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Live Feed Recap of the Big Brother Sheryl Crow Concertby Rob Daugherty -- 08/21/2002
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(If you'd prefer to read this same article, but with Live Feed screen captures, visit ManlyThoughts.com.)
After a whole week of CBS promos, both on TV and especially on the net, heralding a special concert by Sheryl Crow to be broadcast live on the Live Feeds, I sit at my computer watching the clock tick towards 10pm. How exciting will this be?! Sheryl Crow is going to set up and play a special concert just for the Big Brother houseguests.
As the time approaches, whoever is in charge of the live feeds decides that those of us who have paid to have the live feeds simply cannot be allowed to see what's going on. I wonder what super-secret information us "internet nerds" will see and then post all over the internet thus causing Big Brother's ratings to drop by the millions.
10pm has come and gone and I sit here listening to that annoying Front Of The House (FOTH) music. I also notice that the feeds are starting to cut in and out more often and that it takes longer for them to reload. Apparently, many people decided to sign up to the live feeds because the extra internet traffic is noticeable.
Sure, I'm excited about seeing Sheryl Crow in the Big Brother back yard. But I must admit that I'm more excited to see the houseguests' reactions when they realize what's happening. Big Brother is a sociological/psychological experiment disguised as a game played by people who look good in swimming suits. So, dammit, let me experience the psychology.
This is what I'm thinking as I hear that same 30 second FOTH music clip repeat over and over again. "At LEAST let us watch them run out into the backyard. That's all I ask to see - their initial reactions to Sheryl Crow. This is why I pay for the live feeds, so I can see things not shown on TV, so I can truly begin to understand how the HGs think and feel and not be swayed by the TV editing. And I don't watch the live feeds for glimpses of nudity. This doesn't happen in the U.S. If I wanted nudity, I'd sign up for the international Big Brothers.
Psychology. That's what I want - psychology, dammit."
After roughly 45 minutes of FOTH (as one can see, I have time to blab on about nothing), all the houseguests are herded into the HRD ("High Rent District") room. More waiting. More FOTH.
My feeds start screwing up really badly now. The screen turns purple and freezes. After 5 minutes of patiently hoping for the feed to load, I close it and restart. I hear a message that says something like, "Due to a lot of traffic that we advertised out the ying-yang to get but couldn't really handle, this feed is currently unavailable."
Meanwhile, CBS and Real Player executives are counting all their new money from the many, many people who signed up just to see this event. Sure, they give a free 14-day trial and will gladly cancel the live feeds (which most people won't go to the trouble of doing for a few months) after you spend 10-15 minutes trying to convince someone that you REALLY DO want to cancel.
"We'll send you an email. Just respond to that to cancel your account."
And so I fight with Real Player for another 10 minutes trying to get the feeds to load. Occasionally they do and I see the houseguests all sitting in a room. (Notice how this picture is screwed up - You can see Gerry and Gerry's ghost!) It freezes again and I click on Feed #1 and wait. Nothing happens. Try the others... nothing. I close Real Player then go to CBS' site and click the Live Feeds link. This works!
Oh wait. It froze again.
And I have a cable modem. Not a 56k dial-up connection. Not DSL. But the fastest, fanciest-schmanciest connection there is. I sit and watch the screen try to load. 50% it says. 74%.
Frustration turns to boiling. It's a good thing I don't have a little puppy because it would've been kicked.
After a few more minutes of nothing and considering going next door because they have 3 dogs that bark all the time and it sure would feel good to give them a good whack, the Live Feeds start working!
But she's in the middle of a song. Crap. I missed the Houseguests' initial reaction.
And you know, I love Real Player. I use it for many, many other things. I'd bet money that it's not Real Player's fault but CBS' instead because CBS doesn't give a rat's boney ass cheeks about those who watch the live feeds.
I had to later go back and read the Live Feeds posts from various groups to find out what happened while I fought with Real Player. (I got this information from the Yahoo! groups Big_Brother-CBS, BB2000deadlilysavedus and the king of Live Feed updates The Clubhouse.)1 2 3 Next-->
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