Stream Olympics without cable?

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Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:06 pm

I thought NBC was going to be streaming the Olympics this year for everyone but it looks like it's only available to cable customers. Is that correct or am I missing something?
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby runner9 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:13 pm

Top right of http://www.nbcolympics.com:

With a cable, satellite or telco TV subscription that includes MSNBC and CNBC, you will have access to live streams of EVERY Olympic event.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sscritic » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:23 pm

It's been that way since the 2008 Olympics (which is why I don't watch NBC).
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby LazyNihilist » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:25 pm

I am disappointed. Why should subscription to MSNBC and CNBC be necessary. This is frustrating. :annoyed
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby Rainier » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:25 pm

Those are raw feeds with generally no commentators or commercials. Why would NBC provide that for free?

In reality, it is the cable companies that require this of NBC. If NBC gave this away for free, why would you subscribe to cable? NBC could make some money on banner ads, etc., but blame the cable companies, not NBC.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:08 pm

Rainier wrote:Those are raw feeds with generally no commentators or commercials. Why would NBC provide that for free?


Because they could make a lot of $ off ad revenue and subscriptions. If they charged $20 to subscribe or whatever, I'd pay that. They would make more money and get more viewers.

Rainier wrote:In reality, it is the cable companies that require this of NBC. If NBC gave this away for free, why would you subscribe to cable? NBC could make some money on banner ads, etc., but blame the cable companies, not NBC.


I'm not sure about the relationship between NBC and the cable companies, but I can watch NBC shows straight off of nbc.com or hulu.com. Why wouldn't the Olympics be the same? It is 2012 after all -- requiring cable to watch content online would almost be similar to AT&T not allowing me to use my cell phone without landline service.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby Rowdy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:11 pm

I'm watching it free over-the-air in HD!
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby Rainier » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:27 pm

sunnyday wrote:
I'm not sure about the relationship between NBC and the cable companies, but I can watch NBC shows straight off of nbc.com or hulu.com. Why wouldn't the Olympics be the same? It is 2012 after all -- requiring cable to watch content online would almost be similar to AT&T not allowing me to use my cell phone without landline service.


But its x days after the main/live event before it appears on hulu or nbc.com.

In 2008 you were able to access the raw feeds for free via NBC, and if you wanted to be up at 3am. I really think it is the providers that are pushing back on this one.

Anyway, I don't care. I have cable. I love the olympics, but I doubt I will watch any of the raw feeds as the soundless coverage is pretty boring.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby BogleBrit » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:43 am

I'm always surprised that they don't think there is something to gain by showing more of the events live on NBC TV. Having to wait until Prime Time on the West Coast to see Michael Phelps go for his 6th, 7th or 8th gold in Beijing when pretty much the rest of the world had already seen it (and everyone knew the results of course) doesn't make sense to me. It was most bizarre here with the Winter Olympics just 'up the road' in Vancouver but no coverage until 8pm every night.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby Rainier » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:47 am

They didn't show Phelps live on the west coast? NBC actually convinced the IOC to move the swimming finals to the morning local time so the east coast US could watch live in primetime.

When I lived in SLC during the Olympics we had to wait until 8pm to watch the day's events, that sucked.

They should be able to balance live coverage with a primetime wrap-up highlight show.

The best option is to sequester yourself from the news during the day and watch the primetime coverage like it is live.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby jebmke » Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:00 pm

They don't seem to be offering much live on the web site. They show things with "watch live" next to them but they are clearly replays.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby BogleBrit » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:55 pm

The first major swimming finals of the Olympics occurred a little while ago and the NBC channel here is a tape delay of the US womens first round basketball game. The mens gymnastics qualifying also took place already today in London. I'm sure that the primetime show tonight will pump up the Lochte - Phelps showdown for a couple of hours before showing it right at the end of the show....nearly 11 pm. Since I know the results already I have no interest in watching that show at all but would have made time to see the events live.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby LazyNihilist » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:08 pm

Sports need to be watched live, otherwise you know the result or know that it already happened, there's no suspense. I am mad @ NBC not streaming it for everyone. :x
If I really want to watch, I need to get a UK VPN and stream BBC. That will be $10/month for the VPN. But I think BBC will have better coverage than NBC.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sscritic » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:40 pm

Check out #NBCfail on twitter. I usually never go on twitter, but it's a hoot. Everyone hates NBC. I am loving it!

