Watching cricket on TV but prefer the intelligence of the radio commentary? Damien Walker from The Underwhelming Blog explains how you can overcome the delay in the TV broadcast and sync the two together.
Picture by Scott Barbour/Getty Images
With all due respect to the collective wisdom and endless hilarious banter of the Channel Nine commentary team, some of us would prefer to listen to the cricket on the radio while watching it with the sound down on the telly.
Thanks largely to the variations between terrestrial radio broadcasting and geostationary satellite tv broadcasting (plus, I suspect, some deliberate fiddling by Nine) these days our radio commentary arrives as much as 10 seconds ahead of the TV signal.
This makes listening to the radio while watching the cricket an all but futile exercise. Having said that, there is one very handy advantage - tune into the radio and stick an earbud in your ear without your mates noticing; when you hear Sidds or Mitch take a wicket ten seconds ahead of the tv pictures, say out loud "I bet he gets him out this ball." After a couple of these your mates will think you are a cricket savant.
Other than that, listening to the radio commentary is just a waste of time. Unless you know how to synchronise your radio with your television.
Here's how. (It takes five minutes of fiddling to set up but you have five days of cricket to enjoy... although we are playing Sri Lanka so maybe two and a half days.)
You'll need a Windows computer, a radio, a stereo cable and some free software. And a geek attitude.
1. Download and install VLC Media Player from here. This is an excellent lightweight media player with many advantages over similar programmes. It's free, secure, open source and if you're a tiny bit geeky you probably already have a copy.
2. Plug the audio cable into your radio's headphone socket and the audio input on your computer. Tune in the cricket.
If you can hear the radio through your computer's speakers then skip to step 7.
3. No audio? We need to modify your audio settings. Right click on the Volume icon in your Taskbar and choose Recording devices.
4. Select your input device and click Set default (if it's not greyed out) then click Properties.
5. On the Listen tab put a tick in the Listen to this device box.
6. Still no sound? Check the volume levels on your radio and speakers. If that doesn't work, ask the nearest 14 year old, they're good with this stuff.
7. Got sound? Oddly, we now need to turn it off. Right click on the Volume icon in the taskbar and choose Open volume mixer. Mute your input device so you no longer hear the radio.
8. Launch VLC and select Media > Open Capture Device...
9. Then, from the drop-down to the right of Audio device name select the input device you plugged the audio cable into on your computer. It may be called Line In or Mic or something similar.
10. Press Play. You should now be hearing the radio again. If not, review all your settings and revisit Step 6.
11. Now, with the cricket playing on the TV click on Tools > Track synchronisation and adjust the Audio track synchronisation value until the radio and the TV are in sync. Start at around 9.5 seconds and make small adjustments up or down from there.
12. Goodbye Mark Nicholas.
It's all happening (on the radio), Tony! [The Underwhelming Blog]