Sunday is game day!
In a little over 24 hours, players will take the field and vie to take home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. If you’re like me, (a Denver fan) your team was mathematically eliminated months ago but Super Bowl is the one game that transcends team loyalty and for a few hours, brings us all together for a timeless celebration of food, friends, football and fun.
Oh yeah, don’t forget the commercials.
*Update – The NBC Sports Apps appears to be prompting users to download the NFL Mobile app to stream the game. You can grab those apps here.
Whether you’re backing The Pats or cheering on Philly (or just here for the refreshments and ads), 100 million-plus people will be joining you tomorrow for the big game.
Likely, you have plans of when, where and how you’re planning on watching the Super Bowl but for those looking to stream the game, it is simpler than ever thanks to NBC Sports and Chromecast. Here’s how you can stream Super Bowl LII for free and while you’re at it, catch an episode of This Is Us if you so desire.
What You’ll Need
NBC is the official outlet for annual gridiron battle so any cable, satellite or cord-cutting package that you may have that includes the network will work. Personally, I’m a YouTube TV subscriber so that will be my go-to for the game.
If you don’t subscribe to any type of media, streaming or otherwise, and you don’t have access to local channels, NBC is doing the world a solid and letting anyone download the NBC Sports app and watch the action without having to do the normal provider login shuffle.
The now-branded “Super Stream Sunday” will start with pre-game coverage at noon Eastern and conclude after the final tick with a complimentary episode of This Is Us at 10 p.m.
If you plan on watching the game on your phone or other mobile devices, you’re all set. Get the NBC Sports app from the Play Store or iTunes at the links below. If you don’t have unlimited data, you might want to find yourself somewhere with good WIFI. On your computer, simply head to NBC or NBCSports.com
For those of you looking to cast the NFL experience, a couple more items will have you set up and ready to go.
This almost goes without saying but a fast, reliable internet connection is a must when streaming live media. Many sites recommend a minimum of 4-5 Mb/s for streaming but nowadays something over 10 Mb/s is going to serve you best.
Speeds sufficient for streaming aren’t hard to come by as many internet companies offer basic packages of 25 Mb/s and up for a cost exponentially less than the price a decade ago. Even the T-Mobile hotspot on my phone gets upwards of 50 Mb/s on a good day. More than enough to stream but limited amounts of LTE data.
If you’re unsure what speeds you’re getting where you plan to stream or you’re just curious if your ISP is giving you what you’re paying for, you can run a speed test for free at the link below.
Alternatively, you can just Google “speed test” and you can run a quick diagnostic right in your browser.
There are options aplenty when it comes to streaming devices that will work with NBC Sports. Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, XBOX, Android TV and more but we’re here for the Chromecast users with a little how-to on setting up your device for the Battle at U.S. Bank Stadium.
First, you’ll need a Chromecast. Any generation will do. For standard streaming, we recommend the second generation dongle from Google. You can pick one up at a number of local retailers such as Walmart, Target and Costco for $35 or less. If 4K is a big deal for you, the Chromecast Ultra will only set you back $69.
Okay, got your Chromecast?
Great, let’s move on. Before getting your device set up, go ahead and download the Google Home app on the device of your choice. Smartphone, tablet or even a Play Store-enabled Chromebook will do the trick. You’ll use the Home app shortly to set up your new streamer.
Alright, on to the Chromecast. Assuming you are connecting the dongle to a television or similar device, go ahead and unbox your Chromecast. For some pointers on unboxing, check out some videos here.
If your television is equipped with a USB port, you can chuck the power block from the second gen Chromecast in the junk drawer. The Ultra, however, only technically works with the included power supply so you’ll need to make sure you have an outlet freed up.
Plug the Chromecast into the desired HDMI port on the television then attach the Micro USB power cord to the dongle and to the USB port or outlet depending on your device and available ports. Turn on the TV and change the input to the port the Chromecast is plugged into.
You should be greeted with a screen welcoming you and prompting you to download the Google Home app from the Play Store or iTunes. (see, aren’t you glad you already did that?) Open the Google Home app on your mobile or other device and make sure you are connected to the WIFI you intend to use to stream.
If your Chromecast is getting power, your Google Home app should have found the dongle and is prompting you to set it up. Hit “setup” and get started. You can also do this from your Chrome browser at chromecast.com/setup if you want to skip the Google Home app.
Next, the Home app will connect to your Chromecast and begin the setup process. The app will display a code on the television. Confirm the codes match and tap yes. You will be asked about privacy and usage date. By default, usage stats are uploaded to Google. You can toggle this off if you choose.
Now you will pick the WIFI network you want to use. If you are already on the network you want, it should be highlighted by default. If not, pick the one you want and click “next.” The Google Home app now has the option to fetch the WIFI password from the device you are using to set up the Chromecast. Great feature. Thanks, Google.
*If you do not see the network you want you will have to select “other WIFI network” and manually enter the SSID and credentials. For an Ethernet connection follow the steps above and select Ethernet and enter the network password.
You will be asked which room the Chromecast is in or you can give it a unique name to make it easier to identify when casting content.
Depending on when your Chromecast was manufactured, it may take a few minutes to update to the latest firmware. It will give you an on-screen status bar and notify you when it’s done.
Note that the device you are using to set up the Chromecast may connect and disconnect to the network multiple times during the process. This is normal. It will also activate Bluetooth momentarily during the procedure. Again, normal.
After that, you’re all set up. The rest of the steps are obligatory email subscriptions and whatnot. I usually glaze over at this point and just click “yes.” Feel free to do what makes you happy here.
Now that all the “hard work” is out of the way, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, Netflix, HULU, YouTube TV, the Chrome Browser or thousands upon thousands of other apps, you can now stream media to your Chromecast at your leisure.
If you see this logo, you can send it to your Chromecast. When connected to the same network, simply click the “cast” button and select the device you wish to stream to. You can also tell your Google Home, Home Mini and Home Max to play [fill in the blank] on your Chromecast devices.
“Hey Google, play Adventure Time from Hulu on the living room TV.” It’s as simple as that. You can now cast and stream like a pro and impress your friends when you’re going nuts at the Super Bowl block party this year.
Whatever you do tomorrow, have fun and be safe. As always, stay tuned for the latest news from Chrome Unboxed.