Help On Watching Football Streaming
Watching football streaming from the web is a great way of accessing football games from around the world that wmay otherwise be unavailable. All it requires is a little knowledge, some tools in your armory and a little setting up to get smooth streaming of the game. We have more instructions and answers to your questions below which should get you up and running pretty quickly.
How is watching LIVE football streaming possible?
Streaming has exploded in recent years. People want to access sport in an easy and convenient way on a number of devices and screens. There are also still more then a few countries around the world where Pay Per View (PPV) has not yet been established, and football is televised for free. As the popularity of watching football from the major leagues such as the Premier League, Bundasliga, Laliga and Serie A catch on around the world and in growing regions such as Asia, the demand for online streaming of live football matches grows.
Add to the fact that internet and web streaming technology, is improving and the growth of social network groups dedicated to the beautiful game. Many fans no longer live in hope that their Countries football TV rights holders are showing their team or desired match.
Although many TV networks and stations such as Sky, BT Sports, Virgin, the BBC, ESPN and others do offer streaming of select games either as pay-per-view or as part of a subscription package , you can also utilise the power of the internet, hardware and websites that provide sporting links and streams.
The Web has become the perfect open platform to deliver high quality live football streaming to the football community. High-speed broadband services, affordable rates and a high percentage of Internet penetration offer optimal circumstances for a high quality interactive experience. To enhance the live football experience, football streaming is often supplemented with game and player stats, text and live audio commentary in multiple languages, chat forums, replays and much more, thus making streaming a rich immersive experience.
Even foreign language streams can be enjoyable as long as the streaming quality is good. Certainly a good commentator enhances the game, but if you find yourself watching a Champions League match in Czech or a La Liga game in Persian your entertainment value may still be high. Football fans are tolerant and viewing football in a foreign language is better than not viewing football at all.
Recently all of the big sports broadcasters and TV networks like ESPN, BBC, Univision, CBC, FOX, Sky Sports and ITV have invested in streaming sports online and offer a number of avenues to legally watch live football streams. They offer top quality streaming, availability and reliability compared to the illegal (in some countries) free peer-to-peer (p2p) football streaming links that many sites offer. But the good news is that now football fans can watch pretty much any live football match using the web.
Be aware though, that many of these streams require a P2P streaming software application showing sports events streamed from servers around the world. Some of these methods are illegal in most Countries, and frowned upon by broadcasters that have local rights to sporting events and charge people to watch, and the legality may be questionable in your Country. We are not linking to any illegal stream websites, but are giving the information to watch legally. We advise you do your own research and make your mind up accordingly.
When you click a stream link, the OS (operating system), Microsoft Windows, Linux, Anroid, iOS etc. or the software program should automatically play it using the right player.
Sky and BT Sports Options
During the coming 2014/15 season there will be 154 live Premier League games shown live on UK TV. Sky has themost with 116, and BT has 38. You can see which matches each channel has check the Sky Sports and BT Sport live matches lists, though only fixtures up to November have been picked for TV so far.
Sky Sports costs around £25 per month as an add-on to your cable or satellite package and BT Sports are free for BT broadband users.
If you just want to watch the odd match then using Sky's Sports day pass may be the best option. Using the NOW TV service viewers can get a £7 day pass or £11 week pass for Sky Sports channels.
Website sports streaming options
You can always find plenty of sporting event streams from websites that you load into a browser including video sharing sites, live TV and catchup TV networks as well as the broadcast yourself type of websites.
Broadcast websites such as justin.tv, ustream , Livestream and Veetl. all work on the principal that someone somewhere is filming a sports event which they then rebroadcast. You can search for pretty much anything and find a stream although these streams can sometimes be low in quality and unreliable.
Live TV and Catch-Up Websites
Websites that show live and recorded matches include ITV Player, the BBC's iPlayer and the live UK streaming site, TVCatchup provide high quality streams to UK freeview channels but only to users based in the UK.
Dedicated Football streaming Websites
Then we come to websites that specialize in providing sports and football streams such as those on live football page. These websites are online versions of established sports channels such as ESPN & Sky Sports who offer links to many games. You just need to be a paid subscriber or pay per event.
All media players Buffer segments of a video stream prior to actually showing them. They will only show a segment once they are done buffering it, and while doing so they will start buffering the next segment.
On many occasions the server that functions as the streams' source is overloaded with clients asking for segments, and will not be able to satisfy this demand at a high enough rate. The clients' media players will have to stop showing the streams in order to finish buffering the missing segments, resulting in a segmented video stream.
That’s where the P2P technology comes to the rescue. It enables users to share stream segments. By doing so is creates numerous sources that replace the overloaded servers, from which the media players can download those segments at a satisfactory rate. This process has great resemblance to P2P file sharing clients such as BITTORENT.
Since this technology relies on sharing, the more segments one uploads to other users, the more they are entitled to download segments from others. For this reason it may take a few minutes before the received stream would run continuously. One has to upload to other users at a rate high enough to be able to download segments in a sufficient rate. Therefore it is recommended to establish a connection as early as possible before the starting time of a desired event. The more users sharing segments there are, the better stream each one of them will get.
P2P TV Software
To watch a lot of the football streams will require you to install popular P2P TV software programs. Originating from the far East and China these software programs offer plenty of TV channels as well as live footy streams of course, and many websites link to these streams. Most programs available are in the Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean languages, although many western shows and movies are in English with subtitles..
