Olympic Games that is. Just 2 weeks ago the Games of the XXX Olympiad started. They were underwhelming I think. But I have to say that I watched more then I anticipated I would. Below is a list of all the events that I actively choose to watch on my own time. And also I streamed all these events, we’ll get to how much bandwidth I used later on, trust me.
- Like I thought, I got caught up in Archery. Specifically, women’s individual. It’s just damn impressive that they can hit a bullseye from 75 meters away. Damn Impressive. Men’s, women’s, team, individual, all of it was impressive. I liked the individual better then team, only because of the sets part. I shoot an arrow, you shoot an arrow. The women’s gold medal match for shoot off closest to the center, doesn’t get any better then that. I think the announcer here was my favorite too. The enthusiasm he had when someone shot a 10 was awesome.
- Canoe/Kayak was intense, that was one of the those sports that doesn’t you’d never know was an Olympic event. I watched a couple of hours of that. Not all of it, (there’s not enough hours in the day to watch everything). But enough to get and idea of how much upper body strength those people need to turn in the water and go through all those gates, especially the reverse ones. Also, after going down a bobsled run, this is the next event that I most want to try out on vacation one day.
- Trampoline was another great event. At first you’re like wtf, this is not a medal worthy sport. Then you watch it, and you see the skill involved and damn, that’s nice. It’s hard to get an idea of how high they are jumping from the camera angles, but to me it looked super high. And I didn’t see too many people fall/miss. Then again, like Canoe/Kayak, I mostly only watched the medal rounds.
- Shooting was repetitive after a short while, Skeet was the most fun to watch. Air pistol was boring. Being able to hit 99/100 is good, about 98 better then I could anyway.
- Sailing was equal parts boring & exciting. Boring because for the most part it was just a helicopter shot of the water and watching the boats. But it got exciting when they cut to the individual cameras on the boats, and you got to see how crazy it was on the water level.
- Rowing was boring. Very, very boring.
- Fencing was quick. It was hard to see what was going on because they were so fast. But it was still pretty fun. I watched the various events, but spent the most time in épée. Women’s individual épée had what I consider the most controversial part in this entire games. I’m talking about the South Korean Shin A-Lam who was denied a chance to go for the Gold because of a timing malfunction. At least she won silver as part of the team event.
- Water Polo was the most boring event I watched. I watched about 20 minutes of it before I had to change.
- Field Hockey was fun to watch. It was hard to tell cause I never got to watch those games live, but every game I did see the field looked like it was soaking wet, but it wasn’t raining. Weird. I liked it though.
- Despite what I said perviously, I did watch some Track & Field. Mostly for the Field part of it. The Hammer Throw, & the Discus were fun. High jump was also pretty cool.
- Equestrian events have never been interesting to me, but I gotta say I did spend some time watching those live. It was pretty sad when one guy had a 500 point deduction because his horse refused to jump. I felt bad anyway. It also says something that these athletes have to compete with an animal that had a mind of it’s own and that you can’t really control through talking to.
- Rhythmic Gymnastics was more fun then it should have been. Both the individual and the group. The ball part was boring, the ribbon was awesome. Also, Russia won (everything), and as you may remember, I have a thing for Russia.
- Modern Pentathlon is great. This is the true measure of an Olympic athlete, being about to master 5 completely different skill sets. Marathon running, show jumping, air pistol, swimming, and probably the most difficult of them all, fencing. Supposedly this is not one of the more popular events, I beg to differ, and hope they keep if for the foreseeable future.
As you remember from last time, there were certain athletes Russian athletes that were beautiful. This time was no different, but this time I’d have to say it was the Archers. Italian Archer Pia Lionetti was especially gorgeous. And Archery was really the only event where I watched every match in, so it’s the only one who I know the athletes well.
NBCOlympics.com, two years ago I had alot to say about you, most all of it negative. This yea you’ve managed to change alot of that. Best change, getting rid of Silverlight, perhaps it was Microsoft’s killing off of it, but I’m glad you don’t use it anymore. I much prefer YouTube for streaming. That’s the best choice, hands down. Also the ability to choose any quality from 240p to 1080p, that was a welcome addition. No need to look for the HD events. That being said, if you give me the option to stream in 1080p, I will use it, and then complain that I can’t stream 3 events in 1080p, and then get upset, but that’s all my fault.
Every event was live. Last time many events were live, but most didn’t get added online until after they were over. This year every single event was live. Unfortunately with the time difference, and the working all day I wasn’t able to take advantage of all that liveness. But such is the nature of the world.
On the subject of live, there was some confusion. Some events I could pause, and move and go back in time and watch from there to catch up. Many other events were ONLY available live. I wish there was some sort of reasoning behind that, maybe there was and since I only watched a handfull of live events I missed it. Anyway, change that for Sochi please.
Some events had multiple audio tracks available from either natural sound (my favorite), to 2 different commentators. I liked this, but I really overall preferred the natural sound, which is just watching it, and hearing the crowd in the background and the (usually) British announcer.
My biggest fear now though is that NBC is going to pull these events off the internet sometime this week. I don’t know why, but I’m sure they will. Hopefully they wont because I have hours, and hours I’d still like to watch. I’m even ok with them pulling the HD versions, just leave the events up so I can watch them, add commercials in that’s ok.
Speaking of commercials, this year was better. Yes there were still only about 6 or 7 different ones, but they weren’t annoying and all bunched up like last time. And with the exception of one event that I paused for awhile and then came back to, I didn’t get any 10min+ loops of commercials. Average was a 2min break and the back to action. I like that, keep that the norm for Sochi please.
Also, there was a distinct lack of Morgan Freeman narrated commercials. What happened to those? They make the Olympics.
I got this message while streaming one of the live events. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was one of those standard “This is a test of the emergency broadcasting system, this is just a test…” Only it was done with a British accent. I guess when it’s live, it’s really live.
I didn’t actually watch anything that NBC had on television, but other people in my home have, so through them I was able to see what was going on. And I have to say, that’s not something I’d ever watch. I don’t want/need to listen to them talk for a 20mins about this American’s life journey to these Olympic games. There are a few thousand other athletes from other countries with better stories that you aren’t telling NBC. Also I don’t care about swimming, which is what you considered the most important event.
You may remember at the begining of the games I gave myself a task to beat my score from the previous Olympics in Vancouver. you might be wondering how I did. Well, here’s your chance to find out.
This year I have 2 in shots of my progress in the middle of the games.
5 Days in and I’m at 44 Billion Bytes received. That’s not to shabby.
But 3 days later on day 8 I was up to 120 billion. That mostly goes to the weekend, and being able to watch many more hours of events because I wasn’t at work. And staying up late watching them, and all that fun.
You may be wondering why how it went down to 96 billion on the last day. Well, I accidentally my network, the whole thing. Luckily it was just alittle after that day 8 screen shot above, so through the process of MATH, I’m able to figure out that I used 216,738,919,490 bytes of Olympic glory streamed to me. Which equals approximately 201.85 GB, which is about 20GB short of last Olympic’s total, bummer. But way closer then I originally thought I’d make it. I’ll chalk that up to the 1080p-ness of the streaming. Less hours streamed, but more bytes streamed in that time due to the total HD it was sent in.
Oh well, 2 weeks have gone by, and there’s nothing left to do now. For the 2014 winter games I plan on going to them, so I probably won’t be able to match these numbers. But then again going in person will consume way more bandwidth then the internet anyway.