Monday, August 11, 2008

The Olympics, For Real This Time


I just want to say how happy I am with the live streaming of this summer's Beijing Olympics.

Microsoft and NBC have teamed up to stream video from the games. Microsoft's new Flash competitor "Silverlight" is required to view the games, which was a very smart move on Microsoft's part. It's the perfect way for millions of people to install this new software. And it's not half bad either; i'm currently watching weightlifting, judo, badminton, and fencing, simultaneously. The viewing windows are kind of small, but this technology with more bandwidth would be spectacular

Online streaming also gives me the chance to watch many of the less televised sports, because come on, I can only watch so much swimming and gymnastics. Well, ok I can watch a lot of those, was this guy, China's Chen Yibing, on the rings, and it was ungodly the things he could do.

Fencing is incredibly fast, and packed with intensity. Not surprising I guess, they ARE sword fighting. Yesterday I watched equestrian and archery.

I hope NBC is paying attention to which events get the most online viewing and start tailoring their TV coverage more along those lines, because there are so many things they don't show at all, which is a tragedy. All of these people competing are the best in the world at what they do, so no matter what it is, you are watching greatness. And that includes more than swimming, gymnastics, and track.

NBC's coverage is is rather USA-centric, which is why they carry what they do. If we had a crack field hockey team, I bet we would see that.

The Olympics are a spectacular global event, and I'm glad I finally have the option of watching the lesser known sports.

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