Experiments in time travel

I generally prefer the Pat/Ron rendition to any TV broadcast, although I’ll admit to moving up from just tolerating Len/Bob to actually liking their work. If Bob could stay away from the far too many Giant/DB references I would enjoy even more. Additionally, no matter how much I prefer the radio team, watching the game on HD and listening through big speakers on SS trumps that preference.


This Sunday night, the Cubs TV broadcast will only be on ESPN, and while I know this sounds immature, I simply refuse to listen to their call. The collective incompetence, lack of preparation, and in some cases intentional anti-Cub bias (Morgan) is something I just choose not to subject myself to.


But, of course … I will watch. So, what I would like to do is simply listen to WGN while watching ESPN (I can simply do this now from one remote through my SS system).  I have done this many times in the past on simpler technology, first driven to it by the network nitwits doing Bear games.


Which brings me to the tech problem -- there is that noticeable minor delay in the audio sync between the TV/Radio broadcast. The radio feed being 5-8 secs ahead of the TV feed. These days, I am on Comcast Digital/DVR and I swear sometimes the delay in the audio sync between the TV/Radio is closer to 20-30 secs! In a weird way, I found this was actually very interesting especially when multitasking  -- listen to the live radio and look up to the TV to see their live feed when something deserving visual attention occurs – a continuous rolling instant replay. But, invariably it’s too tedious and I’ll give in to just one feed.


The solution – Time Travel?


 I heard a radio ad for something called Sports Sync Radio ( The ads were specific to syncing TV and radio sports broadcasts, and I impulsively purchased the radio ($39.95).


What is it? Picture an old-time 1970 style AM, 9-volt transistor radio, with a plastic body with the funky telescoping silver antenna – and you get the idea. There are analog selector dials to try to wiggle-in the stations. But in stark contrast, right there on the front of this extremely antiquated looking radio is – well it is a time machine! There is a weird selector switch that lets you choose the number of seconds you want to go back in time! It looks a cheap prop from really bad Sci-Fi B-movie.


So, 3rd inning opening night, game on Comcast (200 on my local guide), I attempt an alpha test of my new time machine. Set it to 1 sec – hear Pat stutter; set to 2,3 secs  - déjà vu; 4 secs getting better; 5 secs – I hear the pop in Soto’s mitt at the exact instant I see it on TV!  SYNCHRONICITY achieved! Successful first test of the time machine. I quickly power down the machine to conserve batteries.


Beta test – 2nd game, 4th inning, on WGN (192 on my local guide). Feeling a little cocky from the previous test, I fire up the time machine to immediately go to 5 sec. There is this weird beeping as the time machine counts out the delay, but I’m now 5 secs back in time. I hear the pop in Soto’s mitt and the exact instant look up to see Demp getting his sign! What going on, a parallel universe? I bravely crank up the time machine to 6, 7, 8 secs – 8 secs is the maximum warp speed on the time machine. I wait to hear the pop in Soto’s mitt and the exact instant look up to see - Demp doing his mitt waggle. Beta test a failure! So I turned off the time machine feature, and just ran the radio and measured WGN TV is a fill 14 secs behind WGN radio.


Again, I’m not concerned about the games Len/Bob are doing, But, Sunday it’s ESPN, and I am not sure what their delay is, and how the time machine will perform. I will comment back to this post with my Pilot Test results Sunday during the game.


If anyone understands the specific factors that explain the differences in Radio/TV sync’ing, and/or knows what I should expect the delay to be on ESPN I would appreciate the help.


I should also say that Sports Sync Radio in fact does everything it advertises it can do, but for $39 you get what you pay for. If anyone one else has solved this problem in a higher tech way – I would love to hear about it.




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