Up next NBC will go live to Berlin to see if Jesse Owens can win gold

After tonight's Olympics, NBC News will bring you results of the 1948 presidential election. I don't think Truman's got a shot.

Will Pearl Harbor be attacked? Find out tonight in primetime!
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sscritic » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:44 pm

Added: Apparently the nightly news gives the results without a spoiler alert. The news department has been used as an advertising tool for NBC for months, but apparently they still don't talk to the programmers and the sports department. Since I don't watch NBC, I missed another blown Olympic moment from NBC.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby GregLee » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:40 pm

I suppose you're counting satellite as "cable"? I'm getting 6 HD channels carrying live Olympic coverage on DirecTV. Women's archery right now.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sscritic » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:43 pm

GregLee wrote:I suppose you're counting satellite as "cable"? I'm getting 7 HD channels carrying live Olympic coverage on DirecTV. Women's archery right now.

Satellite is not what is normally considered streaming. The issue is watching the Olympics over the internet if you do not subscribe to a paid television service. You do subscribe to such a service, so you could watch over the internet, but you choose not to.

At least that is how I have been interpreting streaming in this context.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby THY4373 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:42 pm

I am not huge Olympics fan and I am getting enough of a fix from the free OTA broadcasts but it is silliness like this that drives a lot of the piracy online at least in developed countries. There are a number of things on cable I'd happily pay for to either stream or get channels al-carte but that is frequently impossible on both counts. Game of Thrones on HBO is another example of this (though at least they do release on DVD/RluRay eventually). If I needed to stream the Olympics I'd do as suggested earlier in this thread and get a VPN service with UK IPs and stream BBC that way. However that is at best in a gray area ethics wise since I am not a UK resident who pays the TV tax to support the Beeb.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby TF Hutch » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:40 pm

I find NBC streaming ipad app to be horrible. Perhaps in 4 more years they may get it right.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sscritic » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:48 pm

TF Hutch wrote:I find NBC streaming ipad app to be horrible. Perhaps in 4 more years they may get it right.

The next Olympics is in two years, not four (Sochi, 2014). But my guess is that NBC won't have it right in two years, four years, or even six.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby SSSS » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Rainier wrote:Those are raw feeds with generally no commentators or commercials.


Except that they literally have commercials every 2-3 minutes, in addition to the constant on-screen ads. The ad breaks every 2-3 minutes seem to be completely random and ignore all context, often cutting off the NBC commentators in mid-sentence. Firefox with Adblock Plus wouldn't even load the stream at all. I had to use Internet Explorer (for the first time in years) to get it to load, and it was so ad-laden that I gave up on it after about an hour.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby magellan » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:06 pm

THY4373 wrote:If I needed to stream the Olympics I'd do as suggested earlier in this thread and get a VPN service with UK IPs and stream BBC that way. However that is at best in a gray area ethics wise since I am not a UK resident who pays the TV tax to support the Beeb.

I think a lot of people are doing this. I use Witopia's VPN service, which is usually very robust anywhere in the world. Today, their service through London is horribly slow.

As a test, I connected into Witopia London and started one of BBC's live Olympics streams. The picture was fine, but it paused every 20-30 seconds for 2-3 seconds to re-buffer. Their player lets you pause the stream, and if I paused for a few minutes, I could get several minutes of continuous play when I restarted it. I'm pretty sure the problem is with the VPN, not the BBC. Even browsing the web is noticeably slow through the VPN. I suppose it's possible that all the Internet paths out of London are congested and it's not the VPN or the BBC.

When I connected the VPN through Dublin, the throughput seemed great, but the BBC player said I couldn't watch the stream because I wasn't in the UK.

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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:53 pm

I wound up going with the VPN / BBC option. Cost me $10, no commercials and live coverage.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby Alex Frakt » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:58 am

Rainier wrote:In reality, it is the cable companies that require this of NBC. If NBC gave this away for free, why would you subscribe to cable? NBC could make some money on banner ads, etc., but blame the cable companies, not NBC.

