For watching the Super Bowl, my TV beat my iPad

Streaming the big game was a possibility this year, but I didn't use it. Here's why.

NFL Mobile App on the iPad: Stats, but no streaming. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

I'm a big fan of my iPad, but not for everything. Case in point: this year was highly touted as the year that the Super Bowl would be streaming for free via dedicated apps and NBC's Web site. It sounded promising; I love two-screening it for big sports events. So, I gave it a whirl.

The experiment lasted about a minute.

The streaming site, accessible via NBC's page using the Safari browser, came in pixelated and choppy. Worse, it was a full minute behind the live broadcast. I didn't shift over to the NFL live stream, but I didn't want to or need to. The game and its compelling ads were unfolding on my TV via an over-the-air antenna, in perfect HD, and my hunching over an iPad was hardly the social thing to do.

My issue with small-screen viewing of a big-screen event goes deeper than mere video quality; the Super Bowl is a game meant to be shared. It's communal. I admire the expansion of viewing options for those overseas or unable to get to a TV, but it makes no sense to me otherwise.

I prefer to use my second screen for statistics, Twitter, or other commentary. I'm a hopeless Twitter addict during the big game. I do hope that sports continue to offer access via streaming more in the future , because it's an essential direction for sports. However, on the biggest of stages, it just doesn't seem as relevant for anyone with a TV to sit in front of.

There were, of course, other ways of taking in stats, like the NFL app (above). Some were useful ways of folding in stats, others felt like a hassle.

Did I give up too soon? Did it matter? The TV won, for this year at least.

How did you watch the game? Did you use any apps?

 

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