Komando: View kids' games on computer or phone
As parents, we want to be there for our children. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. But you don't have to miss a moment of their life's events. Tech tools will bring the game or the play to you.
If you're stuck at the office, just turn on your computer or grab your smartphone. Or share the game with family members in other cities. Find links to sites and apps mentioned at www.komando.com/news.
Youth Sports Live
Youth Sports Live partners with baseball and softball leagues. It installs webcams on the playing fields. You can watch your child's games online for $15 monthly. Some are available live, but most games are on-demand. Video can't be downloaded; you can buy a DVD of a game for $20.
Youth Sports Live has webcams at more than 60 locations. It plans to cover other sports in the near future. Your child's team must sign up with Youth Sports Live. Teams pay nothing to join. In fact, they get 15 percent of subscription revenue and DVD sales.
GameChanger is a free scorekeeping and statistics management app for the iPhone. It allows you to follow baseball and softball games from afar with play-by-play updates. A parent or coach must enter plays in the app. This is as easy as tapping or dragging on the screen.
Live updates are posted to the team's page on GameChanger's site. That includes live scores, box scores and basic season statistics, in addition to plays. Fans can receive the updates via text message or e-mail.
GameChanger is free for up to three team administrators. Basic stats are free on the team's home page. For play-by-play streaming and advanced stats, you'll pay $10 per season. Player activity e-mail alerts and all text alerts cost another $10.
Knocking Live Video
The Knocking Live Video app is free for the iPhone and Android smartphones. Start the app and select a contact to share with. They must have the app installed. When your contact accepts your request, the phone becomes a remote camera. You get live video and audio for free.
Knocking Live Video plans to offer an update so you can share with multiple people. Unfortunately, you can't record the video.
The Qik app ($3) is available for the iPhone, Android, Nokia and BlackBerry. It lets you share live video on a personal page on Qik's site. Share pre-recorded video via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites. Or send it via e-mail or text messaging.
Just start the app and point your camera at the game. You can even chat with viewers and take photos while recording. Qik is free for personal use. Videos are public by default, but you can make them private.
Ustream lets you stream a game from your iPhone, Android or Nokia smartphone. Just fire up the free Broadcaster app and point it at the game. Family can watch on Ustream's site. Or, they can download the free Viewer app for watching on smartphones.
Ustream is free to use. If your phone doesn't have a video camera, you can upload video from your computer. It won't be live, but this means that you can record the game using a camcorder.
If you need a camcorder, I recommend an inexpensive pocket model. A variety of manufacturers make them starting around $100. Look at Flip, Kodak, DXG, Creative and Sanyo.
Contact Kim Komando at C1Tech@gannett.com.
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