NBC is a cable company. They were acquired by Comcast, the largest US cable operator, in 2009 (final approval came in January 2011).
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:14 am

Here's an Engadget article on NBC and the Olympics - http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/30/nbcs ... old-media/
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby porcupine » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:22 am

sscritic wrote:
TF Hutch wrote:I find NBC streaming ipad app to be horrible. Perhaps in 4 more years they may get it right.

The next Olympics is in two years, not four (Sochi, 2014).[...]

I disagree! The next Olympics are in four years. :-)

Let me qualify my statement. Depending on the country you live in, certain terms are not universal. For instance, in India, "hockey" implies "field hockey" but in USA, "hockey" implies "ice hockey." However, "Olympics" is a universal term that refers to the Summer Olympics. Sochi is hosting the Winter Olympics, so ...

- Porcupine

PS: TF Hutch never said that the next Olympics are in four years, so this entire discussion is moot :oops:
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby LazyNihilist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:23 pm

sunnyday wrote:I wound up going with the VPN / BBC option. Cost me $10, no commercials and live coverage.

I'm doing something similar but with expatshield. It's free but ad supported. Not sure if the software has any malware, so beware of using it.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby richard » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:02 pm

The web live feeds are great. Other than a banner at the top of the screen, there's no advertising. The coverage is very balanced, as opposed to the relentless US focus of the broadcast coverage. Some of the feed commentators are head and shoulders above the broadcast commentators, for example, Shannon Miller is wonderful for gymnastics.

The apps are almost as good, but have some advertising breaks.

There have been momentary glitches, usually a small amount of buffering for very popular events, such as swimming or gymnastics. I've had more buffering issues with apps than computer feeds. I've also had occasional problems logging in.

I've seen about an hour of prime time broadcast coverage. That was too much.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby kydan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:52 pm

If you have an iPhone or android device, download the "NBC Olympics Live Extra" app.

You have to have some form of account to log on with, but the variety of options is plentiful. You should be able to have at least one of those accounts.

Otherwise, get some rabbit ears!! Hehe
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby vinvedi » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:46 pm

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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby plnelson » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:11 pm

sunnyday wrote:I thought NBC was going to be streaming the Olympics this year for everyone but it looks like it's only available to cable customers. Is that correct or am I missing something?



It's not just the olympics - it's sports in general.

When I was a kid I was a football (Patriots), baseball (Red Sox), and basketball (Celtics) fan and I could watch the Patriots and Red Sox regularly and the Celtics at least sometimes, on over-the-air TV.

Now that I'm an adult I'm only a football fan because it's the only major sport to still be extensively broadcast. The other two require cable and I simply don't watch enough TV to justify a cable subscription.

I think the teams could make good money by offering an internet stream of their games on a per-game basis for a reasonable price. How much revenue does each cable viewer represent to the Red Sox, per game? It can't be more than a dollar per actual viewer per game, and I'll bet it's less. But I'd happily pay 2 or 3 dollars per game for an HD stream of the game.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby plnelson » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:14 pm

porcupine wrote:
sscritic wrote:
TF Hutch wrote:I find NBC streaming ipad app to be horrible. Perhaps in 4 more years they may get it right.


Let me qualify my statement. Depending on the country you live in, certain terms are not universal. For instance, in India, "hockey" implies "field hockey" but in USA, "hockey" implies "ice hockey." However, "Olympics" is a universal term that refers to the Summer Olympics. Sochi is hosting the Winter Olympics, so ...

Think to the average person in the street "Olympics" refers equally to the summer and winter Olympics.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:48 am

plnelson wrote:
sunnyday wrote:I thought NBC was going to be streaming the Olympics this year for everyone but it looks like it's only available to cable customers. Is that correct or am I missing something?



It's not just the olympics - it's sports in general.

When I was a kid I was a football (Patriots), baseball (Red Sox), and basketball (Celtics) fan and I could watch the Patriots and Red Sox regularly and the Celtics at least sometimes, on over-the-air TV.

Now that I'm an adult I'm only a football fan because it's the only major sport to still be extensively broadcast. The other two require cable and I simply don't watch enough TV to justify a cable subscription.

I think the teams could make good money by offering an internet stream of their games on a per-game basis for a reasonable price. How much revenue does each cable viewer represent to the Red Sox, per game? It can't be more than a dollar per actual viewer per game, and I'll bet it's less. But I'd happily pay 2 or 3 dollars per game for an HD stream of the game.


