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Watch Free Football Matches like Never Before
I think i have found a product that I have been crying out for ever since the days of free online streaming of football matches came about. You know the score, Arsenal are playing Tottenham Hotspur live on ESPN and you don’t have a subscription or worse yet Chelsea play Man Utd on Sky Sports 1 and you don’t have access to that channel either, what do you do?! Many of us would go to our favourite stream provider and watch the games on our laptops for nothing. Yes sometimes the streams are slightly dodgy but it’s better than listening to the game on the radio or waiting for MOTD!
One thing I always wished I could do was to sit back in comfort and watch the stream on my 37inch TV instead of a 15inch laptop which is balancing on the armrest of my sofa. Along came a simple cable to hook your laptop up directly to the TV, which was fine at first but I soon gave up using it as it meant sitting my laptop next to the TV and having to get up every time the stream went down which became irritating and unpractical. Surely you could wirelessly stream on your TV?
Introducing Veebeam. This slick product is simple and effective and does what it says on the tin without fuss. It comes in two main parts, a receiver hub that connects to your TV via cable and a USB dongle that plugs into your laptop with the two connecting wirelessly.
I am lucky enough to have a Veebeam and have enjoyed using it over the past week. Set up was quick and I was wirelessly streaming my laptop content onto my TV within 5 minutes of opening the box. Connect the power cable to the receiver, connect the receiver to the TV, download the software on to my laptop from Veebeam’s website, insert the USB dongle to my laptop and away we go. I was looking at exactly what I had on my laptop screen on my TV completely cable free as i lay on the sofa.
The Veebeam comes with two main modes. The default ‘Desktop’ mode where you simply display what is visible on your desktop on the TV screen, and the ‘Play-to’ mode where you can multi-task by streaming media files onto the TV screen but also surf the net or write email’s on your laptop at the same time. This is where I really found the product useful.
The ‘Play-to’ mode gives you the chance to sit and watch a movie you have downloaded on your TV while also giving you the option to continue surfing the net or send an important email without interrupting your film. This was another major drawback of the old cable connection.
There is a slight delay from your laptop to what displays on the TV, around 2 seconds, making the Veebeam difficult to use for surfing the Internet or playing online games. So don’t consider buying it if that’s what you’re in to, but if like me you enjoy watching football matches online and downloading films, buy it now, I highly recommend it.
Here is a quick look at the pro’s and con’s of the Veebeam:
- Smart and trendy looking piece of kit. They have certainly put thought into its design
- High quality output
- Works on both Windows and Mac
- Quick and easy set up process
- Hub has a handy storage place for the USB dongle
- Streams up to 480 megabites per second
- New HD model streams at up to 1080p
- Two mode options: The default ‘Desktop’ mode and the ‘Play-to’ mode. Very quick and simple to switch between the two modes.
- The hub could be slightly smaller. Although it is smaller than a wireless router, i would have expected it to be a little more compact
- It requires a fairly new and advanced computer running Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. (Sorry, it won’t work with Windows XP.)
- 2 second delay makes it less useful to use for surfing or online gaming
- Has been reports of connection disturbance if you interfere with the ‘line of sight’ between the receiver and USB stick, although i didn’t encounter any such problems while using the product.
What does this product mean for the future? Well the way I see it, money-hungry organisations like Sky and Virgin must be worried by the increasing popularity of free online stream providers, and with products like the Veebeam making the streaming experience even more enjoyable and considering a Sky package can set you back over £50 a month, i can see more and more people turning to alternative solutions to watching football matches.
If i was guaranteed a high quality free stream every time i wanted to watch a game, i would certainly not be paying for my Sky subscription anymore. It’s only the thought of the stream going down at an important time in a game that keeps me coughing up every month. Companies like Sky will always be around and making millions, after all they do provide us with a great service, but with many families struggling financially these days luxuries like Sky subscriptions are top of the list to be cancelled. So if the quality and reliability of free streams continues to improve, combine that with wirelessly being able to watch the streams on your TV using the Veebeam, goodbye Sky and hello huge savings!