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The Ultimate Gear for Watching the Olympics

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be the hardest Olympics not to watch. This has nothing to do with the quality of the competition or your overall interest in the hammer throw, which hopefully is extremely high. No, this summer’s Games will be hard to avoid because they’ll be available on practically every device you own. Here’s all the best gear for tuning in.

01

Streaming Essentials

Free and paid options abound for watching the Olympics on your phone, tablet, set-top box, and game console. NBCOlympics.com puts it all in your browser. The NBC Sports app works on iOS, Android, Windows Phones, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox. If you want to get spendy, SlingTV ($25/month) and PlayStation Vue ($30/month) provide cable-like coverage.

Free and paid options abound for watching the Olympics on your phone, tablet, set-top box, and game console. NBCOlympics.com puts it all in your browser. The NBC Sports app works on iOS, Android, Windows Phones, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox. If you want to get spendy, SlingTV ($25/month) and PlayStation Vue ($30/month) provide cable-like coverage.

02

Watch it in 4K HDR

You can watch the Olympics in the best televised experience available today: 4K high-dynamic range (HDR) video. Unfortunately, it’s a chore to figure out if your TV and plan are compatible. Comcast will stream 4K HDR footage via its Xfinity app for Samsung’s latest SUHD TVs. Dish delivers it on channel 146, DirectTV uses channel 106, and you’ll need extra hardware for both of those options. And while they’ll all look stunning, none of them will be live broadcasts.

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You can watch the Olympics in the best televised experience available today: 4K high-dynamic range (HDR) video. Unfortunately, it’s a chore to figure out if your TV and plan are compatible. Comcast will stream 4K HDR footage via its Xfinity app for Samsung’s latest SUHD TVs. Dish delivers it on channel 146, DirectTV uses channel 106, and you’ll need extra hardware for both of those options. And while they’ll all look stunning, none of them will be live broadcasts.

03

A Dolby Atmos Soundbar

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04

Samsung Gear VR

If you’ve got the NBC Sports app, a Samsung Galaxy phone, and a Samsung Gear VR headset, you can also watch some events in VR. These won’t be live broadcasts, but the NBC Sports app should recognize if it’s installed on a compatible phone. If so, it’ll give viewers the option to witness some events in 360-degree video.

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If you’ve got the NBC Sports app, a Samsung Galaxy phone, and a Samsung Gear VR headset, you can also watch some events in VR. These won’t be live broadcasts, but the NBC Sports app should recognize if it’s installed on a compatible phone. If so, it’ll give viewers the option to witness some events in 360-degree video.

05

An HD antenna

If you’re OK with watching the games in HD, an antenna can pull in a top-notch signal without having to use a cable box. Plug in your antenna, run a channel scan, and then tune into NBC or Telemundo. Buying the right antenna can be tricky. It’s hard to recommend one for everybody, because your home’s surroundings and distance from a broadcast tower are important factors. Your TV has to have a built-in tuner, too, and you may need to invest in an amplified or directional antenna if you’re dozens of miles from a tower.

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If you’re OK with watching the games in HD, an antenna can pull in a top-notch signal without having to use a cable box. Plug in your antenna, run a channel scan, and then tune into NBC or Telemundo. Buying the right antenna can be tricky. It’s hard to recommend one for everybody, because your home’s surroundings and distance from a broadcast tower are important factors. Your TV has to have a built-in tuner, too, and you may need to invest in an amplified or directional antenna if you’re dozens of miles from a tower.

06

Keep Your Data Plan in Check

When it comes to streaming the Olympics on your phone or tablet, your viewing appetite may be larger than your data plan. You could always use Wi-Fi, but T-Mobile’s “Binge On” plan lets you stream without using any of your monthly data. NBC Sports, Playstation Vue, and Sling TV are all covered under the Binge On plan.

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When it comes to streaming the Olympics on your phone or tablet, your viewing appetite may be larger than your data plan. You could always use Wi-Fi, but T-Mobile’s “Binge On” plan lets you stream without using any of your monthly data. NBC Sports, Playstation Vue, and Sling TV are all covered under the Binge On plan.

07

Ultimate Mobile Viewing

Phones are big nowadays, but if you want to really show off at the coffee shop, you need something along the lines of a portable wireless television. Panasonic’s ginormous 4K tablet, for example. The Toughpad UT-MB5025 has a 20-inch screen and weighs more than five pounds. Don’t worry about cracking that screen, because it’s built to withstand drops of up to six feet.

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Phones are big nowadays, but if you want to really show off at the coffee shop, you need something along the lines of a portable wireless television. Panasonic’s ginormous 4K tablet, for example. The Toughpad UT-MB5025 has a 20-inch screen and weighs more than five pounds. Don’t worry about cracking that screen, because it’s built to withstand drops of up to six feet.

08

Radio? Radio!

You haven’t experienced an Olympic javelin competition until you’ve listened to it on the radio. TuneIn will stream Olympics audio coverage from two NBC stations and four Westwood One stations. It’s the best way to enjoy the games while sipping lemonade on the porch.

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You haven’t experienced an Olympic javelin competition until you’ve listened to it on the radio. TuneIn will stream Olympics audio coverage from two NBC stations and four Westwood One stations. It’s the best way to enjoy the games while sipping lemonade on the porch.

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10

Virtual Track & Field

Olympic track-and-field events don’t start for about a week. Patience is for suckers. Scratch that non-mosquito itch right now by buying a refurbished arcade version of Konami’s Track & Field on eBay. It costs around 2 grand and includes several games in the series. If you don’t have that kind of cash or space, just watch this YouTube video while smashing two buttons on your keyboard.

Olympic track-and-field events don’t start for about a week. Patience is for suckers. Scratch that non-mosquito itch right now by buying a refurbished arcade version of Konami’s Track & Field on eBay. It costs around 2 grand and includes several games in the series. If you don’t have that kind of cash or space, just watch this YouTube video while smashing two buttons on your keyboard.

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