So you thought the best place to watch the London Olympics was your drawing room, in front of your television set? Before saying yes, log on to www.youtube.com/olympics and be ready to be surprised.
The London Olympics is being covered on the Internet in a way no sporting event has ever been done. The International Olympic Committee is providing live, non-stop coverage of multiple disciplines, that too with the crystal clarity of high-definition videos, on YouTube. And this service is of particular use to Kerala, because a large percentage of homes in the State cannot watch the Olympics on ESPN and Star Sports, which are not being relayed by Asianet Cable Vision; so you have to be content with DD Sports.
But if you have access to broadband Internet, you can enjoy Olympics like you never did before. And if you have a fast Internet connection, you can watch the action in 1080p resolution (which is sharper than DVD quality).
There are five resolutions available to watch the Olympics — from 240p onwards; you can change it by clicking on the quality button towards the bottom right of the YouTube window. If your connection is slow, even 240p is watchable, but pictures are a lot sharper from 360p onwards.
The bill factor
But remember, the videos at higher qualities will mean higher broadband bills (if, however, you have an unlimited plan, you can go for the best possible quality).
The best thing about the YouTube coverage is that there are as many as 11 channels to choose from; just pick your favourite sport and click on the relevant icon. You can pause live action, rewind and go forward again and you can also watch the replays of an entire match at your leisure.
“YouTube is indeed the best place to watch Olympics,” says E.K. Kishore Kumar, a former Indian junior volleyball captain. “I have watched some entire volleyball matches that I missed; I will continue to watch this Olympics on my computer. I find it a lot better than television.”
You may encounter some problems loading videos on certain browsers; in that case, try a different browser.
India is one of the 64 countries to which the IOC is beaming Olympics through YouTube. At the time of writing this, there have been more than 1.88 crore video views on the channel. And there is another week of Olympics.