It's going to be a cold, wintry Super Bowl for a change when the Seattle Seahawks meet the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium today. Luckily, you don't have to be in the stands and pay exorbitant ticket prices to experience this championship football game.
In fact, though our TechRadar Tip Off recommended plenty of TVs that are as large as two football yards and sound bars that can reach the 12th man decibel level, you don't even need to be near a television at all this year.
The NFL and Fox Sports have teamed up to expand streaming the 2014 Super Bowl through the web and select mobile devices starting on February 2 at 6:30 PM EST. That's the official kick-off time at Meadowlands Sports Complex, snow or shine.
Live streaming the Super Bowl means the broadcast follows you around like Richard Sherman's too-proud-for-TV comments now follow the self-described "best corner in the game" around no matter where he goes. It's unavoidable.
Of course, figuring out the best way to stream the Super Bowl, downloading the top apps and buying into the right gadgets that go with this annual viewing experience still takes a bit of work.
- The countdown to Super Bowl 52 has begun. See how you can stream Super Bowl 2018 online for free.
How to stream Super Bowl 2014
Streaming the Super Bowl while physically at the stadium has been banned by the NFL, but the league is opening up the live feed to everyone else outside of the WiFi-constrained New Jersey premises. Well, almost everyone else.
Computer users can watch the rough and tumble game on either NFL.com or FoxSportsGo.com just fine. And they aren't limited to huddling around a 13-inch laptop screen for all four quarters. An HDMI out or Mini DisplayPort connection can mirror the game to a big screen TV, enabling even forward-thinking cord cutters to have a normal-sized Super Bowl party.
The mobile environment is a little more tricky due to the NFL's exclusive wheeling and dealing. Fox has the right to live stream the Super Bowl through its Fox Sports Go iPad app, but can't do the same on its matching iPhone app.
That reason behind this is Verizon has tied up the smartphone streaming license for NFL games including the Super Bowl. The carrier's NFL Mobile app is free to download on iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8. As you might expect, you have to be a Verizon subscriber and pay the premium $5 a month to access its live streaming video on February 2.
The NFL's Super Bowl website doesn't clearly spell out the intricate licensing deals, which is going to leave plenty of football fans scrambling in the pocket right before the big game.
Official Super Bowl apps
The NFL has once again rolled out a special app designed for Super Bowl ticket-holding fans, and this year's update may become essential for anyone visiting MetLife Stadium.
That's because the NFL On Location Super Bowl app incorporates push notifications in case there are any changes to the schedule - weather or otherwise. This iOS and Android app also acts as an all-important interactive map and lists all of the events that are taking place in and around the complex.
Fans who are not attending the New York and New Jersey-hosted festivities should opt for the league's equally-festive commemorative magazine: the Super Bowl XLVIII - NFL Official Program on iPad and Super Bowl XLVIII Game Program on Android devices. Web users can flip through the pages too.
For some reason, this 288-page interactive guide to the season, and the lead up to Sunday's game with the Lombardi trophy on the line, isn't available for the iPhone. That's a switch.
Behind-the-scenes video of the Super Bowl is being shared through the celebrity-populated Hang w/ app for iOS and Android devices.
Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has been shooting and narrating footage of the Payton Manning-led team making their way to MetLife Stadium, from the bus to their secret entrance through a white-tented tunnel.
The live video ended with a panoramic view of the locker room where Thomas and other players are getting ready for today's game and hoping to return to a champagne-filled locker room at the end of the fourth quarter.
Where to watch Super Bowl commercials
Believe it or not, some people don't actually watch the game and simply tune in for the pricey commercials. The Super Bowl is just the fluff between the ads that cost $4 million on average.
There's a different kind of video streaming app for all of these non-football fans and bandwagon jumpers who feign interest in the game. It's called Superbowl-Ads and it's the best unofficial way to rewatch ads and preview new commercials.
This particular app streams the best Super Bowl commercials from the past 15 years as well as some new ones, and it's available on both iOS and Android devices.
That trumps the slicker-looking, but astroturf deep Super Ads: Super Bowl Commercials app that's exclusive to the iTunes App Store and only spans 2006-2012.
Domino's Pizza app with free delivery
Pizza, wings, breadsticks and liters upon liters of soda are are okay on Super Bowl Sunday even if they've been stricken from your month-old New Year's resolution diet.
Regular football watchers know that delivery is the only option during the game and you'll see plenty of Papa John's ads during the commercial breaks as it's an official NFL sponsor.
Domino's, however, is offering free delivery through the ShopRunner subscription that's worth taking advantage of this Sunday and beyond.
ShopRunner is akin to Amazon Prime's free shipping perk, but the benefits extend to online sites for hundreds of big-box retailers. They've banded together to compete with Amazon.
There's a 30-day subscription that can be canceled at any time. Canceling right before the end of this 30 days usually extends the offer to three months and then a full year free of charge.
