It’s one of the main drawbacks of watching football via a live stream: cheering neighbours may give the game away long before you see the goal.
In Switzerland, streaming service Zattoo says its found a way to cut the lag, just in time for the Euros. Zattoo says its going to be able to reduce the lag by 25 seconds. This will cut the delay to just 10 seconds, according to the company. The 10 second delay applies to all SD and HD services using Fire TV and Android TV.
Users with iOS or tvOS will see the delay cut to 15 seconds. Reduced latency will also be available to users on its other platforms in the coming weeks.
So how is it with some of the UK’s main streaming services? A quick test of the iPlayer on Friday evening revealed a near two minute delay between the linear version of BBC One and the iPlayer “live” stream. ITV’s live stream was running 48 seconds behind the linear version. But there’s never a fixed delay applicable to all users: your device, your internet connection as well as the streaming provider can all add a delay to a live stream. Even between terrestrial and satellite platforms, there can be a slight delay making it hard or impossible to establish a fixed benchmark to compare the exact lag between traditional and streaming versions of a channel.
In a nutshell, ahead of this summer’s big events, you might just want to ditch online streams in favour of a traditional broadcast. That’s unless you have very quiet neighbours or family members and you’re not keeping one eye on social media…