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back to article BBC gives itself a gold in 700Gbit-a-second Olympic vid sprint

Almost three million people watched the Olympics on a mobile phone while half a million ogled and fondled their slabs on Sunday, 5 August - the day Andrew Murray won gold, Usain Bolt ran 100m in 9.63 seconds and the BBC recorded peak video streaming to handheld gadgets. Overall, 51.9 million people watched Olympic broadcasts …

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Re: What?

Dirty Mugabe.

Yep, i'm happy with that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

@Skyraker - I'm not sure if you're aware, but Mugabe is a person, not a country.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

what's the difference between a slice of bread and the french?

You can make soldiers out of the bread.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW HOW LITTLE I CARE ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE AND CURRENT EVENTS.

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Gotta say Auntie did us proud with her coverage of the Olympics. Such a shame they kept the Parliament channel empty when they could have use that bandwidth to give us an extra option.

Anyway, lets see how all the T4 presenters handle the Paralympics, based on their appalling coverage of the World Athletics last year it should be worth a laugh at least

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They did... it was 302. You would have had to re-scan for it, and it was only showing events sporadically (I'd them have rather kept it on constantly) but still.

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They used the Parliament channel bandwidth. BBC3 was using its bandwidth during the day (BBC 3 and 4, are usually closed as they share bandwidth with CBeebies/CBBC).

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Happy

BBC

I looked on with utter jealousy at the services the BBC provided in the UK over the Olympics. Here in Spain we have NO red button service whatsoever, and although TVE was the official Olympic broadcaster, basically we got very little. TVE-HD showed events, as did the SD channel TDP. However, rather than make the most of the space, often both channels showed the same thing. TVE1 ran highlights shows. It was piss poor, and I was insanely jealous of what the BBC offered.

I understand NBC in the USA showed it all delayed, so they could make the most of advertising, and cut out chunks of stuff as it wasn't relevent to the USA audience (in their minds).

For £6.38, you got complete coverage, on TV, on the Web, and on Radio. That to me seems a fair deal really, and from where I'm sitting I've have paid that nin a second for coverage like that. You could have probably got it for a bit less if you'd not paid for Trevor Nelson, Huw Edwards and that other one to natter inane comments over the opening ceremony though... I think well done BBC though.

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FAIL

Re: NBC (U.S.)

Yeah, they tape delayed most of the events...and inserted ads for their next-morning talk show by stating "Join us on the Today show tomorrow morning when we'll be joined by the winner of [insert event that they're going to show in 30 seconds]" which totally blew the suspense.

Hopefully someone, and their boss(es) no longer work for NBC.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BBC

Don't be jealous, when the olympics in Rio come round, as with previous events, ie not in the UK, then the coverage will be equally sporadic from the BBC. They are basically a government propaganda tool who had to deliver blanket coverage that repeated a million times a day how amazing the GB athletes were and heaven forbid if you suggested otherwise. I felt sorry for some of the non UK commentators they had on who were made to site though all the biased rubbish that was being spouted. Pretty much on par with the Beijing propaganda machine as far as im concerned. Fortunately I was still able to access international news sites for some fair and balanced reporting, how long the UK will allow such freedoms is very much in doubt..

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Re: BBC

Which unbiased international news sites would they be then?

All new channels are biased you muppet.

I suggest you look up the propaganda model of media content production.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BBC

Indeed they are, but if you expand your horizons and source multiple points of view then you are able to get and better understanding of different perceptions to news and then form your own opinion.

Much better than blindly doing what the BBC or anyone else for that matter tell you, no?

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Re: BBC

Fscking God Almighty...

...what has the world come to when it is such a terrible thing for the BRITISH broadcaster to gush over BRITISH winners? Do you really think the French, the Japanese, the Saudis... had to put up with Hew and co's blathering? Do you not suppose they had their own video inserts gushing about their own athletes? It might have been a bit more biased in the video inserts in the closing ceremony, but then, Britain was the host country - or maybe next you'll be upset that they didn't have anybody singing in Russian and how terribly English it all was... <sigh>

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JDX
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Re: BBC

I seem to remember pretty decent coverage 4 years ago - the main BBC coverage was similar to this time around.

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Massively supportive of the BBC and the license Fee

I'm massively supportive of the BBC and the license Fee and so is absolutely everybody I know. They are one of the very best things about Britain, that we often don't appreciate fully because we take it for granted. Try living abroad for a while, and suddenly you'll stop taking the BBC for granted.

