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2008 Beijing Olympics as a Media Test-Bed

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the just-a-test-of-inconvenience dept.

The Media 134

CNN is reporting that NBC is using the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a test-bed to understand how people are using different media platforms. "NBC has scheduled 3,600 hours of Olympics programming on its main network, along with Telemundo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo. That's the equivalent of eight days of programming packed into each day. In addition, the company is planning to make 2,200 hours of streaming video available on NBCOlympics.com. Consumers may also get video on demand via their computer and Olympics content through their mobile phones."

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The Olymp-whats? (2, Insightful)

writerjosh (862522) | about 6 years ago | (#24089151)

The problem with this test is: who's actually going to watch the Olympics?

If they're using the Olymipcs as a test bed to see how people view media, then somebody in that department needs to be fired. You can't test a wide range of media on content that nobody's going to view in the first place (at least not enough to make it a real "test" of various media strengths).

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 years ago | (#24089221)

A surprising number of people do watch them. I don't know why- most of the sports on the list would draw record lows on ESPN8. But throw in the every 4 years thing and some flags, and all of a sudden a large number of people care.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (3, Funny)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | about 6 years ago | (#24089347)

Who doesn't love ribbon dancing and curling?

Re:The Olymp-whats? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089637)

Who doesn't love ribbon dancing and curling?

I'm a member of a Curling Club [circlecitycurling.com] , you insensitive clod!

Re:The Olymp-whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090849)

Hey, I'm always amazed that they manage to throw the ribbon so high in the air and catch it without slipping on the ice, all while frantically covering their footsteps with a broom.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (3, Insightful)

mixmatch (957776) | about 6 years ago | (#24089405)

Maybe it has to do with the fact that it's an international competition for athletic dominance.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 years ago | (#24090059)

In a bunch of sports that nobody cares about. Like I said- throw in some flags, and for some reason people watch.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | about 6 years ago | (#24090305)

Throw in some politics. They're better than flags.

Have you ever been to a country that cares about their country and nationalism? Watch European football, live, then you'll understand.

It's like a war... but without a death toll. Oh wait... [timesonline.co.uk] .

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#24092301)

I went to a hockey game the other night, and a fight broke out.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#24092419)

Oops. I screwed up a perfectly good joke. It was supposed to be:
I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out. /hangs head in shame

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Insightful)

mixmatch (957776) | about 6 years ago | (#24092907)

I guess it just depends on who you talk to. I'm pretty sure NASCAR is pretty low on the rank of international sports, but its #1 spectator sport in the USA... Lets not equate NASCAR to racing. That would be like saying that gymnastics is defined by baton twirling.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Insightful)

QMalcolm (1094433) | about 6 years ago | (#24092455)

Even more than that, it is a pure humanist celebration. Even though two countries hate each other, they compete together fairly under the same rules, and acknowledge when they lose. The entire world is also looking at one city for a while and if you follow the coverage you'll inevitably understand that place a little better.

And that's just the sports, there is all sorts of cultural stuff that goes on. Saying the Olympics are all curling and ribbon dancing is like saying the world cup is just a bunch of people kicking around a ball.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 6 years ago | (#24089593)

I can't stand watching them on TV, because they will show one heat of a swimming event, then cut over to the 5000meter run for a few laps, then go to curling, etc. I want to watch the freaking event. Maybe if they stream all of it, I'll actually watch the events I want to. (I don't necessarly just want to watch the media's favoritte American's compete.. Thats not the point of the olympics)

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | about 6 years ago | (#24090333)

What channel have you watched on? Whenever I viewed them as a kid I remember entire sequences of events that showed most if not all the competitors performing. Sure they had commercial breaks, but they always showed the entire competitions, even if it wasn't live...

Re:The Olymp-whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24093111)

Exactly. There are plenty of people who want to watch events that aren't likely to be fully covered on television, such as preliminary rounds, full coverage of distance events, etc. The potential for full online coverage of some of these events has me giddy with excitement, assuming that it is covered that way.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089333)

Shut up Asian Josh

Re:The Olymp-whats? (3, Informative)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | about 6 years ago | (#24089389)

Nobody's watching? You better tell the 4 billion people who were planning to do just that...

