When their son, Charles Ganske '06, began suiting up last year for the Big Green football team, Joe and Judy Ganske of New Ulm, Minn., were too far away to pick up the radio broadcasts of his games.
"We could only turn on ESPN and watch the updated scores as they came across the TV," Joe Ganske recalls. Other parents with whom the Ganskes were emailing had the same frustration.
Not any longer. Thanks to a new relationship this fall between the student-run Dartmouth Sports Network and a commercial web server, all Big Green football radio broadcasts have been streamed live on the Internet. This winter the Network is also webcasting its radio calls of selected men's and women's basketball and hockey games. The broadcasts are archived on the Sports Network site as well, enabling parents, alumni, and friends to listen at their own convenience.
"The quality's great, the consistency's great," says Alex Taylor '04, director of the Dartmouth Sports Network. "Once you get to the Sports Network home page, you're just one click away. When the game-or the pregame show-is scheduled to begin, that link activates."
The Sports Network, which operates as part of the College's student-run radio stations WDCR-AM and WFRD-FM, had tried using Dartmouth's own web server to stream its radio broadcasts of games during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 years. But the server's everyday traffic proved too heavy for the sportscasts to come across with consistent quality.
"We couldn't really bring people a reliable and constant product," says Taylor. So last summer, he and technical director Lynn Lee '05 researched commercial servers used by other Division I schools and settled on the firm SurferNETWORK.
"We provide the audio feed to our computers," says Lee. "They encode it, transfer it by high-speed Internet connection to SurferNETWORK, and webcast it."
"Coverage comes through for us loud and clear," says Joe Ganske. "After connecting to the webcast, I ring up Charles's grandfather, who lives in northern Wisconsin, on the cell phone so he can listen.
"Keep up the fine connection," he adds.
- By Doug Wilhelm
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Last Updated: 5/30/08