Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Queue

So I logged in to March Madness On Demand right at noon, only to find 47,254 people already waiting in line. They have a little timer labeled "Next Admission." It counts down from twenty seconds and then resets.

Not knowing how many users are admitted to the live games area each "admission" period, let's assume the worst: only one person leaves the waiting room each time. So that's 1/3 minute * 47,253 people ahead of me = 15,751 minutes until I get to watch a live game.

In other words, 262.5 hours or nearly eleven days until I get to watch the live video.

Update: 14 minutes have passed and I am now number 39,111 in the queue. So it seems 200 people get in every twenty seconds. That means only 79 minutes until I get to watch me some NCAA basketball!

Update #2: I waited only 23 minutes total (plus a 15-second commercial). Perhaps they only let in relatively few people at a time in the beginning, but opened up the floodgates later on. The picture quality is decent in the half-court set, though during fast breaks it's pixelated like vintage 1997 The picture also keeps blacking out. You need to minimize the window and then bring it back up to get the picture back.

Update #3: Every so often, the audio feed switches from the game announcers to the commercials that CBS is broadcasting, maybe for some other game. This is much more annoying than the occassional blackout.

Still, you can't beat free.

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