Beijing expects four billion TV viewers for '08 Games [reuters.com]

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | about 6 years ago | (#24089685)

Nobody's watching? You better tell the 4 billion people who were planning to do just that...

Historically, the Olympics have gotten low viewership in the West even when we host the Olympics. I think the Beijing estimates are a bit rosy even though they would now of course be higher due to domestic viewership in China.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 years ago | (#24089815)

Chinese government to citizens: Watch the Olympics or be killed.

?

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#24091397)

Far far simpler. the government controls the media. just make it all olympics all the time and they won't have a choice but to watch.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#24091539)

just make it all olympics all the time and they won't have a choice but to watch

TVs don't have off switches in China?

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

bjmoneyxxx (1227784) | about 6 years ago | (#24092847)

You couldn't get away with having the tv shut off for more than a few minutes, unless you want guh-guh to get curious...

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

smussman (1160103) | about 6 years ago | (#24093173)

Chinese government to citizens: Watch the Olympics or be killed.

?

Profit!!!!

fix'd

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Interesting)

fremsley471 (792813) | about 6 years ago | (#24090641)

This piece wonders how they count those 4 billion [independent.co.uk]

Lies, damned lies and TV viewing statistics: The most watched televised sports events of 2006

Sport/Event/Claim/Verifiable

Football, Italy v France World Cup final, 715.1m/260m

American football, Super Bowl Steelers v Seahawks, 750m-1bn/98m

Winter Olympics, Torino 2006 opening ceremony, 2bn/87m

Football, Champs League Arsenal v Barça, 120m/86m

Formula One, Brazilian Grand Prix, 354m/83m

NASCAR, Daytona 500, n/a/20m

Baseball, World Series game five, n/a/19m

Golf, US Masters (final day), n/a/17m

Tennis, Wimbledon men's singles final, n/a/17m

Basketball, NBA finals game six, up to 1bn/17m

Cycling, Tour de France (final stage), n/a/15m

Golf, US Open (final day), n/a/10m

Golf, Ryder Cup (final day), up to 1bn/6m

Commonwealth Games, Melbourne opening ceremony, 1.5bn/5m

Cricket, ICC Champions Trophy final, n/a/3m

The Olympics are Vista and Silverlight only (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 years ago | (#24089723)

So it's more of a narrow test even than you might think. To participate you have to have more money than sense. The advertisers should love it.

Until the servers go down, anyway. Microsoft might have some smart folks, but they're no YouTube.

Re:The Olympics are Vista and Silverlight only (1)

The Cydonian (603441) | about 6 years ago | (#24092943)

While Silverlight is not Vista-only, you're right in another respect: we've had four different beta versions so far for Silverlight in the past four months. Somehow, I sense panic in a certain room in Redmond.

Re:The Olympics are Vista and Silverlight only (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 years ago | (#24093787)

Read that again. I definitely did not say "Silverlight is Vista only.". That would be silly. Microsoft wants Silverlight to be widely adopted. That would never happen if people had to have Vista to use it.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (3, Insightful)

rronda (1139207) | about 6 years ago | (#24089773)

Yes, you are right. Who would like to watch the best athletes in the world, make their best effort, competing against each other as they strive to be the fastest, strongest human beings in history, as they strive to achieve perfection in their disciplines. Who would be that crazy? PS: I know this guy is being a troll, but nevertheless ...

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 6 years ago | (#24089977)

And how exactly does curling fit into that? I mean I could probably place in a competition involving eating nachos whilst programming, that doesn't make it a legitimate athletic event. Same goes for the luge in the Winter games.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

rronda (1139207) | about 6 years ago | (#24090193)

Well I don't know how to go about a set of criteria for telling whether something is a legitimate athletic event. After all, several athletic events are just throwing stuff into the air, and others involve shooting stuff, jumping on a pool, etc, so they can all be easily ridiculed. If people get really good at nacho-scripting, there is no a-priori reason why it should not make it as an athletic event.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

chaim79 (898507) | about 6 years ago | (#24090609)

You gotta love Robbin Williams take on Luge:

"What Drunken German Gynecologist came up with this sport? 'I am going to dress myself like a sperm, shove an ice-skate up my ass, and slide balls-first down an ice chute.', 'how will you steer?', 'I will clench my ass and do kegles all the way down'.