Saving $2.99 on every pizza delivered for an entire year isn't a bad deal for hungry football fans and it's also a win for Domino's, as it generates customer loyalty over Pizza Hut and Papa John's.
Alternatives to 'Abracadabralifornia'
Super Bowl 43 is set to feature joint halftime performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a music mash up that drags in (and possible desecrates) a Led Zeppelin song.
If this 15-minute spectacle is too much, there are a number of Super Bowl-related game apps to keep disinterested football diehards occupied, including a handful that are free to download.
In particular, the cleverly named "A 3D Super Runner Fantasy: American Football Heroes Bowl 2014" has vaulted its way to the No. 1 spot on the iOS App Store when searching for Super Bowl - all without violating the NFL's strict "Super Bowl" copyright.
The gameplay consists of dodging and stiff arming defenders while making your way down all 100 yards of a football field. Its simple controls and GameCenter leader boards make it a worthy pick-up-and-play alternative to the more detailed Madden NFL 25.
Super Bowl Quiz Challenge on Android is less graphically intense, but still equally engaging for sports know-it-alls. Its involves answering questions about Super Bowl history, teams and players and supports two-player multiplayer on one device.
With these Super Bowl live streaming methods and accompanying apps, you're game viewing experience is almost complete. The best game-day gadgets will put you through the uprights.
We've already looked at the best TVs, sound bars and home theater extras, but there are more high-tech toys that can fit in your living room before Super Bowl Sunday.
Most of these game-time-essential gadgets ensure that you won't need to get up off the couch and touch your brand new LED-lit television masterpiece.
Two-hand Logitech Harmony Touch
It's all about sitting back and taking in the game from kickoff to the final whistle with the Logitech Harmony Touch. This fancy remote is meant to replace every other remote control you own - even the ones located between the couch cushions that you haven't used in years.
It can control up to 15 devices without adding too many buttons, a problem that makes most "master remotes" far too complicated for the average TV watcher. Logitech Harmony Touch has a context-sensitive touchscreen interface and familiar TV station icons, so it's able to reduce the total number of physical buttons to under 30.
Better yet, this smartphone-esque remote has backlit buttons and features an easy online setup that's PC and Mac compatible. Even the NFL's most beat-up defensive lineman will be able to figure this one out.
Chromecast costs less than the cheap seats
Google's media streaming device is likely to cost less than the beer you buy for the Super Bowl. It's MSRP is $35, and Amazon has frequently been selling it for just $30, making Chromecast the cheapest way to access apps on the big screen including Netflix, HBO Go, YouTube and Hulu Plus. It also comes out ahead in the Apple TV vs Chromecast debate because it's compatible with both iOS and Android devices, making it more Super Bowl-party friendly than the Apple TV.
Its slowly growing list of apps is up to 14 plus it has Chrome browser extension capabilities. That's perfect for pre-game streaming fun and a way more entertaining alternative to having to endure the odd transition of watching Mean Girls following the Super Bowl.
Never miss a second with a Slingbox
On a day as crucial as Super Bowl Sunday, you don't want to miss a minute of the game or the commercials that happen to be interesting watch. But what if you have to step out of TV bounds to answer the door, go to the bathroom or tend to an emergency?
That's where the Slingbox and accompanying Slingplayer software save the day. The new Slingbox 350 and premium Slingbox 500 stream your cable and satellite A/V connections to the web and mobile devices with pass-through technology. That means the main TV viewing experience remains uninterrupted while you watch on an iOS, Android, Kindle or Windows Phone 8 device from your new location - even if that location is the bathroom.
The best beer cooler on wheels
This ice-filled bucket carriers up to 12 beers at once and its remote-controlled wheelbase makes sure that no one has to get up from the couch to access a stationary cooler. You don't have to miss the biggest play of the game now because the RC Cooler doesn't stay put, while everyone else's TV blocking body is banned from getting up off the couch for all four quarters.
Speakers that rep your team
We've already recommended plenty of home theater speakers in the Tip Off, but there's one outdoor speaker in particular that can dress in the right team colors: the tailgate-appropriate Acoustic Research Portable Bluetooth Wireless Outdoor Speaker.
Slap your favorite team logo on this 5W RMS speaker and you've got instant personalization that puts other tailgaters' speaker systems to shame. For the Denver Broncos there are 14 different form-fitted Skinit stickers that can be attached to the speakers and for the Seattle Seahawks there's an oh-so-appropriate 12.
This device is rounded out by 14 hours of battery life, a 32-foot wireless range and a hidden compartment that holds a phone or iPod and contains a 3.5mm connection in case Bluetooth doesn't work for some reason.
With the Super Bowl happening on Sunday, it's just fourth and inches until game time. However, these gadgets, apps and streaming solutions promise to enhance the Broncos-Seahawks matchup - as long as the power stays on this time.