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tractarian last won the day on October 31 2016

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About tractarian

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  1. Here's a look at how the in-house graphics for the various host broadcasters have changed throughout the years. Munich 1972. At the dawn of the computer age. No frills. Montréal 1976. Not much to see here. Circular vignette-type effect used to superimpose an image over background. Los Angeles 1984. Multiple colors used for the first time - and a deep drop shadow on everything. Wavy flag graphics also make their first appearance. Seoul 1988. The deep drop shadow remains. Individual competitors' names appeared on a gray slab with a wavy flag. Barcelona 1992. Now we're getting creative. No more drop shadow, and different color text for different purposes. Circular button-style flag icons. All over a light gray rounded rectangle base. Cobi signals that Mr. Ewing has fouled out. Lillehammer 1994. A truly artistic approach, incorporating the look of the games and pictograms. Text presented in mixed case. Flag graphics accompanied by horizontally-aligned country code in yellow. Atlanta 1996. White and yellow text presented in small caps over blue-green background with sublimated Olympic rings and look of the games. Flags combined with easily legible country codes. One of the most visually appealing packages, IMO. Nagano 1998. Text in mixed case, with combined flag-country code graphics on multi-colored grid panels. Pretty. Sydney 2000. Introduces standard graphics package that is used, almost unchanged, in 2002 and 2004. Simple grid format with white mixed-case text. Flags accompanied by itty-bitty country codes. Individual names over blue background, with Olympic rings omnipresent. Salt Lake 2002. Pretty much identical to Sydney. Athens 2004. Again, almost identical to Sydney. The country codes were made bolder and easier to read. Turin 2006. The grid gives way to a more stylized, slanted approach. New typefaces used for top-line and second-line text. Everything is on a blue background. Beijing 2008. In my view, the first graphics package intended primarily for HD. Oblique theme is retained from Turin, but the flags and country codes are more straightforward and upright. Fonts appear to be thinner, and surnames are capitalized. White numbers on red indicate rank; white on blue indicate start position. Look of the games sublimated into top-line background. Vancouver 2010. Not much changes from Beijing. Custom top-line typeface is different, and names are now small caps for given names, capitals for surnames. London 2012. Simple, slick evolution. The typefaces are unified - no longer are there five different fonts on one screen. Names are again small-caps/all-caps, and everything is slightly italicized. Olympic rings lose their color. Flag icons have 3-dimensional perspective. And everything is slickly animated. Sochi 2014. Virtually identical to London. Rio 2016. Most drastic evolution in years. The blue background becomes more of a dark teal/forest green. The text is *extremely* thin. Yellow text reappears, for uniform numbers, top-line titles, and country codes. The flags are flattened. Clearly no one is meant to see these graphics on a "standard-definition" television!
  2. Story checks out - in Brasilia it looks like there is still 2014 World Cup signage on the upper deck!!!
  3. 1. Athletics 2. Aquatics (I'd drop synchro) 3. Gymnastics 4. Cycling 5. Basketball 6. Archery 7. Fencing 8. Volleyball 9. Rowing 10. Canoe/Kayak 11. Badminton 12. Judo 13. Wrestling 14. Weightlifting 15. Triathlon 16. Handball 17. Taekwondo 18. Tennis 19. Shooting 20. Table Tennis 21. Football 22. Modern Pentathlon 23. Hockey 24. Golf 25. Equestrian 26. Sailing 27. Boxing 28. Rugby Sevens
  4. Either that or a Comcast shareholder! Really though, I've said nice things about NBC. I loved the online coverage this year - the first time in a couple of decades that I could say I loved something that NBC has done vis-a-vis the Olympics. And I'll concede I forgot that they did show a couple of the long-distance finals - and I give them credit for those things. It's certainly better that it used to be; don't get me wrong. I just find it baffling how someone (on an Olympics forum, no less) could righteously defend NBC's inalienable right to wring every last dollar out of the Olympics by tape-delaying and editing the most important and most popular events. It's frankly disrespectful to the Olympics and to the athletes' families. Oh, and to random fans like me who just want to watch the Olympics live on TV. Whether it's practical or not is dependent on a theory - a theory that says live afternoon TV coverage will erode primetime ratings to such an extent that overall ratings would decrease - for which we have no hard data, just a presumption that since NBC makes a profit doing the Olympics, their way must be the right way, the only financially viable way. Somehow NBC's follies in Seoul don't make me any more confident that they necessarily know what is best, for them or for Olympics fans or for anyone.
  5. You won't acknowledge that "much" of NBC's TV coverage was tape-delayed? (You must be an NBC employee or close relative thereof!) The fact is, all of the finals in those latter three sports were tape-delayed. And those are the favorite sports of the casual Olympics fan (read: women) that drive the ratings. Well... they tried it on an obscure cable platform and at a premium price. I wouldn't say that the failure of the Triplecast says anything about the public's taste for pure Olympics sports coverage, in general.