"And don't even get me started on two-man luge, I'm going 'fellas, get a room'. 'hard right, hard right, make that turn you fucker, ohh yah'. 'You cost us 1-100s of a second with your thing going 'bbbrrrng' all over the place, dolphin boy'

Re:The Olymp-whats? (0, Offtopic)

writerjosh (862522) | about 6 years ago | (#24093227)

A troll? Wow

Too bad people can't just respond without assuming they know about a person. And thanks for the Flamebait. At least I was brave enough to state my opinion.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Informative)

rronda (1139207) | about 6 years ago | (#24093521)

I am sorry about calling you a troll. Rather I should have said that your post (rather than yourself) seemed like trolling. It didn't seem to me that "Who is going to watch the olympics?" was a rethoric question. You stated below that "content that nobody's going to view". If you were serious then you are very far removed from reality. You can look at some of the numbers for the Athens 2004 olympics here http://en.beijing2008.cn/16/8/article211928716.shtml [beijing2008.cn]

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 years ago | (#24089871)

I am sick and tired of the Olympics.

At least I don't watch TV anymore, so I can avoid some of the mind numbing crap coming out of this "cultural event".

Re:The Olymp-whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089915)

Exactly. At slashdot, we all know that everyone will be watching computer Go.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090075)

It's spelled "Olymics", stupid. Says so in the summary.

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090685)

From the article:

NBC has contracted with Quantcast Corp. to get a sense of who is using NBCOlympics.com.

In that case, all the Linux and Mac users being blocked by Microsoft's dodgy deal with NBC [techcrunch.com] should head over to http://www.nbcolympics.com/ [nbcolympics.com] and make sure they know the decision to block us was a bad one. Bonus points for leaving the site, and never returning, when you hit a lame 'platform not supported' message (I hit one in the Video section).

Re:The Olymp-whats? (2, Informative)

The Cydonian (603441) | about 6 years ago | (#24092931)

To put it in a geek context, one word: Silverlight [techcrunch.com] .

Re:The Olymp-whats? (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | about 6 years ago | (#24093905)

I was just thinking. The Simpsons had better not be cancelled for the olympics. I really don't have any time for that stuff.

will they actually cover the sports this time? (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#24089235)

The other networks have to turn it into a fucking soap opera giving you a 20 minute tear-jerker biography of the damn athlete before each event. That cuts into time that could be better spent, I don't know, covering the actual Olympics? There are so many sports that don't even make it on television.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#24089319)

There are so many sports that don't even make it on television.

Tell me about it. [slashdot.org]

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089747)

Don't forget Slashdot's bid to get CmdrTaco vs. CowboyNeal Nude-nerd Mud Wrestling included as an olympic sport.

First the Slashdot team, then it was to be expanded: Gates vs. Ballmer, Stallman vs. Eric S. Raymond, Torvalds vs. errr, Dean?

The Olympics will never be complete without Nude-nerd Mud Wrestling.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (1)

Maxmin (921568) | about 6 years ago | (#24092075)

Maybe it's time to jump [youtube.com] on some of those new "sports."

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (4, Interesting)

hkgroove (791170) | about 6 years ago | (#24089335)

This is what I hate. Just show the events and forget the Costas crap "human interest" commentary.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 years ago | (#24090341)

This is what I hate. Just show the events and forget the Costas crap "human interest" commentary.

