Watching the 2012 London Olympic Games on TV, now through Sunday, Aug 12, should be more fun, and less painful, than watching the Beijing events four years ago.
In Seattle four years ago, Comcast subscribers were able to watch the Olympics on Canada’s CBC (a channel offered to Seattle Comcast customers), but not this year: The CBC lost its Olympics coverage to Canada’s CTV.
So what does NBC have in store for us?
1) Live coverage of literally every Olympics sports event will be everywhere — on TV, computers and mobile devices.To access all the live Internet Olympics coverage, you first need to sign in on NBC's Olympics website. And to sign in, you’ll need to have a cable or satellite account. Sorry, but that’s how the game is played these days. Here's a video clip from NBC's Carson Daly explaining how to set up your Olympics viewing.
2) Don't look for the opening or closing ceremonies to be available live anywhere except on broadcast TV. That means you'll need to be watching KING-5 starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday to see what London has cooked up — unless you want to cheat and watch news clips and written reports about an eight-hour-old event on CNN.com, The Seattle Times online, or virtually any other news site in the world. For additional TV-only viewing resources, the "On Demand" services of your cable/satellite provider should have a "2012 London Olympics" section for viewing recorded video of the day's events.
4) NBC/Universal will use its full array of cable channels to bring you live TV coverage. So, if you watch regularly scheduled shows shows on KING-5, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, SciFi, and USA, you’ll likely find your programming interrupted for the next two weeks. As I write, "The Cycle" news program on MSNBC has been preempted by Olympics soccer.
5) For basketball and soccer fans, NBC has dedicated cable channels specifically for these sports. Basketball on Comcast will be on Channel 895; soccer will be on Channel 896. For similar services on other cable or satellite systems, check with your provider.
6) The Internet is hog heaven for watching the Olympics this year.
If you're watching on a computer, check out NBC's Live Extra to see all Olympics live televised events. Again, you'll need to have cable or satellite service to sign in and qualify for this feature. Does the fact that every online event will begin with a 30-second commercial surprise you?
For Apple and Android tablets and smartphones, download both the NBC Olympics app for news and events schedules, and NBC Olympics Live Extra for live viewing from your respective app stores. Caution: some Android devices may balk at handling the live feeds, according to comments on the Google Play website. I tested Live Extra on three Android devices — Droid Bionic and Galaxy Note smartphones and the Nexus 7 tablet — and all worked perfectly. I'm sure you already thought about this, but if you watch live coverage on your data plan, not WiFi, be sure you also watch how much data you consume.
7) Finally, for those who have Comcast's Internet services at home, the company also offers you free WiFi hotspots around Puget Sound. So if you have a WiFi-only tablet, iPod Touch or similar device, this Comcast website will help you locate sites to help you guzzle more Olympics coverage while you’re out and about.
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