Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Post

Olympic Failure: Was it NBC, Charter, Samsung or YouTube?

The Charter Communications, NBCOlympics.com, Samsung Smart Hub Chronicles #fail

I don’t know what you thought about the opening ceremony of the “Games Of The 30th Olympiad Of The Modern Era,” but I watched it from seat 5D on JetBlue Flt 676 from LAX to JFK and, for me, it lacked some of the grandeur I was expecting.

Not to worry. Once they passed torch, lit the cauldron and sealed it with Sir Paul’s awesome version of Hey Jude, I was psyched to immerse myself in the hundreds of hours of cross-platform coverage offered by the Networks of NBC. (By the way, can you name the networks of NBC? Scroll down to the bottom of the article for the answer.)

On the first official day of the Olympics, MSNBC, NBC, NBC Sports, Bravo and Telemundo all carried fully produced, linear feeds. CNBC had a some coverage, then a combination of unrelated regular and paid programming. There was fencing, swimming, handball, archery, badminton, tennis and soccer. It was more than enough Olympic coverage for all but the most dedicated fans – but – NBC made us a promise – 3,500 hours of live, streaming coverage powered by YouTube. Awesome!!! Being a rabid fan of international table tennis, I was dying to see Szu-Yo Chen (TPE) vs. Krisztina Toth (HUN) go at it in the 2nd Round of Women’s Singles. Luckily for me, this very match was going to be streamed live.

Now, as you can imagine, I have a fair amount of technology at my disposal. Watching YouTube is so easy a child can do it, and I even have a few kids around. So, second round of the Women’s Table Tennis Singles here I come … well, not exactly.

I got an idea. I have a 60″ Samsung 7000 series connected in the living room and it has Samsung Smart Hub. The TV has a web browser so, instead of streaming to my MacBook Air, I could stream to the big screen TV and share the experience with everyone … well, not exactly.

First, I had to spend a while getting the URL into Samsung’s Smart Hub browser. When the browser is open, you need to move the cursor with arrow buttons around a virtual keyboard to type in alphanumeric characters. http://www.nbcolympics.com took 10 seconds per letter. Then, I was taken to a splash page that told me that I had to register to get the service. The Olympics streaming service must be authenticated through your cable provider. OK, 10 minutes more and I realized that I did not have proper login credentials to authenticate the stream.

If you’re a Charter Communications customer, you know just how bad Charter’s customer service is. After about 30 minutes of phone calls and online chats, I was able to get my MacBook Air authenticated. It was painful, but I was on a mission.

Next step, get the Samsung 7000 set up to stream. I don’t have a QWERTY remote, so typing credentials into the authentication dialog box was excruciating, but again, I was on a mission.

After I hit “Log In,” the dialog box went blank and nothing happened. The United States badminton team had just pulled within one point of the Koreans and everyone in the living room wanted me to make the picture full screen, so I had to abandon my dreams of streaming in favor of watching the American hit the shuttlecock long giving the match to Korea. Ugh!

With time running out, I asked the question, “Is there an App for that?” Of course there is. Samsung has an awesome remote control app for the iPhone and it solved the Samsung text input problem handily … well, not exactly. It took me far less time to get back to the authentication screen, but the results were the same. No joy.

OK, I get it. There will be no authenticated streaming on Charter using Samsung Smart Hub to view www.NBCOlympics.com on my big screen. At least not today, so … I’ll just logon with my MacBook Air and watch table tennis at my kitchen table.

On a positive note, it took only seconds to connect via my MacBook Air, but then, the first thing I was treated to was a 30 second commercial. I paid no attention to it, so I have no idea what product it was for. It had a bunch of images of athletes – pretty undifferentiated, but that’s for another column.

After an hour of failed attempts to authenticate and logon, and after a 30 second commercial, I expected to see Table Tennis. I got a video player window, but the only thing playing was color bars and a test tone. (A screen shot of what I saw is on the right.)

NBC Table Tennis

To be fair, other sports were working fine and the image quality was great. My MacBook Air was the perfect personal consumption device for this content. But, I would really have loved to get the 60″ Samsung into the game. That would really have been fun.

What failed? Was it NBC, Charter, Samsung or YouTube? I have some ideas, but I really don’t know. What I do know is that an average consumer would blame everyone in this ad hoc ecosystem. Which makes me want to rhetorically ask, “How much better will this experience be on the yet to be released, hypothetical, Apple Connected TV?” The bar is set so low, Apple almost can’t mess this up.  For now, even with the best connected TV and the Networks of NBC powered by YouTube, the only way was using a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable — problem solved … well, not exactly.

(Answer to the question, “What are the Networks of NBC?”: NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNBC World, CNBC Asia, NBC Sports, Bravo, Mun2, SciFi, Trio, Universal HD, USA Network, A&E, Chiller, cloo, Comcast SportsNet, E!, G4, Golf Channel, International Television, Oxygen, Sprout, Style Media, The Weather Channel, Telemundo, and a bunch of digital properties.)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.