The sheer number of ways of accessing coverage of the London 2012 is pretty mind-blowing, at least compared to previous Olympics that tended to be restricted to a terrestrial tv station or two and BBC radio.
Auntie Beeb has gone absolutely bananas this time round. Yes it will be on the main channels wall-to-wall and Radio Five Live ‘is your Olympic station’ but there is so much else besides.
Starting with radio. As well as the Five Live Extra, the Beeb has created an additional Olympic station on DAB for the duration of the event.
(For some bizarre reason, out bedroom radio tuned itself to this station all by itself so we’ve woken to re-runs of Colin Murray’s Gold Run for the past few mornings and very entertaining it has been too.)
Then there are umpteen extra tv channels ‘available on the red button’ so last night you could take your pick of any of the women’s football matches.
It was then that the synch bit of this post’s title first raised its head. I’ve mentioned before the way that digital broadcasts seldom synchronise with each other and sometimes not even themselves.
Watching the GB versus New Zealand game is a case in point because the audio commentary was fractionally ahead of the image.
For example, when Anita Asante’s header on goal hit the post, the commentator announced that it had before it actually touched the woodwork.
I then wandered outside into the garden during the second half and took my iPad with me to keep up with the action and found that the online coverage was at least a full minute behind the tv.
But these are minor niggles and the Olympics has been a great excuse to buy some new digital kit, namely a new DAB radio for the kitchen.
The old one was a Christmas present from the family in 2003 (and I was moaning about the synch issue even then.)
While it still sounds as good as ever, it’s had its problems of late. To start with, the display doesn’t work any more so it’s a bit of a hit and miss affair when changing stations.
That wouldn’t be so bad as I’m a creature of habit as far as my listening tastes are concerned and the stations I prefer are locked into the presets, but the on/off button is definitely a problem.
It has become annoyingly temperamental. It usually takes several attempts to get the thing to switch on, but worse still, it then doesn’t like to be switched off. You think it has gone off, then switches itself back on again some seconds later, usually just as you’re leaving the room so you have to turn back again.
It wasn’t madly expensive as DAB radios go, but the sound is excellent and it has some useful gadgets, like being able to record a programme or pause it when the phone rings.
But the best one is the rewind which I was able to make use of straight away last night to go back on the sports news because I couldn’t believe that someone had managed to mix up the flags of North and South Korea.
Of all the countries in all the world. Now that’s what you call being out of synch.