Saturday, July 28, 2012

We Park in Driveways and Drive in Parkways - We Record TV to Watch Live Streaming


Wimbledon has a bit of color on its courts, which fascinates me for some reason (they normally are required by the tennis club to wear white in its championship).

The Main Blurb
This was my first day of experiencing the Olympics on two different pieces of technology: my television (with DVR) and my computer (with live streaming). I made sure my computer was going to be able to broadcast the streaming video (as long as your cable subscription gets MSNBC and CNBC, it’s all good), and I was all set to go!

My day, as a result, was a giant blob of Olympics. I watched cycling, fencing, tennis, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, badminton, table tennis, swimming, volleyball, boxing, gymnastics, rowing, and beach volleyball! *phew!*

Unfortunately, my computer was purchased way back in 2009, so it’s a little older. It’s probably a little dirty on the inside with random viruses that Avast! cannot find or kill. So as I was watching the live streaming of the men’s 400 IM, right before the finish, my computer froze, meaning I didn’t get to see the finish. Fortunately the results were already clear by the time it froze up – Lochte was gonna win by a huge margin and Phelps was going to miss out on a medal – but it was still frustrating. My Adobe Flash player has also crashed, but that seems to be an easier fix.

I really enjoyed the commentators for the swimming portion, who I believe are Australian. It was a different kind of excitement than Rowdy Gaines provides on the NBC telecast. I thought that maybe we would have the normal commentators on the streamcast, but that is not to be.

I also wholeheartedly love the replay aspect of the online streaming, where you can queue up previously aired material, just in case something amazing happened that you missed.

It sounds like, according to NBC’s commercials, they will continue to promote their prime time coverage without telling you the results, even though technically a lot of people are likely to have watched the online streaming of the races. I know I made sure to tune in. You also can’t watch those events that they’re going to highlight in primetime until they’ve actually aired in primetime. I haven’t actually seen any gymnastics yet, since I decided to wait till the evening (it wasn’t a medal day – just qualification). But there will be plenty of time to watch on the computer.  I just hope my computer can take all the video streaming.

Strange – people are going to stream on their computers to watch things live, but DVR on their televisions to watch things later!

Mini Blurbs
The women’s basketball match I watched was USA vs. Croatia. When I tuned in, the US was only up by 3 points with six minutes to go in the third quarter! I watched the rest of the game, and they did pull away, but it was still a sloppy effort. Good thing their defense kept Croatia to four points in the first quarter and nine points in the fourth.

I am going to have to dedicate some time to looking up the rules for fencing. That sport is nuts. The athletes are strung up with lights a la Lily from “Modern Family” when she was the flower girl at that wedding. The foil touches a part of the armor and causes one of the athletes to light up. Then one (or both?) of the athletes screams with all their might. I’m surprised that fencers don’t have more vocal problems, what with all the screeching they do. I will do some research and let you know the rules later. By the way, props to the gold medalist today, an Italian, who sang her national anthem with all her might.

Swimmers are being introduced in a way that I’ve seen in past championships. Unlike the early, suit-era years, where all the swimmers came out together and the camera panned down the row when they were introduced, one swimmer is introduced at a time and emerges from the tunnel. In relays, the teams are introduced together. It gave me a chance to admire Italian Luca Marin’s mustache.

Brit tennis player Andy Murray has a brother! Jamie! And they play doubles together! But they lost today. Aw shucks. Better stick to singles, Andy.

Why do table tennis tables look so much smaller in the Olympics than they do in our basements? Is it because there’s about a 10 meter ring of empty space surrounding the Olympic tables, while in our basement it’s wedged between the Christmas tree and the playhouse?

DirecTV allows me to customize my “guide” button. The first one I made is channels I normally watch. But I made the second one strictly the Olympics coverage. So today I am on Olympics guide, and when I flip through the channels I am only seeing the channels in the guide. It’s pretty sweet. And a part was replaced on my receiver so I can watch TV in the afternoon and it doesn’t freeze up on me anymore. It helped that it was cloudy today.

Will Michael Phelps continue to be lethargic and lackadaisical? Or is his medal-less 400 IM performance just an indication of things to come? He only needs three more medals – not just gold, medals – to be the most decorated Olympian of all time. C’mon, Mike.

In a 400-m freestyle preliminary, South Korean (and reigning gold medalist) Park Tae-Hwan was disqualified for early entry into the pool. Then he was reinstated. Honestly, that was interesting. But what made it more interesting was NBC host Dan Patrick’s take on the whole situation. His summary: “Park Tae-Hwan is in the final, [Canadian] Ryan Cochrane is out, and Rowdy Gaines is very observant.”  I think Dan Patrick is awesome. Kinda wish he still did Sportscenter.

Cycling road races are nuts. I fast forwarded through most of it and it took me a while. Those cyclists are on a bike for six hours! I know the scenery was pretty, but six hours? How in the world do they do multi-day races like the Tour de France?

The worst thing that could have happened to men’s gymnastics was China having a bad qualifying competition today. Well, one of their top gymnasts pulled out with an injury, and they were creamed by Great Britain in their subdivision. Now they are probably going to get their act together and really be a force when the team medal competition starts up again on Monday. Never count out China.

Tomorrow we got men’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, and the men’s 4x100m relay in swimming. Remember when the French made that stupid remark and the Americans ended up winning the race? Yea, this is the race. Stay tuned.