Thursday, August 7, 2008

Watch the Olympics Online

The 2008 Beijing Olympics will happen while most Americans are sleeping. While NBC, the games' official media outlet in the United States, will be providing thousands of hours of content on the web, the only way to truly ensure you won't miss too many record-breaking moments is to spread yourself across the web and take advantage of the many video outlets online.

With opening ceremonies kicking off Friday, August 8, we have compiled a list of online destinations for getting your fix of the summer sporting events.

This article is a wiki. Got extra advice? Log in and add it.

Live Streams and On-Demand Highlights

NBC Olympics. Media giant NBC has exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States, and will serve up four live streams and 3,000 hours of on-demand video online.

TV Tonic. NBC paired with Wavexpress to offer event highlights on demand via a download service similar to iTunes. For Windows Vista users only.

YouTube. Starting Wednesday, Google will provide approximately three hours of content each day from the Olympics Broadcasting Service on a channel dedicated to the games. The content will include highlight reels and daily wrap-ups, but no live coverage. The footage will be available in 77 territories, including South Korea, India and Nigeria, that aren't officially covered by Olympic sponsors, according to an International Olympic Committee press release. CCTV will be supplying more than 5,000 hours of Olympic Games coverage for mainland China and Macau.

BBC Sports. The U.K.'s official Olympics broadcaster will offer six streaming channels showing coverage from BBC TV and BBC News Interactive. Channels will focus on on-demand daily highlights and athlete interviews.

Yahoo7. Australia's official Olympics online portal offers live streams, video coverage on-demand and behind-the-scenes interviews, specials and features.

CBC Olympics. Canadians can tune into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation online for supplemental live streams, video coverage on-demand and behind-the-scenes interviews, specials and features.

Getting Around Location Restrictions

In most cases, users in the United States will be blocked from viewing the footage on the non-NBC sites. But you may be able to view clips or streams from other countries if you use a proxy server located within that country, or if you can otherwise trick the streaming server into thinking you're from a country where it's allowed.

There's some advice on this topic at Metafilter.

There are also paid services like Anonymizer that can do the trick for you.

If you have any additional advice, please add it here.

Peer-to-Peer Options

If you want to move beyond bite-size recaps and highlight reels, P2P sites are your best bet for backdoor access to unedited blocks of Olympics footage. Additionally, content is likely to be available sooner than the 12-hour delays expected with some of NBC's coverage. Try these web workarounds for full access to the Olympics.

BitTorrent. Miss the opening ceremonies? Or the four-hour finale of table tennis? Try downloading torrents of popular Olympic events. Top torrent-tracking sites to try include isoHunt, Mininova and EZTV. Need a quick primer on using BitTorrent? Read our How-To Wiki entry on the subject.

Veetle Stanford University's experimental web TV platform requires a downloadable player, but offers live broadcasts of soccer games, basketball and more.

Sopcast. This free P2P internet TV player requires a download, but offers a wide lineup of channels broadcasting the Olympic games.

TVants. This is a P2P Internet TV, which requires a free download. TVants can run on Windows or on Linux's WINE.

PPMate. A Chinese P2P Internet TV network, download. PPMate only run under Windows.

TVU Networks. This P2P internet TV player requires a free download and only works with Windows, but is a good resource for watching global sporting events online.

This page was last modified 13:04, 7 August 2008 by mosesofmason. Based on work by snackfight.

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