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post #1 of 61 Old 08-03-2016, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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How to Watch the 2016 Summer Olympics

I recently took a long weekend to visit some friends in Portland, OR, where they have a second home. They pop over from their main home in London two or three times a year, so they decided not to pay for cable or satellite TV in Portland because it wouldn't be used in the months they aren't there. Unfortunately, their townhouse complex won't allow rooftop over-the-air (OTA) antennas, and none of the several indoor OTA antennas they tried worked well at all, so they are limited to streaming, which is normally just fine with them.

However, they will be in Portland during the 2016 Summer Olympics, and they asked me if it is possible to watch the games via online streaming. It's a great question for all cord cutters, so I decided to do some research.

NBCUniversal is carrying the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in the US on its networks and digital platforms. Amazingly, the coverage will include a combined total of 6755 hours—roughly 356 hours per day! And because Rio de Janeiro's time zone is only one hour ahead of east-coast time, viewers in the US will be able to see more live action than is practical for most Olympics.

A total of 11 broadcast channels will be carrying various competitions and highlights, including two OTA terrestrial networks (NBC and Telemundo [Spanish language]) and nine cable/satellite channels (Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network [NBCSN], NBC Universo [Spanish language], USA Network, and two channels dedicated to basketball and soccer).

If you're a Dish satellite subscriber, channel 148 will be labeled "2016 Rio Olympics" and offer easy navigation among all 11 channels, and the Hopper DVR's Sports Bar mode lets you watch multiple channels simultaneously. Likewise, AT&T's DirecTV satellite and U-verse fiber-optic services offer a similar multiview channel that displays multiple networks simultaneously. The DirecTV Mix Channel offers NBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network, and NBC Universo, while the U-verse Multiview channels are NBCSN, Bravo, USA, and the local NBC affiliate.

Streaming

What about online streaming? NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app (available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, the Windows Store, and Roku) will live stream 4500 hours, including all Olympic competition as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. However, the streams will be available only to authenticated pay-TV subscribers on desktop computers, mobile devices, and—for the first time—connected TVs with the NBC Sports app.

Actually, there is another way to get access to the streaming coverage: Sling TV. You can install the Sling app on many different devices, including streaming receivers (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast), mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows), computers (Mac, Windows), and the Xbox One game console. Also, the Channel Master DVR+ has the Sling app built in, though it does not record streaming content. (For a complete list of devices with OS requirements and how to install the app, click here.)

To watch the Olympics via Sling, you need the Blue service package, which costs $25/month and gets you NBC (in select areas), NBCSN, USA, and Bravo among its 40+ channels. The World News Extra add-on gives you CNBC and MSNBC along with seven other news channels for an additional $5/month, but Sling is including these two channels in its Blue package at no extra charge for the duration of the Olympics. You'll need the Sports Extra add-on ($5/month) to watch the Golf Channel and the Best of Spanish TV Extra add-on ($5/month) for coverage in Spanish on NBC Universo. The service comes with a 7-day free trial, and you can cancel your subscription at any time, though this is quite a good deal for cord cutters who want access to many cable/satellite channels without paying cable/satellite prices. (For a list of Sling packages and channels, click here.)

Sony's PlayStation Vue streaming service is another option. Of course, it's available on the PlayStation 3 and 4, but other devices also support it, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and iOS and Android mobile devices. The basic Access package provides NBC, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, USA, and Telemundo among its 60+ channels for $40/month, and the Core package adds the Golf Channel with its 75+ channels for $45/month. PlayStation Vue is more expensive than Sling, but if you already have it, you can watch the Olympics without needing a pay-TV subscription. (For more details on the PlayStation Vue service, click here.)

The Dish satellite service will offer an NBC Olympics app on its Hopper set-top boxes and accompanying Joey, Super Joey, Wireless Joey, and 4K Joey extenders. And AT&T's DirecTV satellite and U-verse fiber-optic services offer apps to stream the coverage as well.

4K/UHD & HDR

For those who have a 4K/UHD display, NBC will distribute 83 hours of coverage in Ultra HD, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, swimming, track and field, basketball, judo, the men's soccer final, and scenic views of Rio. Even better, the Opening Ceremony in UHD will be produced with high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Atmos sound. The UHD footage will be provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Japan's NHK, both of which are actually shooting in 8K that can be seen at full resolution only in Japan—and only by a very few individuals who have an 8K display.

Otherwise, the footage will be downconverted to 4K/UHD for NBC's US distribution partners, "who will individually choose how they will make the content available to their customers," according to the NBC Olympics website. In other words, each partner can choose how much 4K/UHD footage to carry and whether or not to deliver HDR and Atmos sound during the Opening Ceremony. Also, most of this footage will be delivered on a one-day delay.

