Fox Soccer Channel in HD on DirecTV Opening Weekend Observations

This past weekend was the weekend many Premier League fans have been waiting on for quite some time now, at least here in the States. FSCHD went live for DirecTV subscribers last Wednesday which was a great way to enter into the opening weekend of the 2010-2011 Premier League season. The feed FSC broadcasts had plenty of new graphics to enjoy and FSC’s Fox Soccer Tonight – their attempt at a Match of the Day-type program – was also in full HD.

With a packed weekend featuring some big games, what did you think of the new service, was it everything we all hyped it up to be? For me, it was a breath of fresh air.

I for one was highly annoyed though when FSC got viewers to the Aston Villa v West Ham match some 30 seconds into the first half. Were the lineups and tactical formations shown on some pre match show before the actual match? If they were, FSC needs to remember that many a soccer fan utilizes a DVR to watch matches as we’re all stretched thin with the number of games we view each week. Usually, I arrive to my next match some 5-10 minutes after it’s started and thus will start it from the beginning on my DVR and fast forward through the half to catch up to the live broadcast.

This of course was no fault of DirecTV but of the Fox network. DirecTV prides themselves on providing the best possible and highest quality HD broadcasting and they didn’t let down one bit. Since I was no stranger to Premier League matches in HD from ESPN’s broadcasts, the thing I enjoyed the most was not having to switch back to standard definition after watching the early match on ESPN2.

When I flipped over to 619 for the Villa v West Ham match, the clear HD broadcast was awaiting my attentive eyes. Another concern for DirecTV subscribers is the process of FSC+ being broadcast in full HD. It seems for the time being that DirecTV has set up an alternate channel like that of the old SETANTA alternate on 621-1 where multiple hour blocks broadcast a match only for the channel to go black after the match is over. I was able to catch a few minutes of a Ligue 1 match on Sunday afternoon on this very channel. I’d imagine that DirecTV will fix this in the near future, but for now I’m a satisfied subscriber.

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