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Re: Massively supportive of the BBC and the license Fee

I completely agree. I have lived and worked all over the place, and there is nothing to compare with the quality of the BBC. I can't believe all the complaints I read about the license fee. You'll not get anything as good for the price. £12 quid a month for all the TV and radio channels, plus all the on line stuff, plus the global reach of the BBC brand, which gives us worldwide visibility that other countries would love to have. A bargain.

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Re: Massively supportive of the BBC and the license Fee

"Try living abroad for a while, and suddenly you'll stop taking the BBC for granted."

I couldn't agree with you more - living in the USA for a year was a real eye opener regarding the quality and value for money of the BBC. The mere fact that it exists means that that the commercial broadcasters can't sink as low as theyd like too in terms of program quality and news reporting. This benefits everyone who lives in the UK, and I think it's the real reason that Murdoch/Sky hates the BBC so much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Massively supportive of the BBC and the license Fee

"Try living abroad for a while, and suddenly you'll stop taking the BBC for granted."

Or to get the full effect, try livining it the US while the Olympics are in Atlanta! Even then it was still tape-delay at prime time (actually quite useful for the night when I heard on radio news on way home that all the US women gymnasts had spent the afternoon falling off equipment instead of winning the expected gold medals - that nights TV coverage was quite amusing as US commentators had to explain that away).

However, in NBCs coverage of Atlanta Olympics there was one small region of sanity - track cyling where the commentator was Phil Liggett ... and he was a man not afraid to say things like "I don't think the American stands much of a chance in this heat - the German is far too strong for him"!

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FAIL

Re: Liggett

While I agree that Liggett is a very good commentator he does suck up to the man with the cheque book. He was working for the Olympic broadcaster in Aus (I can't even bear to type their name) and in GB vs Aus cycling events he said things like "Let's hope it's a gold for Aus".

The best neutral commentary money can buy.

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Excellent coverage

I have to say that I thought they did a pretty good job overall. Yes, Gary Lineker was bit out of his depth at times and some of the other commentators didn't always seem to be fully prepared, but I think that was more due to issues with getting hard information about what was happening; not down to the Beeb, but to the onsite games management.

I thought coverage was generally excellent; and I really hope that they will continue to cover some of these other sports as it seems that there is an appetite for them amongst the general public. Unfortunately, I suspect that we will be back to a non-stop diet of football (or more accurately, talking heads discussing football).

I've had some discussions with people in Canada & USA; and they have highlighted just how poor their local coverage was (in particular NBC in the south western states which seems to have really pissed people off) and how envious they are at what they see as a much better service in almost every aspect.

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Megaphone

Coverage good....web catch up service could do better

The coverage was fab providing you watched it LIVE. The problem with the catchup service on the website was as you clicked through it told you the results of the sport on the same page as it had the link to watch the catchup. So a couple of times I went to watch something as if it was live (work does get in the way sometimes) and was greeted with the result before I could get to the catchup. May be one page with all the catchup stuff on (not show results) would be nice.

ITV do the same thing a lot of the time on their catchup service.....went to watch the tour highlights and the picture on the link showed the days winner crossing the line....it takes a lot of enjoyment out of then watching an hour long programme!

Come on it is not rocket science!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coverage good....web catch up service could do better

"was greeted with the result before I could get to the catchup"

Not a problem I hit. The navigation was a little hit and miss in places but once I'd stated navigating via the 'schedule' it got a lot easier. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/schedule-results

So long as you click on 'catch up' and not the individual event you're not told the results.

All this stuff is staying up until January as well - fantastic service. The on-demand really came into its own in the last couple of weeks.

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Good job

The coverage on Freesat was excellent. I was a bit surprised to find it on freesat since all the publicity I saw only mentioned Sky. It seemed an opportunity to plug a free to air platform was missed.

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Re: Good job

All the 24 OBS feed channels were on VirginMedia as well

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Re: Good job

"All the 24 OBS feed channels were on VirginMedia as well"

for those who wished to watch them through what looks like frosted bathroom window glass, and didn't mind their box freezing during an event.

I know people on VM who gave up and set up a freeview aerial.

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Re: Good job

' "All the 24 OBS feed channels were on VirginMedia as well"

for those who wished to watch them through what looks like frosted bathroom window glass, and didn't mind their box freezing during an event.'

