What a wonderful world we live in. Technology has improved to the point where you no longer have to be imprisoned by fat cat cable companies' intent on soaking customers for every last dime just to deliver only a couple worthy TV channels.
In the Trent house, we've been cable-free for a couple years and regularly try to convince others of the value. You can get most every movie and TV program through a combinations of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crackle, and others. We've yet to miss having cable and sure haven't missed the kneecapping prices that raise when the wind blows. But, the one piece that tends to keep us from making our case complete and is sports.
But, that is about to change. This year, the NFL will be streaming the entire Super Bowl for cord-cutters, and for those that can't get to a TV for some reason during the festivities. This is huge. And, if this works out well, expect to see more sports conglomerates follow suit. For those cord-cutters like me, to make this truly successful and show sports organizations that we want this, try to stream the event even if you have access to a TV.
The Super Bowl will be available for streaming through a web browser on their PC, and tablet, but also through the NBC Live Sports Extra app for Windows 8.1. Windows Phone users (and iOS and Android), unfortunately, won't be able to use an app because Verizon has bought exclusive rights to deliver it to subscribers. Here's what you need to stream it:
Streaming site: http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/
For Windows Tablets: NBC Live Sports Extra
Streaming will start at 12pm EST and end at 10pm EST and will provide the pre-game show, halftime show, and the main event. Streaming is currently only meant for US residents, but those in the UK probably already know that they can use a VPN to tunnel into US servers to appear as a US-based connection.
Incidentally, iOS and Android have their own apps. You can find them here:
Android: NBC Live Sports Extra in Google Play
The NFL has not made any mention of the technology it will use to provide the streaming services, but you have to assume, based on its deal with Microsoft for specially manufactured Surface tablets for use on the sidelines, that there's an Azure connection. NBC utilized Microsoft's Azure Media services for providing live Olympics coverage, so it wouldn't be surprising if the NFL is doing something similar. If this works for the NFL, you can bet MIcrosoft will tout Azure again - if that's, indeed, the backend technology in use.