There are essentially three ways to cover the Olympics:
1. Nationalistic Penis Waving
-My Country is better than yours; what a victory for [Country]

2. Human interest pieces
-[Athlete] worked so hard for this victory

3. Technical analysis of the event
-Look at his/her form in [event], the hip rotation generates power, etc etc etc

Of those three, which do you think is the hardest and most expensive to get right?
Hint: hiring knowledgeable & telegenic commentators for hundreds of events is not simple or cheap.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | about 6 years ago | (#24092349)

Ugh, Bob Costas. If anything, he and Marv Albert should've called games with heavy springs in their jaws. Why? They are the ones who initiated the "talk continuously, even about things only tangentially related to the game, sometimes with a color commentator ex-professional sports guy, so that the audience doesn't figure out you can't really call sports games" school of sports broadcasting.

Okay, to be fair, ESPN is more guilty of the color commentator proliferation.

Some may remember that Costas said in 1988 that the Dodgers probably had the worst hitting line up in World Series history. Had he not said that, he wouldn't have had to eat his words after they won the series.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (1)

djcapelis (587616) | about 6 years ago | (#24089435)

Unlikely, NBC is famous for the 20 minute biographicals and has exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the US through the 2012 games. (So far...)

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (2, Interesting)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | about 6 years ago | (#24089687)

I've basically given up watching the broadcasts for exactly that reason. You only get 3 or 4 minutes of actual competition followed by a 15 minute sob story about some athlete having to deal with the deaths of her mother/father/sibling/uncle/pet goat after which they cut back to the studio where the talking head says where they'll be going to some time later but first these 10 minutes of commercials. And good luck getting any time for sports where the Americans are out of competition. Its simply not worth the frustrations anymore.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (2, Funny)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | about 6 years ago | (#24089859)

Agreed. I just want to see people compete at the highest level so I can see what something look likes when it's done "the best" it can be done.

If I want to know someones life story I'll check wikipedia.

Re:will they actually cover the sports this time? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 6 years ago | (#24090827)

> I just want to see people compete at the highest level so I can see what something look
> likes when it's done "the best" it can be done.

If it is indeed "the best".

Silverlight (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089387)

I just tried looking at a few videos on that site, and it requires Silverlight. Why can't they use flash like everything else?

Re:Silverlight (1)

mixmatch (957776) | about 6 years ago | (#24089471)

I noticed this recently when they switched away from flash and it suddenly stopped working.

Re:Silverlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089599)

Because Flash is crap and Silverlight is far superior.

Re:Silverlight (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | about 6 years ago | (#24089735)

I just tried looking at a few videos on that site, and it requires Silverlight. Why can't they use flash like everything else?

Microsoft Silverlight Gets a High Profile Win: 2008 Beijing Olympics [techcrunch.com] .

NBC got incentivized. After Microsoft failed to gain control of Yahoo to use it as a channel to force Silverlight dominance, the NBC agreement was the fallback.

Not just Silverlight only (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 years ago | (#24090287)

The actual events will require both Silverlight and Vista.

Thereby making absolutely certain that the videos won't be cached, transcoded and redistributed within seconds of their first webcast. You won't be able to archive them or time shift them or view them on the evil Lunix or your otherwise capable crackberry or eee pc. Right? Right? Because Vista's secure media transport and display has been perfected and will never be cracked.

This streamed olympic footage will not be available for fair use, ever. Not even long after even those who participated have ceased to care. Me, I don't care already. If they stream it to an open platform I might watch some of it but Vista alone is too much of a price to pay, let alone Silverlight. I think instead I'll click over to CNN and see if they manage to smuggle out footage of protesters.

BBC streamed last olympics online, didn't they? (4, Insightful)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | about 6 years ago | (#24089395)

I recall a lot of folks were annoyed during the last olympics because the BBC blocked access to their online video streams to American IP address blocks because of NBC legal threats/licensing junk.

Re:BBC streamed last olympics online, didn't they? (3, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 6 years ago | (#24089857)

And the reason people were going to the BBC for online content was.... NBC's coverage sucks.

NBC insists on covering the Olympics "live", in prime time. Problem is - the Olympics are being held in a different time zone. So NBC tapes the events, blocks any "live" coverage that it can, and then presents the taped event in EST prime time as if was live. (That's why so many of the events on TV have *surprise* American winners - they just discard the tapes from events where the Americans lose badly).

