Quality was good. But probably not good enough.
Roku is a company I regularly chat with and, at some point last year, they suggested I take another look at UFC as a number of presentation improvements have been made since launch. Our schedules, and coupon codes, finally lined up this weekend… and I took in UFC 127 live.
Whereas I found UFC 113’s stream inconsistant and not high enough resolution, UFC 127 was another story. Indeed, a much better story. When initially firing up the live stream, I found myself watching unpleasant smudgy SD video. But after maybe two minutes, I was automatically elevated to what looked like a HD tier. Which is where I remained for nearly the entirety of the matches. At one point, I seemed to drop back down for a minute and at another point it looked like I was hit with some dropped frames. But these minor glitches are acceptable given the 2+ hours of smooth streaming and nice looking video.
Of course, your mileage may vary. Unlike cable company pay-per-view, there are many more variables that may impact your experience by taking video over the top (OTT) – including one’s broadband package, ISP connectivity, and home network. Without a doubt, the cableco provides a safer bet. But for those who don’t have cable or want to travel with PPV events, Roku is a very solid option for UFC. (Or NHL and MLB.)
As to UFC 127 itself, I can’t say it was the most compelling event they’ve put on. The highlight for me was probably the win by Ebersole, a last minute stand-in from the minor circuits. Yeah, his style was goofy at times, but he showed a lot of heart. Not only did he hold his own against a seasoned veteran, he pulled off a nice upset.
The other notable moments, for all the wrong reasons, came from Bisping’s unsportsmanlike conduct. He’s a great fighter, but should have been disqualified for the illegal knee (above). The sport is brutal enough without teeing off like that. Hope these guys have long term health insurance…
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