Classic Hacks: How To Sync Radio Cricket Commentary With TV Broadcasts

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Unfortunately, Channel 9’s cricket commentators seem to have taken this as a personal challenge – there is no escape from their inane chatter, “hilarious” banter and shameless plugs. Thankfully, it’s possible to sync your TV with radio’s more intelligent and reserved commentary, thus granting you the best of both worlds. All you need is a radio, a Windows PC running VLC Media Player and a stereo cable.

We originally explained how to sync TV cricket with cricket on the radio in the summer of 2013. The hack still works perfectly. In short, it allows you to listen to the cricket on the radio while watching a muted TV. (The reason you can’t just do this manually is the broadcast delay, which causes radio to be about 10 seconds ahead of the TV signal.)

To pull this off, you’ll need a Windows computer with a headphone jack, a radio, a stereo cable and VLC Media Player which is free to download. Here are the steps:

  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.
  3. If you can hear the radio through your computer’s speakers then skip to step 7.

  4. No audio? We need to modify your audio settings. Right click on the Volume icon in your Taskbar and choose Recording devices.
  5. Select your input device and click Set default (if it’s not greyed out) then click Properties.
  6. [clear]


  7. On the Listen tab put a tick in the Listen to this device box.
  8. [clear]


  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. [clear]


  12. Launch VLC and select Media > Open Capture Device…
  13. [clear]


  14. 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.
  15. [clear]


  16. Press Play. You should now be hearing the radio again. If not, review all your settings and revisit Step 6.
  17. 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.
  18. [clear]


Lifehacker’s Classic Hacks is a regular segment where we dig up the most popular, useful and offbeat advice from our archives and update it for your modern lifestyle.

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