The 12 ways you’re able to consume the 2012 Olympics (aside from, of course, your friendly newspaper)

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From a consumer’s point of view, this XXX Olympiad from London is a media game-changer.

So the question is: Do you respond well to change?

It’s basically just a matter of how crazy you want to make it for yourself for the next 17 days.

TV, computers, mobile phones and tablets all have their pros and cons, depending on your need for immediacy, consistency and adaptability.

The whole NBCUniversal family touts having more than 5,500 hours of coverage between the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a mind-numbing number that should leave some viewer collateral damage.

As NBC starts its seventh consecutive Summer Olympics coverage, we’ve targeted these as the top 12 ways – aside from your friendly newspaper and its website — to keep track of what’s going on the other side of the pond, noting that it’s quite easy to multitask with some of these:

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NBCOlympics.com:

For the first time, every sport and every event will be live, on the Internet, in high def (linked here). This accounts for 3,500 hours, including every medal ceremony. It doesn’t include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, though. All the feeds come from the NBC cable channels as well as the international host feed. A couple of key caveats: Proof of a home dish or cable TV service provider is needed, so for those who cut the cord and watch most of shows via Netflix or Hulu.com, this won’t work. There’s also no option of paying a flat fee and watching things as you could on an MLB.com service. And it’s only available to those in the U.S.

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KNBC-Channel 4:

With an eight-hour time difference between here and England, our NBC affiliate has no choice but to offer prime-time tape-delayed pre- packaged coverage in the coveted 8-to-11:30 p.m. window, with Bob Costas as the tour guide, all things we’ve come to expect by now. A DVR will facilitate fast forwarding through NBC’s litany of fall-lineup promos. Channel 4 will have some live events presumably in the weekday (starting at 10 a.m.) and weekend (starting at 5 a.m.) windows, but don’t count much on it. This channel alone is supposed to have some 272.5 hours.

NBC Sports Network:

The “home channel” to nearly 300 hours of U.S. team specific sports coverage, once relegated to the USA Network. An MLS game may pop in there as well, but it doesn’t count.

“Specialty” channels:

On Bravo, it’s like Wimbledon all over again, with your old pal Pat O’Brien present for 56 hours of tennis action often starting at 4 a.m. daily. On CNBC, there’s all boxing, with 73 hours devoted and KNBC’s Fred Roggin hosting it with Laila Ali, analyzing the new women’s division. Two other channels will be focused specifically on basketball and soccer (check local listings). Then, MSNBC has the so-called “long-form programming” lands – some 150 hours of it, from badminton to wrestling. Kelly Tilghman, you’re in charge.

Telemundo:

More than 173 hours of content, en Espanol, with Andres Cantor’s goal to bring more soccer to up front, as well as focus on Hispanic U.S. athletes.

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Twitter:

There were less than one million users of this start-up thing for Beijing in 2008. On today’s cyberstage of 500 million users, traffic generated to @Olympics (the official place for the IOC, with 1.08 million followers), @London2012 (876,000 followers) or @NBCOlympics (200,000 followers) could go bonkers. NBC announced a partnership where an “event” page – www.twitter.com/#olympics - will funnel content from key Olympic accounts into one clearing house. Still, news from @USOlympic, @TeamUSAOlympic, @PressAssoc2012, @DTNOlympics2012 are worth monitoring, as well as from individuals such as @SebCoe, @FranklinMissy, @MichaelPhelps, @ryanlochte, @usainbolt and @ImKobeBryant24.

Facebook:

Another partnership here with NBC has led to the creation of www.facebook.com/nbcolympics where “exclusive content” includes access to a “Talk Meter” tool that monitors stories, results, athletes and what other fans are yammering about. Facebook had about 100 million users during the 2008 Games; today, about 900 million.

Mobile apps:

The official app (and free one) for smart phones and iPads is at london2012.com/mobileapps. NBC also has two free apps that stream either live video or just the highlights — again, as long as you can punch in your local cable or dish affiliate. Apple’s app store and the Google Play app store also U.S.-centric pushbuttons.

YouTube:

NBC has its own channel at www.youtube.com/2012nbcolympics. Probably no video of some cat swatting at a toy mouse.

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Radio:

Sirius XM Radio will dedicate a channel to the Games starting Friday, with highlights, commentary and live play-by-play. Dial Global, providing live radio for the Games, may also be heard on KLAC-AM (570).

Email:

News, photo and video alerts from NBCOlympics.com can be tailored to whatever sport desired, medal winners, local-slanted news or anything happening from a list of 17 individual athletes (Allyson Felix, yes; Kobe Bryant, no).

3D:

Those who have the technology and subscribe to DirecTV, Time Warner, Verizon or AT&T have access to about 242 hours. One hitch – it’s on a next-day delayed basis.

By then, your eyes may have already glazed over, with or without the special glasses, and you won’t even notice it’s still not live.

Now, if only we still had the Triplecast (linked here)….

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