The four distribution partners that will carry the UHD footage are satellite providers DirecTV and Dish, cable provider Comcast, and EPB, an electric power company serving Chattanooga, TN, that has expanded into providing Internet access and TV and phone service using a community-wide fiber-optic network.

As you might expect, this early foray into UHD/HDR broadcasting is quite limited. DirecTV is planning a linear broadcast on channel 106 for customers with the latest Genie HD DVR set-top box (STB), DirecTV 4K-Ready TV, or compatible 4K TV connected to the latest 4K Genie Mini (for a list of compatible TVs, click here) and the Ultimate channel package. The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast in 4K/UHD one hour after the event starts on the East Coast and two hours after it starts on the West Coast, and it will be replayed throughout the following day (August 6). Unfortunately, this event will not be broadcast with HDR or Dolby Atmos sound. The Closing Ceremony will be broadcast in 4K/UHD two hours after the event starts on the East Coast and three hours after it starts on the West Coast. Other events will be broadcast in 4K/UHD the day after they occur, though there will be no video on demand (VOD) of this content.

Dish is planning a linear broadcast on channel 146 and video-on-demand (VOD) for customers with a Hopper 3 set-top box and, if present, one or more 4K Joey extenders. Unfortunately, Dish will not be broadcasting the Opening Ceremony in 4K/UHD or HDR, but it will offer all other UHD content, including various competitions, the Closing Ceremony, and Rio scenics.

Comcast won't be pushing the 4K/UHD footage to its cable boxes; instead, it will be available only to customers who have a Samsung or LG smart TV with the Xfinity Ultra HD Sampler app. The footage will include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and 3-5 hours of competition highlights and replays each day, all on a one-day delay and available as VOD thereafter. The Opening Ceremony will be presented in HDR with Dolby Atmos sound on Samsung TVs (not LG), but I don't know how the Atmos bitstream will travel from the TV to an external sound system; I speculate it will be via HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC).

Chattanooga residents should contact EPB for details on how to get the UHD footage on linear channel 803. The company did not respond to my request for information regarding its plans to include HDR and Dolby Atmos sound in its broadcast of the Opening Ceremony or how much of the 4K/UHD footage it will deliver.

For my friends in Portland, OR—and any cord cutter without an OTA antenna—my advice is to sign up for Sling TV and use that to watch the Olympics. Then, if you don't want to keep the service after the games are over, you can easily cancel it. If you have an OTA antenna, you can watch whatever your local NBC affiliate broadcasts. For those who have a cable/satellite pay-TV subscription, you can watch the Olympics on a variety of broadcast channels and use the NBC Sports app for all your Olympic streaming.

Either way, this year's Olympics are taking the next step into TV streaming—and one of the first steps into HDR broadcasting for those with an appropriate display and Comcast cable service.

The Opening Ceremonies will take place on August 5, 2016, starting at 23:00 UTC (3:00 PM Pacific time, 6:00 PM Eastern time).

Please do not click on the Quick Reply button at the bottom of this article, which will quote the entire article in your comment without you knowing it. Wading through the entire article in the comments is quite annoying! If you want to quote a portion of the article, click on the Quote button and delete everything that does not pertain to your comment. Otherwise, use the Quick Reply comment editor at the bottom of each page, which does not quote the original post. Thanks!
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Last edited by Scott Wilkinson; 08-04-2016 at 05:36 PM.
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post #2 of 61 Old 08-03-2016, 09:47 PM
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GREAT article Scott, thanks! I was just researching this and you saved me a lot of time!

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post #3 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 08:04 AM
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If only there was a way to skip over all the stories and just show the actual events.
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post #4 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 08:06 AM
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Seriously. There is more fluff than competition.

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post #5 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachsac View Post
Seriously. There is more fluff than competition.

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Thankfully, most of what I'm interested in doesn't lend itself to fluff stories - soccer is not allowed to stop, so fluff precedes and postcedes (sp? is this a word? follows?) it. Lets me skip most of it.

Tae Kwon Do and the shotput (both of which I've done) don't lend themselves to massive fluff. It's only track and swimming where I'll have to bury my face in a pillow.

I may give up on gymnastics, that seems to be where the fluffmeisters live.

Too bad that comcast has limited itself to those two displays, the Vizio Ps would be a nice addition to get UHD to they also handle sending Atmos (lossy) to receivers by ARC.
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post #6 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the info Scott. I'm a Dish subscriber so I will be checking out channel 148, plus NBC.
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post #7 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 02:30 PM
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There is another provider called Armstrong that will be offering the Olympics in 4K. Not sure exactly where they are based out of, but if you have them, they should have it available for you.

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post #8 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 02:36 PM
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It may be a different story with the NBC Sports app or the Olympics in general, but I find that most cable/satellite providers have limits on what content they will allow you to watch remotely thru the included streaming apps. They've been improving when it comes to providing On Demand streaming access, but there are still a lot of programs that you can't access either on demand or live. So, even if you pay for cable/satellite programming, you might benefit from a service like SlingTV or PlayStation Vue if you intend to watch remotely.