  6. You got me - I was exaggerating. I acknowledge that a lot of the NBC TV coverage was live. You should acknowledge, however, that much of it was not. In particular, none of the big events - think finals in swimming, gymnastics, and athletics - were live on TV. As I said, we'll just have to agree to disagree on whether people need "convincing" to watch the Olympics in primetime in this day and age. I suppose we'll also have to agree to disagree on whether the best way to "convince" people to watch the Olympics is to spoon-feed them schmaltzy up-close-and-personal features, splice and dice their competitions to make them appear more dramatic, and time-shift everything (OK, not everything, just the major stuff) to the point that the end product bears little relationship to reality. Again, you're assuming without evidence that showing major events live on TV in the afternoon will cannibalize primetime ratings. NBC obviously believes this, and it has for decades. That doesn't necessarily make it true. It's not like they haven't made huge mistakes in applying research in the past. Um, yeah! Why do I care what ratings the Olympics gets in the US? I honestly don't really care if a few million elderly folks and suburban moms don't tune in. That's their loss, not mine. (Unless you're arguing that, without NBC's tape delays and production sheen, the Olympics would fade into oblivion, no Americans would watch, NBC would then refuse to pay hefty rights fees and the Olympic movement would collapse. That possibility is so far-fetched that it's not even worth entertaining.)
  7. Huh? How? NBC is the only game in town.
  8. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that! The way I see it, this is the Olympics we're talking about. People don't need convincing. This has always been true, but is especially so today when most TV viewers live in an immersive media environment and have plenty of options if they want to get to get "up close and personal" with athletes other than getting spoon-fed by NBC. Of course, NBC wants to be the sole source - but that's the point, why should I give them credit for something that benefit their bottom line but irritates me as an Olympics fan? It's not because otherwise they won't be willing to pony up multi-billion-dollar rights fees. You already noted that NBC overbid for these Games. So now I'm supposed to congratulate them because the Olympics turned out not to be a loss-leader; it actually broke even? No way! At the end of the day, the problem is this: I would rather the Olympics "be just another event in this country" and not a big "mega-spectacle". (At least then we could get some live coverage!) So my interests are never going to align with NBC's.
  9. This attitude, I think, is probably shared by a vast majority of NBC primetime Olympic viewers. And it helps explain why NBC is willing to put everything online for free (for cable subscribers), and yet refuses to air major "primetime" events live on TV. Most viewers just aren't interested in watching every competition, from beginning to end, including all the non-contenders and non-Americans. And so making that available online earlier in the day won't change the fact that these viewers will still watch in primetime, where they can get their slick little pre-packaged mix of of highlights, interviews and filler. Of course, I totally disagree! I thought the livestreaming was, for the most part, superb. I often turned off the commentary and chose "natural audio" when given the opportunity. Some sports need a bit of commentary - particularly the ones that are less familiar and also have complex rules, like judo - but most really don't. Frankly, I prefer the natural audio feed because it feels more like you are there at the venue. Then again, I'm a fan of Olympic sports, not just the ceremonies. But anyway, that's the great thing about livestreaming all events. It caters to the hardcore Olympic sports junkie without changing a single thing for the casual primetime viewer.
  10. Why stop there? Imagine if NBC charged $200 a pop for live online feeds. Imagine if they just increased the amount of TV ads they show: they could make it 25 minutes out of each hour instead of 20. And there's lots of untapped potential for product placement: imagine Bob Costas chugging a can of Coke before every commercial break. So much untapped potential! The profits could be in the billions! The reason NBC doesn't do all this stuff isn't because it wouldn't make them money. It's because it would make them a national disgrace. Of course, many already think they are a national disgrace. It's not a surprise that NBC made money on the Olympics. The only surprise is that some people (Olympics fans, mind you, not Comcast shareholders) are willing to give them so much credit for it.
  11. Yup. In other words, showing events live online does not erode the primetime audience; it boosts it. I guess the question, now, is that: does that also hold true for showing events live on TV before primetime? It's hard to say. Time-shifting by viewers might be a key issue. You can DVR a live TV broadcast, but you can't with an internet feed (not easily, at least).
  12. Last year I attempted to purchase about $100 worth of merchandise from the official online London 2012 store. The website informed me I couldn't order because I was located in the US, and it directed me to the USOC's website. The USOC website had no officially-branded London 2012 gear. So I'm $100 richer, but I don't have any London 2012 merchandise. Such a shame that London 2012 wouldn't take my money!
  13. Ha! It's only nine hours ahead of my time zone (central). That means I'll still be awake for the early-morning events like alpine skiing. And I'll definitely be up at 10 or 11 a.m. to watch the evening events. So bring on the Winter Games live streaming, NBC! How can you watch the BBC or EBU stream but not the NBC stream? You're right though; live online streaming (even on a fast laptop) is nice but is nothing compared to HDTV....
  14. Well, I for one am glad to say that I didn't catch one minute of NBC's broadcast of the closing ceremony - instead I watched their live streaming coverage online. And - despite the all-too-frequent 15-second commercial breaks - the coverage was excellent. Other than the audio, that is, but that's OBS's problem, not NBC's. In fact, I switched to the "Natural Audio" audio feed, instead of the inane English language commentary, and that seemed to fix the audio problems. (Unlike the OC, the CC didn't require much explanation - especially to someone familiar with British pop music - so the commentary track was unnecessary.) Here's hoping that NBC will continue to live-stream every sport (and ceremonies too!) in Sochi and Rio and beyond....
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