• Poor broadband connections to make U2’s historic live online broadcast unwatchable for thousands of fans
• England vs Ukraine broadcast highlights potential problems
Millions of music fans hoping to witness a U2 show online that’s even better than catching the real thing live could be left disappointed, according to Top 10 Broadband, as poor connections put paid to what promised to be a landmark moment in music history.
Sunday will mark the first time that a gig from a major, stadium-filling act has been broadcast live on video-sharing site YouTube. An audience of millions is expected for U2’s appearance at California’s Rosebowl stadium, which is being shown in 16 countries across the globe.
Despite the UK broadcast time of 4.30am on Monday morning, fans are expected to stay up to watch the show in huge numbers. YouTube is confident that its servers will be able to cope with the surge in usage.
The video site’s confidence is echoed by Sean Adams of Drowned in Sound, whose site has successfully hosted live shows from Arctic Monkeys and The Dead Weather. He said: “Technology has progressed a lot and I'm sure YouTube/Google have it in hand, in the same way streaming News 24 via iPlayer has it sorted using P2P-like methods to share the bandwidth weight.”
But as the recent experience of England supporters shows, music fans with broadband connection speeds of below 2MB are likely to find their enjoyment of the U2 gig is hampered by poor quality images and interruptions to the stream.
Official figures show that the average connection speed across the UK is 3.6Mb. However figures gleaned from Top 10 Broadband’s interactive coverage map show many parts of the UK experience connections well below this level.
Alex Buttle, Marketing Director at Top 10 Broadband, said: “Just two weeks after the historic online-only broadcast of England’s game against the Ukraine, we are witnessing another landmark event in the history of the internet.
“The 360 stage set is one of the most technologically advanced ever staged – rivalled only by the multi-media blitz that was the Zoo TV tour. So it’s especially ironic that thousands of UK fans’ enjoyment will be spoiled by slow broadband connections that threaten to turn their beautiful day into a nightmare”
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