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How can I most easily watch the Eurovision finale in the US?
May 5, 2014 10:58 AM   Subscribe

We would like to watch the Eurovision results show but living in the US we can't watch the results live. This is further complicated by the fact that I have class on Saturday until 4pm EDT (13:00 UTC -05:00). What is the best way to acquire and watch the Eurovision finale? Ideally we'd like to watch it next Saturday evening.

Torrenting doesn't really seem ideal because quality can vary so much and I'm not sure if it's legal anyway. In case it matters, we have a Playstation 3 we use for our media consumption and can't stream things off the computer but can download things from it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
eurovision.tv streams the final, and I watch it live in Colorado. I'm pretty sure they rebroadcast the final, although I don't know when.
posted by lukemeister at 11:46 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


There's an official live stream (Eurovision.tv) you can watch worldwide every year. If you were going to be free to watch while it's airing, I'd say try it out tomorrow and Thursday with the semi-finals so that you don't end up missing the beginning of the final on Saturday while you're mucking around installing the required plugin.

If they rebroadcast the final, then just watch the rebroadcast, but otherwise, I don't see why a torrent would be a problem at all. You might have the option of one of the national broadcasts with commentary that way.

The official Eurovision YouTube channel also usually puts up all the live performances, so you could watch a playlist of those after they're up. Don't know how long they'll take to do that, but worth a try.
posted by asperity at 11:53 AM on May 5


On a reread: the torrent-and-download option should work on the PS3, as will the YouTube option, but the required plugin for the live stream (octoshape) is not available for the PS3 browser. You'd have to plug in a laptop to your TV or something similar in order to watch the live stream.
posted by asperity at 11:58 AM on May 5


Thanks for the suggestions -- I won't get home from my class until two hours after the final starts so watching it live isn't an option, and I really want to watch it that Saturday and not have to wait until a specific rebroadcasting time, plus there's the PS3 issue.

The problem with a torrent is that so often they are of crummy quality (someone turning the camera on and off, too quiet, just filming their TV so everything is small and dark) and we'd really like to be able just to sit down and watch it on Saturday around like 7:00 EDT (midnight in the UK). Our primary goal here is reliability at that specific time.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:59 AM on May 5


We watch on the download, (linked above) also both Semi-Finals are this week, so you can watch those too!

We have a thing that we hook up to our MacBook (ugly wire affair) and we get a very decent picture straight from the website to the TV. It's not HD, but really, do you need that? It takes a few hours for the EBU to put the broadcast up on the site, so you'll be fine.

There's no additional commentary, like you get with Graham Norton or formerly, Terry Wogan. I'll say it again, we're really missing the boat not having this as a pay-per-view event or on Logo, with Kathy Griffin and RuPaul doing commentary.

It's from Denmark, if you're doing a themed party. (we are.)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:59 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


I usually watch the ARD stream (from here). I won't swear that it remains available afterwards, but I suspect it will.

(In the past I've watched the ARD stream because the official stream has never worked for me, plug-in or not. It's not geoblocked. The Danish stream (dr.dk) hasn't been blocked either, but I can only ever stream DR in quite low quality.)
posted by hoyland at 12:48 PM on May 5


Hmmm, the PS3 makes this hard. If you could forget the PS3 for a moment, and hook a computer up to your TV, you could do the following:

1) Install TunnelBear and pay $5 for a single month of unlimited data. (Don't forget to cancel after this weekend if you don't want to auto-renew!) Alternatively, get access to a different VPN service that allows you to route your internet connection through a provider in the United Kingdom.

2) When you get home from class and are ready to watch, fire up TunnelBear (or your selected VPN) and go the the BBC's iPlayer. Saturday's final will be broadcast live on BBC One starting at 3pm Eastern, and (like the rest of their programming archives) should be available for streaming-on-demand within a couple of hours after the contest is finished.

3) If you're so inclined, check out The Definitive Eurovision Drinking Game and see how long you can keep up.

The benefits of this are 1) cheap 2) easy 3) commentary from Graham Norton 4) really good quality (of the stream, anyway).
posted by zebra at 7:19 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Not sure where you are getting the "crummy" quality of torrents. These are always scene releases, which have very strict guidelines about quality.

Google "PS3 media server" to find a way to stream from your computer to the PS3.
posted by kuanes at 6:27 AM on May 6


The Eurovision website also posts the video fairly soon after it airs (this page, I think), but I don't know if it will be in time for 7pm Saturday. I checked it last night around 10pm EDT, and they had already posted the semi-final that aired yesterday. Also, as everyone says you would have to hook up your computer to the TV. I usually just use an HDMI cord.
posted by bluefly at 10:55 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


OK, I refreshed for a bit after watching the second semi-final: it was posted (at the page linked by bluefly) within an hour and a half of the end of the broadcast. If you can find a way to plug your computer into your TV, or use your computer monitor to watch, you should be able to see the official stream by about 6:30pm EDT on Saturday.

You may find that a good torrent's available faster than that. FWIW, I think the official stream's looking better than it has in previous years, but the load on Saturday will be heavier.

Good luck!
posted by asperity at 3:34 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


One more option that should work with the PS3: timestamp for the Eurovision YouTube channel says the live videos of the second semi-final were posted about 5pm EDT. Should be able to play that just fine with the PS3 YouTube app, and can set up a playlist for it all if necessary.

(Sorry for all the attempts at answers here; apparently I feel strongly about helping/making people watch Eurovision.)
posted by asperity at 10:53 AM on May 9


timestamp for the Eurovision YouTube channel says the live videos of the second semi-final were posted about 5pm EDT

The semi-finals are shorter. They started 3pm EDT and were two hours long. I'm not sure how long the final will be but I imagine at least 3 hrs, possibly 4? So it would be available 6-7pm.
posted by dnash at 2:18 PM on May 9


For future reference, I think ARD was geoblocked this year. It's hard to know for sure as when something is geoblocked it gives the same "content unavailable" message as when the server is overwhelmed, but I tried again Sunday morning with no success. (And the official stream actually worked!)
posted by hoyland at 5:06 AM on May 12


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