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Streaming March Madness On Linux? 120

Posted by timothy
from the when-you-can-snatch-this-pebble-from-my-hand dept.
neersign writes "March Madness is here and NCAA.com is streaming all of the games over the internet for free. The downside is they are using Microsoft technologies to do so. The standard player lists Windows XP/Vista, IE6, and WMP 9 as the base requirements. The High Quality Video Player requires Silverlight 2. So my question is: how would a Linux user be able to work around these requirements and watch the games?"
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Streaming March Madness On Linux?

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  • search deadspin, you'll find my site ;)

    • by spotter (5662)

      and yes, I mean to be a bit obtuse about this. sorry. not hiding it, just not advertising it either.

      When my cable modem comes back up, I'm hoping to see if I can figure out how to get the HQ streams working, the streams I'm getting right now are viewable and smooth, but crappy resolution wise.

  • Yahoo Sports (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snl2587 (1177409) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @05:54PM (#27262219)

    Yahoo typically streams NCAA basketball games, and I've had success with opening the videos with Totem using GStreamer codecs (from the "bad" and "ugly" set, though).

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by donaldm (919619)

      March Madness is here and NCAA.com is streaming all of the games over the internet for free. The downside is they are using Microsoft technologies to do so

      Has anyone asked if the games play on under MS Windows or as they are known "Games for Windows"? If this is the case then for the Linux user assuming you could download the game you would have to use a MS Windows emulator such as Wine. I think the average Linux user should ask if they are really that interested in playing these games since it is not native to Linux but even if you could download it you have to ask the question do I like sport games? Some people do some people don't.

      Basically like it or no

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:03PM (#27262303)

    Then you would be watching sports which would make you not a Linux user.

    *computer explodes from the incongruity*

  • by doas777 (1138627) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:06PM (#27262333)
    it's my understanding that moonlight is supposed to fill that gap.
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/05/15/moonlight-release-puts-Silverlight-on-Linux_1.html [infoworld.com]
    • Almost.

      Currently support for Silverlight 2.0 is in pre-Alpha stage, but if you want to test it, or contribute to the code, you will need to: ...

    • by Protocron (611778)

      Last I read, Moonlight support for those specific features aren't available until Q3 this year.
      That said, you might try the Moonlight that let everybody stream the presidents inauguration address. I doubt it will work, but it's worth a try.
      http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight/ [go-mono.com]

    • by mike_sucks (55259)

      Of course, this is why Mono's support of the .NET APIs in general, and Moonlight in particular, is bad for Linux: it is encouraging services to deploy Windows-specific technologies under the guise that it's actually "cross platform".

      Mono is a nice VM and C# is a reasonable language, but they should stick to implementing Free APIs, like Qt and GTK+.

      /Mike

      • Of course, this is why Mono's support of the .NET APIs in general, and Moonlight in particular, is bad for Linux: it is encouraging services to deploy Windows-specific technologies under the guise that it's actually "cross platform".

        If a publisher tests its Silverlight app on Moonlight, then how is it not cross-platform?

        but they should stick to implementing Free APIs, like Qt and GTK+.

        What makes an API itself non-free, as opposed to its implementation?

        • by mike_sucks (55259)

          If a publisher tests its Silverlight app on Moonlight, then how is it not cross-platform?

          Then great! But I would suggest that the majority of publishers won't, since if they are deploying a silverlight app they are going to be Windows-based anyway and not care.

          Also, unless Mono's implementation is 100% up to date with Microsoft's, you're going to lose anyway since effectively no one is going to not use the latest and greatest version of Microsoft's technology, as soon as it is released.

          "To view this site you need Silverlight 2.0, click here for a free download from Microsoft."

          What makes an API itself non-free, as opposed to its implementation?

          I didn't talk abou

          • by tepples (727027)

            "To view this site you need Silverlight 2.0, click here for a free download from Microsoft."

            How many web sites are going to require Windows Internet Explorer 8 the month it comes out?

            they should stick to implementing Free APIs

            What makes an API itself non-free, as opposed to its implementation?

            I didn't talk about "non-free APIs"

            To "stick to" something implies that something has an opposite from which one should abstain. As I understood it, the opposite of "free APIs" is "non-free APIs".

            I said they should stick to providing access to APIs for Free software, rather than helping to increase Microsoft's market share and harming users of Free software in the long run by implementing Microsoft's APIs and technologies.