Fine here so these problems didn't affect all VM customers.

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WTF?

just satellite please, not Sky's satellite

This article makes a common and annoying mistake in referring to "Sky's satellite platform" The satellites belong to Astra and Eutelsat and Sky just rents transponder space on them, as does the BBC and other broadcasters.

For the Olympics the BBC took an extra 48 frequencies (24 channels in both SD and HD). It is true that Sky had to release some of the space normally allocated to them to allow this to happen, however the extra channels were NOT in any way part of Sky's commercial packages. They could be received by Freesat and Sky boxes (or indeed any suitable satellite receiver).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: just satellite please, not Sky's satellite

I agree with you. However the BBC would have had to rent EPG space from Sky, or at least negotiate for the channels to be added for free for the two week period, which is what I read when i see 'sky's satellite service' mentioned. Having channels broadcast by satellite is useless unless you have a service to receive said broadcasts. Also in no way was it implied, in this article or anywhere else that the channels showing the coverage were part of a package. Sky themselves specifically advertised them as being free to all with a sky box whether a paying customer or not.

Its very much about the platform that provides access to the feeds, the customer facing service. Nobody cares who owns the satellites and if you said, 'you can get the channels from Astra and Eutelsat', the vast, vast majority wouldn't know what the hell you were talking about.

The article clearly mentions availability on Freesat as well, should they have referred to the satellites instead?

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Re: just satellite please, not Sky's satellite

I'm not privvy to any commercial arrangement between Sky and the BBC over the epg, but it would seem to me that Sky would be shooting themselves in the foot as far as customer relations go if they had not put the channels on the epg, so I can't imagine much more than a nominal sum if anything was involved. In any case the channels could be accessed via the red button without using the epg.

And the article does NOT mention Freesat at all, only Freeview, which was really my point. By saying "Sky's satellite platform" there's an implication that you have to have a Sky package and that was not the case. Of course it's not about telling people it's on Astra, but if it's a freely available service then just "satellite" will be good enough, or "Freesat and Sky" if you must.

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Bronze badge

Covergae was OK

but I couldn't see anything exceptional about it (apart from the lack of ads). The extra channels were very good but if you didn't have access to them the coverage could be a bit disjointed as they either flicked around a lot or spent a lot of time on build ups to events while ignoring others.

I also can't help but feel that it is unlikely that more than 90% of the population watched the Olympics. I suspect this to be an anomaly of the system they use to guess viewing figures.

I did watch some of it from abroad and I can't say the coverage was much different, apart from being biased towards events where that country felt it would do well!

I'm all in favour of the TV license but this was a fairly easy win for the BBC.

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License fee

"...opposition to the licence fee seems ever increasing..."

Does it? The main place I've seen opposition to it is inside the Murdoch papers, and that's not surprising really, is it?

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Re: License fee

I thought that statement was a bit odd too.

There is more opposition to the Beeb than just Murdoch though. The right wing of the Conservatives haven't been keen on the BBC since at least the 80s. Also the Telegraph and Mail aren't exactly fans either (in their case probably for the same self-interested reasons as Murdoch), plus the Mail doesn't like anything that's fun and the Telegraph has become the mouthpiece of the Tory Right, rather than conservative retired colonels in Old Buffershire.

Hence the government put a medium axe to the license fee. With making the Beeb pay for the World Service and S4C, plus going without inflationary increases that amounts to cuts of about a quarter by the end of the current license fee settlement.

Perhaps this getting by without public notice has fooled the right into thinking it could axe the BBC, or radically change it? I doubt Cameron is that stupid though. Some complicated cuts, amongst many others that the Beeb didn't really fight were easy. Any serious danger to the BBC would go down like a lead balloon. And of course the BBC would be there to report it, in glorious technicolour. They do like a nice juicy media story, and even more if it's about themselves...

I think the BBC Trust's regular polling shows consistently high support for it. And they'd get awfully worried if that changed. Look at the fuss from axing 6 Music, and no-one listens to that. Try axing Radio 4 and the WI would march on Downing Street. And look what they did to Tony Blair over just one speech...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: License fee

Try axing Radio 4 and I would take unpaid leave and march on Downing Street.

