How to watch the Winter Olympics online

How to stream to a TV

Appreciating the frozen landscape of Sochi, Russia by watching the Winter Olympics on a normal-sized TV without a cable box or a satellite dish requires some extra gadgets.

Comcast's ownership of NBC Universal means that the American cable company's Xfinity X1 DVR is getting special treatment. The NBC Live Extra app shows up right on the set-top box.

The BBC has a similar deal in the UK if you own a Virgin Media TiVo, Sony Freeview Smart TV or have a connected TV with the BBC Sport app. Its Connected Red Button service has all six live streams as well as on-demand video right on the big screen.

The easiest way to beam the Olympics' streaming picture from an Apple computer, smartphone or tablet to an Apple TV via AirPlay mirroring. This wireless connection beats having to run wires from a device to the television, and Google's Chromecast doesn't have similar mirroring just yet.

This is as long as NBC doesn't disable AirPlay mirroring like Fox Sports Go did for the English version of its Super Bowl live streaming app earlier this week. For some reason, the Spanish-language feed worked just fine.

Live stream the Winter Olympics on an HDTV

Apple TV or a regular old HDMI cord can do the trick

Alternatively, you can always run an HDMI or Mini DisplayPort cable from a computer or laptop to the TV for the hardwired method of porting the small-screen picture to an HDTV.

Finally, folks in Australia will be able to tune their Sony Bravia IPTV to the Ten Play app or download it on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 to conveniently stream "catch up" coverage of the Olympics to their HDTVs. Both Sony's line of televisions and Microsoft's consoles won't stream live game coverage, though.

How to watch the Opening Ceremony

Online streaming of the Winter Olympics starts off with a whimper rather a starting pistol bang in the US because NBC won't be streaming the elaborate Opening Ceremony. It would have to air the choreographed spectacle in the morning, and that's not good for ratings (and revenue).

The Opening Ceremony will be tape-delayed to 7:30 p.m. EST in the United States, but America's neighbor to the north, Canada, will be streaming it live as will the BBC.

The problem is that geo-tagged IP addresses are sure to turn away US viewers wanting to tap. Setting up a VPN ahead of time could give you a nine hour jump on the Opening Ceremony.

Seeing this four-hour live stream, including the seemingly endless parade of athletes, at 11:30 EST may come down to whether or not your IP address is turned away at the border.

The Winter Olympic Games end on February 23 with the less extravagant Closing Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium. It begins at 8:00 p.m. MSK in Sochi, Russia time - 11:00 a.m. EST in the US and 4:00 PM GMT - and caps off an Olympic-sized 1,000-plus of streaming hours of live content for the ages.