"When can I see paintball on Television?"
That was a common feedback question to the World And Regional Paintball Information Guide (WARPIG.com). In the spring of 1997 we came up with an answer – PigTV.
It's not about pigs, but it is TV. PigTV is Paintball Television. At a time when video distribution over the Internet was in its infancy, and it was rare to see more than a two or three minute clip, we started streaming full length television programs covering major events in the rapidly growing sport of paintball.
Our first webcast was 32 minutes in length and covered the combined National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) and Great Western Series (GWS) tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. When we fired up our computers the next morning, our first piece of fan mail came in – from Finland – thanking us for conveying the look and feel of a professional American paintball tournament. We realized then that we were actually broadcasting to a worldwide audience – something that has traditionally required the power of massive corporations. Television was being democratized.
We haven't forgotten that first piece of mail, or the paintball player who sent it, and we always appreciate hearing from PigTV's viewers and WARPIG's readers.
As Internet connectivity has matured, so has the way we have delivered PigTV. Early shows were streamed in heavily compressed, small video for 28.8 Kbps modem connections. These advanced to 56K, and eventually 200K streams for users with high speed connections.
Today, PigTV is optimized for viewing through Broadband Internet connections of 500Kbps or higher. It is delivered using Sun Java and Adobe Flash technology, so no additional player software is needed, just link in and start watching. New episodes are produced and released in this broadband format, and we are diligently working to transfer our library of existing shows to make them viewable with almost twice the image resolution in which they were previously available, and with improved clarity and sound.
PigTV Classics are older episodes of PigTV (1997 through 1999 seasons) that were mastered in low resolution for web streaming. Viewing these shows requires the use of Real Player software, which can be downloaded for free from Real.com.
Over the years PigTV has used some of the most brutal of "Guerilla Production" techniques. The 1999 Las Vegas NPPL episode started with a night spent in a desert ditch, was shot with a compact camcorder, edited in a notebook computer, and uploaded to WARPIG.com's servers via wireless modem - from the desert in Nevada. Literally an entire production suite was packaged in a single backpack.
Regardless of the conditions, we strive to bring the viewer programming you will find interesting, informative and entertaining, while centering around the sport we love so much. And, as always there is never a cost to you, our viewer.