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Help me watch the Olympics on my computer.
July 6, 2012 10:08 AM   Subscribe

I want to watch the Olympics. I do not have cable. I do not have a TV. I do have a computer with an Internet connection. I work business hours on the west coast of the U.S. Can I watch the Olympics?

I want the regular experience of turning on the Olympics in the evening and seeing the standard high-popularity sports (gymnastics, swimming, etc.). We live out in the woods where an antenna doesn't pick up any TV signals.

Basically, I need to be able to pull Olympics coverage off the 'net, but live coverage won't work for me since most of the events will be taking place very early in the morning where I live (PDT).

I saw this question asked about 6 months ago, but I was wondering if there were any options available now that weren't known at that time.

What are my options?
posted by rabbitrabbit to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you know someone with a cable subscription that will give you their username and password, you might be able to use NBCOlympics.com. However, it does seem to be mostly live streaming, though there are clips in their video section, and their FAQ mentions full replays.

They do have quite a few clips from the Olympic trials, so that's promising—hopefully they'll do the same thing for the Olympics themselves.
posted by deansfurniture5 at 10:19 AM on July 6, 2012


My update to that thread from last month links to NBC's terms, which require a cable subscription to watch live streams and full-event replays, but not highlights packages or clips. However, there's no indication whether the evening primetime packages are going to be streamed or archived online in the format they air.
posted by holgate at 10:21 AM on July 6, 2012


If you can set up a VPN with a Canadian IP address, CTV, one of Canada's national network will probably have constant live Olympic coverage online at CTVOlympics.ca.

Canadian networks basically cover the Olympics 24/7 while they're happening.
posted by dry white toast at 10:24 AM on July 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Since you don't care about live, I'm sure coverage will appear on usenet shortly after a given broadcast ends. Bonus: some of it will be Not The Awful American Coverage, and on those you'll be able to watch a sporting event instead of glurgey human-interest stories and commercials and 5 minutes of not even highlights but just what the Americans did.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:57 AM on July 6, 2012


on those you'll be able to watch a sporting event instead of glurgey human-interest stories and commercials and 5 minutes of not even highlights but just what the Americans did.

Except that the OP wants that package, chacun à son goût etc. Usenet will probably provide if you take that route, though even with the ET/PT time difference it won't be posted until later.
posted by holgate at 11:40 AM on July 6, 2012


Not The Awful American Coverage

I can't believe NBC has such a lock on this. Won't the BBC be offering live streaming coverage? Won't all the other countries? Is NBC so powerful that like China, they can block access to external IP addresses?
posted by Rash at 11:42 AM on July 6, 2012


Won't the BBC be offering live streaming coverage? Won't all the other countries? Is NBC so powerful that like China, they can block access to external IP addresses?

The IOC is: broadcasters pay them large amounts of money and accept their terms for exclusive geographical rights, and have used IP-blocking for as long as they've offered streams. The innovation this time in the US is that NBC is adding an extra verification layer in partnership with cable/satellite providers so that people wanting to watch streams have to pay for some kind of cable package, even if it's just for the month of the Olympics.

rabbitrabbit, you might want to consider calling your ISP or a local cable/sat provider and asking how much it would cost for one month's "service" just to get a valid login.
posted by holgate at 11:59 AM on July 6, 2012


I can't believe NBC has such a lock on this. Won't the BBC be offering live streaming coverage? Won't all the other countries? Is NBC so powerful that like China, they can block access to external IP addresses?

NBC paid a gazillion dollars (ok, $2.2 billion for the 2010/2012 Games) for the US broadcast rights. They have zero interest in competing with foreign broadcasters for viewership, and the IOC especially doesn't want people to be able to choose their broadcaster (as this would reduce their ability to maximize revenue from the sale of broadcast rights). NBC is obligated to restrict viewership to their purchased territory (the US), just as the BBC is obligated to restrict viewership to their home territory. I'm sure that the, presumably secret, contracts between the IOC and the broadcasters go into a good deal of detail on just who the networks are allowed to deliver programming to.
posted by zachlipton at 12:03 PM on July 6, 2012


We've purchased a Craigslist TV and a month's of cable for this purpose in the past. I don't know whether cable is available where you are, but doing something similar might work for you. Comcast, at least, will totally hook you up with cable whenever you want and cancel it whenever you want (admittedly, with a bit of hassling).
posted by linettasky at 12:28 PM on July 6, 2012


I apparently enabled JavaScript and disabled AdBlock for the right magic combination of domains, so I'm watching a live stream right now. I did notice that the replays don't appear to have any commentary. It's just the sound from the stadium. Interesting but makes it difficult to watch.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:31 PM on July 26, 2012


I did notice that the replays don't appear to have any commentary. It's just the sound from the stadium. Interesting but makes it difficult to watch.

That's the raw OBS feed, aka "Full-Event Replay OBS"; there's commentary on what NBC calls "Full-Event Replay Simulcasts", but they seem to show up a bit later; they're also doing live simulcasts in two varieties, OBS and with commentary, but for the latter, you need to know the network showing what you want. Which is a bit shambolic.
posted by holgate at 5:38 PM on July 26, 2012


Thanks guys. So it seemed like the take-away was I need cable to watch the normal TV Olympics, but apparently the only way I can get cable out in the rural area where I live is to get a 2-year DirectTV subscription, so yeah, not doing that.

Since I work full-time and most of the live stuff happens during my workday, I guess I'm out of luck, unless someone can explain VPNs to me and how I go about setting that up.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:25 PM on July 27, 2012


More of us are asking about this.
posted by Rash at 11:39 PM on July 27, 2012


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