Bugs plague first day of NBC Olympics livestream
Olympics, Winter

The NBC Olympics livestream is already the buggiest damned mess I have ever seen

2/6/14 in Olympics, Winter   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Bugs plague first day of NBC Olympics livestreamNBC has had a little fun complaining about the conditions in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. But the figure skate may be on the other foot once the games begin in earnest. In the first day of limited Olympic livestreaming on the NBC Sports web site, two significant glitches may have provided a prophetic canary in the coal mine indicating larger technical problems that could plague NBC's online Winter Olympics coverage.

I am not here to complain about NBC Sports' streaming policies or cable TV restrictions. Only cable subscribers get the full Olympics livestream and on demand video priviliges, and I understand how that's just business. I am here to complain about situations like what you see in the image above, (submitted by @kahlildozier but I had the exact same problem Thursday morning). That is not live video -- that is a frameset within a frameset within a frameset where live video is supposed to be. If you're a techie, you know why that is an ill-conceived disaster. If you are not a techie, let's just call it excellent reason to believe that NBC screwed up their 2014 Olympics online video player pretty royally.

I will stress that at this moment, the three problems I address below appear to be fixed -- but the NBC Olympic streaming site could easily bug out again over the next two weeks. First we have the problem seen above, where clicking on the Play button did not generate a video livestream. Instead, it just generated multiple versions of the same web page inside a field where the video player should have been. This was an issue while live events were taking place Thursday morning, and it appears to be fixed now.

We'll see how it works Saturday, when millions more people will be logging in for the first full day of Olympics competition.

Blog Photo - Bugs plague first day of NBC Olympics livestreamThe second problem is depicted at right, and was reported on Twitter. (I experienced this as well.) When attempting a replay of an event that has already concluded, viewers would see the old 'blue circle of death' spinning along with the phrase "Coverage has concluded". The video buffers, but never begins.

A "Replay" should not tell us that coverage has concluded. A "Replay" should show us a video replay of the event! I will stress that this issue was fixed for me by mid-Thursday afternoon, but others are still reporting it on Twitter.

A third issue was reported by Business Insider, wherein users clicked on a replay but instead got the replay of an event from the 2010 Winter Olympics. (!) I did not personally encounter that bug.

But I did encounter two bugs, and on a preliminary day of streaming when traffic would have been low. NBC has until Saturday to get these bugs fixed, in which case no one will remember that any of this happened. But if these problems continue beyond Saturday, then NBC's online Olympics streaming  may prove to be the Sochi Olympics' biggest embarrassment of all.

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2/10/14   |   werkt0

Same frameset issue, seen 5 seconds ago.


The faq page, where the "all events" menu doesn't display, and where it's only 4 more days in reverse until competition begins on Feb 6.


2/8/14   |   mnkeech

Yo.  There are still bogus results (http 200 error) when trying to retrieve video and bad database result sets from select statements trying to retrieve specific athlete bios.  For example, try to see the USA athletes who play women's hockey and you'll get - well - bios of men and women from different countries.  Like I said - bogus stuff.  Come on - techies - I am one of you - get these things fixed.  We are well into the 21st century.