×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

BBC Delivered 2.8PB On Busiest Olympics Day, Reaching 700Gb/s As Wiggo Won Gold

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the going-for-gold-in-the-bandwidth-olympics dept.

Media 96

Qedward writes "The BBC has revealed that on the busiest day of its London 2012 Olympics coverage it delivered 2.8 petabytes worth of content, peaking when Bradley Wiggins won gold, where it shifted 700Gb/s. It has also said that over a 24-hour period on the busiest Olympic days it had more traffic to bbc.co.uk than it did for the entire BBC coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 games. They revealed they had 106 million requests for BBC Olympic video content, which included 12 million requests for video on mobile devices across the whole of the Games. Mobile saw the most uptake at around 6pm when people had left the office but still wanted to keep informed of the latest action. Tablet usage, however, reached a peak at around 9pm, where people were using it as a second screen or as they continued to watch the games in bed."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

96 comments

Happy Tuesday from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990451)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Torrent stream? (2)

LoudMusic (199347) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990479)

This seems like an excellent use of torrent streaming. Even if the average feed was a few minutes behind it should be an improvement in data distribution.

Re:Torrent stream? (3, Interesting)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990525)

Pretty sure they used a CDN or two to handle the traffic, and its possible the CDN uses a hybrid mode which works basically like combining a regular CDN server network with a p2p torrent network

Re:Torrent stream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40991603)

Pretty sure they used a CDN or two to handle the traffic, and its possible the CDN uses a hybrid mode which works basically like combining a regular CDN server network with a p2p torrent network

Can you expand on what you mean by this, not many users have CDN client software installed to facilitate P2P..

Re:Torrent stream? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991637)

It could be built into the Flash video player, theoretically.

Re:Torrent stream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40992165)

The P2P section would be more for the non-live streaming portions is my guess... though in theory I guess the live stream could be pulled from different CDN's somehow (kind of like a buffering ability like that uTorrent has.. where as you download a video file you're able to play it kind of in a "streaming mode". The same could be done with the "live feeds" the BBC was putting out)

Re:Torrent stream? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991731)

Pretty sure they used a CDN or two to handle the traffic, and its possible the CDN uses a hybrid mode which works basically like combining a regular CDN server network with a p2p torrent network

Can you expand on what you mean by this, not many users have CDN client software installed to facilitate P2P..

I think he's talking about something like this:

http://www.akamai.com/client/ [akamai.com]

Re:Torrent stream? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40993713)

The BBC used HTTP Dynamic Streaming for the Olympics streams, handing out 4 second fragments of video in a range of bitrates over HTTP. Akamai and Limelight did the heavy lifting, but no special client software was needed beyond the flash-based player on the BBC site.

Re:Torrent stream? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40994533)

Pretty sure they used a CDN or two to handle the traffic, and its possible the CDN uses a hybrid mode which works basically like combining a regular CDN server network with a p2p torrent network

Can you expand on what you mean by this, not many users have CDN client software installed to facilitate P2P..

Yea, when you go to the URL instead of getting routed to the BBC site, your ISP kicks your request to a server they have on their network, and you are actually streaming the video from that server. The BBC and the CDN provider handle the relay between the main BBC server and the remote CDN node servers.

As for this whole "hybrid mode" and p2p streaming, I'm not aware of anybody who provides such a service, but it would be possible in theory. Not saying there aren't such services, I just have not personally seen them in use.

Re:Torrent stream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40995453)

The BBC have used Akamai for as long as I can remember.

Re:Torrent stream? (2)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990543)

No one wants to get the result late though.

Re:Torrent stream? (1)

symes (835608) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994953)

Maybe - but define late... there's late in that everyone else knows the result and you might find out before you get to watch it. And then there's late, in that you are few seconds behind everyone else.

Re:Torrent stream? -- No (1)

rdebath (884132) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993925)

While using data forwarding within the CDN would probably be a win it doesn't work well for this sort of application where you need both high quality and fast distribution to the end clients.

The problem is the client's upstream speed. Most end client systems are ADSL or configured as if they are in that the upstream bandwidth is a tenth or less of the downstream. Bittorrent works kind of like a (safe, self building) "bucket brigade" line where the seeder passes the data to the first client and it passes the data to the second and so on. This means that the third client can receive data only as fast as the second one can upload it.

