Olympics Live loses even more luster

Spoiler alert! NBC Olympics Live Extra looked better before the games started than it does now. Don't delete it yet, it is free, but I have to downgrade it at least a star. Two Stars at best.


When I reviewed NBC Olympics Live Extra Monday I thought my appraisal might change once the games started. I just didn't think the rating would go down. But once the games started I began to realize NBC anticipated even less of what a user might want than I did, and they have a whole team of developers.

The first time I realized something was missing was when I clicked on scheduled events to get the info on the USA soccer game. That's when I realized that even though I was logged into my cable account, I wasn't going to get any info on which NBC channel it would broadcast on. So I still had to go through all my cable listings to find the right channel.

Fortunately (or not), NBC seems to have cut the number of broadcast channels back from four to two. So my job was easier, even if NBC's sports coverage is thinner. This may explain the smart phone apps.

Unfortunately, the only real broadcast I could get in NBC Olympics Live Extra was the same feed on my cable. When I tried to watch individual sports I would get three minutes of commercials and a minute of sports, if that. The feed always cut out well before the event ended.

This was all I saw of the fencing event (except for numerous commercials). In case you can't tell, it's someone sweeping the court. I could also see the audience in the back watching commentary on live screens, but I cropped that out. After six minutes of commercials and sweeping, the feed ended.

If I could even get the event. All I saw of the equestrian and fencing events were overhead shots of the field and arena. No actual competition was broadcast.

I thought I might be able to go back and watch earlier feeds of finished events, but had no better luck there. Half of the events merely broadcast a commercial and then cut out.

The picture quality was terrible. Seriously. I thought it might be the Retina display making a standard feed look bad, but it didn't look much better on an iPad 1.

I saw this more often than anything else in the Olympic feeds. Even more than the foursquare commercial because I saw that a few times too.

When we watched the live app feed side-by-side with the cable feed on our TV, the delay was significant, as much as two minutes.

This may be the fault of the cable provider, but NPR reported that the same servers were streaming to multiple devices, so I suspect Time Warner's feed was little different from other feeds.

Jenny Manytoes rates, or rather rerates, NBC Olympics Live Extra

Jenny's new rating is “better luck with the winter events in 2014.” Since she's pushing fifteen, she's far more concerned with being around for the Olympics than she is with improvements in the app.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System


Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she's in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she's very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it's okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don't think I need to explain this one.
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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day.
This entry was posted in 2 Stars - Raised Tail, Entertainment, Sports and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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