Gathan Beaga

TVNZ's streaming URLs for the Olympic Games

Now that the Olympics have actually started my lingering disquiet about China-as-host has submerged under the sheer tsunami of spectacle that is the Games these days. I just want to watch it and damn the politics.

And bless good old TVNZ: at long last they’ve found something that they can go all out for on the Internet. And they have, much much more than they managed for the last World Cup.

There are four streaming channels of goodness at two different bit rates, 128k and 700k. I’ve found the latter is perfectly acceptable at full screen on my MacBook. Apparently these are available to NZ viewers only – although how this is accomplished and whether it works is another question – I’d be interested in comments from readers outside NZ.

[UPDATE: see comments from Koz and another below. These streams work in New Zealand ONLY.]

Unfortunately, to get to them you have to wend your way through their slow and bloated website. And streaming video within web browsers on the Mac is not that great at the best of times, especially when people insist on using Windows Media. To view this sort of media at all Mac users must install Flip4Mac so that QuickTime can handle the Windows Media streams… and even then the TVNZ experience is not helped by a circular redirect page bug that affects Safari when loading a video page, and Mac Firefox’s flickery rendition of the video.

In this case I do what I always do: nick the URLs from the host pages and open them directly in QuickTime’s “File→Open URL…” dialog.

So I shouldn’t make you wait any longer for these, should I?

The hosted coverage (the same as is showing on free to air TVOne):

Live Sport Extra (the extra channel that’s also on Freeview):

TVNZ3 (an online-only channel):

TVNZ 4 (another online-only channel):

In addition to the above, you can find a page for a day by day schedule, and another for today’s programmes.

Oh, and these URLs should work perfectly well in Windows Media too (Linux users: sorry, I have no freaking idea).