Bittorrent is is better in that copes with differences between clients, arrivals and disappearances. But it keeps the important limitation that you can only download a "fair share" of the combined upload of all the clients. (Frequently you can download at the same rate you upload)

So if the BBC were delivering 700Gb/s to a million users that is 700kb/s per user, most users could not manage that as an upstream. They might manage a half or even only a quarter which would mean that more than half the total bandwidth would still have to come from the BBC. (The seed box)

Re:Torrent stream? (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994591)

So, you're browsing the internet and watching the streaming video, as many people do. You inadvertantly find out the result of the 100 meters on facebook/twitter minutes before the race even starts on your video.

No, people won't accept minutes of delay for "live" events. A few seconds, yes, so long as one isn't betting on the event. But a few seconds is useless for torrent type distribution.

Unable to geoblock it (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#40996765)

This seems like an excellent use of torrent streaming.

I doubt they would go for that since it would be hard to block it based on geographic location. One day the IOC might stop being so amazing hypocritical and practice what they preach ("bringing the world together through sport") by letting each nation's coverage be available worldwide instead of requiring divisive national firewalls...but given the money they make from it it seems doubtful. What was really annoying though was that, after wrestling through a CTV nightmare website of Silverlight a lot of the coverage up there for non-Canadian events was without any commentary.

A fraction of what it could have been (3, Interesting)

bobbutts (927504) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990493)

Imagine if it wasn't restricted to a small fraction of internet users.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (2)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990563)

That's down to the broadcaster in your country. Fail to see why other broadcasters could not have done the same.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990655)

Because of this [boingboing.net] ?

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991355)

In the U.S. NBC has carried the excluive contract from 1992 through 2020. Apparently the International Olympic Committee likes them. The company paid $1.18 billion for the exclusive U.S. television rights, and they sold $1.3 billion in advertising, so that's a profit (versus 2006/10 when they lost 0.2 billion each). Here are NBC's stats:

- 32 million viewers during Primetime broadcast/reruns (highest level since the 1976 Olympics)
- 73% of Americans followed on television. 17% online. 12% on social media sites.
- "London's 219.4 million total viewers (you were a viewer if you watched at least six minutes) made NBC's Games the most-watched TV event ever, breaking Beijing's record of 215 million viewers."
- NBC's digital stats after Week 1 of the Olympics (so the total pull is probably double)

â34 Million Live Streams, Up 333% vs. Beijing
â744 Million Page Views, Up 160 Million from Beijing
â6.2 Million Devices Verified by Cable, Satellite and Telco Customers

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993351)

I dropped Cable this year, and NBC broadcast is the only network I can't get with antenna. Even with a nice HTPC TV setup, I didn't watch any Olympics as the only time I tried, the content was crap. It streamed OK for the 15 minutes I looked at it though. Adblock took care of the ads, so all I saw during commercials was this. http://i.imgur.com/n9o95.jpg [imgur.com]

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

dickiedudeles (2671437) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994347)

The company paid $1.18 billion for the exclusive U.S. television rights, and they sold $1.3 billion in advertising, so that's a profit

Only if they had less then $0.12 billion in other expenses...

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (2)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994517)

There are some things missing from here, sadly, and US customers should demand these next time:

- live streaming coverage of every sport (if the UK can have it then why can't the US?)
- live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies UNCUT

Rio is a friendlier time zone so it should be easier. Let's see what happens.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about a year and a half ago | (#40998985)

NBC tape-delayed the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, which is on Pacific Time. Not sure if it was for the entire USA, but the West Coast definitely got a TD'ed opening ceremonies.

I was watching the closing ceremonies live in Canada, could even choose between over half a dozen stations (several English and French which covered different sports during the actual Games, and even got one with Chinese and Mandarin narrators). I switched to an NBC affiliate during a commercial break and it was showing a volleyball final, which the US team wasn't even playing. I'm sorry but that was pathetic.

