The #LaddieMP4 live tasting event from the distillery yesterday evening, Thursday 13th October all worked rather well from an operational point of view.
However, we are reminded of the old joke from the medical profession; “The operation was successful but the patient died”.
This is because unfortunately, serious problems with internet bandwidth meant that many who tried to join in on YouTube were unable to do so. Very sincere apologies for this.
Reaction to the drams was overwhelmingly positive, and there was a great deal of interaction from around the world, although this was largely restricted to our Twitter feed as the YouTube stream was simply not good enough for meaningful discussion.
We do not control our broadband connection, which is provided by BT. In theory our 4MB ‘pipe’ should have been more than adequate for our needs last night, but in practice it fell woefully short. We do not understand the reasons for the poor service, only that they were beyond our control. BT are unlikely to provide us with an explanation. We have however included a BT graphic to indicate the scale of the problems they were experiencing.
This was the second time we have tried a multi-camera live broadcast from the distillery via YouTube. The first was from Adam’s Masterclass at Feis Ile 2016. This was streamed successfully. The quality of broadband provision to the distillery has deteriorated in the months since. Again, we have no idea why this is so. The problem is intermittent and despite considerable efforts by our IT department to shut down all non-essential traffic last night, to free up space in our ‘pipe’, this was to no avail.
Ironically, as we sit here at the distillery, there is a considerable amount of work going on outside to install a fibre optic network on Islay. The existence of this work is reassuring, but the hard-nosed truth is that we have been given no date for the implementation of high-speed broadband. We could still be months away.
Despite all these issues, we are very committed to the idea of continuing live broadcasts from these events. We are currently taking orders for #LaddieMP5 which will ship at the end of November – and we will set a date for the next live tasting which will take place in January 2017.
Given our experiences last night however, we should probably make it clearer that our remote island position on the Outer Edge of north-west Europe means that it will be difficult to guarantee the quality of the stream.
With this in mind, we will always prepare an HD version for subsequent viewing.
We expect to have an HD video from #LaddieMP4 available next week.