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From Sports Glory To Hideous Hotels, These Apps Help You Watch The Olympics

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SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 05: A biathlon athlete practices ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on February 5, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

SOCHI, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 05: A biathlon athlete practices ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on February 5, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Comcast’s Xfinity service is offering an astounding 1,700 hours of Olympics coverage during the XXII Olympic Winter Games over the next two weeks.

There are other apps and places to get Olympic coverage as well. But let’s start with Comcast: The NBC Sports Live Extra app gives Comcast subscribers access to 1,700 hours of streamed content (that’s up from 940 hours in Vancouver 2010). And the Xfinity TV Go app makes that content — as well as other content, from sources as varied as ESPN, Big Ten Network, the Golf Channel, Fox News, MSNBC, FX, SyFy, CNN, Headline News, BBC World News and more — live on your Android or iOS tablet.

“Every minute, every medal, every screen” is the motto of Comcast’s Olympics streaming. The content will include more than 500 hours of broadcast TV, up from 420 hours in Vancouver, more than 1,000 live streaming hours, up from 430 in Vancouver, and 200 video on demand hours, up from 90.

A particular fave: Gold Zone, which will be a constantly shifting look-in channel focusing on the highlights happening right now.

Other cable and dish companies have also partnered with NBCUniversal, which paid a whopping $4.38 billion for U.S. Olympics broadcasting rights through 2020. They include Time Warner, Direct TV, Dish, Verizon FIOS, Cox, Charter, AT&T U-verse, Optimum, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Cable One, Wow, Brighthouse, and RCN, among many others. They’re also offering special Olympic viewing to their customers.

The Live Extra app 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.

Another option for watching on the go is to stream the games directly from a Slingbox-connected TV. It’s not cheap, though — SlingBoxes range from $180 to $300, and the company charges $14.99 for the smartphone app and another $14.99 for the tablet app.

Also, ESPN’s iOS app was just updated with a new Winter Olympics tab, which promises to keep you in the loop on event news, scores and medals awarded. ESPN’s updated app also adds enhanced Twitter integration and iOS 7 improvements. As of this writing, however, you have to use the search function for Olympics info on the the SportsCenter Android app.

The Sochi 2014 Guide app for both iPhone and iPad is the official guide app for the Sochi Olympics. Aside from giving an overview of upcoming events, you can integrate it with your calendar if you’d like so you always know exactly what’s coming up and when. There’s also a section for news and highlights. And if you just want results, there’s an official app for that. And if you want official information about Team USA, here’s that app.

The U.S. Figure Skating Association offers an app that will help you follow the folks on blades at Sochi.

BBC Sport will also include the British national network’s Olympic coverage, including the latest news and a schedule of events.

If you’re in Canada there’s also a CBC Olympics app. And a company called Lembark Solutions has also put out an app called Sochi Winter Games 2014 that offers schedules, results and highlights. In fact, a search of the Google Play store for “Sochi Olympics” turned up a couple of dozen likely-looking apps.

And then there’s all the problems for the world’s sporting press at Sochi. The hotels without lobbies, roofs, electricity, plumbing, water, elevatorsr…. Wow. Anyway, the Twitter handle @SochiProblems has garnered 90,000-plus followers in less than 48 hours!

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