NBC will fuck up the Rio Olympics just as badly. Americans living near the Canadian border might be lucky if they can get over-the-air broadcasts of CBC, which won the rights for the 2016 Games. True, a lot of Americans took to proxies to get real Olympics over the internet, , but it's too bad Americans as a whole keep rewarding NBC with such high Olympic viewership.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (4, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990599)

I understand there was big uptake on VPN services from the US to get around the poor coverage so folks could get the BBC if they wanted, though I don't see why it couldn't be offered as a paid service to offset our licence fee.

I'd have to say the coverage by the beeb was excellent and well worth the fee, and I'm not a sports fan!

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (5, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990687)

though I don't see why it couldn't be offered as a paid service to offset our licence fee.

Trouble is in a lot of cases the BBC can't legally do that either because they bought UK only rights to the content in question from the content owners or for content they created themselves they have sold exclusive country specific rights to foreign broadcasters.

So any subscription based iPlayer for foreigners would end up with only a fraction of the content the UK iPlayer gets.

Also afaict the BBC gets traffic to most UK ISPs virtually free due to peering agreements whereas for foreigners they would have to pay transit fees. The prices for foreigners would have to be high enough to reflect this.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993449)

You - for subject definitions of "you" - can peer with them at AMS-IX and DE-CIX as well.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (2)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990941)

This is the reason, I think, why they let F1 go almost wholesale to Sky. Right decision. And the streaming held up very well.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994631)

Right decision for who? Certainly not the British public. Uninterrupted free broadcast from the BBC vs huge subscriptions from Sky.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40995029)

We still get F1 on the radio, although it is not the same.
Had they not saved money then we'd be faced with worse Olympics coverage, simply. And as those are a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get it right.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (5, Interesting)

iserlohn (49556) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991041)

Don't forget about the 24 *extra* HD channels that the BBC put on just for the Olympics. Was able to drop into any one of the Olympic events at any time through the red button, or just by navigating to the correct channel on my Freesat box. It really did blow my mind. Above all - no ads! The TV license is normally pretty good value for money, but the Olympic coverage was a cut above. Really feel for those that had to endure NBC.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991239)

The BBC also recorded some of the events in Super Hi Vision [bbc.co.uk] Engadget has a review: [engadget.com] "while watching the swimming event and cut-down highlights of the opening ceremony, there were moments when we could almost have believed we were looking not at a projected image, but rather through a window direct onto the Olympic Stadium or Aquatics Center itself."

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (-1, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991427)

>>>Really feel for those that had to endure NBC.

NBC and NBColympics.com costs me $0.00 (as do all the other FreeToAir channels). - BBC costs about $300 a year. - You are correct that BBC was a good bargain THIS year for the two weeks of of the Olympics.

But would I really want to continue paying that fee year-after-year? That is $3000 over the whole last decade and from what I've seen of BBC dramas..... it isn't worth it. (Neither is HBO or Showtime which carry similar high pricetags for their content.) I buy or rent BBC, HBO, etc shows for less money on DVD, or through hulu.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (3, Insightful)

mattsday (909414) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992139)

The problem with what you say is that NBCs coverage was profit driven. They tape-delayed shows to ensure prime-time audiences, cut large elements out of the opening/closing ceremonies and most events were not free to watch online without a cable subscription.

Whilst the BBC and the Television License is a subject of debate in the UK, it's very narrow-minded to say the $230 USD (not $300) brings only dramas. Comedy, news, current affairs, radio, light entertainment, online streaming, education and a whole load of other content ad-free.

I haven't looked up the figures, but my bet is that the BBC channels are amongst the most popular TV and Radio offerings in the UK - people clearly seem to like what they produce (myself included, I would pay the license fee just to have Radio 4).

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (-1, Offtopic)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992495)

Modding me -1 because I said I don't like BBC is very French (i.e. rude) of whomever did it. Perhaps you're upset because I slogged-off on your British channel but I slog-off on American channels. History, Syfy, FX, Discover, TLC... shit, shit, and more shit. Each produces 1-2 good shows per year and the rest is junk. So you see this has nothing to do with nationality..... I just generally hate all television.

