I love watching the Olympics. I have great memories of sitting around the TV with my family, watching as many events as we could. As far as the Summer Olympics go, I like many of the fan favorites, including gymnastics, swimming, diving, track and field, and tennis.

Since 2004, my husband and I have been living without cable (by choice), so we have missed the majority of coverage from both the Summer 2004 games in Athens, Greece and the Winter 2006 games in Turin, Italy. This year, however, I was determined not to miss a thing, since NBC has extensive coverage online.

I went to NBC’s website to check out the offerings. Unfortunately, when I tried to download some videos, I was greeted with the message I am loathe to see: “NBC only supports Windows, chump.” (Well, not really–I’m paraphrasing.) I hadn’t had the chance to investigate much more when a coworker mentioned that I should download Microsoft Silverlight (ahh, right. I had that on my other computer, and didn’t transfer it over).

Upon further investigation, I found out that other Mac users were greeted with a different message outlining supported browsers when theirs weren’t up to snuff (for the record, NBC supports the following: IE 6 and 7 for the PC, Firefox 1.5, 2 and 3 for the PC AND Mac, and Safari 2 and 3). So it wasn’t just me, but it looked as though to use Silverlight, one must have an Intel computer.

I had already downloaded Silverlight by that point (since I do have an Intel-based MacBook Pro), so I never got to see that popup. The result: the fabulous realization of my Olympic spectating dreams come true; no more technical difficulties. Older computers aren’t so lucky; there doesn’t seem to be any other recourse for those who have an older Mac with a Power PC processor (G4, G5, etc.)

The Olympic blog on the LA Times website (which is great, by the way) mentioned this a couple of days ago as well, so are the Olympics online really only for PCs and new Macs? If anyone has been able to get a non-Intel Mac to work, we’d love to hear about it.

NBC has done a great job with their online coverage so far, with dozens of videos, live action (sometimes difficult, given the 12 hour time difference we experience on the east coast), interviews, commentary and photos. I’d hate for a true Olympic fan without TV to miss that.

NBC’s Olympic website
LA Times’ Olympic blog


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