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I have long felt that the solution to many of the problems Americans face could be found in, first and foremost, popping the media bubble that we are forced to live within.  Humans use mirrors to see themselves -- we seem to almost uniquely have the ability to understand something external as representing our selves.  That mirror was never going to present a perfect reflection, but it's now being strategically used to present to Americans a willfully falsified picture of themselves as a people.  Individually, we create a world from the myriad inputs our senses provide; as a people we create a world from the inputs available to us.  The single most influential of these is TV.

Whoever controls TV controls the reflection we judge ourselves to be -- they define us to ourselves; they create our national identity.

That mirror is crazed and cracked.  The image is monstrous, mistaken, wrong.

Here on DKos, almost everything we do is part of an effort to correct that wrongness.  It's how I came here, and why I not only stay, but rely on DKos for news and insight -- for that most precious of things, a straight draught of reality.  (Of course, all media is a mixed meal; one orders what seems nutritious, and passes on dishes that are not.)

This diary is not about that -- not directly.  I do think it's a proper way to reflect on what I present below the mating orange winkles: how to get the full BBC Olympics site, with all 24 live feeds, when you live within the media bubble of the US.  Fill your lungs, and let's go below.  Make it a deep breath -- we are leaving the land NBC pretends we live in, leaving behind NBC's canned, boiled, canalized, childized, all-for-the-good-of-advertisers pablum-pump.

The BBC is doing a fantastic job of covering the Olympics.  They are putting on-line up to 24 live feeds (two live studio feeds featuring summaries and highlights, and 22 feeds from venues), and, after a short delay, every single taped event.  All 5,000+ hours of coverage are going to be available on-line.

Unless you live in the US.  The BBC Web servers reject all requests from computers located in the US.  Screenshot {External}

Your overlord has spoken.
There is a way around this:  use a computer in England to send your page requests and to receive and forward pages served to you.  To the BBC servers, you are in England.  They communicate with the computer in England, the computer in England automatically routes all your requests to wherever they are addressed (whether to the BBC servers or not), and routes all served pages to your computer.  Wonderful.  The computer you set up to do this (for our purposes, in England) is called a proxy server.  I will tell you how to set one up.

A few cautions before we begin:
 - I'm just an amateur.  I have always worked with computers, and even made money setting up small business networks, but that was long ago.
 - This is legal, as far as I know.  Everything I have read about it — I looked — says, "This is perfectly legal".  I expect DKos Web-weevils will be able to provide any needed additional information.
 - Whenever watching video on the Web, speed counts.  You will need an up-to-date, fast Internet connection to take advantage of the video access.  I have Verizon's FiOS service, with throughput of "up to 5 Mbps".  It works.
 - Even with a super-fast connection to your ISP, you will still find that the video frequently skips (buffers), and fails (corruption).  As far as I can tell, this is happening at the BBC end of things, and there is nothing to be done but click the "I have problems" button and report what's happening.  There are 23 other feeds to sample.
 - It is not free.  You have to pay someone for the Web proxy.  A reliable service is currently offering a 1-month "Summer Sports" special for $10 US.
 - It may not work.  I has worked for me.  It has worked for others.  I can't predict that it will work for you (and I likely can't trouble-shoot it if it does not).
 - These instructions are for systems running OS X.  If you run Windows or Linux, you should be able to set this up without too much effort, but you are going to have to go to some sites and read how to install software particular to your system.

And a thanks:
 - I learned about this from a post by Matt Markovich at BakersfieldNow.com.

OK — off to the races:

0.  This is not as complex as it looks.  I have tried to be comprehensive.

1.  Download the proxy server.

 - Go to http://www.hidemyass.com/... (The company is reliable.  I always advise anyone to Google for reviews and ratings prior to purchasing anything on-line.)
 - Purchase the 1-month Summer Sports Special.  It looks like this may now be available for $5 US.
 - Note your Username and Password!
 - Do not check the "auto-review" button.  The Olympics will end before your 1-month subscription.

2.  Install the HMA Pro VPN software and the TunTap OS X system utility.

 - I followed the instructions for installing for OS X.  This meant that first I had to download and install a separate, free, system utility:  TunTap.  Do so.
 - The installations are straightforward.  The Utility and the HMA Pro VPN software go in your Applications folder.

3.  Launch and configure HMA Pro VPN.

 - If you are running OS X Mountain Lion and have Gatekeeper turned on (the default state), you will have to right-click the installed application file (in Finder) and select "Open".  It will not open otherwise.
 - HMA Pro VPN should open.
 - If you are asked to install Growl, click "Yes" and follow the prompts.  
 - - Growl is a small utility that shows you alerts and messages that programs use to communicate to you.  The messages you will see inform you when you are logged in, and where the proxy server is located.
 - - I configure Growl to show the alerts at the bottom right corner of my screen.
 - Fill in your Username and Password.
 - Check the box "Remember my user name and password"
 - Click the "Connect to VPN" button.  ("VPN" = "Virtual Private Network.)
 - Screenshot: {External}

- You should see some action in the Connection Log pane, and then you should be logged in to the nearest HMA server (almost certainly in the US).