Hopefully, if NBC is streaming content, they'll stream really live content from all sports. If not... then broadcasters that do a decent job in other countries will see a large uptick in their traffic.

it's just a reminder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089481)

that whatever content you consume, it will be logged and analyzed. don't say they didn't tell ya.

Quality of the video streaming (5, Insightful)

AmIyourJuliet (858232) | about 6 years ago | (#24089485)

I would love to see them actually stream decent quality video on their website. All networks want to boast their revolutionizing web access, when all they do is stream some ultra low res grainy crap. It's totally unwatchable when you are used to watching the exact same events in HD, for free. Why are content providers so scared to broadcast HD feeds via the web? They could leave the commercials in, and it would be the same as watching it on TV. It can't honestly be that they are worried about people distributing the content. I mean.... people can very easily capture the HD feed to their computer with a tv tuner. And when it comes to the "too much bandwidth" argument, couldn't they just use bittorrent? I know the reason probably has to do with money... but I'm not seeing it. Someone please enlighten me.

Re:Quality of the video streaming (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#24089563)

1. Can you even use BitTorrent for video streaming?
2. We're talking about live video, too.
3. ?
4. Profits

Re:Quality of the video streaming (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | about 6 years ago | (#24090015)

Well I guess you can, Azureus Vuze does something like that. If the viewer is OK with a longer delay than for normal streaming then it can work.
The server can just send to 1000 people and let them send to the others. The ones that receive the stream last could have a big delay (minutes, but hey, you have to compromise something).
You'd also need a client that knows to prioritize the chunks at the beginning so that the movie flows without interruptions.

Re:Quality of the video streaming (2, Informative)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 6 years ago | (#24089669)

An HD broadcast requires a big transmitter to be setup once, and then broadcast over the area. Big initial cost, then basically free (there are still some upgrades, power bill, etc) To show HD on the internet, your talking about Multiple Megabit connections for EACH viewer. The costs of that are astronomical. I guess, it would be similar to the differences between Multicast (transmit that 2GB file once to 100 machines), and unicast (transmit that 2GB file 100 times!).

Re:Quality of the video streaming (4, Insightful)

rayzap (700032) | about 6 years ago | (#24089717)

Plus it is in WMT wrapped in SilverLight poo! No Linux, they promised Mac but did not deliver. WMT is a great streaming format for live but not when wrapped in SL poo. WMT is fine for corporate work but consumer streaming is best with Flash so all can view. NBC is just a big lumbering media company who no longer "gets it".

NBC Still Sucks (1)

Cadre (11051) | about 6 years ago | (#24090553)

Same story as two years ago. NBC Sucks [slashdot.org] . Microsoft has bought them and is using them to push their platform and is refusing to support anything other than Windows and Windows Media Player.

Re:Quality of the video streaming (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 6 years ago | (#24090531)

couldn't they just use bittorrent?

Not if the goal is video streaming. Bittorrent is all about maximising the use of the upload bandwidth of the peers to distribute chunks of the file. The chunks distributed are spread throughout the file ; once the seed has served a chunk, there is little point it serving it again because one or more peers can now seed it ; instead, it concentrates on uploading unseeded chunks until the full file is available from peers in the swarm. At this point, the seed is no longer required (as long as no peers go offline).

What this does not achieve is real-time streaming at every peer. People like to watch sporting events while they are happening, for the sense of community. They can ignore an encoding/transmission delay of a few seconds, but waiting several hours (maybe listening to the cheers of the people next door) would not exactly be conducive to an exciting sport event.

Hell, my wife insists on watching movies at their time of broadcast, because they are "better live"... even though they are coming through the HTPC and thus are exactly the same bitstream on disk whether you watch them now, later, or next year.....

Re:Quality of the video streaming (1)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | about 6 years ago | (#24090935)

The US (Golf) Open did a great job with their online coverage. Full following of a couple marquee groups, coverage of a couple holes for all players that came by, simulcast of ESPN coverage, all of it in both SD and HD.

