A brief break from the trials and travails of my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro this morning, as I look back at my Ustreaming experience last night with Nexus 7 tablet.

As nice as the Yoga is, it’s not going to replace my Nexus 7 for things like ebook reading or casual internet browsing, checking my Twitter feed (which I will still do more on my phone than even the Nexus 7), or streaming video from a hockey game.  The Nexus 7 was light enough to comfortably be held in my hand for over 70 minutes streaming my son’s hockey game.  The picture quality was pretty poor, both a function of the available bandwidth on the rink’s Wi-Fi connection and the “basic” (read: free) level of service on Ustream, but I was told by viewers that the video was passable.  The audio, on the other hand, was crystal clear.

I did have the unfortunate experience of having the camera freeze up on me on two occasions pregame, when flipping to a different app then coming back into the Ustream app. I was forced to reboot the Nexus to bring the camera back up each time.

What I would really like is to find a free/low cost live streaming app that can transmit higher quality video, maybe even 720p HD.  The codecs available today combined with the higher bandwidth available through most networks’ 4G/LTE data networks, should make this possible.  Ustream charges a small Kings ransom (monthly fee) to stream a higher quality picture, which might make sense for a commercial broadcast outlet, but to stream a couple, three or four youth hockey games in a month, $100-$1000 is quite excessive. There’s a hardware solution out there that allows me to connect up and use my digital camcorder’s HDMI output for higher quality video streams, but the box is $500, and this also carries a sizable monthly fee after the three month free trial.

I’m going to monkey around with Google Hangouts video streaming ability today, and see if a public hangout would work. From what I’ve read, Hangouts can stream in 720p…

You can check out my Ustream page.  If the experiments with Google Hangouts don’t work, you’ll find my feed of this afternoon’s game there live.  If Google Hangouts work, you can search for me at GoalieDad37@Gmail.com (or look at my Google Plus page).

More thoughts later, including my contemplation about picking up a Galaxy Gear smartwatch again, now that a software update allows all notifications to pass through to the watch…