4.  Change to a UK proxy server.

 - Click the "Quick VPN Country Change" drop-down, and select a server in the UK.
 - On my machine, all twenty or so UK servers return nearly identical speeds.  It shouldn't make a difference which one you select.
 - If HMA Pro VPN offers to auto-select the fastest server in the same location, allow it to.
 - You should see Growl notifications telling you what is happening.
 - You should end up with a UK proxy server.
 - Screenshot: {External}

Note that I am not currently connected — you should be.
5.  Log in to the BBC Olympic coverage page, find the live video link, and enjoy

 - BBC Olympics 2012:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
 - BBC Olympics live video:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
 - Click the right-pointing info-arrow to start the video
 - Hover your mouse over the video feed window and click "More Video" to see all 24 feeds.
 - The first two feeds are BBC 1 and BBC 3, which provide a hosted overview of what's going on at the Olympics (similar the the network broadcast familiar to Americans).
 - At night in England, the number of feeds drops to 12 or even 6.
 - The UI for the video feeds is quite good, but requires a bit of clicking around to find what's what.
 - Be sure to click the "Extras" icon at the bottom right of the video pane.  This presents overlays of information about the sport and competitors you are watching.
 - Note the video scrubber bar, and hover over the yellow bricks to see individual events/games/rounds/what-have-you.
 - The full schedule of all events (302 medal events in 26 sports) is here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
 - Click an event rectangle to jump to the event.   Note the key to event coverage:
 - - Screenshot: {External}  
Try them all!
- - "Catch up" means "Watch a previously recorded event".
 - The best viewing time is live in England.  I've gotten better sustained feeds in the early morning (EST) than any other time.

6.  Logging out and logging back in.
- You can sever the connection to the proxy server at any time.  Either close HMA Pro VPN, or on the HMA Pro VPN dashboard page, click "Disconnect from VPN".  Your Internet connection should return to the default you have set up.
 - You can log back in at any time, using the directions above.  Don't forget to click "Connect to VPN".  Watch the Growl notifications to see that you are logged in, and where.

Enjoy!  I will be able to check in the rest of the day and might be able to answer questions.

Originally posted to Yellow Canary on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

Poll

Would you like a follow-up diary on getting around and making the most of the BBC's Olympics site?

81%26 votes
12%4 votes
3%1 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks, and this is useful (7+ / 0-)

    Republished to The Wide World of Sports.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:25:37 PM PDT

    •  I fret that I've made it _look_ much more ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... difficult than it is.  Non-computer savvy friends served as guinea pigs for the instructions.  They were too busy watching archery, badminton, and trying to find the equestrian cross-country finals to respond, so I assumed the directions were at least OK.

      Seriously folks: it's not hard.  It should work.  It's a breezy wind of fresh sports coverage.

      Thanks for re-publishing.  :-)

      Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

      by Yellow Canary on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:31:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yellow Canary, FarWestGirl, kaliope

    Is the BBC putting replay video up immediately after every event is over? Because my main problem is that NBC is refusing to put replay video up for the popular events it shows in prime time until the next day.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:32:16 PM PDT

    •  There is a slight delay ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... which I assume is strictly for technical reasons.  What I've seen is anywhere from 15 minutes to a little over an hour until the complete coverage is available.

      Note that you can:
       - start any feed at the beginning (not just live)
       - rewind and replay
       - go to the sport page (each Olympic sport has many events) and "catch up".  "Catch up" means watch previously recorded video.

      If you are looking for an event that just finished, check the Live video page (with up to 24 feeds), and also check the page specific to that sport.

      Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

      by Yellow Canary on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. #NBCfail n/t (6+ / 0-)

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:40:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most US viewers have no idea how ... (7+ / 0-)

          ... preposterously tiny NBC's presentation is.  This would give them some idea.  The BBC has done a terrific job with the Website coverage.

          I didn't mention it, but ... THERE ARE NO COMMERCIALS.  You control what you watch.

          Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

          by Yellow Canary on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:46:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed that on NBCs site (5+ / 0-)

            NBC is streaming the BBC feed. I noticed the lack of commercials, and how much kinder the commentators are. Oh, and they had SHANNON MILLER as the color commentator for women's gymnastics!! Unfortunately, I just can't watch all the events live. I am totally doing this BBC thing. I would love to be able to rewind, and be able to wake up and watch the events in their entirety rather than some hatchet job NBC does.

            I will add that I do believe this is the worst coverage NBC has ever done. My husband, who only watches a couple of sports, was commenting to me last night that he could have sworn we used to get to see a lot more athletes from other countries perform at the Olympics.

            The coverage of men's gymnastics last night was absolutely shameful. They didn't even show all of the US team's performances!

