The first thing to check out is a schedule of events so you know exactly when your favorite events are taking place. The event’s official website, Vancouver 2010, has the complete schedule of both the Olympic and Paralympic games, and will be continually updated with results as they come in.
Track Down the Games Online
Once you’ve figured out what you want to see, it’s time to track it down online. Many live streams of the events can be accessed right from Vancouver 2010, which routes you into the nationally televised broadcasting stations of dozens of countries. Though we can’t say for sure until the games start, this will probably be a great way to view coverage of specific teams and athletes since each nation will likely favor coverage of its stars. In other words, if you want to track every movement of the German bobsled team, streaming one of Germany’s live broadcasts will probably serve you well.
Be aware that some websites will sniff out your location and block you from viewing if you’re outside that particular country, so you may need to try several streams until you find one that works for you. Alternatively, you could try using a proxy service like xroxy or proxify, but make sure you’re not violating the website’s or your ISP’s terms of service before you do. (Also, proxies significantly slow down your bandwidth, so don’t expect great video.)
Watching the Olympics Online in the U.S.
Stateside viewers who mainly want to keep track of American athletes and teams will want to check out NBC’s official 2010 Winter Olympics video page as well as their local listings advisor. From the listings advisor, enter your zip code and cable, satellite, or antennaed-television provider to call up a list of what channels in your area are televising the event. From there, you can hit up the individual local networks to see if they’re offering live streaming on their web sites. Smaller stations may not be, but you might get lucky in some of the country’s major metropolitan areas.
If you want a little local Canadian flair added to your viewing, watch the Olympics via CTV’s dedicated online channel. Check the interactive Viewer’s Guide to find out which Canadian station will broadcast what event, including popular local channels like TSN and Sportsnet.
Our friends across the pond aren’t left out, either. BBC Sport plans to offer four separate live streams, as well as cranking out some content for its mobile site.
Unofficial Olympics Streaming Sites to Check
A few independent websites plan to offer live video streaming of the Olympics but most are unclear about where they’ll get their feeds. Most say they aggregate their videos “from a variety of sources” so, in the end they might not be the most reliable option. If they’re the only choice you’ve got, though, here are a couple of sites that look like they’re worth checking out:
* Watch Vancouver Olympics
* Watch Olympics Online
If you’re worried online video streams sagging under the weight of too many viewers, one other option you’ve got is to find a friend with a Slingbox and beg access to it during the games. The cool gadget connects to a television and broadcasts programs to computers that are connected to the local network. The catch is, the TV needs to stay on the channel you want to watch, so your friend is out of luck if they want to view another program while you get your fill of downhill skiing.
Hooking the Slingbox up to an unused television and stashing it in another room usually solves that problem, but if your buddy goes to all this trouble for you, a really nice thank-you gift is in order. Alternatively, you could always just build your own Slingbox with Windows Media Center and a $60 TV tuner card.
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