More 2012 Olympics tech issues: NBC Olympics website streaming on Linux

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Last updated on December 10th, 2021

This post is from 2012, and there’s been a lot of changes to Flash since then. I’ve written an updated post on viewing the Olympics online, including how to stream NBC’s coverage on Linux, here.

Google Play page for NBC's Olympics app
A screenshot of the Google Play page for NBC’s Olympics app.

Previously, I discussed issues with streaming the Olympics via NBC’s smartphone app, namely that Android users couldn’t install it period. Fortunately, an update at the last minute’s apparently resolved this for many/most Android users (or at least on my HTC One V). Since then, the app’s worked fairly well, though the streaming’s occasionally stuttered.

As for NBC’s website, getting streaming to run there wasn’t particularly easy, as I kept being sent on an endless loop to the log-in screen. After much searching, I stumbled across the solution (both on this blog and on Adobe’s official site): Flash on Linux installations doesn’t automatically install with Flash a “Hardware Abstraction Layer” module for “protected content” (basically, DRM… meh).

To fix the above situation on Linux, first open a terminal, then type:

sudo apt-get install hal

After entering your password and the HAL module installs, next enter the following code to clear the Adobe Access directories:

cd ~/.adobe/Flash_Player
rm -rf NativeCache AssetCache APSPrivateData2

Presumably, one will want to restart one’s browser. Access to NBC’s Olympics website streaming should work normally.

Doing this fixed things for me, and I can now watch such esoteric sports as handball or table tennis (still wonder why the latter’s an Olympic sport). So far, streaming seems to go as well as anything else does with Flash, though I’ve seen some stuttering, which might be due to Flash or my less-than-speedy 3Mbps DSL connection.

I’ve now done everything I’m “supposed” to to get Olympic streaming access fully up and running on my phone and computer. That said, I can’t blame anyone for seeking “alternate” solutions (VPNs and/or proxies to watch CTV/BBC coverage, etc.) compared to the “official” solution…

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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