Feb 12 2010

Vancouver, as seen from Lausanne without television

by at 7:10 pm

We don’t have a television or a television subscription.  Neither do we have Hulu.  Normally this is fine (except maybe the Hulu part), but it’s the Olympics!  While we’re not such sports fans, I do like watching figure skating and random other winter sports once every four years.

When Michelle visited last week, we went to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (did you all know the Olympic Committee is headquartered in Lausanne, of all places?). While it is a bit pricey and usually probably pretty boring, it was a good time to go.  It had three temporary exhibits on the Vancouver games: on the “greening” of the Olympics and its venues, on the contribution of the local First Nations and an exhibition of some of their gorgeous contemporary art, and on the graphic design of the Olympics.  While the museum obviously shows only the positive of the Olympics, both historically and right now, at least it does it well.  The displays are top notch, the text translated into flawless English, it has a good mix of media, etc.  It was a little weird to be learning about Vancouver from Lausanne.  What it successfully accomplished is reminding that I do, actually, want to watch some of the events.  See (almost) what we saw, here.

We have not quite figured out how we’re attacking the problem of actually watching the Olympics.  We’ve already missed all qualifying rounds of everything, so we’re starting a little behind.  Furthermore, with the time difference being what it is, the Opening Ceremonies are at like 3 am, which isn’t so useful for live viewing.  We are open to suggestions on how to watch, including invitations to your TV rooms.  We are currently pursuing two paths:

  1. Zattoo.  With this legal, Swisscom-endorsed Internet service, we have low-quality, live access to many boring channels across Europe.  Television Suisse Romande is airing much of the Olympics, in French, which we can understand well enough.  Better than the German options, at least.  Sadly, the BBC channel that is covering the Olympics does not get shown on Zattoo.
  2. NBC.  Only a bit of content is available to “international viewers.”  With crafty use of a VPN and someone’s cable subscription passwords, we just might be able to watch all of the content, live, as it were.  Anyone have passwords to offer up?

Go Teams!

Update, Sat 13: We managed to watch the Opening Ceremonies in their entirety on Television Suisse Romande via Zattoo this afternoon (btw, we paid for hi-def this month).  They were pretty awesome and would have been awesomer could we but hear the poetry and speeches and such without them being dubbed over in French.  Also, a Swiss guy won the first Olympic gold!  Not that I’ve heard of him before, but apparently he looks like Harry Potter.  Hmm.  Aaannnnnd, we watched some “biathlon” (code for cross country skiing plus rifle shooting).  Any of you seen this sport before?  Women, all European and blond-haired, skiing and shooting rifles.  Does this even get TV air time in the US?  Yikes.  Isn’t the Olympics supposed to be promoting peace, not war and paramilitary training?

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Vancouver, as seen from Lausanne without television”

  1. Robon 12 Feb 2010 at 11:31 pm

    try this post from lifehacker, maybe you’ll find something good!

  2. Jackieon 12 Feb 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks, Rob! Some of the listed options look as if they have potential. We’ll check it out!

  3. Sheilaon 14 Feb 2010 at 4:58 am

    At least only half of it was dubbed – the other half of the opening ceremonies was actually in French ;). We like to repeat everything in both official languages, apparently!

    if you can see this site, this is our official olympic coverage channel:


    Good luck!

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