            GNU got started by implementing AT&T's UNIX APIs. Inventing new APIs to be deliberately incompatible with non-free software smacks of NIHism [wikipedia.org]. Besides, Silverlight/Moonlight has an advantage over Gtk# in that Silverlight/Moonlight is intended to run as part

            • by mike_sucks (55259)

              How many web sites are going to require Windows Internet Explorer 8 the month it comes out?

              None, because Microsoft is implementing an open standard, rather than someone implementing a Microsoft technology.

              To "stick to" something implies that something has an opposite from which one should abstain. As I understood it, the opposite of "free APIs" is "non-free APIs".

              Sorry, I thought I spelt it out enough the second time around. Lets try again: They should stick to providing access to APIs for Free software, where the important point is the "access to Free software" part, not the API.

              GNU got started by implementing AT&T's UNIX APIs. Inventing new APIs to be deliberately incompatible with non-free software smacks of NIHism [wikipedia.org].

              Dude, you need to check your reading comprehension skills. I said "access to Free software", I didn't say "reinvent crazy new shit to replace stuff that already exists". I even

  • VirtualBox (Score:3, Informative)

    by Protocron (611778) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:36PM (#27262669)

    Download VirtualBox

    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads [virtualbox.org]

    Install a version of Windows XP. If you don't have one find a torrent... cough cough blackxp cough.

    Watch March Madness on Windows on Linux.

    For the record, I don't watch sports, so I don't know that it work. That said, I have watched Netflix (uses Silverlight) on a licensed Windows in Virtualbox on Ubuntu.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      and you're sure that going through a VM-VMM boundary won't slow things down?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ilgaz (86384)

        On x86, it shouldn't. They all have 2d acceleration (on hardware level) which covers the acceleration features a video player would need too.

        What matters is RAM. XP should run on at least 768/1GB RAM and Linux overhead must be calculated along with it. It should be prevented from swapping (real swapping, not tactical one). The ''Virtual GPU'' should have 16 or 32MB of RAM too.

        Another thing is, if CPU has virtual machine acceleration, it should be enabled (disabled by default).

        Sun's Virtualbox comes with _ve

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by westyvw (653833)
      I hate that idea. I really do. I don't want to support it, not even in a backdoor method. I want web standards, not another flash player, and particularly nothing from Microsoft. That said, a VM with Windows is better then installing it on a drive anyways. There is no slow down, and once the computer is set up the way you want it, take a snapshot. No need for antivirus or spyware tools.
  • Gibberish! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:43PM (#27262739)

    What is this 'bas-ket ball' you speak of?

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:44PM (#27262765) Homepage
    Given the fact that this is Sports, I suspect you'll find that using a closed, proprietary technology was spec'ed as a business requirement for this. The streams are probably wrapped in some kind of DRM, which is something that (as a practical matter) you'll only get by going with a single-vendor solution.
    • Can someone sue?
      They don't stipulate in the fine print that you need Silverlight 2.0.
    • Well, a company named Real Networks ships a fully supported Linux player and you see the feedback they get. I don't know if they can DRM on Linux, on OS X and Symbian they can.

      He will probably accept 10s of MS patents in process, have a Mono framework but he will likely watch it with that Moonlight thingie. It is not evil right?

      MS missed a huge opportunity by not shipping official Silverlight 2 to Linux and PPC/OS X right from Microsoft.com. Some could really believe they have changed their 1990s model. If

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Well, a company named Real Networks ships a fully supported Linux player and you see the feedback they get.

        Mostly because RealPlayer absolutely sucks, on any platform. It's cool that they ship a Linux player, but it's still not something I want.

        Kind of like how MySpace probably works well on Firefox. Great, I can use it on Linux, but I still really don't like it.

        H264 and MPEG4 SP and even simple http streaming took over, it is only MS not admitting it. Even Real moved to AAC (plus) and some variant of h264 in rv10.

        Firstly: It's actually between these and WMV.

        Second: While h.264 and aac support is generally better than the latest wmv (or vc-1) and the latest wma codecs, keep in mind that all of these are exactly as proprietary, and exactly as patent-laden.

        So, if yo

        • by spotter (5662)

          wrong, they are not encrypting anything. if you can figure out how to get to the streams, they play fine in mplayer, vlc and totem-xine (albiet not totem-gstreamer, as no support for windows media audio v3).

          and yes, I have figured out how to get to the streams. someone even posted my setup to this thread already.

