Olympics Streaming Nearly Gets It Right

The photo above is the table tennis venue at the 2012 London Olympics. OK, no one was playing when I tuned in, but at least I was finally able to tune in. Mostly the online Olympic video has been a pain or a fail.

Earlier, Helaine called me to her computer. The free online Olympic streaming was hung up at the point where her Comcast credentials were requested. The process failed by returning her to the point where she was asked to specify our cable provider.

Oh, yeah. You need to subscribe to cable or satellite to get the free streaming. Cord cutters are not welcome!

As it turns out most flavors of Linux, the operating system on Helaine’s laptop, are suffering this same indignity. Considering the streaming seems to come out of a custom YouTube channel and YouTube videos are usually easily seen on her laptop this is a head scratcher.

The problem is Ubuntu and some other Linux ‘flavors’ don’t automatically load the DRM (digital rights management) software necessary to protect NBC’s investment. Finding this solution was not easy. In fact my last blog entry is a small attempt to make it easier for others following in my footsteps.

Helaine can now watch Rhythmic Weightlifting and the Javelin Catch even if they’re not on TV.

For my Asus Transformer Prime tablet the problem is a little more vexing. It’s not supported, period!

The “NBC Olympics Live Extra” app will let users watch more than 3,500 hours of live events on tablets and smartphones. But only customers who have a cable or satellite subscription will get full access — and the app is available only on Apple devices and a “select” list of Android phones and tablets. — (CNNMoney)

Not only isn’t my tablet ‘selected,’ neither are those made by Samsung. This isn’t rocket science. There are already loads of streaming sites that have figured out how to serve me.

The rating for NBC’s Android app speaks for itself. I’m not the only unhappy camper this evening.

2 Responses to “Olympics Streaming Nearly Gets It Right”

  1. Allen says:

    Looks like it’s hit or miss on Android. I’ve been watching all day on my Droid Razr running ics, was even able to send the feed from Live Extra on the Razr to my 60″ TV using hdmi. It even runs on a Visio tab (HC) but is very pixelated because the tablet is underpowered. iOS devices work great. Big plus watching online … you don’t have to put up with the obnoxious commentary :))

  2. Hey Geoff i had a mac and had to do this:

    Steps 1 thru 5 fixed my problem
    Try the following to see if there is a setting on your computer that is preventing you from authenticating:
    1. Navigate your browser to: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html
    2. Make sure “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer” and “Store common Flash components to reduce download times” options are both checked.
    3. Move the “Specify the amount of disk space…” slider to 100 KB.
    4. Navigate your browser to: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html
    5. Clear the Flash Player Cache by pushing the “Delete all sites” button.
    6. Close your browser and then reopen your browser.
    7. Start the verification process here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/help/index.html
    If you are still having issues you need to make sure your third party cookies are enabled:
    MAC USERS:
    FIREFOX BROWSER (FOR MAC USERS)
    Click on “FIREFOX” (at the top left of screen)
    –> Preferences
    –> Privacy tab
    –> Open drop down next to “Firefox will:” and set it to “Use custom settings for history”
    –> Make sure “accept cookies from sites” is checked
    –> Make sure “Accept third-party cookies” is checked
    –> Keep until: “they expire” (in drop down)
    SAFARI BROWSER (FOR MAC USERS)
    Click on “SAFARI” (at the top left of screen)
    –> Preferences
    –> Security Tab
    –> Accept Cookies (check “Always”)
    CHROME BROWSER (FOR MAC USERS)
    Click on “CHROME” (at the top left of screen)
    –> Preferences
    –> Scroll to bottom of page and click on “Show Advanced Settings”
    –> Privacy –> Click on “Content Settings”
    –> Cookies – >Check “Allow local data to be set” also make sure “Block third-party cookies and site data” IS NOT CHECKED.
    –> Click “ok” at bottom of page.
    PC USERS:
    INTERNET EXPLORER (FOR PC USERS)
    –>Click on Tools
    –> Internet Options
    –> Privacy Tab
    –> Click the Advanced button in center of page
    –> Make sure the radio button next to Accept is checked below “First-party Cookies” and “Third-party Cookies”
    –> Click “OK”
    FIREFOX BROWSER (FOR PC USERS)
    –> Click on FIREFOX (top left of screen)
    –> Click on Options
    –> Click Privacy Tab
    –> Open drop down next to “Firefox will:” and set it to “Use custom settings for history”
    –>Make sure “accept cookies from sites” is checked
    –> Make sure “Accept third-party cookies” is checked
    –> Keep until: “they expire” (in drop down)
    –> Click “Ok” at bottom
    SAFARI BROWSER (FOR PC USERS)
    –> Click on the wheel on the top right, below the X in the red box
    –> Click Preferences
    –> Click the Privacy Tab
    –> Block Cookies: click “Never”
    –> X out of pop up
    CHROME BROWSER (FOR PC USERS)
    Click on the wrench at the top right of the screen
    –> Settings
    –> Scroll to bottom of page and click on “Show Advanced Settings”
    –> Privacy – Click on “Content Settings”
    –> Cookies – Check “Allow local data to be set” also make sure “Block third-party cookies and site data” IS NOT CHECKED.
    –> Click “ok” at bottom of page.

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