And when I said "dramas" I was being inclusive of the sitcoms and all the other primetime entertainment. BBC does produce some good shows. Like Doctor Who and..... well that's all I've got (that's currently airing). Let's so for example that the U.S. Congress was forcing me to pay $230 a year to support PBS. I would feel royally ripped-off about that. $230 just to get 13 new episodes of Doctor Who (plus some other stuff I don't care about). That was the only point I was making.

So what about the British people that DON'T like the BBC? For me if I don't want HBO or Showtime (both of which are good but severely overpriced), I simply don't buy them. That option doesn't exist for British people that don't like BBC. Does it?

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993955)

It's not one channel. For that $230 a year, there are 10 TV channels, 10 national radio stations (and around 50 local ones), plus the website (including the comprehensive news and sport sections, equal to any daily newspaper). They're also in charge of certain public services, such as televising parliament sessions (BBC Parliament is one of the channels- no commercial station would broadcast wall-to-wall parliamentary debate, so it is a unique service).

Excluding the print and local stuff, at about $2.30 per national broadcast per year I'd say it's pretty good value most years.

In other words- it's not really like PBS.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40994719)

So what about the British people that DON'T like the BBC?

They are a strange, almost vanishingly small minority of people who nobody pays much attention to, even if they do like to jump up and down and write angry letters to the Daily Mail and love letters to that nice Mr. Murdoch. Nobody cares about them, and rightly so.

You don't pay for Doctor Who (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a year and a half ago | (#40995403)

Doctor Who is commercially viable on its own, as it is one of the 5 top power brands which between them bring in £300million in sales to the BBC

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

leppi (207894) | about a year and a half ago | (#40996755)

So maybe stop complaining about television and how much television costs to other countries, and just stop watching it. It does suck a lot. But your responses are downvoted for a reason. They sounds very whiney.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about a year and a half ago | (#40999127)

And when I said "dramas" I was being inclusive of the sitcoms and all the other primetime entertainment. BBC does produce some good shows. Like Doctor Who and..... well that's all I've got (that's currently airing).

Top Gear. It's only the most-watched regular TV show on the planet, with a regular viewership more than the entire US population.

Not that it's a drama, but since you're arguing against a fee that pays for more than just drama shows, it is a valid example of another good BBC-produced TV show.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992539)

P.S.

And of course BBC coverage was excellent..... it was in the same time zone. NBC coverage was excellent too when the Olympics were on the same continent as NBC's audience. They showed 1996 Atlanta, 2002 Salt Lake, and 2010 Vancouver olympics live (not tape delayed). How good did the BBC cover these events? I doubt they showed them live (6pm to 8am) since the British people would have been asleep for huge chunks of the events. The network would have aired some live sports, and some taped.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (3, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993047)

Don't know about the BBC in particular but it is very common here in Europe to show the Olympics live regardless of the time. Then there are of course sumamries and tape delays shown during the normal day time for people who was asleep during the live events.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

iserlohn (49556) | about a year and a half ago | (#40995147)

Did it roll out 24 extra HD channels? Does it air the segments live, back-to-back and without commercials?

Regarding your question about live coverage, the answer is yes -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympic_games/vancouver_2010/8468322.stm [bbc.co.uk]

And they had daily recap programs for those that missed the live coverage.

Why is it so hard for some people to accept that you can have a high quality public service run by a public organisation without a profit motive? Is it so hard to see beyond the dogma?

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about a year and a half ago | (#40999191)

Might want to re-check the Vancouver Olympic coverage.

Lots of complaints online about NBC's coverage there, particularly from west-coasters suffering from tape-delay of events (especially the opening ceremonies) happening in their own time zone.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

andrewbaldwin (442273) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994841)

NBC and NBColympics.com costs me $0.00 (as do all the other FreeToAir channels)

Fallacy.

True they don't cost you directly but you still pay indirectly.

  • NBC (and other commercial broadcasters) aren't charities - they need paying to make a profit
  • NBC charges advertisers
  • Advertisers also want paying and charge their customers -- companies
  • The companies don't give money to advertises for nothing - it's a business cost so they charge their customers
  • The end customer pays for everything -- so a portion of the purchase price you pay for goods pays for adverts and a portion of that pays for the TV channel

You do pay - just not visibly. The budgets for most commercial stations are similar (and in some cases more than) the BBC and similar broadcasters.

