Technology has advanced so far that we can get all of the Olympic results in real time for competition taking place halfway around the globe. This is the modern-day Olympics, where our tablets, mobile phones, computers and TV sets will deliver the Summer Games from London.
I have to thank American TV's "Crazy TV Lenny" for my favorite Olympic memory. Len Mattioli, in one of his many pitches to make a purchase, offered a Beta videotape recorder with the purchase of a TV. Well, our beloved old tube sighed and went to sleep and my dad bit.
A brand new television set – you know the kind: it was really a piece of furniture. It was the summer of 1984 and I was sitting in the living room in front of that new screen, corded remote in hand, hitting the pause button for the commercial breaks. My mom was in charge of the remote, but grew tired as the closing ceremonies were commencing. And just before Lionel Richie partied with the crowd "All Night Long," she handed the pause duty over to me. The rest of the family was sleeping by the time I ended the recording and ejected the tape out of the machine.
Days later, Mom made dinner and we ate in the living room. We popped the tape in and enjoyed the show – really a production – all over again.
A few years later, I lost my mom to cancer. In those last few years, because of the chemo and radiation, she'd often get tired and fall asleep in front of that same TV and Beta recorder in the living room. Later, I had come across the many video tapes we made back then, and I came across the one from 1984, where my mom drew the Olympic rings on the label.
I cried. I smiled.
Maybe you have your own Olympic memories, like watching the Dream Team with Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and the rest flying up and down the court to the gold. Or when area greats like Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen skated to gold in the Winter Games. Or you watched on the edge of your seat when Michael Phelps cut through the water faster than anyone else.
If you don't have those memories, then take advantage of this opportunity. Get the family together and watch. Take your iPad to the beach, set up that DVR, paint American flags on your kids' cheeks – this is your time.
WHERE TO WATCH: WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 will carry the coverage from NBC. Programming will commence after the Today show during the day. There will also be coverage of the games during prime time and late night as well. Coverage in earnest started Wednesday and will run through Sunday, Aug. 12. The opening ceremony is on Friday.
On cable and satellite TV, other NBC channels will have coverage. Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and Telemundo will all have programming from London.
Online, NBCOlympics.com is your hub for online-only programming and a wonderful TV schedule to help you track your favorite sports and events.
Time Warner Cable has teamed up with NBCUniversal to help provide access to more than 5,500 hours of planned programming for the games.
"Time Warner Cable customers in Wisconsin will have access to a fantastic Olympic viewing experience via NBC's coverage," Tom Adams, regional vice president of operations for Time Warner Cable Wisconsin, said in a statement. "Being able to watch (live) NBCUniversal's Olympic programming on TV, online, On Demand and via other platforms is as close to physically being at each event in London as you can get."
On your mobile device, The NBC Olympics Live Extra app will show various footage and is available to verified Time Warner Cable customers.
On the air, Time Warner will be covering basketball and soccer on digital channels 1050 and 1051. Other highlights and full events will be available on a number of On Demand channels.
IN 3-D: Panasonic and NBCUniversal plan to have 242 hours of footage in 3-D for Time Warner customers on Ch. 1800. According to the cable provider, the 3-D broadcasts will be shown on next-day delay.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.