The Grand Slam tennis tournament of Wimbledon (June 25, 2012 – July 8, 2012) is grander than ever this year, at least for fans who hope to watch Wimbledon online. The world’s oldest tennis tournament, which kicked off Monday, June 25th is being streamed live online, free, and in HD. Of course, live matches are played on UK time – so the action starts as early as 6:30 a.m. EST/3:30 a.m. PST. Tennis fans who do not wish to wake up before dawn to watch live matches can enjoy the video replays of the matches on demand afterwards.
There are two options to watch Wimbledon 2012 live online. If you have a valid cable subscription, you can watch practically every single Wimbledon match live or on demand afterwards at WatchESPN.com. If you don’t have a valid cable subscription, you can find live video and audio streaming available for free at Wimbledon.com. For those who just want to watch the Wimbledon semi-finals online tune in on Thursday, July 5, 2012 and for those who want to watch Wimbledon finals online you can start watching on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
WATCH WIMBLEDON ONLINE AT WIMBLEDON.COM
The free, live video stream of Wimbledon 2012 is called Live @ Wimbledon, and is available at Wimbledon.com. Yes, it’s free – but it only offers live coverage, which means matches are not available on demand afterwards. In other words, coverage begins in the wee hours of the American morning and wraps up in the mid to late afternoon. Live @ Wimbledon viewers do not get to choose which match they watch. Instead, one video feed switches from match to match, attempting to capture all of Wimbledon 2012’s most significant and decisive moments. The live video feed that people can access to watch Wimbledon 2012 live online is only available to viewers in the UK and the Americas (Brazil is excluded).
The live audio feed of Wimbledon is also free and available in all countries. Live @ Wimbledon audio does not offer every match at Wimbledon 2012, but it does offer the live radio play-by-play of every match at Centre Court and Court No. 1 where the biggest, highest-profile matches are played.
WATCH WIMBLEDON 2012 LIVE ONLINE AT WATCHESPN.com
While viewers can watch Wimbledon online from the UK Live @ Wimbledon stream, ESPN has the exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to Wimbledon this year. They’ll be streaming more than 800 hours of coverage online at WatchESPN.com. That’s not every single match of Wimbledon 2012, but it’s every single match where television cameras are stationed.
ESPN’s Wimbledon 2012 streaming video offers matches and on demand video replays afterward. There is, however, a catch. As is the case with the company’s livestream of the NBA playoffs, WatchESPN.com requires viewers to verify a valid cable subscription first. Even if you do have a valid cable subscription, not all cable companies are on the list of participating providers.
The ESPN online video is in high-definition (HD) – well, sometimes. The quality of your video stream will fluctuate, particularly at moments when many Internet viewers are tuning-in. Picture quality will go from glorious HD to inglorious high pixilation, and then back again. This is true of both the live events and the archived events.
The good news is that viewers can watch as many as four Wimbledon matches simultaneously. The WatchESPN.com video player has a split screen option allowing you to watch the livestream for up to four different Wimbledon courts. When all four screens are playing, you can choose the audio of which match you’d like to hear by clicking on that particular screen. The video player screen will default to the live matches, but concluded matches are available on demand by clicking the Replay tab on the WatchESPN.com home page.
ESPN has added John McEnroe to their Wimbledon broadcast team this year, so the chance of an on-air outburst is higher than ever.
DO A FACEBOOK VIDEO CHAT WITH LATEST VIDEO CALLING FEATURE
If your 4 a.m. Internet habits skew more toward video chat with random strangers as opposed to watching live tennis matches, then you’re in luck, too. Facebook has added a video call feature, allowing users to partake in a Facebook video chat with the press of a button. Facebook video calling does require a webcam, of course. The Call button has already appeared on many users’ profiles, but it won’t appear on your own profile.
Facebook’s video chat service is modeled after several other popular video calling services and the company’s hand may have been forced by increased competition. After all, Facebook already rolled this feature out last year – and then abandoned it when they introduced Timeline. Times have changed since Timeline launched. The Hangouts feature for group video chat is one of the cooler aspects of Google+, and the video chat platform Airtime is also offering video chats on Facebook. Like the once-popular Chatroulette, the video call feature allows you to Facebook video chat with complete strangers whom you can select based on similar Likes.
Has the Call button appeared on any of your friends’ profiles? Do you use it? Are you going to use it to have a Facebook video chat about watching Wimbledon online?