Of course, if you're a geek like me then you already know that you can get around all of the limitations of the included streaming apps and avoid having to pay for a service like SlingTV by using a cablecard tuner/capture device plus PVR software to record/capture content delivered to your home via cable/satellite, to your PC. At that point you can stream it to yourself or even download it for later viewing, wherever and whenever you want.

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post #9 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post
If only there was a way to skip over all the stories and just show the actual events.
So far it has been nothing but soccer coverage with some talk in between periods and games.
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post #10 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 04:04 PM
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NBC 2016 Rio Olympics Coverage by the Numbers

http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/000...numbers/279165

6,755 Hours of coverage across 11 NBCUniversal platforms.

4,500+ Hours of live streaming coverage.


You can't tell me their is no coverage this year.
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post #11 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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There is another provider called Armstrong that will be offering the Olympics in 4K. Not sure exactly where they are based out of, but if you have them, they should have it available for you.
Hmm, Armstrong is not listed in any of the sources I found, but I'll look into it. Thanks!
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post #12 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 06:44 PM
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So NBC very tellingly doesn't say if their tv coverage will be live, which confirms it won't be. Business as usual then - showing their insufferable profile stories and segments with Bob Costas about US athletes, ignoring other countries, cutting short their event coverage to highlight the countries/people they want to favor etc.

Is there a way to watch BBC's coverage on my tv? I have a Chromecast and FireTv, am willing to pay for a vpn service that would work with them and provide me HD coverage and smooth speeds. Its going to be 100x better than NBC.
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post #13 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 07:05 PM
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I want to watch the Olympic in 4K with HDR, and I am wondering how the Xfinity Ultra HD Sampler app works. What tier of Comcast account do you need to access it? I don't have Comcast but maybe I can borrow my friend's account info to log in? Or subscribe for a month and cancel it?

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post #14 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to watch the Olympic in 4K with HDR, and I am wondering how the Xfinity Ultra HD Sampler app works. What tier of Comcast account do you need to access it? I don't have Comcast but maybe I can borrow my friend's account info to log in? Or subscribe for a month and cancel it?
The only event that will be available in HDR is the Opening Ceremony, no other Olympic events. There will be other events available in 4K (83 hours worth), but not HDR. The Opening Ceremony will be available in HDR only to Comcast customers on Samsung SUHD TVs with the Xfinity Ultra HD Sampler app; for info about how to download and use the app, click here. I don't know if you need a certain tier to get it. Also, I don't know if Comcast offers month-to-month subscriptions, but I'd be surprised if it does. I think you would sign a contract for a year or two and have to pay a hefty early-termination fee if you wanted to cancel after a month. It looks like you might be able to "borrow" a friend's Comcast username and password to activate the app, but I'm not entirely sure that will work. Only one way to find out...
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post #15 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
So NBC very tellingly doesn't say if their tv coverage will be live, which confirms it won't be. Business as usual then - showing their insufferable profile stories and segments with Bob Costas about US athletes, ignoring other countries, cutting short their event coverage to highlight the countries/people they want to favor etc.

Is there a way to watch BBC's coverage on my tv? I have a Chromecast and FireTv, am willing to pay for a vpn service that would work with them and provide me HD coverage and smooth speeds. Its going to be 100x better than NBC.
I took a look at the BBC Sport website, and I could not find any clear info about how to stream the BBC coverage. Many smart TVs and streaming boxes have a BBC app, so that might work, but I could not find anything that reveals exactly what will be streamed to that app.
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/rio

According to this site - "BBC Sport’s digital service in 2016 will bring every moment of the Olympics to audiences, with over 2,500 hours of live action across 24 live HD video streams available on the BBC Sport website, app and on Red Button+. Up to eight live streams will also be available via the ever-popular Red Button too - meaning fans will be able to watch their favourite sports wherever they are, on whatever device they like.

Alongside the latest news and live pages, the BBC Sport website will also have highlights and replays of those not-to-be-missed moments. The Olympics Playlist, a downloadable catch-up programme will also be available to view every morning on BBC iPlayer. On the iPlayer radio app, fans will be able to listen again to 5 live’s Olympic Breakfast 30-minute round-up, which will be available as a DRM download.

Fans will also be able to personalise their Rio 2016 experience within the BBC Sport website and app. ‘My Sport’ will enable audiences to follow the sports they like most, signing up for the latest news alerts, setting event reminders and sharing their favourite moments across social media.
"

I will try to find a way to access this via streaming.
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post #17 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 08:55 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I'll be watching via Sat DirecTV in hi-def! Love the Olympics and also the World Cup. Brazil has been busy having just hosted the latest World Cup. Both come every years but spaced 2 years apart. Hope Rio is ready.

