NBC to put Olympics on the web but only for VISTA

June 23, 2008

NBC to put Olympics on the web but only for VISTA For those fans who either can’t get enough Olympic coverage or don’t want to be distracted with events they don’t care about, NBC has a web alternative.  NBC Olympics on the GO will provide Olympic events using Wave Express’ TV Tonic Client to provide sport by sport computer coverage.  Only on computers using VISTA.

Yep, you read that right.   Mac, Linux, and XP users need not even try.  If your computer doesn’t have VISTA home premium or ultimate, and Silverlight your computer won’t get the NBC coverage that will be offered.

NBC will be using several Wave Express TV Tonic channels to provide sport by sport coverage.  Events will be able to be downloaded within about 12 hours after the end of an event.  The downloads will not be playable after the end of the Olympic games.  So real time viewing will still require NBC coverage on the old TV.

MSN will also be promoted on NBCOlympics.com.  The Olympics will also be a prominently featured on MSN.com.  What a sweet deal for Microsoft, especially when VISTA is getting such bad press and Silverlight is so poorly known.

Silverlight, as many may or may not remember, is Microsoft’s competitor for Adobe’s Flash.  Silverlight is not nearly as well known as Flash, especially since most web applications that offer streaming capabilities require Adobe’s FlashPlayer. 

This little sweet heart deal with NBC Olympics has effectively cut Adobe out in favor of the less well known Microsoft product.  Silverlight has probably been downloaded onto any VISTA enabled computer that has automatic downloads turned on.  Most people probably wonder why they need it.  Now they know.  In order to watch the 2008 summer Olympics you have to have Silverlight as well as the two higher end VISTA offerings. 

For those who haven’t gotten Silverlight yet, you can download it here for free. VISTA you still have to pay for.

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10 Responses to “NBC to put Olympics on the web but only for VISTA”

  1. Veri Tas:

    I gave up on the wasteland of USA TV and do all my viewing on the net or disc. Glad to hear this announcement UNTIL I saw the word Vista. NBC, you’ve got to be kidding. Vista only should get your advertisers pretty hopping mad since most serious people would cut their wrists before loading Vista on a smoothly running PC. As a business owner, I’d cut some wrists at NBC if I’d agreed to throw money at their ads and had to skip over the XP universe.

    The only word that comes to mind: IDIOTS

  2. joe:

    Veri Tas: You got to understand, Vista means “increased Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and no skipping commercials” for publishers and for advertisers.

  3. Edgar:

    This doesn’t make any sense. Why would you be required to have Vista and Silverlight, a cross platform plugin? I ran into another article and they say that users will need Vista or Silverlight. Honestly that makes a lot more sense to me. The way I interpret that is users can use the Vista client, or they can use the web based client that will run in Silverlight. Since Silverlight runs on both a PC (Windows XP included) and a Mac most users should be able to view the Olympics over NBC.

  4. max:

    I’ve given up on the US tv olympic coverage many Olympics ago. Every 4 years I hop on a plane and head for Europe, bunk down at a place where I can get TV signals from all german speaking countries and few others and I’m all set. I can overdose on Olympics 24/7 and get to drink good beer as well.

    Here in the US, of the little coverage we get much is of events featuring scantily clad little girls in tight fitting uniforms like gymnastics and swimming. Are we a nation of (potential) sex molesters or what?

  5. Benny:

    This article is completely wrong – Silverlight works on XP and Mac. And Silverlight isn’t even required, just suggested. Get your facts straight.

  6. Tom Taylor (microsoft):

    Benny is correct. The nbcolympics.com site does not require Silverlight, and will be available across different platforms and browsers. Silverlight is used for the “enhanced” experience, which features larger, higher quality video, up to four videos at once, and an immersive, interactive way to browse the 3600+ hours of content that will be available during the games, including direct feeds from events that normally get very little coverage on broadcast TV.

    For those users that can’t or won’t install Silverlight, all content will be available through a Windows Media Player control embedded on the web page.

    The site is live & is showing highlights and live broadcasts from the US Olympics Trials. You can check it out at http://nbcolympics.com/video.

    - Tom

    Tom Taylor | Microsoft Silverlight

  7. Dana:

    ANy thoughts on how to access the online Olympics ? I have a mac and using browser firefox. I have windows media player, silverlight and flash player. I keep getting an error. Use Tech Preview. I do not know what that is. BUt none of the videos are able to be opened by my mac os 10.4.11. Can someone help.

  8. Cody:

    This whole olympics coverage sucks – just like always in the USA. Why does the olympics require an Intel Mac or a Vista computer? I can stream HD video from all sorts of providers just fine, it seems this is just a way for M$ to plug their crippled silverlight program. Nobody would have a compatablity problem if NBC just used Flash like everyone else in the world.

  9. Michael:

    Mac users are apparently required to have an Intel CPU system. G4 or G5 is not be supported

  10. marybeth:


    You are correct that you don’t need vista to see live coverage or clips, but if you want to see more than a 4 minute highlight of a particular event sometime other than at 4 in the morning when it occurs live, then VISTA is your only choice. I think it stinks. And it has given me ever more incentive to get rid of these awful PCs and move to a mac. Apple will LOVE me come Christmas. Our whole house will be making the switch.

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