Olympic video and VR: Guide to watch­ing with­out a TV

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Weekend | Tech -

EV­ERY Olympic event will be streamed live. But to watch on­line, you’ll still need to be a pay­ing cable or satel­lite sub­scriber.

As with past Olympics, NBC is re­quir­ing proof of a sub­scrip­tion. If you’ve al­ready given up on tra­di­tional cable or satel­lite TV, you can sign up for an on­line TV ser­vice such as Plays­ta­tion Vue or Youtube TV. Oth­er­wise, your video will cut out af­ter a half-hour grace pe­riod.

The sub­scrip­tion re­quire­ment also ap­plies to cov­er­age on vir­tual-re­al­ity head­sets.

More than 1,800 hours of on­line cov­er­age be­gins Wed­nes­day evening in the U.S. with pre­lim­i­nary curl­ing matches. Fri­day’s open­ing cer­e­mony will be shown live on­line start­ing at 6 a.m. ET, and on NBC’S prime­time broad­cast on a de­layed ba­sis at 8 p.m. NBC also plans live stream­ing of the clos­ing cer­e­mony on Feb. 25.

Here’s a guide to watch­ing the Olympics on­line.

TRA­DI­TIONAL COV­ER­AGE NBC’S over-the-air net­work will cover pop­u­lar sports such as fig­ure skat­ing and ski­ing, some of it live. For those who can’t get to a TV, NBC will stream the broad­cast at Nbco­lympics. com and the NBC Sports app. But there you’ll need your paid-tv cre­den­tials to sign in — even though you can watch the net­work over the air for free.

The sports net­work NBCSN will be the main over­flow chan­nel, car­ry­ing events such as biathlon, bob­sled and luge. Cov­er­age on CNBC and USA Net­work will be limited to curl­ing and ice hockey. The Olympic Chan­nel will have medal cer­e­monies, news and high­lights, but not event cov­er­age. All four of these cable chan­nels will also be streamed on­line.

Much of the on­line cov­er­age will come from the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee’s Olympic Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices. That means the spot­light will be on all ath­letes, not just Amer­i­cans. In ad­di­tion to live events, you can get streams of some train­ing and prac­tice runs. NBC also plans dig­i­tal-only shows, in­clud­ing a daily two-hour wrap-up start­ing at noon ET (2 a.m. the next morn­ing in Pyeongchang).

Some cable com­pa­nies plan spe­cial fea­tures. NBC owner Com­cast will in­clude on­line cov­er­age on its TV set-top boxes and TV cov­er­age on its mo­bile apps to of­fer view­ers one-stop ac­cess to the Olympics. Com­cast and other cable providers will also of­fer the open­ing cer­e­mony and other events in sharper “4K” res­o­lu­tion, though with a day’s de­lay.

VIR­TUAL RE­AL­ITY In­tel is work­ing with the Olympic Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices to pro­duce vir­tu­al­re­al­ity cov­er­age of 30 events. Eigh­teen events, or 55 hours, will be live.

Dur­ing the Rio Olympics in 2016, VR cov­er­age typ­i­cally wasn’t live and re­quired Sam­sung’s Gear VR head­sets with a Sam­sung phone. This time, VR is avail­able on Google Day­dream and Mi­crosoft Mixed Re­al­ity head­sets as well. Those with­out a head­set can still watch on web browsers or Ap­ple and An­droid mo­bile de­vices. In the U.S., you’ll need the NBC Sports VR app.

VR isn’t meant to re­place tele­vi­sion. While In­tel’s VR pro­duc­tions of base­ball and other sports had their own an­nounc­ers, the Olympic cov­er­age will rely on reg­u­lar tele­vi­sion cov­er­age em­bed­ded in the VR ex­pe­ri­ence. And most of the VR video will be in 180 de­grees — you’ll see the ac­tion in front of you and a lit­tle bit to the sides, but not what’s be­hind you. Videos in 360 de­grees will be limited to non-com­pe­ti­tion fea­tures such as a demo run down the bob­sled.

But VR will of­fer more leader­boards and stats than tele­vi­sion, along with the abil­ity to choose cam­era po­si­tions. For down­hill ski­ing, for in­stance, you might pre­fer watch­ing from a par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tion on the moun­tain, the way a spec­ta­tor would, rather than have the cam­era shift the skier goes down. For fig­ure skat­ing, one cam­era will be near the judges so you can get their van­tage point. There will be no cam­eras on the rink or on any ath­letes, how­ever.

IF YOU LACK CABLE OR SATEL­LITE TV For the most part, ac­cess to an on­line TV ser­vice — one that streams many of the chan­nels you’d get from a cable sub­scrip­tion — will also let you use the NBC apps for stream­ing and VR.

Google’s Youtube TV has the low­est price for all five Olympic TV chan­nels, at $35 a month. Google says the ser­vice is avail­able in more than 80 U.S. mar­kets, cov­er­ing more than 80 per­cent of house­holds, though the NBC sta­tion isn’t avail­able ev­ery­where.

In ex­cluded mar­kets, you could check out a ri­val. What works best will de­pend on your needs:

— Directv Now also has a $35-a-month of­fer­ing. But the Olympic Chan­nel is part of a higher tier, at $60 a month, and Directv Now gen­er­ally won’t let you record pro­grams for view­ing later (a DVR fea­ture is still be­ing tested among some sub­scribers).

— Hulu with Live TV is $40 a month for all five chan­nels and DVR. As with Com­cast, Hulu is blend­ing TV and on­line video on its app.

— Plays­ta­tion Vue, Sling TV and Fubotv are all $45 for com­pa­ra­ble pack­ages. But you can bring Sling TV’S bill down to $30 for just the two main Olympic chan­nels and DVR. Plays­ta­tion is $40 with­out the Olympic Chan­nel.

Free tri­als are avail­able, and you can can­cel af­ter the Olympics. Most ser­vices let you en­ter your ZIP code to check whether the NBC sta­tion is avail­able. NBC’S live broad­cast stream won’t be avail­able on the NBC app if you don’t get the lo­cal sta­tion.

BE­YOND VIDEO The NBC Sports app and the Nbco­lympics web­site of­fer high­lights, in­ter­views and fea­tures on ath­letes with­out need­ing a sub­scrip­tion. You’ll also have full ac­cess to scores, sched­ules and guides to un­der­stand­ing ob­scure events.

Sam­sung, an Olympic spon­sor, de­vel­oped the of­fi­cial Ap­ple and An­droid app for the games, called Pyeongchang 2018. It has sched­ules, news and 3-D and drone views of the venues.

The games’ of­fi­cial web­site, pyeongchang2018.com, also has live video of the Olympic torch re­lay.

Tra­di­tional me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions will also cover the event, even though ex­ten­sive video from the of­fi­cial venues are re­stricted to the rights-hold­ing broad­cast­ers. The As­so­ci­ated Press, for in­stance, has a Win­ter Games hub with tra­di­tional text, photo and video cov­er­age along­side graph­ics break­ing down com­pli­cated moves in fig­ure skat­ing and snow­board­ing and daily il­lus­tra­tions from sketch artist Dan Archer. The AP will also have 360-de­gree video and drone views of the venues.

Photo: AP

This 2018 im­age pro­vided by Com­cast Corp. shows Xfin­ity Stream mo­bile app with Olympics cov­er­age for Com­cast cus­tomers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.