The 2014 FIFA World Cup is upon us. 32 teams from around the world are in Brazil for the 20th meeting of the worldwide football tournament, and you'll be able to watch every single game live in Australia -- wherever you are -- thanks to the hard work of SBS.
Kicking off early on Friday morning and running until Monday 14th July, SBS's coverage of the World Cup will be anchored by none other than the inimitable Les Murray -- who will, unfortunately, be hanging up his boots after this year's broadcast. Here's how to watch any and every match live or on catch-up.
Image via Getty
Here's the thing -- SBS has exclusive rights for the entire tournament, so you won't be able to watch the show on Foxtel or through Setanta on Fetch TV. But that doesn't matter -- SBS has committed to show every one of the 64 games, though, using SBS 1 (and the SBS HD simulcast) for most games but defaulting to SBS 2 whenever there's a programming clash.
To that end, the SBS TV Guide is your best bet for finding out whenever a match is scheduled. There's a specific World Cup tag on the guide, and you should look out for '2014 FIFA World Cup Live' -- this is the first broadcast of each match. Subsequent replays are labeled '2014 FIFA World Cup Match Replay', and there is always one a few hours after the initial broadcast. Replays aren't always in chronological order, though -- for example, the Match 4 replay of Australia v. Chile is broadcast directly before the Match 3 replay of Spain v. Netherlands.
For an alternate guide, Fox Sports' World Cup 2014 site is the next best place to go, and Foxtel's TV Guide is almost equally as good on a PC -- just type 'FIFA' into the search box and make sure you're looking at the right date.
SBS has set up an entirely new Web player on The World Game, promising the best World Cup viewing experience yet -- including a multi-camera stream that lets you view four simultaneous camera angles on any match, picking the best out of the six that will be available. If you have a rock-solid Internet connection this is probably your best bet for getting the most in-depth World Cup viewing possible.
SBS's Web streaming player, like On Demand, delivers an HD stream and the broadcaster recommends you have an Internet connection of at least 1.1Mbps or higher to use the service. This shouldn't be too much of an ask for most Aussie 'net users, and it means you should also be able to watch using your laptop tethering your iPhone or Android phone.
On Tablet And Smartphone
The SBS On Demand app for Android and iOS -- iPhones, iPads, and most Android smartphones and tablets -- should be your first port of call if you're trying to watch a 2014 FIFA World Cup match on your mobile device. It's unlikely that you'll be able to use the regular Web player on your mobile -- even on a powerful tablet -- so an app is definitely the way to go.
The On Demand app doesn't have live access to the matches, unfortunately, so you'll have to make do with catch-up of (and a swathe of 2010 World Cup content) until you're able to get to a TV screen or an Internet-connected PC or Mac.
If you want to watch the games live, you'll want the The World Game app for iOS or Android. This app gives you the same catch-up functionality of On Demand but also adds live SBS game streaming, along with the awesome multi-camera functionality.
The bandwidth requirements are just the same as On Demand -- 1.1Mbps minimum speed, and it'll use up your mobile data quota at around 1GB for a 90-minute match. With pre- and post-game chatter it's worth allocating an extra 500MB to be safe.
Update: The FIFA World Cup app for Android by SBS' The World Game team has just been updated -- it's all set for the tournament.