Vincent Cheung

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

How to record the Olympic games from CBC

This tutorial will show you how to record the Olympic games from an internet streaming source using VLC. Since I am in Canada, I'm recording from CBC Olympics, which streams the videos in Windows Media format, but this procedure should work for other non-flash, non-silverlight, streaming videos as well (i.e. not YouTube or NBC Olympics).

1. Load the video that you want, eg. from CBC Olympics

2. Right-click the video

3. Select "Properties" from the right-click menu

4. Copy the URL of the streaming video

Edit (Aug. 14): The CBC is smarter than I give them credit. You can't just get the URL as described above. What you have to do is look at the URL of the page, something like:

Then, load that in your web browser (Internet Explorer doesn't load this page for me, but Firefox does), and there is a single line, something like:
var streamPath = "";

The URL in between the quotation marks is the actual URL to the streaming video.

5. Open VLC and open a network stream

6. Select HTTP source

7. Paste in the URL

8. Select "Stream/Save" in the "Advanced Options"

9. Click "Settings..."

10. Select "Play locally" and "File"

11. Specify the save file, eg. "Women's Volleyball - USA vs Japan.wmv"

12. Select "ASF" under "Encapsulation Method" (because the video is in Windows Media format)

13. Click "OK" twice to close the windows for steps 6-9 and 10-12, then watch as it also records (you can also close the browser window from step 1)

14. When you want to stop recording, click stop or close VLC, then rename the save file to .wmv (VLC adds an extra '}' to the end of the filename by accident)


John said...

i hate the wmv format. argh. the vid stream doesn't load thru flip4mac so i have to hack it.

but anyway, the quality of the cbc video streams could be better

Justin said...

I've been using this for audio streams:

Anonymous said...

wonderful, thanks!

typoprone said...

Awesome! I've been trying to record the live streams using various software, but to no avail. Thanks for the step-by-step how-to!

Definitely adding your blog to my list of stalking destinations. :D

typoprone said...

Meh... how come the location of the video is no longer listed when you right-click and select properties? :\

Anonymous said...

T_T yes, i know :-( I was so happy to record men's gymnastics, but now I can't anymore. this is sad!

typoprone said...

I was all set to record the all-around men's finals, too! Ah well. Guess we'll just have to download the torrents (and/or watch on TV) :P

Anonymous said...

alright, good news. the bad news is that i had to miss the first hour of the all-round, while searching for a solution. the good news is that i found something that works for me :-)

this page:
has a whole bunch of solutions (most not free) to detect the URL of streaming media embedded in a web browser.

one of the free tools is this one:
which works for me

for anyone reading this, the correct URL that you want is one of the two really long ones. it might look a little like the following (which is the URL that i'm watching right now in VLC :-) ) :

hope this helps people! :-) it's definitely a little bit of a hassle, but definitely doable! i get to once again record the hunky and dedicated and incredibly focussed athletes do their thing! (ha, too bad i missed the first hour, though!)

anyone else find the guy helpign doign the commentary for the men's all-round gymnastics /really helpful/? it's great to have a current canadian olympic athlete along with the commentary! (plus he definitely sounds like a nice guy -- a nice personality to hear while watching the games, definitely adds something nice!)

Anonymous said...

hmmm... blogger seems to be cutting off my URLs

[ --- O_O OMG!!!! did anyone just see what happened to one of the Japanese gymnasts on the rings?! his hand totally slipped and he crashed right down into the mats !!! --- ]

geez... never know what kind of unexpected things will happen at these games.. .

as i was saying, though, let me paste these URLs in a different way, because the blogger comments seem to be truncating the long URLs.

hopefully that works better.

Vince said...

This still works for me, I'm not sure why you guys aren't getting the properties to show up anymore.

typoprone said...

Thanks for posting a work-around, slipheed. Too late for the men's all-around, but oh well. :'(

(Poor Hiroyuki Tomita!)

Vince said...

Ok, I see what they did. If you look at the URL of the page containing the video (eg., it's really long, and at the end of it, there's a URL to a javascript file, something like:

If you open that URL in your browser (Internet Explorer doesn't seem to do it properly), then there's a single line with the URL to the actual video stream that you can then open in VLC.

Anonymous said...

the URL may be changing. Look for this format


Happy viewing!!!

Anonymous said...

Be sure to use the URL with the mms:// protocol.
If you use http:// or rtsp://, you may find the recording stops after 2 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Wanted to watch the CBC Stanley Cup broadcasts in WMP instead of IE. Couldn't figure out how to get the URL. The trick was pasting in it into Firefox.

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