I streamed the NBA playoffs for free (and legally). Also, I'm pretty sure MLB.tv lets you stream any MLB game for a very reasonable subscription fee.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby plnelson » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:40 am

sscritic wrote:
GregLee wrote:I suppose you're counting satellite as "cable"? I'm getting 7 HD channels carrying live Olympic coverage on DirecTV. Women's archery right now.

Satellite is not what is normally considered streaming. The issue is watching the Olympics over the internet if you do not subscribe to a paid television service. You do subscribe to such a service, so you could watch over the internet, but you choose not to.

At least that is how I have been interpreting streaming in this context.



Ditto. To me "streaming" means internet. Satellite is just a version of cable.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby plnelson » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:49 am

sunnyday wrote:
plnelson wrote:
sunnyday wrote:I thought NBC was going to be streaming the Olympics this year for everyone but it looks like it's only available to cable customers. Is that correct or am I missing something?



It's not just the olympics - it's sports in general.

When I was a kid I was a football (Patriots), baseball (Red Sox), and basketball (Celtics) fan and I could watch the Patriots and Red Sox regularly and the Celtics at least sometimes, on over-the-air TV.

Now that I'm an adult I'm only a football fan because it's the only major sport to still be extensively broadcast. The other two require cable and I simply don't watch enough TV to justify a cable subscription.

I think the teams could make good money by offering an internet stream of their games on a per-game basis for a reasonable price. How much revenue does each cable viewer represent to the Red Sox, per game? It can't be more than a dollar per actual viewer per game, and I'll bet it's less. But I'd happily pay 2 or 3 dollars per game for an HD stream of the game.


I streamed the NBA playoffs for free (and legally). Also, I'm pretty sure MLB.tv lets you stream any MLB game for a very reasonable subscription fee.



It's still a subscription service. There's no technical reason why I shouldn't be able to buy 1 game at time. I'm incredibly busy so whole weeks might go by when I have no time to watch anything, but then I might have a rainy afternoon when I have a big cooking project, or I'm cleaning out boxes of old paperwork and it's nice to have a game on to break up the tedium of the task.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:01 pm

^ Pay for play would be nice (with regular cable too) but for $50 for an mlb season that's less than two tickets to Fenway.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby stemikger » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:03 pm

sunnyday wrote:I thought NBC was going to be streaming the Olympics this year for everyone but it looks like it's only available to cable customers. Is that correct or am I missing something?


I've been watching the Olympics on regular TV. I haven't had cable for over 4 years now. Why would need to stream it if it is on Network Television.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby sunnyday » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:58 pm

stemikger wrote:
I've been watching the Olympics on regular TV. I haven't had cable for over 4 years now. Why would need to stream it if it is on Network Television.


If you wanted to be able to pick what sport you wanted to watch (instead of being limited to one station). Or if you wanted to pick replays of events you missed
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby SSSS » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:35 pm

sunnyday wrote:
stemikger wrote:
I've been watching the Olympics on regular TV. I haven't had cable for over 4 years now. Why would need to stream it if it is on Network Television.


If you wanted to be able to pick what sport you wanted to watch (instead of being limited to one station). Or if you wanted to pick replays of events you missed


Or if you didn't want to watch something that happened 8 hours ago being falsely presented as if it was live.
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Re: Stream Olympics without cable?

Postby GregLee » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:42 am

sunnyday wrote:If you wanted to be able to pick what sport you wanted to watch (instead of being limited to one station). Or if you wanted to pick replays of events you missed

The NBC coverage on DirecTV uses 8 channels, occasionally: the regular NBC local broadcast affiliate, a 3D channel, several repurposed NBC cable/sat channels (Bravo, MSNBC, CBNC, NBC Sports), and two special Olympics channels for soccer and basketball. For all but the first two, you can bring up an onscreen menu giving a schedule of events for the channel and allowing you to pick events to record. Replays of events you missed could have been provided -- the NBC Sports channels has video-on-demand shows -- but nothing from the Olympics is available. Some events are shown live, but many are not. For golf and tennis, DirecTV has provided a channel showing a pic-in-pic display for 6 other channels, as an index, but it's not doing that for the Olympics. It's all rather klunky and partial -- I'm sure I've missed a lot of the events. Should be better in 4 years.
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