Re:Quality of the video streaming (1)

Bombula (670389) | about 6 years ago | (#24093251)

Back in the stone age of internet video, about 15 years ago, streaming-only video was rationalized as a form of copy protection: if people could download videos, the quality would be higher (and compete with broadcast quality) and they would be able to fast-forward through commercials. The advent of Tivo and later DVR incarnations quickly rendered that logic bunk. But we're stupidly and annoyingly left with the outmoded architecture of that logic.

Streaming video is simply retarded. It burns more bandwidth than simply letting people download clips because they end up stopping and starting, re-downloading packets into the buffer after connection losses or if you want to see the same footage more than once, and so on. And streaming video just doesn't work very well unless you have real broadband, which is actually quite rare in the United States. With most services, it's pixelated and you're lucky to get through a clip without it stopping or stuttering a few times. You certainly can't stream multiple videos at once, you can't enjoy a latency-free switching experience between clips, you can't watch full-screen video, and the lack of quality means genuinely live video doesn't hold up - basically, it has no redeeming qualities when compared either to downloading clips or to traditional broadcast. And in an era where any clip can be captured and piped right into youtube or a bit torrent, the copy protection angle is moot too.

Google video's proprietary format (not available on every clip they host, I notice) is an example of hybrid-streaming, where you can start a clip anywhere in the timeline as if you were streaming, but any portion downloaded stays on your local machine and doesn't have to be downloaded again.

Streaming video sucks in every conceivable way that video could possibly suck, and the sooner the idiots at the networks figure it out the better.

Olymics? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089517)

Olymics? I think the Slashdot editors need to review their submissions before posing (sic) them...

Time shifting options (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 6 years ago | (#24089529)

My fiancee is a big fan of the olympics. We'll be out of the country for the first few weeks of August with no intentions of watching any TV. So she's looking into DVR options. I think every minute of coverage will be available somewhere on the internet after we get back. It'll certainly be easier than trying to pick everything to record beforehand. But she's afraid to take the chance that she'll miss something.

So will NBC or others make all of the video available online immediately after the events? Will someone else? Is DVR the best option? Or will she have to spend hundreds of dollars on DVDs next year to see the olympics after-the-fact?

Re:Time shifting options (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 6 years ago | (#24089611)

So will NBC or others make all of the video available online immediately after the events? Will someone else?

Seeing the Olympic is an international event you might be able to foreign websites to view streaming video as long as you don't mind it being in your native language.

Re:Time shifting options (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24089955)

Seeing the Olympic is an international event you might be able to foreign websites to view streaming video as long as you don't mind it being in your native language.

Ummm.. But assuming that all the people on Slashdot have English as their native language there are lots of other countries that speak English that may have it streaming, though some may have IP blocks for US IPs...

Re:Time shifting options (1)

irondonkey (1137243) | about 6 years ago | (#24090053)

Seeing the Olympic is an international event you might be able to foreign websites to view streaming video as long as you don't mind it not being in your native language.

There, fixed that for you.

Also, consider that if you speak or are learning a second language, it might be a beneficial experience to watch in a foreign language.

You mean OLYMPICS right...with a P? (1)

codeonezero (540302) | about 6 years ago | (#24089531)

Just making sure, we're all on the same page.

Re:You mean OLYMPICS right...with a P? (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | about 6 years ago | (#24089677)

No, they definitely meant mean Olymics. The idea of media covering the Olympics is just obvious and completely un-newsworthy. Slashdot would never do that. I haven't RTFA yet, so I don't know what Olymics is, but considering neither of us have heard of it it probably needs news coverage, right?

Re:You mean OLYMPICS right...with a P? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | about 6 years ago | (#24090111)

Well I think he was trying to make a joke but I do agree with you that I haven't heard of Olymics so his joke while it might be brilliant is way too obscure. Google doesn't really know either, he keeps hinting that I didn't search the right thing. Maybe he just didn't know how "Olympics" is spelled and wanted to make sure because the kids in school laughed at him, who knows.