What is crucial is that Jeremy Hunt, who will claim the credit for a pretty well run games, is in a love-in with Murdoch. He should have been sacked for his handling of the BSkyB takeover. He went to the same university as the Prime Minister (at the same time no less), as the Chancellor, as the Secretary of State for the Home Department, as the Secretary of State for Defence, as the Secretary of State for Education... it's one big club and if you are a member of the Oxford set you can get away with anything you like. Clegg graduated from Cambridge so he should watch out.

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Bronze badge

NBC Olympic coverage

Sucked the big one.

Cut out a large chunk of the opening ceremony which was tape delayed, including the tribute to the victims of terrorism, to talk to Michael Phelps. They even bleeped out Eric in the closing ceremony, 'Lif'e's a piece of BLEEP, when you look at it."

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Re: NBC Olympic coverage

I'm surprised to hear they played any of Eric Idle's song, given all the foaming-at-the-mouth xtian extremism there is in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NBC Olympic coverage

Yes, but BLEEP is an officially banned word on US broadcast TV. When I was there 10-15 years ago there was a big fuss when St Elsewhere (doubtless to gain publicity) included the phrase "the shit is going to hit the fan" in one episode and that resulted in big fines, public apoligies and undertakings from producers that they would never do anything like that again.

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3D broadcast

Watched the closing ceremony in 3D and thought it was fantastic. OK, the commentary wasn't great and you got the impression that the 2D cameras had first priority .. but I really felt we had a window into the stadium. More please!

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Anonymous Coward

"peddling"

Bradley Wiggins is a cyclist, not a pedlar.

The things you push with your feet are called PEDALS.

Idiot.

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Headmaster

Re: "peddling"

Good point, aggressively made... But then, proofreading was never high on El Reg's agenda.

Now, will ALL comment[er|tard]s PLEASE stop writing [would | could | might] of <past participle> when those past tenses are formed with have.

Thank you.

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Trollface

Re: "peddling"

I was going too say that myself.

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Assuming a floppy is 1.4MB, and weighs 20g...

The BBC shifted 1.25t per second at its peak.

2.3PB would weigh 32,900t

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First Class mail

£57,575,003.3 if shifted in one large parcel. Or £987,000,000 not including packing for individual letters.

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Re: First Class mail

I salute (and upvote) you both for that very useful information. But what, pray, is that in Olympic sized swimming trunks?

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Happy

Re: First Class mail

Depends on the size of budgie one is smuggling I would presume!

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Floppy disks?

Pah! Units for wimps!

How about 2708 EPROMS? Each holds 1kiB, so you'd only need about 2 528 876 743 885 of them. They weigh 4g (apparently - I have a feeling they're quite a bit heavier than that). So that's a mere 10 million tonnes.

Oh, and if you wanted to use them again afterwards, you'd have to erase them, for which you'd need to find a sunny field of 600 sq km to lay them out in.

Next: core stores.

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Re: Floppy disks?

And to use the correct values now?

2.8PB -> 40 000t

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Freeview

Being that they turned off all analog channels to free up space how is it they only managed to squeeze a single extra channel in, which I am not sure is even an extra its just it was not named in the EPG.

Pretty pish poor I feel, should Freeview be that nobbled then they should have been promoting Freesat over Freeview for the change over as it seems Freeview is not up to standard already.

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Megaphone

Re: Freeview

Shock horror!!!! Freeview is not up to a once in 50 year event! It's only able to be adequate under those circumstances, rather than super-awesome. We must dump it immediately for it's crapness!!!!!!

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Facepalm

Re: Freeview

Freeview doesn't require a satellite dish to be bolted to your dwelling, or a subscription to a cable provider. In fact, in most cases you can just use the same aerial you used for analogue TV for decades. Believe it or not, this is a major advantage for millions of licence fee-payers outside tech-head land. There is already some very clever technology (some of it developed by the BBC) to allow as much as possible to be squeezed into the limited bandwidth available, and you might recall if you think hard enough that before Freeview there were only five terrestrial channels.

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Windows

Re: Freeview

There's a lot less shite on Freeview than Freesat. And you don't need to nail a pleb dish to the side of one's dwelling.

For the first time ever I would have liked to have had access to all 24 BBC channels, but it's all over now and I haven't enough time to watch Freeview let alone 200+ channels of complete shite on Sky, not to mention paying Murdock hundreds and hundreds of quid for the displeasure.

The BBC should have been mentioned in the opening ceremony. One of the UK's greatest achievements.

BTW why "Team GB and Northern Ireland"? Why not Team UK?

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