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:54:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I have some real problems with the BBC (4+ / 0-)

    at times but their olympic coverage has been brilliant. Every event every day covered. Plus their commentators  actually know what they are talking about

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:54:13 PM PDT

  •  I'm just wondering how this is different (4+ / 0-)

    from http://www.nbcolympics.com/....  That site claims to have "All 32 sports.  All 302 events. All LIVE from London."  And I access it free with my FiOS account.

    I believe it works for all major cable providers in the US, just so long as your tier includes CNBC and MSNBC.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:57:56 PM PDT

    •  Precisely. (6+ / 0-)

      I don't have cable; I can't make the comparison.

      So the biggest difference is that I'm paying $10 total.

      I should have specified that this is for those who haven't purchased access to CNBC and MSNBC.  Is it commercial free?

      Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

      by Yellow Canary on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:02:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do have to say I was trying to watch the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kaliope

        Spain-Honduras soccer match the other day and couldn't find a live video feed of it until there were only about two minutes left in regulation.  I know now there was a controversial penalty kick the referee didn't call, but at the time I couldn't understand why all the Spanish players were yelling at the ref, and why none of them would shake hands with the Hondurans.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:17:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some big differences (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yellow Canary, litho, BachFan, kaliope

      The main problem I have is that NBC is refusing to put the replay video up once the events are over for several sports; the ones they want to show in prime time. So if you slept in or came in late for some reason, you cannot watch online until about 24 hours after the event.

      BBC apparently allows you to rewind while you are watching live, which is huge for me. I was watching beach volleyball last night and suddenly started having problems with my connection, which lasted about five minutes. I missed the last five minutes of the entire match!

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:06:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have Dish Network (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl, rja, kaliope

      Sure looks like you have to have both channels.

      I have the "Welcome Package" ($14.95/month) which includes MSNCB so I thought I'd try it, but that doesn't work.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have that tier through Dish and most of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kaliope

      coverage is still on the main NBC channel. They had originally been using Bravo, MSNBC and CNBC, but most of the time it's just the main one.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:31:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I give NBC/Comcast $70 pcm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yellow Canary, kaliope

      for internet but that doesn't qualify for Olympic coverage.

      Screw NBC.

  •  the NBC 3-D broadcast is really nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaliope

    NBC and Panasonic have added an interesting first for this Olympics, broadcasting 10 or 12 hours a day in 3-D.  Some of the 3-D views are incredible.

  •  BBC 1 livestream (4+ / 0-)

    http://www.stream2watch.me/...

    Available in the afternoon, Eastern time. When stream 1 isn't loading automatically, try stream 5.

    I have no TV and have followed Olympics since it opened. Limited coverage, but it includes the topmost events. No commercials, unless you stay tuned for news/weather.

    Simply marvelous!

    In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot." ~ Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:27:55 PM PDT

  •  BBC 1, 2, 3 & 4 here (4+ / 0-)

    http://tvpc.com/...

    Also BBC Sport, although I haven't tried that channel.

    We love GB

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:37:20 PM PDT

  •  BBC Olympic Coverage here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, FarWestGirl, BachFan

    http://www.2ndruntv.com/...

    Coverage is similar to NBC except it's live and from a British point of view which I rather appreciate particularly since I lived in the UK for several years during the 1970s.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:52:28 PM PDT

  •  Zello Tech Support recommends as follows: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yellow Canary, FarWestGirl, BachFan

    This method is specific to Windows XP, but the general idea will work in any OS.

    Basically, it's using built-in VPN functionality in Windows XP to connect to a UK proxy server; same trick as the original post, but you don't have to download anything or pay anyone.

    To start, we need to tell our computer we're setting up a new connection:

    - Open the Start Menu.
    - Go to the Control Panel link.
    - Open the Network Connections icon.
    - At the bottom, open the New Connection Wizard.

    Now, we need to set up the specifics of our VPN connection.

    - Hit Next, then select "Connect to the network at my workplace," then Next again.
    - Select Virtual Private Network connection, Next again.
    - It doesn't matter what you put in Company Name; that's just an alias so you can recognize it more easily. We used "UK VPN."
    - If it asks about dialing automatically, select "Do not dial the initial connection" and hit Next again.
    - For the hostname, we're going to use a free VPN service based in the UK. Put "bestukvpn.com" in the box and hit Next again, then hit Finish.

    When you hit Finish, it'll ask for a username and password.

    - Use "free" as the username.
    - Use "2380" as the password.
    - You might want to select "Save this connection," just for future convenience.
    - Hit Connect!

    Now, to external websites, your PC will appear to be connecting from the UK. Due to the nature of proxies, your connection might seem a bit slow. However, if you're patient, you'll be able to stream events from the BBC's official website.

    Or, you could just watch NBC's edited, emotion-packed presentation of the US Girl's Gymnastics team as they win "Olympic Gold."

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:12:48 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Love, I'm on Linux and this advice rox (0+ / 0-)

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