Re:You mean OLYMPICS right...with a P? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#24092647)

No, the olympics are a completely different thing, and most americans can't afford such luxurious name-brand products with the dollar in its current condition.

Thus, china and wal-mart bring us, the OLYMICS!

the 400 lb limited hurdles, the permanent vegitative state skydiving competition, the senior citizen milk run championship! tune in, and see it all on FSPN!

What is this thing? (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 years ago | (#24089623)

They keep bragging about something called the Beijing Olympics in NBC. What the hell is Olympics?

A Joke (2, Informative)

rayzap (700032) | about 6 years ago | (#24089645)

I am a track coach and the latest Olympic Trials streaming for track was a joke. They only webcast the same hours they broadcast. No in depth streaming, just re purposed broadcasting. Plus, if I have to watch stories instead of performances I am pissed. NBC is lost when it comes to Track and Field (as opposed to the NCAA where I happily sat at my desk and watched hours of great events. It's Ok to watch streaming as we are a streaming provider and I am the owner, haha.

Re:A Joke (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 6 years ago | (#24090521)

The coverage may be bad, but, hey, be thankful your favourite sport is in the Olympics. Some of us love sports that are ideal [wikipedia.org] candidates, but don't make it in because of stupid IOC politics. :-(

In other news: NBC declares war on our minds! (1)

Cordath (581672) | about 6 years ago | (#24089697)

"The whole idea is to get the same person and to touch them across all different sorts of platforms,"

Spielberg's "Minority Report" might not be a classic, but it was very savvy in it's predictions about technology. In particular, the above quote brings to mind the excessively invasive advertising keyed to individuals via eye-scans. You can tell these NBC bastards have a hard-on for that kind of future.

We're basically in a one-sided war. Advertisers are pulling together intelligence and getting organized for an all-out assault on our senses. They want control of our minds and they're willing to fight for it. What are we willing to do? Buy more ringtones?

Olympics online = abundance of clips (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089705)

Putting much of the content online will allow for those "great moments in olympic athleticism" to be easily uploaded and placed on youtube, adding to the visibility of the olympics as a whole.

well duh (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#24089847)

Well gee, with 2 events potentially being held at the same time or at 3:00 in the morning in a US time zone, obviously on demand is going to beat everything else because then people can watch it whenever they want. Plus, people without DVRs can't just pause and re-watch anything so they'll double up with on demand also. Here's another prediciton too: all the traffic is going to melt the freakin internet!

On Demand too? (1)

stevenbeb (1321333) | about 6 years ago | (#24089917)

But will it be available on demand? With a roughly 12 hour time difference between Beijing and the US a large number of events are going to be in the middle of the night. Without allowing on-demand even with this wide a coverage it's still going to be difficult to know when a particular event is going to be broadcast.

if you get CBC... (4, Informative)

wardk (3037) | about 6 years ago | (#24089983)

they do an outstanding job covering the Olympics, if you can get it.

while they of course emphasize Canadian athletes, they don't cater to them exclusively.

and you get to actually watch complete events. not flip from event to event in a format apparently designed only for those with attention deficit.

I bet CBC even gets some of the smog on screen. what a wonderful place to run long distances...

Re:if you get CBC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090549)

I second that. CBC does a pretty good job of showing the big ticket events, like track and field, or anything from the pool. Too bad they lost their Olympic bid after the next winter event in Vancouver 2010.

Re:if you get CBC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24091975)

In the past, New Zealand coverage has been the same - relatively high quality commentary and focused on the event. I sure hope that the same people who have said "people want to watch adverts" wont look at the NBC coverage as something to emulate.

Re:if you get CBC... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 years ago | (#24092315)

I bet CBC even gets some of the smog on screen. what a wonderful place to run long distances...

I was just reading about China's plans to combat pollution.
http://news.google.com/nwshp?q=china%20olympics%20factories [google.com]

Since taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road hasn't done the trick, they are planning to shut down a whole bunch of industrial factories. It really says something when a country has to turn down its industrial output just to have breathable air.

The Olympics is about (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24089995)

Worshiping nigger cock. All your daughters are slaves to nigger cock; they dream all day of sucking off an insane thug life walnut brained boolie bongoman.

