Technology nowadays is amazing enough that you can harness wafting bars of cell phone reception even when you’re in the Dead Sea or don a pair of glasses only a nerd could love while you watch 3D television in your own living room. Naturally, when it comes to March Madness games, you don’t want to be stuck fiddling with the rabbit ears on a 1950s cathode ray TV that someone’s grandparents left out on the curb. No, what you want is to be able to take advantage of the wonderful technological developments at your fingertips and watch basketball in style. If you can’t get seats at a championship game, you can build a home media setup that’ll turn your living room into a courtside haven while you cheer for every shot. Read on for a list of technological goodies that offer quality opportunities for enjoying March Madness games at home.
Smart TVs earned their moniker from the extra intelligence that comes along with their integrated web browsing abilities and pre-installed apps that combine traditional cable viewing with Internet-based content. You essentially have a TV and computer in one sleek, glistening showpiece in your living room, and you can use the browsing capabilities to watch games that stream directly from the NCAA’s March Madness Live website. The Panasonic VIERA 65” smart plasma TV is perhaps the best on the market, earning one of the only five-star reviews ever from the technology gurus at CNET. For around $1,800, this TV has stunning picture quality, full 1080p high definition resolution, 3D conversion, and built-in Wi-Fi. It also responds to voice commands. You can wirelessly transfer apps from your phone to the TV with a simple swipe of your finger, so you can access live-streaming championship games directly from the NCAA app.
Now that you have some hardware that supports a spectacular sports experience, you need to ensure that you have full access to the games. The most surefire way to do this, whether it’s on your smart TV or phone, is to download the official NCAA March Madness Live application so you can access the action anytime. In order to use this app, download it to your handheld device or sign up to use it on the official NCAA website. The app itself is free, and a one-time fee of $3.99 will get you access to every single minute of each game. You can either sign into the site via your smart TV’s browser to view the games or stream them through your phone as it’s communicating with the TV.
Maybe you already have a fabulous new TV that isn’t equipped with smart TV features. Like anything that has potential to get smarter, your hardware just needs a little tutoring. If you’re a fan of Apple products and already own an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, Apple TV will come to your aid when it’s time to watch games. This little black box syncs with your handheld Apple devices and laptop, allowing you to see whatever’s on those screens on your television. The NCAA Sports app in your palm will come to life on the big screen, and the Apple TV box also comes pre-programmed with the ESPN app, from which you can get score updates. For $99, you won’t miss a game. If you’re not a fan of Apple, try Google’s Chromecast dongle (around $35) that plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and is controlled with your Android phone.
If you like the zen look in your living room and would prefer not to have a big TV dominating the space, consider getting a projector. Not only will this save your decorating scheme, it’ll let you see the games on an even bigger scale as well. If you’re looking for something quick to set up, check out the PhoneSuit Lightplay projector. This palm-sized contraption looks unassuming, but it comes programmed with an Android operating system that links up with your Android phone, so you can stream games directly to it (and directly onto your wall or screen). It’ll project a picture in any size up to 80”, and at a little less than $400, it won’t break the bank like those home theater projectors that require wallet-draining commitment.
The biggest college basketball event of the year is about to come to life in your living room. You’ll hear every double-dribble, whistle blow, and shoe squeak without ever missing a moment of play. Start planning and equipping your setup now so you can focus on other important March Madness traditions, like planning your brackets and cashing in on all those sick days you’ve been saving up at work.
Image Credit(s): Image(s) by BagoGames & toddwickersty. Presented from Flickr.com under the Creative Commons License. For licensing info visit CreativeCommons.org. In no way should the information presented herein be considered endorsed by the artist(s), Flickr, or CreativeCommons.org.
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