How To Watch The 2016 Rio Olympics In Australia Online And For Free

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The 31st Summer Olympiad kicks off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in just a few days' time. If you plan to catch all the big events during this historic three-week event, your telly isn't going to cut it -- especially when you're at work. Here's everything you need to know about watching the Olympics in Australia for free.

This story was originally published on 5 August.

What Time Is The Rio Olympics On?

The Rio Olympics will hold its opening ceremony on the evening of 5 August, which works out to 7am (AEST) on August 6 in Australia. 17 days of sports coverage will then follow, with the Games rounding up on 21 August. (8am AEST on 22 August in Australia.)

Note that Rio is 13 hours behind Australia's east coast capitals, 12.5 hours behind Adelaide and 11 hours behind Perth. You need to ensure you're looking at a relevant Aussie timetable when organising your Olympics recordings and live viewings.

When it comes to scheduling events, your best bet is to stick with local sites that don't use syndication, such as SBS and ABC Sports. Alternatively, you can set 'Rio Reminders' using Channel 7's Olympic Games calendar application. The official Olympics app (see below) will also have rolling results and schedules relevant to Australia.

How to watch the Rio Olympics on free to air TV

In Australia, Channel 7 owns the broadcast rights for the 2016 Olympics. In addition to the main channel, you'll also be able to catch plenty of Olympics coverage on 7TWO and 7mate.

For the first time ever, you'll also be able to watch events in glorious HD via channel 70. To receive this, you'll need access to a HD TV with an MPEG-4 encoder and be situated in a capital city. (Sorry rural sports fans.)

If you just want to see the highlights, Channel 7 will be running a nightly recap show at 7pm (AEST) on its main channel.

How to stream the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on your computer

Again, Channel 7 is your best bet if you're planning to stream the Olympics to a laptop, mobile or other connected devices. The broadcaster has launched a dedicated web app for streaming the Olympic Games.

How to stream the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to phones and tablets

For mobiles and tablets, you're going to want the dedicated Olympics on 7 app which is available for iOS and Android devices. (You can download it here and here, respectively.)

The Olympics on 7 app is free and comes with 900 hours of Seven, 7TWO and 7mate Live simulcasts plus another 300 hours of additional Live sport. Serious sports fans can upgrade to the "premium" version of the app for $19.99. This provides access to more than 3000 hours of HD coverage spread across 36 channels, plus a Live News channel, catch up and replay options, medal tallies, photos and athlete profiles. That's a lot of Olympics!

If you're a Telstra Mobile customer, it's possible to download the premium Olympics on 7 app for free. Our friends at OzBargain have the details.

Annoyingly, the app is not currently supported by Airplay or Chromecast, although 4th-gen AppleTV owners should be able to stream directly to their televisions. As Channel 7 owns all broadcasting rights, hooking up your device to a TV or monitor via HDMI shouldn't be a problem, although we obviously haven't had a chance to test this.

On a final note, unless you have a ridiculously generous data allowance, you're going to want to do this over WiFi. We don't want to know what a monthly bill for 900 hours of HD video streaming looks like.

How to watch the Olympics over a VPN

If you'd prefer to bypass Channel 7's coverage for some reason, it's possible to watch geo-blocked sports channels in other country by signing up to a VPN service provider. VanishedVPN's newly launched "Sports VPN" is a pretty good bet -- it provides reliable streams to the Olympic Games from established broadcasters with all geoblocks removed via extensive testing. You can find more information here.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can also try you luck with various other VPN providers. Here's a list of our top five VPNs for 2016. Bear in mind that some of these might be blocked by the sports channels you're trying to access.

This post originally appeared on Lifehacker.

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