DAVID BIANCULLI

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WATCH THIS: Catch up to the Olympics on-demand, online, downloads
February 18, 2010  | By Diane Werts
 
nbc olympics live hockey.jpg

Oops, missed something big from the Vancouver Olympics? You can always try to catch it on one of NBC's myriad broadcasts across its network (NBC) and cable channels (USA, CNBC, MSNBC, Universal HD, Universal Sports).

Or you can grab the video gold anytime, in several ways -- digital cable on-demand, online replays, and free/pay downloads.

TV on demand

Many cable systems have Olympic footage stacked up, awaiting the command of your digital-service remote.

My Comcast system, for instance, offers dozens of free Olympics picks via On Demand through the digital cable box. Start by choosing the Top Picks category, then scroll down to 2010 Winter Olympics. Click to peruse choices like Best of the Day, Meet Team USA, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Hockey, Board & Freestyle, and more. (Comcast On Demand also offers online search to see what's available.)

Inside those categories, you've got your choice of U.S. competitors, winners, crashes, analysis, music-video montages and more, even last week's Vancouver opening ceremonies or 2006 Torino highlights. Clips range in length from 1 minute to 1-hour-plus. There's HD, too.

Online

nbc olympics live replays.jpgNBCOlympics.com hosts action galore, including live streams and full-event replays, so long as you input your collaborating cable system/location. (Video playback also requires the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in.)

Full replays are online for most sports, including hockey, skiing and snowboarding. Some offer a choice between NBC's familiar "as seen on TV" packaging or -- wait for it -- raw on-site coverage without broadcast announcers (yay!), but with ambient audio plus all the graphics and super slo-mo.

Live event streams are slated to include every hockey and curling match. That means live-as-it-happens video even of events NBC isn't interested in (like Canada-Sweden curling).

Myriad other video choices include Daily Recaps, Features & Profiles, Venues & Courses, and Most Popular clips. That last one is where you'll find the likes of Shaun White's double McTwist 1260 and skating's flashy pink pony, Johnny Weir.

Downloads

NBC is loading up iTunes and Amazon On Demand with Olympics footage, most of which you'll pay for. Short roundups are free -- Top 5 Athletes to Watch, bios of biggies like Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn, various sports' video glossaries and scene setters. But actual event action is usually $1 or $2 a pop.

At least many downloads tend toward generous lengths -- the men's figure skating short program is nearly 2 hours. Season Pass is also available on iTunes -- $5 for figure skating, for instance, and $13 for hockey.

(One big caveat: iTunes hasn't been especially timely about getting the action up and available. And their slate isn't necessarily complete. As of Thursday afternoon, Feb. 18, only 3 hockey contests were posted, though 16 games had been played. Amazon On Demand is no better.)

 

1 Comments

 

Jill said:

Ha! I read this: "Inside those categories, you've got your choice of U.S. competitors, winners, crashes, analysis, music-video montages and more", but my brain saw "you've got your choice of U.S. competitors, whiners,...". Ha! Must have been thinking about Plushenko after last night's men's figure skating free program. He was asked about Lysacek winning and he was po'd -- you could tell. He just went on about how he was surprised that someone would win without a quad (and the underlying obvious subtext "I did a quad and he didn't!"...wah, wah, wah...). Listen to Dick Button and Scott Hamilton next time -- it's about the whole program, NOT just the big jump.

 
 
 
 
 
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