Being completely ticked off with NBC’s TV coverage, my rant is here. I decided that it was time to move to the Internet coverage, this supposedly was live. Of course there are a couple of Olympic ‘hoops’ that you need to jump through. For reasons that only the brain the size of a Peacocks (not very) could come up with, the internet coverage is only available if you are a cable TV subscriber. Why this should be the case is beyond me.

My wife and I are cable subscribers, and after some serious inbox analysis we stumbled upon an arcane userid and password that had long been forgotten. With this information NBC’s internet coverage was made available. Not only could you watch events ‘live’, they also have an extensive library of recorded events.

I was beginning to think that my previous dim view of NBC might have been a little strong. Of course this online coverage does have a couple of drawbacks.  NBC still want to show the viewer commercials. On the bright side though, they are not as prevalent online as they are on the TV. On the TV it is almost an aside that there is a sporting event going on! I half expect an announcement

We have to interrupt our constant stream of important messages to show 30 seconds of some sport, but our important messages will be right back!

The online coverage is not a panacea, it has a major drawback, the video stream relies on the wonderful Adobe Flash system. Flash and Crash is the name of the game. Flash is an old and tired method of showing video. It is the technology equivalent of a 1970’s Yugo.

I watched Flash and Crash for a couple of hours, reasonably you could expect it to run fine for around 10 – 15 minutes, then the fun would start. While not a scientific study, it always seemed to crash when NBC decided to switch to an advert feed.

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The feed would freeze, oh and freeze every other browser window, until this glorious message was displayed.

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I am sure that the fans of Flash will tell me that the problem is not Flash, but my computer! Well I disagree, the computer is only six months old, it is running Windows 7, has a V8 Intel processor and has more RAM than a field of Ewes could handle! (Sheep joke).

Flash was a poor choice. While I cannot put the blame entirely on NBC’s plate, they really should have known better.

Simon Barrett

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