I know people who say "I don't watch BBC so why should I pay a licence?" -- the counter argument is "I don't watch [much] commercial TV yet still pay an advertising premium when buying my shopping".

Personally speaking, I'm happy to pay for BBC to have a broadcaster who can afford to be impartial and unafraid of repercussions if it criticises a company or organisation. Not having adverts every few minutes and being treated as an adult with a real attention span is a real bonus.

BTW I am not associated with the BBC in any way other than as a licence fee payer

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

stdarg (456557) | about a year and a half ago | (#40996031)

The end customer pays for everything -- so a portion of the purchase price you pay for goods pays for adverts and a portion of that pays for the TV channel

That's true but the total cost with advertising may be cheaper than the cost without advertising. Advertising is done for a reason -- to make the company more money, which is supposed to give them a stronger product and better economy of scale. If you simply didn't know about any products except what the store put on display (through back deals etc) and never said "Hey why does this grocery store not carry brand X, it's much better" -- then you would potentially be stuck with an inferior, over-priced product. So you may be paying for advertising, but it may be saving you money to do so by increasing competition and giving the buyer more knowledge about the market.

I know people who say "I don't watch BBC so why should I pay a licence?" -- the counter argument is "I don't watch [much] commercial TV yet still pay an advertising premium when buying my shopping".

Almost every company advertises on TV, especially for the kinds of products you buy every day, but they don't all advertise equally in terms of cost. If you don't buy the big advertiser's product, you pay less. As one example, McDonalds was the official restaurant of the Olympics or so I've heard -- they spent a lot of money for that privilege. But that doesn't force you to eat at McDonalds and help them recoup the cost. So people who watched the Olympics but didn't eat at McDonalds got it for less than if everybody had to pay an equal amount.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

iserlohn (49556) | about a year and a half ago | (#40995093)

The license fee is £145.50 or around $228 USD per year. What you get is around 10 channels (2 permananet HD channels) of TV and around the same number of radio channels - ad-free, mostly impartial, relatively high-quality content. For-profit channels with advertisers pad out the rest of the spectrum.

The beep is a public service, funded by the public, so yes, it's really a tax. In return you get a media service which doesn't pander to anybody - not to politician, nor to commercial interests, nor to any particular segment of society. You're probably paying a lot more than $228 a month due to the advertising spend on the products you buy.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40995499)

NBColympics.com cost you more than $0 - unless you were subscribed to a monthly cable/satellite subscription, the only thing you could access on the site was a few selected highlight clips. All the full coverage of events, live or pre-recorded, required verification of a cable/satellite subscription (and only selected providers at that, my local provider not being one of them). And that puts it around $35-85 a month, depending on your package/provider/franchise.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

dave420 (699308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40999581)

The license fee costs $228 per year, not $300. And you can't even compare the output of the two, it's not as if NBC had anywhere near the coverage the BBC offered. There is so much great programming on the BBC that anyone who says they can't find many excellent shows on there is either entirely full of shit, or some kind of weirdo.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991127)

I wonder if it's really illegal to use VPNs, though. At no point does one have to agree to a license or even claim to be from a specific country. It's all done automatically. Maybe it's moot if they can't prosecute you in a different country.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40991911)

I wonder if it's really illegal to use VPNs, though. At no point does one have to agree to a license or even claim to be from a specific country.

The door doesn't need to be locked for you to be trespassing. The relevant question is whether it was reasonable for you to infer you did not have authorization to access that server or content. If you used a proxy for the purpose of circumventing their restrictions, then you were trespassing.

As for the attitude of "they can't catch me where I'm hiding"...that's just a sad way to go through life.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993065)

It's not illegal for you to recieve the material, it's illegal for the broadcaster to deliver it to you (or strictly speaking not illegal but breach of contract/copyright infringement). And possibly (but I'm not sure this have ever been tested in court) for the VPN provider to give you the possibility.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994487)

That depends on the court's interpretation. They could plausibly argue that the BBC was delivering it you your VPN host within the UK (legal and within contract) and you were then copying it to a remote location (violating copyright law).

