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How to watch the Olympics, live, from the United States (bearsfightingbears.com)
123 points by bradgessler on July 29, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 56 comments

Kinda seems more like "how to watch the Olympics for $20" (or more - I don't know quite how many games are available, and at what quality, from the BBC, but I feel like you could potentially use over 200 gigs of transfer in watching them).

Many actual VPNs are somewhat cheaper, and just as simple to set up.

Of course, paying money to a third-party to watch BBC feels as insane and dumb as ever. You'd think that they'd start looking into overseas subscriptions at this point. Nevermind the IOC - why can't they offer anything on Pay-Per-View? Both are great alternative sources of income they're passing up, instead essentially encouraging piracy and sending money to third parties instead!

This is a complicated affair. It's the rights holders to the content that the BBC broadcasts who are probably the biggest hurdle in expanding the BBC Worldwide's reach. Global iPlayer is a start, but it will take time.

Just use these two DNS servers, they're free and takes no effort to get working:

Primary DNS:

Secondary DNS:

you probably should mention the guys providing the service. These DNS Servers are from http://tunlr.net/ and you shouldn't use these Server permanantly because they do DNS Traffic shaping

Article doesn't mention anything about free.

Or you could sign up at https://www.privateinternetaccess.com for our VPN with two UK gateways for 6.95 for one month. Cheaper and much easier to setup.

And from what I remember flash does not follow the system SOCKS proxy settings: http://coderrr.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/how-to-force-flash-o...

For the price of a fast food lunch I decided to try it out. I appreciate the many supported protocols. The L2TP w/ IPSec VPN works just fine in OS X. The streaming quality was quite good and the online offerings from the BBC puts NBC's broadcasts to shame! I couldn't find a commercial either... is that really the case and I'm just a shellshocked American who hasn't seen the BBC in the UK before?

That's the case - no adverts any of the bbc's television channels or radio stations in the UK. Most broadcasts are available on iPlayer too, always without adverts.

No commercials. The BBC is funded by UK taxpayers through a license fee (about £12 per month).

So it basically means that everyone doing this is breaching various licensing agreements

Yes, I would love to be able to pay the BBC some amount to watch their iPlayer broadcasts of the Olympics but I'm sure NBC would never let that happen.

I'd highly recommend this option. Tried them out a couple of months ago and the service is brilliant. Multiple Exit IPs and unlimited bandwidth including torrents takes the cake.

Unblock Us is easier and it's free for a week.


I signed up, but the quality of the stream is really not that good. It fluctuates between 480 and sometimes hits up to 1500 for ten seconds. I never get the 3500kbps stream that I think should be available.

Or you could just download TunnelBear http://www.tunnelbear.com, set it to UK, and go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv/bbc_one_london/watchlive

Why go through all that trouble?

This is spam. First step is a referral link to linode.com.

Its not. I just put a disclosure at the bottom of the post and would like to donate whatever the referrals are to an anti-censorship organization, assuming Linode can make that happen.

The bottom of the post isn't where you linked the referral. Pretty shady behavior, honestly.

Since when is including referral link on your own site considered spam? If then, you would be disappointed in visiting stackoverflow's site.

I wouldn't call it spam, but it is worth noting that this is at least the third "how to watch the Olympics" article I've seen on HN in the past day which contains a referral link to some VPS provider.

Just use http://tunlr.net/ 's DNS servers - it's completely free and with no signup required, takes 20 sec to add.

Primary DNS:

Secondary DNS:

This doesn't work. I get "The content does not seem to be working." when trying to load the stream.

NBC are streaming all the events live at http://www.nbcolympics.com/ , although you need to have a cable/satellite TV subscription to access the streams. The complaints about them not showing events live on TV are legitimate (not to mention their editing out the tribute to the victims of the 7/7 bombing during the opening ceremony), but there's an easier solution for most people in the US than the one in this article.

I know this won't be popular but is it actually a right to watch the Olympics live?

Like movies in theaters I just ignore the hype and wait six months for either redbox or netflix to get it.

In the EU, that is borderline. http://europa.eu/pol/av/index_en.htm:

"The Directive requires EU countries to coordinate national legislation with each other so that […] major events – like the Olympics or football World Cup – are available to a broad audience, not just on pay-TV channels"

That's right. There's no reason to give a shit about the Olympics these days. And if the IOC wants to make it hard for fans to watch, why should we make any effort to support their celebration of ... what does it stand for now ... obese cable subscribers watching fit people wreck their bodies?

