, and often does, vary depending upon everything from your Internet service provider to the streamer’s servers to your device to your location to…well, about 20 other factors. This is not like cable and satellite which both have a more consistent and reliable delivery. Live streaming can be a joy to watch, or the most frustrating thing ever, and there’s not much you can do about it either way.
Sure, you can employ some of the usual tricks such as upgrading your Internet service or using a wired connection instead of WiFi. But even those actions may not help. Some fans last night who had streaming issues noted that they have the fastest Internet service available on the market.
Since the streaming companies are flush with cash these days, they will get more and more live sports exclusives. (By example, the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge may break Roger Maris’ HR record tonight and you will only be able to see it on Apple TV+.)
Our only hope is that the technology improves — and fast.
Gino, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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