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#40997597)

I hardly see how a court could come up with such an idea. Copyright does only protect reproduction of the material so you have to distribute it to others in order to infringe. I.e you are allowed within the law to paint a perfect copy of a Picasso and hang it in your house. But you are not allowed to sell it or put it into public display.

Re:A fraction of what it could have been (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40995221)

I'm a cycling fan in the US and watched those events via someone in the UK proxying the BBC stream. People do this for pretty much all European cycling events and blog sites like cyclingfans.com maintain links to active proxies. I could have VPN'd but just clicking a link was easier wherever I happened to be.

No doubt there were a lot of cycling viewers outside the UK, at least for the road race. Wiggins was not a big fan favorite until this year and he won over quite a lot of people who'd previously considered him a time trial specialist trying to road race. Once he got in front of the cameras he turned out to be a funny guy, went on an excellent rant when asked if he was doping, calling his detractors "bone idle wankers" and finishing up by yelling "cunts!" into the mic. On the road he rode in his team's sprint train, which is about the most dangerous thing a road cyclist can do, to help his teammate get stage wins. He did that despite needing only to stay upright until he crossed the finish line in Paris to win the overall. That is something none of the recent winners (Indurain through Evans) ever did or ever would have done.

Anyway, the success GB's Sky team had in the Tour of France no doubt brought loads of international viewers to the cycling events. Since cycling coverage in general and Olympic coverage in particular, full on sucks balls in the biggest market in the world, USians probably contributed quite a lot to clogging up the tubes.

Multicast (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990523)

The BBC used to make its streams available by multicast. If everyone used multicast then they could have streamed the Olympics with not much more than a Japanese home Internet connection.

Re:Multicast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990609)

Why Japan? The latency would be horrible.

Seriously, though, so much data just to see a bunch of people jump around like monkeys. Humans can be so boring.

Re:Multicast (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990613)

Unfortunately, multicast basically doesn't work on the current internet, at least not for most users, because most networks don't properly forward it. The MBONE [savetz.com] , a 1990s overlay/tunnelled network, was probably the closest it's ever gotten to general deployment outside specific controlled contexts. 2001's RFC 3170 [ietf.org] on deployment difficulties is largely still accurate, with the exception of its first sentence, "IP Multicast will play a prominent role on the Internet in the coming years."

Re:Multicast (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991677)

IPv6 supports multicast correctly. I remember reading about IP-TV multicast testing that was going on from Europe to Australia over open internet.

Re:Multicast (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991749)

True, I should've said in IPv4. If the IPv6 transition really does happen to the point where most end-users can do IPv6 transport end-to-end, multicast should be a nice side benefit, assuming nobody introduces a new bone-headed way of screwing it up.

Re:Multicast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40994127)

True, I should've said in IPv4. If the IPv6 transition really does happen to the point where most end-users can do IPv6 transport end-to-end, multicast should be a nice side benefit, assuming nobody introduces a new bone-headed way of screwing it up.

Challenge accepted.

Re:Multicast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40994945)

Unfortunately, multicast basically doesn't work on the current internet, at least not for most users, because most networks don't properly forward it. The MBONE [savetz.com] , a 1990s overlay/tunnelled network, was probably the closest it's ever gotten to general deployment outside specific controlled contexts. 2001's RFC 3170 [ietf.org] on deployment difficulties is largely still accurate, with the exception of its first sentence, "IP Multicast will play a prominent role on the Internet in the coming years."

Multicast is a very tricky thing to actually implement when you're dealing with multiple networks managed by different people/companies. I'm not going to get into the details, but there are a lot of engineering problems and security risks with allowing multicast at the provider level. Generally speaking, it's only used within discreet networks.

Re:Multicast (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993491)

They still multicast content, they were multicasting all the extra Olympic channels as well. You just have to be attached to the internet via a provider that's actually on MBONE - one of my house mates was watching it on multicast at work (working at a Uni has its perks).

NBC cut away (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990611)

I'm curious if NBC saw a traffic spike (and how big of one) when they stopped broadcasting the closing ceremony live and switched to streaming it while they switched to whatever the sitcom was.

Re:NBC cut away (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991031)

I'm curious if NBC saw a traffic spike (and how big of one) when they stopped broadcasting the closing ceremony live and switched to streaming it while they switched to whatever the sitcom was.