It's obviously not a fundamental human right to have access to Olympic programming. However the way in which they delay programming and restrict access seems manipulative which I file under unethical.

No, not unethical, just plain idiotic. But illegally watching a free TV station at the cost of another country's tax payers is definitely unethical.

Who says it's coming at a cost? There is a very real chance the BBC have fixed sized pipes already paid for, that are not even close to being fully utilized.

This seems pointless. If you're going to watch BBC content without paying their licensing fee, you might as well torrent it - that way you're not using up their bandwidth.

> This seems pointless. If you're going to watch BBC content without paying their licensing fee, you might as well torrent it - that way you're not using up their bandwidth.

I would happily pay them for access, the problem is that being in the US I quite literally can't. If there was a "pay $50 for live steaming of the olympics" button I would click it happily, it just doesn't exist.

Send them a cheque. They choose not to account for the possibility of people taking advantage of their good nature. You should give them the option of accepting payment.

The BBC aren't allowed to serve customers outside of the UK even if they wanted to due to the licensing agreements they have with content owners. NBC is the exclusive broadcaster in the United States. Anyone offering the Olympics to US viewers is in breach of their licensing agreement.

It's for the bandwidth not the content. And I'm sure they wouldn't take it, I'd just like to see the response.

While you wouldn't be able to get them to accept direct payment for this service (since they aren't allowed to sell it to Americans), you could choose to donate to one of the other programs they run that accepts donations, such as this one: https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/donate/donate.php?charity_i...

Where are these torrents, with high quality video posted in near real time?

EDIT: I'm half serious, I wouldn't mind seeing Phelps lose, I missed it live. I'm an American, the NBC video website doesn't let me log in for some reason even though I have a valid account that worked yesterday (no error message, it just brings me back to the login screen every time), and they seem to be scrubbing YouTube quite well.

My private tracker has 720p recordings of events 10-15 minutes after they end.

So when you said "this seems pointless", you meant "this seems pointless if you have access to some particular private bittorrent tracker". I trust you can see the difference there :)

Getting access to a private tracker isn't that hard, and you can probably find the stuff on EZTV anyway.

We are all ears.

> Where are these torrents, with high quality video posted in near real time?

We should see a solution to that soon. http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/13/bittorrent-live/

Sopcast has been around for many years..

You're right! I forgot that it was p2p.

> live

After you setup your proxy, you can quickly enable it from a script using this:

  networksetup -setsocksfirewallproxystate Ethernet0 on
And disable it using this:

  networksetup -setsocksfirewallproxystate Ethernet0 off

Or you could use Hide My Ass, they have a summer special starting at $9,99 for a week. http://hidemyass.com/vpn/r3906/ (disclaimer: affiliate link)

I'd recommend witopia over HMA.

This doesn't actually work, not using latest Flash on Mountain Lion anyway. This, however, does work:


For those looking for cheaper VPS's, http://www.lowendbox.com/tag/uk has a big list of 'low end box'es.

I'm having problems connecting, this link might be better: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?sugexp=chrome,m...

Thanks for the step-by-step, but I think you should mention in the blog post that you're including a referral link. At least @irq is transparent about it.

This reminds me of the steps a friend of mine took as a cable nonsubscriber to watch Yankees games from New York City.

MLB.com lets you subscribe and watch games online but Yankee games are blocked in NYC due to the team's exclusivity agreement with their own cable channel. I'm waiting for him to write a post about his solution (it involves both a VPN and an FM radio).

Pretty easy. Took me 2 minutes to set it up (I already have VPS).

But Live streaming is also available on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/olympic .Why are you not using that? Isn't it accessible in US?

Live streaming from the IOC on YouTube is only available in 64 countries where there aren't exclusive broadcaster rights. All of those countries are in Africa or Asia, so not available in the US alas.

Use a vpn and use http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/london2012/index.html

Enter bbc into the playlist box and voila.

I just bought a 32 mb vps. That is more than enough for openvpn. It was only 0.5$/m. For slightly more you can get a decent one outside US.

openvpn is hard. Use sshuttle instead.

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