I spent a good part of the weekend watching the Olympics (can I use that word without IOC permission?). NBC is wall to wall with them across all of their networks and it’s great. It’s truly the smorgasbord of sports – a grand buffet with a little something for everyone. Just in case you’re still hungry, NBC is also streaming everything to anyone who can prove they have a cable TV subscription. Seems fair – why have to pay for the same content a second time?
As an aside, that availability of this streaming has me confused about why people are complaining via social media about NBC’s TV coverage – what they choose to air on which networks, etc. You can be your own producer, and if you’re tech savvy enough to complain in the Twittersphere about it you’re probably savvy enough to figure out how to hook a computer up to a TV screen to watch the streaming as if it was TV.
I tried to get myself authenticated to do exactly that and found out that the weak link in the chain is actually the cable operator. Well, specifically MY cable operator. Every time I went through the process, which involves going to the NBCOlympics.com site and entering your cable user ID and password via your own provider’s site, I got a weird server message. Not an error message as if I had the wrong information - a message you see in the graphic that’s indecipherable. I finally emailed Cablevision support. To their credit, they emailed me back within the hour that I was now authorized. I wasn’t – same message when I went to sign in. I used an online chat link they sent me to try to resolve it. The very nice person (named Keith, coincidentally) let me know after a few minutes that he was a TV support guy and I needed to chat with the Internet guy. Start a new chat. Kevin (the new rep) asked if I had Cablevision’s internet service, which I don’t. I reminded him that as long as I had TV I was supposed to be able to watch the streams. He checked (5 minutes) and discovered I was right. The issue turned out to be Chrome on a Mac – I was authorized instantly on a PC using Firefox. Once I installed Flash into Safari, it worked on my Mac as well. Strangely, it now works on Chrome too.
I suspect we’ll see a lot more of this as the pipe we use to access content becomes less important than the content itself. I’m hoping the bumps will vanish and that rather than a great product such as this surfacing once every four years, we can use it every day. What about you? Have you tried the streaming? What do you think? Any issues getting it to work?