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Friday Water Cooler: Setting Up Your Playoff Party

If you're in the Bethlehem area, and you want to take in the big game, you have two options.

One, you can go to Starters Riverport at about 1:00PM where the South Side Boosters are setting up a viewing party.  "No guarantee of sound as of yet," Lehigh fan ngineer reported, but it's likely that the game will have an ol' AM Radio handy so that the voices of Matt Kerr and Steve Lomangino can be heard calling the game while they carry the live streaming from the feed.

If you can't make it to Starters in Bethlehem, you can still enjoy the game this weekend - on your big screen. Finally delivering what former Lehigh executive media director Jeff Tourial asked me to do months ago, below the flip find instructions on how to stream the game from your laptop or PC. (more)

First of all, go to NCAA All-Access and register, if you haven't already. (If you've ever signed up for March Madness on Demand from the NCAA - I have - then you already have a login. You can just log in directly. If you've forgotten you password, just follow the instructions to determine how to retrieve it or reset it.)  It's free, since it's associated with the NCAA and their championship, so you won't need to shell anything out.

You can stream the game live on your computer through NCAA All-Access, and watch it on your computer, if that's OK with you.  At least a dual-core PC is ideal - basically, if you've bought a computer in the past two years, you should be OK: if it's older, it may be problematic.

Ideally, you computer will have access from Verizon FiOS or Comcast XFinity.  This is a broadband (Verizon) or cable (Comcast) connection with the speed necessary to stream live video.  AT&T U-Verse is also acceptable for streaming: I've used it before to watch Lehigh games, and it works great.  (Dial up?  No way.)

You can choose to stream using a wired network connection (a LAN cable), which will give the best results, or you can choose to stream wirelessly.  If you're watching on a computer, that's no problem but if you're planning to put the video on in a family room or for a viewing partry, "wired" means you might be tripping over a cable, so wireless is a better option.

At my home we have a 802.11g wireless router, which works fine for this application.  All newer routers are at least 802.11g technology - if you have, say, an XBox or Playstation 3 hooked up wirelessly to your router, you'll be fine.  Where you have to be careful is if you have a 802.11b router - my parents had one for years - since that doesn't have the speed necessary to stream video.  Check the model number of your router (and the wireless capability of your computer) if you're not sure - but it's very likely if you got a wireless router in the last two years, you shouldn't have a problem.  (Also, most modern laptops have wireless cards built in to take advantage of the speed.)

I know that I like to watch the game, though, on my moderately-sized screen TV with a Lord Chessy in hand and popcorn close at hand.  If you're anything like me - or you are setting up a viewing party at your home - you can hook up your TV to receive the feed from your computer.

Next up, you'll need to hook up the video from your computer or laptop to your TV.  A laptop is preferable, but you can also use a regular computer (if you know what you're doing).

For me, I have the 802.11g router, a compatible laptop, and a modern HD TV.  So I fire up the laptop, and put the video output from there into the TV.  The only missing piece is the cable.

I use an HDMI cable - from my Playstation 3, or you can buy one at Radio Shack, Walmart or your favorite place for this kind of stuff.  On your laptop or computer, look for a funny trapezoid shaped receptacle, maybe 1/2 inch across.  (It's on the right side of the picture above).

If you have an older laptop/computer, you might not have that receptacle on your computer.  What you may have, however, is a VGA monitor cable (this will be a cable with blue, rectangular ends on it, and a small plug on each side).  You can grab this from a newer monitor, or buy it at a place like Comp USA.

On the back of your TV, you'll hopefully see a plug that is labeled "PC".  You can plug the VGA cable in there.


OK, so now you have your computer running, either connected through a wired or wireless connection to the internet, and connected to the TV either through a VGA cable or an HDMI cable.  Next up - you need to test to see if you're getting your video.

Fire up the TV, and hit the button on the remote called "Input".  Look for "HDMI" as an input if you're using that, or "PC" if you're using a VGA cable.  Select that - and look to see if you have your computer screen.  If you have it, you're almost there!

Open up a browser window, and go to the NCAA All-Access page and log in.

Once logged in, click on "Sports" on the blue bar below the video player, and then click "Football" on the left hand side.  A "Live Event Guide" will come up - click the arrows to highlight the Lehigh vs. Northern Iowa game.

The player will come up with the game.  For free!  To make it fill the entire screen, click the square on the lower right-hand side of the player.


Some other random notes:

* When I stream from my laptop (for some reason), I don't get audio through my HDMI cable.  Some work, some don't.  What I do is crank the volume on my laptop - augmenting it with PC speakers - and get my audio that way.  You won't have audio controls during the game, though.

* On a laptop, you will have two screens: the one streaming to your TV, and the one on your laptop screen.  On my Windows machine, you can type Alt+F4 simultaneously to shift from dual screen, laptop screen only, or TV only.  Best video quality comes from TV only.

* If you're like me, I like to watch the feed and listen to my Lehigh radio guys at the same time.

To do that, all you need to do is click the 4 bars on the right-hand side of the NCAA video feed to mute their audio.  Then, bring up Stretch Internet through and select the free radio broadcast from Matt Kerr and Steve Lomangino, and play that.  (You can get that cranked up at noon EST when it starts, before you even get video!)


I tried my best to explain it, but it still might be confusing.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and I'll be happy to do my best to help.

And - most importantly - BEAT THE PANTHERS!


ngineer said…
This is a real shame that the NCAA has barred the ability of local TV stations to arrange for broadcasts of these first round games. Under what theory does the NCAA find this 'good'? Lehigh's prior first round away playoff games were televised years ago at Western Illinois, Massachusetts, Richmond. No good reason this could not have been allowed. Complaints should be made to the NCAA.
Anonymous said…
I was looking for the ability to watch myself. Looks like noone is televising this. Thats a shame for sure. Had I known I would have had to go to Iowa ha. I guess we have to revert to old time radio broadcasts. Agreed about the complaints, but they listen to noone so deaf ears are all you will get. Go Hawks! ps. wasn't too long ago that we went to delaware and lost 34-33 in a game we should have won, so all things possible except we were much better then.
Anonymous said…
Watched in at NCAA. What an inspired win, and what a way to change the perception of the PL. Cannot say enough about that senior-laden D, and the O line that gave Chris just enough time today. Coaching and preparation- superb. The D knew exactly how to beat Rennie, and I've never seen a Lehigh D that has jelled so perfectly as this one, at the right time.

Yes, this squad can beat Delaware. Saw them self-destruct against Villanova, so Why Not?
Anonymous said…
Who the hell called a half back pass with 2 minutes left in a game deep in your own teritory with a 7 point lead?

Other then that, great game Cocah K!

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