Stupidest test bed ever - Vista ONLY (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090049)

Last I heard a few weeks ago, the technology NBC will use is supported ONLY on Windows Vista.

If that is still true, this "test-bed" will only be testing that tiny percentage of the market that swallowed the hook and upgraded/bought Vista.

Back in the Atlanta olympics (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 6 years ago | (#24090069)

There was a cartoon in the paper that read something like:

"We have just had a report that other countries are competing in the olympics. Now back to our coverage"

That has pretty well summed up every telecast I have seen in recent times, and what I fear will happen for Beijing no matter how many hours of coverage they stream/broadcast

Bravo? (2, Funny)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24090175)

What exactly are they going to carry? Synchronized swimming?

fucK3r (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090315)

isn't a lemonade another troubled may also want and Juliet 40,000 rivalry, and we'll FreeBSD went out to the original Is busy infighting there are a full-time GNAA *BSD but FreeBSD Area. It is the one or the other That comprise for a living got we all know, for membership. downward spiral. FUCKiNG USELESS represents the leaving core. I cuntwipes Jordan a way to spend show that *BSD has practical purposes and easy - only Some of you have many of us are share. *BSD is Are you GAY Slashdot 'BSD is anything can Keep unnecessary prospects are there are only myself. This isn't successes with the which allows population as well the reaper BSD's GAY NIGGERS from All major surveys In ratio of 5 to copy a 17 Meg file Is dying and its Fly...don't fvear

YEA!!! Eight hours a day with 20 minutes of action (2, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | about 6 years ago | (#24090401)

I can't even watch the Olympics anymore thanks to NBC bastardizing it. It's like they swap out the NBC sports division with the staff from Lifetime.

Guess what NBC, I WANT to see the fucking prelim races for ALL of the track and Field events. Not just 1/10th of the final race/event with 10 hours of stories about the F'n athletes that don't even win.

DIE!!! DIE!!! DIE!!! You've killed the Olympics NBC, and your network is in last place for a good reason. Isn't it time for Law and Order Peoria to make it's debut?!?!?!?

At least the Chinese will be all set (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 6 years ago | (#24090439)

They're sure to have full access to online coverage. Even if the Chinese teams were to lose to Taiwan or protests were staged during the event, I'm sure the government wouldn't be so petty as to use their Golden Shield to#`%${%&`+'${`%&NO CARRIER

Beijing (1)

clydewax (1302159) | about 6 years ago | (#24090449)

I, for one, welcome our new car dealer prices [buyingadvice.com] overlords.

Wheat and Chaff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24090785)

I hope they put synchronized swimming, rhythmic "gymnastics", the other non-sports, and all of their sickening "in depth" tear-jerk background pieces even Oprah wouldn't touch onto one of the obscure cable channels. If you are televising an athletic event, show us competition, not BS!

That's a huge investment.. (1)

searchr (564109) | about 6 years ago | (#24091411)

Just to determine that most people will be watching "House" reruns on their iPod.

What codec? (1)

maciarc (1094767) | about 6 years ago | (#24091821)

NBC ... Telemundo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo. That's the equivalent of eight days of programming packed into each day.

Eight days of programming each day on seven channels? That's only 87.5% compression. They can get up to 80% with H.264. Then they could have 8.75 days of programming each day on the same 7 channels!

Skewed Results (1)

Prototerm (762512) | about 6 years ago | (#24092663)

NBC wants to use this to discover how people view media. But if the streaming is restricted to Vista, they'll be forced to come to the conclusion that only a small minority of people use their PC's to watch television sports.

All because the vast majority of people are still using Windows XP, not Vista. Somebody at NBC sure isn't thinking straight.

I guess they figure that anyone who watches TV on a computer isn't interested in watching sports to begin with (what is known as a self-fulfilling prophesy in this case).

WTF is Olymics? (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | about 6 years ago | (#24093063)

Now we can't even spell for posting of stories? Sheesh... Or are we afraid of some potential copyright issues over the term Olympics?

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