Streaming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

On Thursday, NBC started streaming the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to its Sports Live Extra mobile app and online at NBCOlympics.com. As in 2012, all phases of competition of all sports will be available to stream live. If you aren’t up for watching the preliminary rounds of curling at 3 am, the app also includes full replays of every sport. What's even better is that you can watch a single sport without cutaways to other competitions that don't interest you. While the Sports Live Extra app has required a cable or satellite subscription to log in and watch videos, this year NBC is offering a temporary pass to sample streaming videos.

Unverified viewers can get a one-time 30-minute pass the first time they stream content on the NBC Sports Live Extra app. The temporary pass allows for 5 minutes of video streaming each of the subsequent days. In other words, if you want to watch the Olympics on the mobile app, you’ll need to have a cable or satellite subscription that includes NBC.

If you are using the mobile app on your home network and subscribe to Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox Communications, Cablevision’s Optimum TV or Midcontinent Communications (Midco), the app will automatically be verified. If you have another TV provider, the app should ask you to verify your subscription, or you can go to the settings icon from the home screen to put in the information.

For those people who have cut the cord, you still can watch all 15 sports, including each medal-winning performance in all 98 events as they will be streamed live on the NBC Olympics website. UPDATE: While it was indicated that those without cable or satellite could watch online, full replays and live streams are only available to subscribers or with the same temporary pass as the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

Chances are that you’ll lose some of the grandeur and excitement if you watch the Olympics on a 10-inch tablet or a small computer monitor. If you watch using the Chrome web browser on your computer, you can stream the video to the TV via your Chromecast dongle. Video can be streamed to your TV by mirroring an iPad on an Apple TV or Google TV with the Airtight app. Android devices can be mirrored using Miraplay to devices like the Panasonic DMP-MST60 media player or NETGEAR PVT300 Push 2 TV device. TVs that are equipped with an MHL HDMI port can be directly connected to MHL-enabled smartphones using a mini-USB to HDMI cable.

I have been using my iPad Air mirrored to my Apple TV; after a minute or two, the picture quality is excellent (at least, it’s as good as cable). Note that mirroring the screen will include ads and the main video will not fill the TV screen as it might if the app allowed for direct streaming.

NBC will also be airing the Olympic competitions on its cable/satellite affiliates including NBCSN (NBC sports), USA, MSNBC and CNBC. For a full schedule check out NBC’s Sochi Olympics TV listings page, fill in your zip code and TV provider, and click on a day and time to see what is being shown on each channel.

We’ve come a long way from 10 years ago when the network airing the Olympics might show the only most popular American athletes in the most popular sports. By making all performances from all countries available, streaming Olympics videos, like the Olympics themselves, bring us all a little closer.

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