American Fork, Utah - ESPN360.com’s presentation of the Feb. 20 Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers basketball game was the debut of a new application, from Move Networks, that presents a high-definition stream matched to the speed of the viewer’s Internet service provider.
For the National Basketball Association contest, which featured Shaquille O’Neal’s debut as a Sun against his one-time teammates on the Lakers, the application provided a combination of 16:9 aspect ratio and a high-bit rate (about 2 megabits per second).
Unlike other online streaming, the Move Networks offering doesn’t require selecting a special HD stream or downloading a file that requires buffering.
In addition to NBA games, ESPN360.com (a paid service made available by its cable affiliates) also plans to provide HD versions of some NCAA college basketball contests. ESPN announced the new service at the NBA Tech Summit in New Orleans on Feb. 15.
This was the first NBA game streamed live in HD. Fox and ABC have both partnered with Move for live broadcasts in the past.