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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Online coverage of Olympic men's road race: A quick review

Some quick observations about the online coverage of the Olympic men's cycling race:
  • If you haven't already done so, the first time you click on the video for Olympic coverage, you will have to download Microsoft Silverlight. If you run a PC on XP or Vista, you should have no problems. If you run a Mac, you'll be OK if you have an Intel processor. If you have any other kind of Mac, forget it. Although I run OS X at work, my G5 does not have an Intel processor, so I couldn't watch the race.
  • I am impressed with the video quality -- the sharpness is wonderful compared to some other streaming video pictures I've seen, and the color saturation is superb for online video.
  • You will be watching a feed with no audio commentary; you'll have to wait until the race is broadcast on NBC or its sister networks to hear it. NBC's commentary team consists of Pat Parnell, play-by-play; Craig Hummer, play-by-play; Kenan Harkin, analyst; Paul Sherwin, analyst; and Marty Snider, reporter.
  • The Live Commentary feature is similar to commentary features seen on other online video sites such as that for the Tour of California. Be sure to click the "More" tab from time to time. The Live Commentary did not report that American David Zabriskie has dropped out halfway through the race, but a story under the "More" tab did.
  • The Play-by-Play feature was broken during the men's road race. Hopefully, it can be fixed before future races.
Have fun watching Olympic cycling!

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