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post #18 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/rio

According to this site - "BBC Sport’s digital service in 2016 will bring every moment of the Olympics to audiences, with over 2,500 hours of live action across 24 live HD video streams available on the BBC Sport website, app and on Red Button+. Up to eight live streams will also be available via the ever-popular Red Button too - meaning fans will be able to watch their favourite sports wherever they are, on whatever device they like.

Alongside the latest news and live pages, the BBC Sport website will also have highlights and replays of those not-to-be-missed moments. The Olympics Playlist, a downloadable catch-up programme will also be available to view every morning on BBC iPlayer. On the iPlayer radio app, fans will be able to listen again to 5 live’s Olympic Breakfast 30-minute round-up, which will be available as a DRM download.

Fans will also be able to personalise their Rio 2016 experience within the BBC Sport website and app. ‘My Sport’ will enable audiences to follow the sports they like most, signing up for the latest news alerts, setting event reminders and sharing their favourite moments across social media.
"

I will try to find a way to access this via streaming.
Yes, I saw all of that as well. However, I could not find anything more specific about exactly how to access those 24 live video streams. But then again, I didn't dig very deeply. I'm guessing one would watch most of this content on a computer, which could be connected to a TV. However, I'm not really interested in watching the Olympics in a window surrounded by website, even on a TV or projector. Sure, you might be able to expand it to full-screen mode, but that's likely to introduce scaling artifacts.

Maybe there is a better way I'm not aware of, so if you find it, please let us know. Good luck!
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post #19 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 09:56 PM
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I believe this might work -

1. install a VPN on your router or PC - e.g. https://www.expressvpn.com/support/v...ter-or-router/
2. use the BBC iPlayer app or from your computer, or the BBC sports app - both of these seem to have live channels as well on demand
3. cast it to your chromecast, which should stream the actual content in HD if possible

I will probably try this out and report back. Need to figure out which VPN I should choose. Another option is to use a SmartDNS service like Unblock-us
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post #20 of 61 Old 08-04-2016, 10:41 PM
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I'm a UK guy and can absolutely vouch for how good the BBCs coverage of London 2012 was on their website. I'm often a critic of the company, but I was super impressed.
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post #21 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 12:25 AM
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I would like to know if there is a way to block Bob Costas
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post #22 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
Hmm, Armstrong is not listed in any of the sources I found, but I'll look into it. Thanks!


I work for NBCUniversal on this project. They only told us they were going to try to make the signal consumer facing about 2 days ago. It was unclear to us as to how a user would receive it though.

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post #23 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 07:27 AM
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Curious if the Samsung xfinity app will even work. I've tried twice previously to play something off it in the past on my HU8550 and once I click on what I want to watch it just black screens and does nothing for minutes (presumably just crashes the whole app interface).
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post #24 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 08:43 AM
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It's probably been updated since then. I think they updated the app at the beginning of August. Hopefully that will make it play better for you.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
So NBC very tellingly doesn't say if their tv coverage will be live, which confirms it won't be. Business as usual then - showing their insufferable profile stories and segments with Bob Costas about US athletes, ignoring other countries, cutting short their event coverage to highlight the countries/people they want to favor etc.

Is there a way to watch BBC's coverage on my tv? I have a Chromecast and FireTv, am willing to pay for a vpn service that would work with them and provide me HD coverage and smooth speeds. Its going to be 100x better than NBC.
NBC Coverage is going to be nothing but live during the day since they are in the same Time zone as the USA.

This is the same NBC that for the 2008 Summer games got the Swimming Finals live for prime time and those Olympics were held in China.

Bravo network will be doing wall to wall live tennis coverage, Golf Channel will air the Golf event live.

NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, and MSNBC will all have live event coverage during the day.

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post #26 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 10:30 AM
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I would like to know if there is a way to block Bob Costas
Record it and start watching the recording at least 30 minutes after it airs. Then fast forward through the commercials and fluff pieces. I bet you could watch 3 hours worth of coverage in an hour or less that way. This allows you to spend those additional two hours watching other events televised simultaneously on a few different channels.
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post #27 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chap View Post
I work for NBCUniversal on this project. They only told us they were going to try to make the signal consumer facing about 2 days ago. It was unclear to us as to how a user would receive it though.
Please let us know when you have more info about how users can access the signal. Thanks!
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post #28 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 01:25 PM
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Unfortunately, their townhouse complex won't allow rooftop over-the-air (OTA) antennas...
If your friends want an OTA antenna, their townhouse complex really can't do anything to stop them.

https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-r...n-devices-rule
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post #29 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 09:18 PM
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Does anyone know how to stream the Olympus to android tv? THe nbc sports app won't install
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post #30 of 61 Old 08-05-2016, 10:54 PM
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Nothing playing on the Directv channel 106 as of yet
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