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Watching online

I just finished watching the amazing finale to the opening ceremonies --mmmmm....fireworks-- and decided to check out the NBC online viewing situation.

The best link I can find is this one. Unfortunately, you have to install a bit of Microsoft software called Silverlight, the bastards, but once that was done, I was up and running.
First impression: oh well, so much for getting anything done at work next week (I have a cool boss who spends more time on the Net than I do). I'm watching the rowing prelims right now, but there's a cool feature.

If you use the "Enhanced Player", you can do a 4-screen version (it's on the Live Video Control Room tab). This means, in essence, one large screen and three smaller screens on the side. There's a list of what's currently available and a grid where you can choose where you want that particular sport to go to. Very nice.

The picture is perfectly acceptable, there's been no hiccups (I'm on a digital cable line) and the rowing, at this point, is without commentary, just the ambient sounds of the event itself. Since I mute the sound when I watch sports except when listening to English football commentator Martin Tyler and listen to music instead, no big deal for me.

The downside, of course, is that there's ads everywhere. They play before the event loads up, they play every time you switch screens. Additionally, I found that if you switch between the regular player, which has a slightly better picture for me, and the enhanced version, you lose all your settings of the 4-screen setup.

NBC has hyped their online component, and after a quick glance tonight before I go to bed, I think I'm going to spend a lot of my time online. I'm not that big of gymnastics or swimming fan, find sports like baseball, soccer and tennis to be Not At All Olympic Sports and refuse to watch NBA players in the Olympics, so it's great that since I like the smaller sports like team handball, field hockey and fencing, which won't get much coverage on the main NBC broadcasts, there's an outlet to see them online.