full coverage

23 February 2010

I’m still in the Olympic spirit, I guess, or at least just thinking about the Olympics. I’ll be back to more academic concerns soon, but my sister and her husband and their daughter are visiting and we managed to find tickets because my sister had the crazy idea of walking into the ticket office and asking what they have. Turns out that if you’re not picky, there’s still some seats available. So now I’ve seen curling live and in person and I enjoyed it.

Anyway, I was going to write something about NBC’s coverage – discussed here and here and elsewhere – but instead I’ll just say that CTV, who has the Canadian rights, has put up the following on their website: full video (the so-called “world feed”) of every single event, in HD if your connection can handle it, live if it’s still going on, archived if you missed it, and if it’s still going on you can go back and watch the earlier parts without having to wait for the event to end.

The “world feed”, if I understand correctly, consists of the raw video broadcasters are able to choose from in putting together their coverage. Broadcasters combine that video with their own commentary and interviews and whatever technology they use to enhance their coverage (like replays that use superimposed images of multiple competitors). Sometimes broadcasters use their own cameras to get additional angles if they think it’s worth it to their audience to have the extra coverage.

The CTV world feed videos don’t have any of the supplemental stuff, but considering what you’re getting, it’s more than worth it. There are some video ads, but they’re shorter and less frequent than television ads. You can also get highlights online of some completed events taken from the televised broadcasts that include commentary, and possibly you can get the entire televised broadcasts online as well. I generally haven’t been near a tv during the live event coverage, so I don’t know what the broadcasts are like. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything I wanted to see.

Compared to that, discussions of NBC’s coverage, focusing on television, are like a throwback to an earlier era. It’s no longer possible to think of this kind of event coverage solely in terms of television, and for all that NBC has done with their Olympic website (which I haven’t visited since 2008, admittedly, but which I hear delays video just like tv), it seems like they still think it’s still 1994 or so.


set in stone

19 February 2010

The Olympics have made spring break come early this year and last twice as long, and I decided to take the opportunity to leave town and visit my family. (I might look into the Olympic non-ticket events around town after I get back this weekend.) That means I’ve been watching the Olympics on tv, which is not something I’ve done since 1998. I usually ignore the winter games completely.

One sport I’ve enjoyed making fun of, in an uninformed non-serious non-specific way is curling, but now that I’ve gotten a chance to see full matches for the first time, I can say that I haven’t sat through a whole match. But I have watched the ends of each end for a few of them and I do like the sport. It looks like a fun puzzle game; I bet there’s a flash version.

I can’t say I understand the rules, though, and it looks like I better read up on them soon, before the source of the stones disappears from the earth.