The World Cup 2010 kicks off this Friday, and if you don’t want to be stuck to your television for the duration, there are plenty of other ways to keep up with the action.
There will be 64 World Cup matches played over the next month and although you could watch the traditional way, why not be a little more adventurous?
You can watch live games or catch up online on your laptop or PC. You can listen to matches live on the radio, or if you’re out and about, keep up to date with your smartphone or MP3 player.
If you’re sticking to TV for viewing the World Cup find the ultimate model in the Which? TV review.
1 Watch World Cup matches online
You can watch games online by streaming them live to your PC or laptop. You can also view repeats of the matches on online catch up services.
All BBC and ITV matches will be available to watch live online. The BBC will have full replays of BBC games available on iPlayer for up to seven days after they are broadcast. ITV will also show full replays of all World Cup games in ITV player for viewers to catch up on.
Keep an eye on your broadband limits though – streaming TV can really eat into your monthly allowance unless you’ve got a very high cap or an unlimited broadband deal.
See how laptops from Acer, Dell and Toshiba compare in the Which? laptops review.
2 View the World Cup on your smartphone
There’s a wide range of applications available that will let you keep up with the World Cup on your mobile when out and about:
- ITV1 has announced a free app for the iPhone, launching on the 11th June, which allows viewers to stream all ITV’s content from ITV1 and ITV2. ITV claims to be the only UK broadcaster to screen the World Cup on mobile and all games to be broadcast on ITV1 will be available to view.
- The Official England World Cup app from the FA is also available for iPhone and iPad users but will set you back £2.99.
- BBC iPlayer is available on mobile phones depending on your handset and network. Programmes can be played through a wi-fi connection, or over a 3G network for 3 or Vodafone pay monthly customers. For a full list of the handsets that allow you to stream live TV see the BBC iPlayer website.
As with online viewing be careful not to exceed your smartphone internet caps or fair usage limits, which are often much tighter than for home broadband.
Check out the Which? mobile phone reviews.
3 Listen to the World Cup with digital radio and podcasts
This one’s listening to rather than watching the highlights. But if you can’t make it to a TV or computer screen and don’t have a smartphone, BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra will be covering every 2010 FIFA World Cup game with over 250 hours of programming, according to the BBC.
Sports radio station Talksport will also be covering all the games.
You can get the latest football World Cup news on your MP3 player with football podcasts available from many different sources. Talksport, Sky and the Guardian are just a few of the media outlets that will have daily World Cup podcasts during the tournament.
For help choosing the right radio for you see our video buyers guide to the best digital radios.
4 Experience the World Cup in HD
If you’re planning to be glued to your TV screen for every game, you might want to enhance the experience by watching in high definition (HD). To watch HD programmes you’ll need to have a HD service as well as a HD-ready TV. For free advice on HD services have a look at the Which? guide to HD TV explained.
The BBC says it will have extensive coverage of the World Cup on its BBC HD channel. All of ITV1’s live games will be available in HD on the ITV1 HD channel. You can get the BBC or ITV HD channels without signing up to a monthly subscription service if you buy a Freesat HD or Freeview HD set-top box.
5 The next best thing to being there? The 2010 World Cup in 3D
In April FIFA and Sony announced that 25 World Cup games will be filmed in 3D and shown in 50 cinemas and five other ‘public venues’ across the UK.
None of England’s group stage games will be filmed in 3D, although an England game in the later stages of the World Cup could be filmed in 3D if the team progress to the quarter finals or beyond.
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