I haven't had the telly on, but based on experience I'd be astonished if NBC isn't continuing to "cover" the Olympics this week, in hopes of milking a few more nickles out of it.

Re:NBC cut away (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991307)

They are covering the Olympics. The paralympics on their NBC Universal Channel (which was free over-the-air during the 2008 and 10 Olympics, but once Comcast bought NBC that ended).

BTW we'll be able to watch the 2016 games in real-time. Brazil is on Atlantic time, just one hour ahead of the zone most Americans live.

Here are NBC's stats:
- 32 million viewers during primetime broadcast (highest level since the 1976 Olympics)
- The company paid $1.18 billion for the exclusive U.S. television rights
- They sold $1.3 billion in advertising
- They made a profit (versus 2006/10 when they 0.2 billion)
- 73% watched television. 17% online. 12% followed on social media sites.
- "London's 219.4 million total viewers â" you were a viewer if you watched at least six minutes â" made NBC's Games the most-watched TV event ever, breaking Beijing's record of 215 million viewers."

NBC's digital stats after Week 1 of the Olympics (so the total pull is probably double)
â34 Million Live Streams, Up 333% vs. Beijing
â744 Million Page Views, Up 160 Million from Beijing
â6.2 Million Devices Verified by Cable, Satellite and Telco Customers

Re:NBC cut away (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40994509)

No you won't. A lot of the sports events are held during the day. Your NBC will tape-delay that to prime time. Enjoy retarded ad-driven broadcasters...

see: Vancouver Olympics coverage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympics_on_NBC#Tape_delay

"Despite the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver, three hours behind New York, and in all of their previous Olympic coverages, NBC has delayed the broadcast of higher-profile events held during the day to air in prime time. As a result, almost none of the popular alpine events were shown live.[26] Executives say this is done because they see better Nielsen ratings with coverage in the evening hours. Nevertheless, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were assumed to be a financial disaster for NBC, as the network was expected to lose about $200 million after overpaying for broadcasting rights.[27] However, the tape delay practice even for major events is increasingly frustrating with viewers when considering the increased usage of social networking and Web sites (including the official Vancouver 2010 site and NBC's Olympic website) posting results in real time.[28] This especially holds true for viewers in the Pacific, Mountain, Hawaii, and Alaska time zones, where events are delayed even further by three to six hours or more, and also holds true for events shown live for the East Coast, with very few exceptions.[29]"

Network Gear? (1)

jpedlow (1154099) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990623)

I really REALLY want to see the size of their routing/switching equipment, let alone racks of gear for processing/encoding/streaming. Hitting 700gigs/sec is PRETTY killer.

Re:Network Gear? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990703)

It will just be regular cisco kit like 6500 series switches...
They won't have pushed 700gb through a single device, the bbc has peering with most of the major isps in the uk and the 700gb figure will be combined across a large number of peering and transit links.

Re:Network Gear? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992881)

I could be wrong but I'd expect to see a relatively small number of big routers (big enough to deal with full internet routing tables) at the network edge and then a larger number or switches to connect the content servers to the routers and then an even larger number of content servers.

I'd also expect to see collocated content servers in some cases. Particularly for a rare spike like the london olympics.

Re:Network Gear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990925)

I really REALLY want to see the size of their routing/switching equipment, let alone racks of gear for processing/encoding/streaming.
Hitting 700gigs/sec is PRETTY killer.

Try Akamai!

Re:Network Gear? (2)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991251)

I really REALLY want to see the size of their routing/switching equipment, let alone racks of gear for processing/encoding/streaming.
Hitting 700gigs/sec is PRETTY killer.

Try Akamai!

The BBC uses akamai to deliver a lot of content

Best Internet coverage ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990631)

I had access to about 10 dedicated HD channels on my satellite package here in the middle east. Commercial free, with most announcers either Canadian or British ( the Abu dhabi channels were in Arabic), all from the olympic broadcasting feed. There was also an Olympic news channel and a constant stream of official Olympic documentaries. On ipad & computers there was a further 12 digital streaming channels available, but i could get that working due to low bandwidth. Watching it all was the next best thing than being there in person. I feel sorry for all the North American viewers stuck with recorded footage full of commercials. Oh well, perhaps brazil will prove better?

