Can't stop the talkin'?
August 12, 2008 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentleman, and so forth. Or, how to avoid the commentators.

Is there anyway I can hear/watch the olympics without the commentators a commentin'? Specifically, the medal ceremonies and maybe the Opening Ceremony?

I really like listening to the french, english and then mandarin (?) announcements and so forth (you know, the things that are announced within the actual venue over the speakers), however 9 times out of 10 a commentator is talking blithely over the top of them. I also like hearing the roar of the crowd, the various national chants and so on. Obviously when Johhny Pasthisprime and Sally Tragicaccident are talking I can't hear any of this delightful ambient noise.
posted by oxford blue to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Find video from someone who's there. It might be late, since they'd have to get it online, and I don't know what the security is for that type of thing over there.
posted by theichibun at 8:39 PM on August 12, 2008

The video at NBC (US residents only) tends to be the raw feed. No commentators, just the noise at the stadium.

The older event video is in the "Long-form Rewinds" section.
posted by iwhitney at 8:44 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

I discovered quite by accident that if you watch the HD channels and have only the surround speakers turned on you only hear the crowd noise and announcements from the stadium loudspeakers, but nothing from the actual announcers. It is oddly pleasing.
posted by Lame_username at 9:47 PM on August 12, 2008

Yeah, turn off the center channel. That's usually where the main dialog is mixed to.
posted by intermod at 9:53 PM on August 12, 2008

I was going to suggest exactly what iwhitney said.

I just moved into a new apartment and don't yet have my TV set up, so my only option has been to watch my favorite sports online. I've mostly been watching gymnastics, so I can't comment on how NBC has chosen to display other sports, but what iwhitney said is correct. With gymnastics, only a few video streams contain running commentary, and those are the ones that most likely aired on the network, such as the men's group final. The other streams show the full video footage of each apparatus without ANY commentary whatsoever. So for instance, you can watch two and a half hours of all the men doing floor exercise, and then another three hours of all the women doing their balance beam routines.

The only drawback to this is that with the streams being so long and not at all edited for television, sometimes you do have to wait a lot longer for scores to show up after the completion of a routine. It isn't always like edited TV where a gymnast's score is displayed on the screen as soon as he or she leaves the floor. Fortunately, though, you can always skip ahead, and since you don't have to put up with any extra commentary, the sound of the crowd really does come through a lot better than it does on regular TV broadcasts.
posted by sabira at 5:15 AM on August 13, 2008

Yeah, the NBC streams are pretty much raw feed from BOB. There's something a bit Zen about text commentary, presumably from someone in the US watching the same pictures as you. (By contrast, the BBC has fewer streams, but all have commentators onsite or doing the voiceover from the IBC.)
posted by holgate at 10:05 AM on August 13, 2008

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