The popular ones are listed below and need to be installed prior to watching the game. They are needed because many of the links you will find around the web will need to load up these players before you can watch.
P2P TV Software programs include:
Coolstreaming, PPLive, PPStream, TVAnts, Sopcast, UUSee, QQLive and Feidian. The latest versions of this software can be downloaded on the Internet.
Watching streams on Mobile phones and tablets
It is always a good option especially now there are numerous WiFi hotspots and the introduction of high speed 4G, to have the option of watching football streaming on one of the latest smartphones or tablets which have apps for most streaming channels and services.
Watching football on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones)If you have an Android or Apple iOS tablet or phone such as iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, Nexus etc. then you have options to watch football streams on your mobile. TV companies such as Sky, BBC and ESPN all have mobile apps of their TV streaming websites and there are many other sports apps and many streams can also work on the mobile browser. Apple products cannot play Flash files though. You can find all our mobile football apps at the bottom of our live sports page.
Watching footy streams using XBMC sports plugins
If you're unfamiliar with the XBMC media centre then check out the details about it here. As well as playing movies and organising your home media, XBMC can also run a number of plugins and add-ons some of which are dedicated to bringing streaming sports to your PC, phone, tablet or streaming set-top box.
The Sports Devil add-on is one of the most popular and will give constantly updated links to sporting events. The software can also run a number of live sports channels for free, so it's definately worth checking out our guides and trying it out.
Watching streams on a TV set
Most people prefer watching Movies, TV shows, sports etc on a television set rather than on the smaller PC screen. Almost all computers, PC's and Mac's are equipped with a TV-out HDMI feature that allows you to plug your PC to a TV or DVD player. Older hardware may just have TV-out sockets in the form of S-Video or RCA connections.
Most TV sets come equipped with HDMI, RCA and Scart input sockets. If the cable you got with your computer or graphic adaptor does not match the kind your TV has you can use an adaptor. You can find find these locally or on the high street for a low cost.
If you don't want all the hassle associated with cables, or if the TV set is too far from you computer (a cable longer than 10 meters may result in a reduced quality of the video signal) you might want to consider buying a wireless transmitter. Google "A/V sender" to find out more about these devices.
Streaming FAQ's and Troubleshooting
How good is the quality of the live streams?
The quality depends on the rate at which video streams are transmitted (which are always top notch from official broadcasts),and your broadband speed combined with what hardware setup you are using.
What Hardware/Software do I need to watch live streams?
1. A reasonably good computer PC or Mac, a set-top box like Apple or Roku, along with most smartphones and tablet devices.
2. A decent broadband internet connection.
3. Up to date versions of media players such as Windows Media Player, Silverlight, Flash Player or Real player. Some of the streams need the latest version of the media player used, so if you have any problems try updating to the latest versions. All media players needed are free of charge. Download the latest Media Players here.
The Streaming Technique - Buffering
The high load on servers as well as other internet related disturbances makes it hard to stream videos without any disruptions. To overcome these problems and offer a continuous broadcast, the different media players use a method called Buffering. The video streams are not shown live, and are delayed by a couple of seconds or even minutes while the stream loads into memory. This gives the media players time to buffer the bits of video that are about to be shown. This way when the broadcast is disrupted the player can go on playing for a few more seconds before it runs out of video segments to show. When streaming resumes the player will once again buffer the bits that are to come ahead.
The size of the buffer is important. If can’t be too small, otherwise frequent interruptions will cause many delays. On the other hand the player has also got to show the stream and not to be solely occupied buffering it. It is recommended that the size of the buffer is set to the maximum that your hardware/memory combo can handle.
Why are the streams disrupted?
There can be a number of reasons for getting disrupted streams:
1. Your network connection is not fast enough. We recommend using at least a 750kbps connection.
2. Other applications are consuming too much bandwidth. Most notably traditional P2P clients such as Emule, Kazza or Bittorent are very bandwidth demanding. Make sure those are not running when you try to watch video streams.
3. Your system is infected by a virus, spyware or malware. The later two are very common these days, and may significantly reduce your pc's performance. Keep your system clean by using anti virus and anti malware/spyware software regularly.
1. English Audio Commentary (Sports events only)
Watching foreign channels can sometimes be frustrating when you don’t understand the language. Some channels have English subtitles, which make things easier, but those are not available during sports events. But if you can find an audio commentary stream for the event you are watching, you can synchronize it to the video stream. What you have to do is pause the audio stream at the occurrence of a certain event (most convenient would be when a game starts), and start playing it again when you see it taking place on the video stream. All of that is being said assuming that the audio stream precedes the video stream, but that is usually the case as video streams demand longer buffering periods than audio streams.
Where do I find audio streams?
Sport events are usually broadcasted on national or local radio stations so try those.
Note that the BBC radio streams are intended for UK users only. You can get around that limitation by using proxies. Proxy servers allow users to connect to remote servers indirectly and fool the site that you are UK based enabling you to get the stream.
Improving Visual Quality
The picture quality of most video streams is far from what we get on TV. You can try shutting down all other running programs, free up as much memory as possible and you will see an improvment in the picture quality of Media Player streams.
Ready To Go
Now you have read our guide, you will now be ready to go. Now you can put your feet up and using this information should allow you to watch the streams. If you are having problems then check out our streaming troubleshooter guide.