  • Just watch it on TV. And tell them you are forced to do that because you cannot watch the games your non-Windows computer, your smartphone, your Playstation etc.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Seems kind of silly to subscribe to cable for just one month and just one sport.

      A better suggestion is to take that $125 installation fee and $80 for the month and pay off your bar tab at the local sports bar :) The games are more fun there than hunched over a Linux laptop...

      • Mega March Madness has all games on direct tv and some bars are likely to have it.

      • A better suggestion is to take that $125 installation fee and $80 for the month and pay off your bar tab at the local sports bar :) The games are more fun there than hunched over a Linux laptop...

        It'd be a pity to be a freshman or sophomore in college and not be able to watch your own school's team because you're too young to get into a bar. I haven't seen a lot of sports bars with family rooms.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I'm sure a lot has changed in the 16 years since I was a freshman, but we certainly had no problems finding places to drink, let alone to watch March Madness.

  • It worked last year (Score:2, Interesting)

    by steltho (1121605)
    I was able to watch the games online last year using the mediaplayerconnectivity plugin for firefox and vlc. I tried this year, but they block all non-IE browsers from accessing the video streams. I was able to get past this check by using the UserAgentSwitcher plugin, but now it won't let me get to the streams because I don't have windows media player.
    • I succumbed today and downloaded Silverlight 2 at work today so I could watch the games in high quality. Worked in Firefox, but I felt a little dirty.

  • digital broadcast (Score:3, Informative)

    by Molochi (555357) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:05PM (#27263493)

    Kinda off topic but in Atlanta the CBS affiliate has activated OTA digital channel 46-2 as NCAA CBS. Sadly quality is only 480i (the game on 46-1 is in 1080i) but it's there to watch. I'm wondering if NCAA CBS is a national addition to the OTA Digital lineup?

    • Where are the mod points when I need them. Thanks Molochi, you just doubled my Tournament coverage. My 768k internet just doesn't stream well, but my 12ft antenna picks up High Quality Basketball. The second channel is in 480i, but that is mostly because if they wanted two HD feeds they would have to turn down the bitrate and that would annoying the 99% of people watching the main channel.
      • by leenks (906881)

        That doesn't seem to bother Sky in the UK - where sports are a fuzzy mess of mpeg artifacts. Yummy.

  • Please be sure you're not part of the quiet minority: [cbssports.com]http://www.cbssports.com/login?xurl=/help/askmmod&p_next_page=ask.php [cbssports.com]
  • by benwaggoner (513209) <<moc.tfosorcim> <ta> <renoggaw.neb>> on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:20PM (#27263947) Homepage

    I'd be curious to hear how well it works.

    Their Silverlight 2 support's in alpha now, targeting beta in May and final in September.
    http://www.mono-project.com/MoonlightRoadmap [mono-project.com]

    Less than 11 months until the Vancouver WInter Olympics in Silverlight! I'm sure they'd appreciate any help in their Hackathon:

    http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight2Hacking [mono-project.com]

    • Their Silverlight 2 support's in alpha now, targeting beta in May and final in September

      Just in time for September Madness!

  • For the benefit of the 90-odd percent of Internet users *not* in the US, wtf is "March Madness" and NCAA.com? The site is slashdotted, or broken, or something.

    • Try the all-knowing wikipedia:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Men's_Division_I_Basketball_Championship [wikipedia.org]

      The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single elimination tournament held each spring featuring 65[1] college basketball teams in the United States. This tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was first developed by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1939 and was the brainchild of Kansas coach Phog Allen[2][3] The NCAA would take over

  • Don't. (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by argent (18001)

    You're just encouraging them.

  • Try Justin.TV Sports [justin.tv]. That's how many expats get sports from their home countries while away. It's also a great resource for getting sports (and other programming) not generally available in your own country.

    This works on Macs (Intel and Power). I thought it worked on Linux with the latest Flash plugin, but I've had one Linux user tell me that it didn't. (Then again, I don't know what version of Flash he was using.) Please give it a try and report back what happens on Linux. I'd like to know for sure

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday March 20, 2009 @07:38AM (#27266523) Homepage
    that states "express written consent of the NCAA and the -insert major network here-" thanks to lock-ins, black-outs, exclusivity rights, and licensing agreements, and the crushing monopoly the NCAA maintains on their franchise, what led anyone to expect they would allow people to watch the game in any other format but one of the most coontrolled and restrictive? if this were PBS it might be news for nerds on some level, but this highlights a greater problem with monopolistic entertainment industries.

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