Stream the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Don't miss any of the action when the XXII Winter Olympics get underway in Sochi, Russia, this week. Here's how you can watch and follow the games on any device.

Olympic Rings
Wikimedia Commons

Coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games is scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC with preliminary rounds of snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and figure skating. A day later, NBCUniversal, which paid a whopping $4.38 billion for U.S. broadcasting rights through 2020, will air the opening ceremony at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Daytime coverage will begin on Saturday, February 8 on NBC Sports Network, with additional coverage spread across the company's other properties: NBC, USA Network, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Sochi is nine hours ahead of the eastern time zone, which means that NBC will tape delay almost all of the events. As it has in years past, however, the company will also be live streaming its coverage online and from its mobile apps.

Here's how you can tune in from any device:

On the web

NBC has said that it will be live streaming "every phase of competition from all 15 sports," unfortunately it doesn't appear to be that simple. It's true that you can find all the action on the NBC's Olympics Web site, but there's a catch.

You must be an existing cable subscriber to take advantage of the live streams, meaning cord cutters could be out of luck, although it appears NBC got most (if not all) cable and satellite providers on board.

While a physical antenna or services like Aereo could also be used to access NBC, a majority of content will be broadcast on cable channels, such as NBC Sports Network, that aren't available for free over-the-air.

Disclosure: CBS, the parent corporation of CNET, is currently in active litigation with Aereo as to the legality of its service.

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

Service providers that have partnered with NBC include Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Direct TV, Dish, Verizon FIOS, COX, Charter, AT&T U-verse, Optimum, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Cable One, WoW!, Brighthouse, and RCN, among many others.

To get started simply visit the NBC Olympics Web site and verify that you are an existing subscriber by entering your username and password.

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

On your mobile device

Events will also be streamed live on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, which is available for free for the iPhone and iPad in Apple's App Store, for Android devices running version 2.3 or higher in the Google Play store, and in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The same restrictions are in place for the mobile app, however, granting access to only those who subscribe to participating cable and satellite providers.

To begin watching the games on the mobile app, enter the settings, select the "Tap to sign in" option under Television Provider, choose your provider, and sign in with your username and password.

Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350
The Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 can be used to stream content from your TV to a smartphone or tablet. Sarah Tew/CNET

Another option for watching on the go, albeit not a cheap one, is to stream the games directly from a Slingbox-connected TV. The entry-level SlingBox 350 can be had for $180, while the more expensive Slingbox 500 costs $299. The company also charges $14.99 for the smartphone app and another $14.99 for the tablet app.

Social media

While it may not be a live stream of the event, social media can be both a blessing and a curse during the Olympics. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are a great way to stay informed about the latest medal winners, even though they can sometimes spoil the joys of watching a tape-delayed event on TV later.

NBC has Olympics accounts on all major social media platforms -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and YouTube -- and has promised to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Olympics Games.

Last updated Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8:27 a.m. PT: Information regarding the availability of the NBC Sports Live Extra app for Windows Phone users has been added.

 

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