The World Cup is nearly here. A sudden rise in sickness is always a side-effect of a major competition, but thanks to net-savvy broadcasters you no longer need to leave the office to watch the games.
You can catch all the BBC-broadcast games via the BBC Sport World Cup website while matches will also be available for catchup viewing via BBC iPlayer for seven days after broadcast. Highlights of ITV-broadcast games will also be available from the BBC website later on.
ITV has announced a dual-screen interactive service called ITV Live so you can follow the games on ITV.com - not only offering live video streaming of ITV-broadcast games, but also chat sessions, video highlights (also multiple camera angles) plus polls and other elements.
We've got more iPhone and iPod touch apps for you below.
Of course, if you have a TV in the office, all the action is live on terrestrial TV - the World Cup is one of the "crown jewels" events such as Wimbledon and the Grand National that have to be kept available for all.
And with Freeview HD available in many areas, you won't necessarily need to go to the pub to get the HD experience. You can, of course, also catch BBC HD and ITV1 HD if you have Sky+HD or a Virgin Media HD box.
Should you miss a game during the World Cup and it's no longer available officially, footytube.com is a great place to catch all delayed football highlights.
Four iPhone apps to watch the World Cup:
ITV1 2010 Fifa World Cup
There's a free ITV iPhone and iPod touch app so you can watch the ITV games from your handset. Though there's no BBC app, though you can always use TV Catchup through Safari - there's no actual app for it.
EyeTV app for the iPhone lets you watch live TV on your iPhone or iPod touch, by streaming it from a Core 2 Duo-equipped Mac on your local network. Sadly, it can't stream directly from the Netstream DTT on your network, or even – if your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network anywhere in the world – across the internet.
It won't currently stream over 3G, but Elgato has a web app that enables your iPhone to stream your TV even over a 3G mobile connection.
Equinux's app does a similar thing to Elgato's. You need to have a Mac running Equinux's The Tube software with a supported TV tuner on your local network, then all you have to do is buy the £2.99 LiveTV app through the App Store, and configure it to stream your TV straight to your iPhone or iPod touch.
This solution, sadly, doesn't enable you to stream TV over the internet, so if you want to be able to watch the matches surreptitiously at your desk on your iPhone, this isn't the solution for you.
This app perhaps requires the biggest investment, but the Slingbox system is one that has proven itself over the last few years.
You'll need to buy a box that you connect to your network and TV system at home (the £114 Slingbox SOLO and £155 PRO are supported) and then the £18 app on your iPhone will be able to stream TV from home wherever you are, even over 3G.
One reason to go Sling is that it can integrate with Sky or other satellite or cable services' set-top boxes.
The latter part of this piece was first published in MacFormat Issue 221
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