Can we get Multicast already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40990775)

700Gb/s for a few different streams is ridiculous.

In bed by 9pm?? (1)

EreIamJH (180023) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990783)

Surely only a tiny fraction of people would be in bed by 9pm, so I can't see that explaining a spike in tablet use mid-evening. My guess is that the main TV was being used to watch normal programs and the iPads (lets face it, the tablets were almost certainly ipads) were being used to follow the olympics out of the corner of the TV watcher's eye.

Re:In bed by 9pm?? (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991285)

Surely only a tiny fraction of people would be in bed by 9pm, so I can't see that explaining a spike in tablet use mid-evening.

My guess is that the main TV was being used to watch normal programs and the iPads (lets face it, the tablets were almost certainly ipads) were being used to follow the olympics out of the corner of the TV watcher's eye.

There wasn't much normal TV

Re:In bed by 9pm?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40992525)

Too right, I ended play much more TF2 than usual due the utter dominace of the olympics and aside from a new series of Vexed the complete lack of anything that wasn't a re-run worth watching.

Re:In bed by 9pm?? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#40996749)

What normal stuff was on TV in the UK during the olympics?

Everyone I know was glued to it - to the point of watching events by mobile streaming of iPlayer on the bus or during lunch breaks. Offices were streaming it over the web. Every lab on my floor had one machine with the main feed running, and everyone was talking about it.

No one in the UK was "watching it out the corner of their eye" - at least in my experience, and clearly in the experience of the broadcaster providing the coverage.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond... (2)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year and a half ago | (#40990833)

NBC's online streaming felt like it peaked at 700kbps.

Re:Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond... (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992021)

I wonder how much bandwidth NBC used. Its gated wall for requiring satellite and cable TV services probably kept it down. :(

Re:Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond... (1)

Juanvaldes (544895) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992627)

I wonder how much bandwidth NBC used. Its gated wall for requiring satellite and cable TV services probably kept it down. :(

Working As Intended.

Re:Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond... (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#40992849)

Huh? The 720p feeds were around 6.5Mbps. I did have to use FF as the builtin flash plugin for Chrome didn't want to use hardware acceleration for some reason so it was jumpy as all get out, the Adobe plugin used through FF was as smooth as you can expect from a live event (the archived footage was as smooth as any other stream HD content IME).

$280,000,000 worth of data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40991393)

If you bought that bandwidth through Verizon, that would come to $280 million dollars (at their cheapest mobile extra-gig rate), or enough data to exceed the caps on over 12,000 comcast subscribers. Good thing it was is a location where those two don't rule the data channels!

is that all ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40991753)

I believe youporn is doing 2.8 petabytes in an hour...

It was Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40992087)

Thanks to Microsoft technology for running the Olympic games!

LHCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40992459)

700Gb/s...How many LHCs is that?

BBC = Child Porn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40993057)

'Nough said Dan'O.

What's the big deal? (1)

Jake Griffin (1153451) | about a year and a half ago | (#40993519)

2.8PB? What's the big deal? That's only about 3% of the storage capacity of Lt. Commander Data's 'brain'... And he searches that in only a couple seconds..

What a waste of bandwidth! (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#40994365)

What a waste of bandwidth!

A sad day for the clever minds who invented multicast so you don't need to care about 700Gb/s

NBC (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40995601)

As a primetime NBC Olympics watcher, I was disappointed they didn't show more diving in primetime.

Seriously though, if you work all day, then come home to watch some Olympics in the evening, you'd think the only competitions there are, are some Gymnastics, Swiming, Diving, and Volleyball with a few highlights from track. You'd never know of the numerous other events. NBC coverage was so bad that they would analyze and show every person's dive, replay slowmo with computer analysis, watch them get in the hot tub afterwards and talk with their coach, etc. Then do a quick edit of just the main highlights of another track and field event, then back to more in-depth diving. That or waste even more time by rehashing the 92 dream team. Sorry judo, fencing, weightlifting, etc you don't get any primetime coverage.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...