Arkansas State Fans Get Your Sports Online

What you need for Father’s Day or whatever other excuse you can come up with for spending money.

We now know that Arkansas State’s first two home games will be 6pm kickoffs. The Red Wolves will host Missouri and Missouri State on consecutive Saturdays and the games will be shown on ESPN3.

Making a best guess looking at the rest of the 2015 schedule AState is likely to appear on ESPN3 for road games at Toledo, ULM, and New Mexico State and home games against Idaho, Georgia State, and Texas State. Up to eight AState games may be available by streaming.

AStateNation encourages you to make all the games you can but that isn’t always possible, so if you aren’t equipped to fully enjoy these telecasts, we are going to walk you through it.

First you need to receive the online ESPN3 service. You can receive ESPN3 either as part of your internet service or from your television provider and sometimes from both. This link should be current. If you receive internet and TV from different providers try logging in with both in case there is a difference in what you can receive (for example if you have internet from ATT you receive only ESPN3, if you have television from Direct you may receive ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network depending on your TV subscription).

Second, you need a way to view. Forget the old days of ESPN3 watching on a computer, better options for watching exist now.

Mobile. Download the WatchESPN app from Apple’s App Store if you have an iPhone or iPad or download from Google Play if you have an Android based phone or tablet.

Home. While a desktop or laptop can be hooked up to your 50 inch (plus or minus) television the better solution is a streaming device. The four big players in this field are Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire. You can also use Xbox or Google Chromecast. If you don’t have an Xbox already, stick with one of the first three and for simplicity sake, if you don’t have a Chromecast already, stick with the first three because with the Chromecast you have to start the program on your phone, tablet or computer before switching it to the TV. Why watch on a computer when for less than $100 you can watch on a device made specifically for streaming that you need to hook up only one time?

Buying Advice. If you go search Google or Bing for buying advice, your eyes are going to glaze over and most the big differences pointed out in reviews are about things you are never going to use or notice. I am going to make this super easy with five easy questions.
1. What sort of phone are you carrying? Apple or an Android such as a Samsung Galaxy.
2. What sort of tablet do you have if any? Is it an iPad, a Kindle Fire, or some Android device?
3. Do you subscribe to Amazon Prime?
4. Do you want to subscribe to HBO directly without a cable or satellite service or outside of your cable or satellite.
5. Is your television OLD (ie not a flat screen).

Apple TV. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or want to subscribe independently to HBO, you want an Apple TV. It arrives in a small box, you plug in the power cord, connect the device to your TV with an HDMI cable and then make one decision, do you want to connect it to the internet via wifi or Ethernet cable. Set up is easy, when you come to the main screen it will guide you through and the menu will pop up with all the installed apps. With many of the apps you will have to log in using your cable, satellite, or internet login or in the case of Netflix and Hulu your own login for those services. The reason you want Apple TV if you have an iPhone or iPad is a feature called Air Play. If you want to watch something you see on one of those devices on the TV Air Play will allow you to stream the video to your television. There is an app to use your iPhone or iPad as the remote and it works very well, especially for search. You will have access to all music, TV shows and movies you’ve purchased from Apple. It is expected that before the year ends Apple will offer a streaming subscription service to replace much of what you subscribe to cable and satellite for.

Roku. If you have an Android phone or tablet or have an old TV that uses three connection wires rather than HDMI, you want a Roku (though only the Roku 1 is compatible with older TVs). It comes in four flavors, three standalone boxes called 1, 2, and 3 and a plugin version that attaches to an HDMI port on your TV called the Streaming Stick. Set up is not quite as simple as an Apple TV but don’t let that hold you back, it is still very easy to set-up and guides you through the process. The stick is wifi only while I believe all three boxes can use an Ethernet connection. One interesting Roku feature is the ability to plug headphones into the remote to mute the television and listen to headphones. You can also use an app to stream from your phone or tablet.

Amazon Fire TV. It doesn’t offer as many channels as Roku but a lot of the Roku channels are to be honest junk that someone set up. It works well with downloadable apps for your phone or tablet. If you have Amazon Prime, give it strong consideration because it makes accessing movies, music and TV you have purchased from Amazon very easy but it also gives you access to the movies and TV available as part of your Amazon subscription (for example older HBO programs and shows like Justified are available that aren’t available from Netflix or Hulu). Set up is simple just as it is with the other devices. In conjunction with Dish and Sling they offer a cable/satellite replacement service that does not offer local channels. It also comes in a stick and box version.

Whichever system fits your needs and wants is the one to get. There is not such a vast difference that one is clearly better than the other.

Once you get the device setup you will not only be able to watch a large number of Sun Belt and MAC football games but also some other sports. I was able to watch five AState baseball games this year (three at Kansas State, one Appalachian State, and the South Alabama tournament game) and a smattering of AState men’s and women’s basketball.

All three devices will allow you to subscribe to some pro content for an added fee and will allow you to watch other content.

If you have a good internet connection you will rarely encounter any problems while streaming, just stay away from twitter and game updates that may spoil the outcome of the next play for you since usually the online stream will be a bit behind.