The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will begin Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern. TV networks will host an incredible amount of coverage, but there will be options for viewers to stream events to smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Here are the best choices:
NBC will offer a variety of platforms to stream from for customers. The only event that won’t be available for your streaming pleasure is the opening ceremony.
Despite that, go to nbcolympics.com, which will post important video highlights from every major competition. NBC social media accounts like the official Facebook page will be constantly updated with news, information, and videos.
The network will offer two apps to stream the games. One of them is the NBC Sports Live Extra app. Once the Sochi games officially begin, the app will stream over 1,000 hours of content to smartphones and tablets. Download the app here for iPhone and Android.
The other option is NBC Olympic Highlights. This app will deliver scores, highlights, and other breaking news to you, but it’s only available for Android. Download it here.
Unfortunately, these apps have one catch. You must have a cable subscription to be able to use it.
The BBC and CBC
Both networks have apps that you can watch the games on as well, but Forbes writes that viewers in the U.S. must use a virtual private network service to trick the servers into thinking you’re in Canada or the U.K. The International Olympic Committee forced both networks to restrict streaming content in the U.S.
One way to get around that is Tunnelbear. The setup process is easy. Download the app, create an account, and designate the location of the content you want to view. For $US5 a month, Tunnelbear will alter your IP address and let you access the streams in Canada and the U.K. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and PC.
Here’s one disclaimer for streaming the Sochi games with this method: The Forbes article warns U.S. viewers to be careful since this technically violates the terms of service for the BBC and CBC. There’s always a chance you’ll be blocked out.
The Hola App
Hola is another VPN service that’s free and can bypass any Internet censorship. Internet users have deployed this tool in accessing streaming sites like Hulu that could be blocked in certain countries.
U.S. customers can sign up for Aereo, but there is one catch. This service streams live TV programming to smartphones, tablets, and computers. However, CNET writes some streams could be restricted since NBC, the main source of coverage for these games, is showing a majority of the Olympics through its cable channels. Aereo focuses on the main broadcast networks. That means you’ll only be able to stream whatever the regular NBC channel has on.
It could be worth a shot for $US8 a month. It’s only available in select markets, but you can sign up for it here.
FilmOn, a competitor to Aereo, offers 500 live streaming TV channels in multiple different languages. Customers can purchase a Slingbox too. This gadget streams shows to phones and tablets from your own cable subscription.
Also, one website that might work could be sidereel.com. Viewers could catch some streams that the broadcast networks may have missed.