NBC has totally stepped up their game for the Olympics, allowing you to watch the Olympics live online for every single event, even on your iPhone or Android phone. The NBC live Olympics webcast is "free" -- you don't have to pay to watch it on your computer or mobile device, but you do have to verify that you have a valid cable TV subscription.
On the other hand, NBC has totally dropped the ball for the Olympics Opening Ceremony, with no live stream available for Friday night's opening event. Sir Paul McCartney's Olympics Opening Ceremony is being embargoed by NBC until the tape-delayed television broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening. Since it is a tape-delayed broadcast, it will begin at 7:30 p.m. regardless of your U.S. time zone.
BBC watchers, none of this matters to you. The BBC is streaming everything for free -- Opening Ceremonies, Closing Ceremonies, and every single Olympic sporting event in between. The only catch is that you can only access the BBC's Olympics livestream from a U.K. IP address.
NBC's Olympics webcast is called Olympics Live Extra, and it makes available more than 3,500 hours of live Olympics competition over the next sixteen days. The catch is that you need to prove that you have a valid cable television subscription to access the live streams. It's not as easy as it sounds -- first you need to have your cable subscription account number. Who knows theirs offhand?
After digging up your cable subscription account number, you enter it and create yourself a username and password for the NBC Olympics Live Extra site. Then just log in with that information, and you're watching any live Olympics event of your choice.
Most Olympic events will also be available afterwards on demand at the NBC Olympics Live Extra site. Those events to be shown on tape-delay that night on NBC will not be available until after they've played on NBC.
Except for the big-ticket item -- the Olympics Opening Ceremony featuring Paul McCartney. Not only will NBC not present the Opening Ceremony live, it won't be available on demand afterwards. According to Mashable, "NBC will make clips and highlights of both (Opening and Closing) ceremonies available online after airing."
So you can only see clips of the Opening and Closing ceremonies online if you can't watch the TV broadcast. Then again, if you remember how cheesy these ceremonies have been in past Olympics, you're probably better off not watching the whole thing.