Find tips on how to watch the Olympics online for free and as they are happening
If there is one problem with the Olympics it's this: it's international. Now, hold off before you begin calling me a fascist, isolationist pig. All I'm saying here is the "globality" of this massive sporting event causes problems for television viewers who wait four years for the games to take place. This is particularly true when the Olympics take place halfway around the globe from the North American continent.
Take this year's event, being held in China. For those of us in the United States (and Canada, we can't forget about you), we are getting the back end of the coverage, since many of the events that will be broadcast on NBC will be pre-recorded from several hours before. Of course, if you are a die-hard Olympic fan, or fan of an individual personality, you can probably tune in during the wee hours of the morning to watch some events being covered by USA Network, MSNBC, or one of their various online outlets. You can also record these on your DVR, but that will destroy the feeling of watching them live. Meanwhile, your friends over in the Asia-Pacific region will mockingly text you and let you know who won the Archery competition before you watch it on TV. And, there's nothing that irks you more than knowing the Archery results ahead of time.
I know, I know, you're feeling dejected about the whole thing. Fret not, though, as there may be a solution thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet. Click ahead to read on.
On their website, Wired magazine has a How-To Wiki on how to watch the Olympics online. Turns out more than just NBC and its sister networks are providing online coverage of the event. For example, YouTube will be providing about three hours of coverage each day (none live) to a number of countries (not ours). CCTVOlympics.com will be supplying 5,000 hours of coverage for mainland China and Macau. BBC Sports and Australia's Yahoo7 will be supplying live stream coverage of the events.
Sounds great for you fans, doesn't it? Well, it would if viewers in the U.S. (and parts of Canada, I'm sure) weren't being blocked from viewing footage of the games on non-NBC sites. Not to worry, as the Wiki provides some ways to get around these location restrictions. One of the items it mentions (not to get too geeky on you) is to use a proxy server located within the country where you want to view the streams. If you don't have a proxy server then there are ways to "trick" the streaming server into thinking you are coming from the U.K. or Australia. Another way they recommend to see want you want live is to jump over to the Peer-to-Peer sites; BitTorrent is one of the sites mentioned for this, as is Stanford's experimental web TV platform called Veetle.
Now, I'm not recommending that you "trick" anything or perform illegal downloads (but, is BitTorrent really illegal anymore). Yet, if you are a die-hard Olympic fan, and you have the bandwidth, what's the harm in trying.