My girlfriend Danielle recently emigrated from the US to live with me in Wales. Her move meant leaving behind family and friends, but most importantly she abandoned decent live coverage of her beloved Michigan Wolverines. Here in the UK, our only broadcast option for college football is ESPN America with a paltry 75 non-Bowl games per year. In the first five weeks of the season, only two Wolverines game were broadcast, and one of those was two days after the game was played. Even if you're prepared to go illegal and use bittorrent to download the broadcast, sports fans abroad still need to tiptoe around spoilers for anything up to a few days after the game.
Yesterday, just a few hours before the grudge match with Michigan State, she discovered ESPN Player; the Flash-based streaming service offers excellent coverage of college football games for £13 (around $20) per month, and unlike many streaming options it isn't locked down to be US-only (commenter SimDan notes it doesn't work in the US at all, a complete list of countries it's available in is in the ESPN Player FAQ). Sadly, I couldn't find a DVI-HDMI cable to show the game on my television, so she was facing the prospect of having to watch the big game on a small screen -- a 13" Macbook Pro, to be exact, complete with tinny speakers and optional lap-cooking technology. Hardly ideal. Fortunately though, if there's one thing I know how to do, it's how to solve problems with too much technology. So I jury-rigged the system you see in the picture above.