IPL 2016 starts on Wednesday with Kolkata Knight Riders taking on Mumbai Indians at 8PM IST in Eden Gardens, and if you’re not near your television at the time, then the good news is that there is a very simple way to watch the action, for free, thanks to the Internet.
This year, the digital broadcast rights to the IPL were auctioned again and were acquired by Star India, and the IPL can be viewed on the company’s new digital video platform, Hotstar.
As we noted in our Hotstar review, this is a good looking app that’s easy to use, but one thing that is very strange is that while there is an iPhone app, there is no iPad version, and therefore you have to put up with a slightly blurry interface if you’re using it to watch videos on your tablet.
Watching on an app
You can download Hotstar on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and watch the IPL using the free app. There is no subscription and no fees, aside from the data cost of course.
To watch cricket on Hotstar, just start the app, then swipe left to sports and tap on the IPL thumb. Right now, you can watch match previews and team profiles, and the matches themselves will be available as a livestream. We’ve used Hotstar on both a mobile data connection and a faster Wi-Fi connection – the app adjusts video quality based on the strength of your connection, but in Delhi at least, spotty 3G means you’re much better off with a broadband connection.
Aside from the Hotstar app, Star India has another app that is just for watching the IPL. It has the same preview content and the picture quality all look the same, so this is most likely just the Hotstar app without any distractions. Which is actually fine if the IPL 2016 is the only reason you’re download the app at all.
If you’re only interested in following the IPL on your phone or tablet, just download Star Sports Pepsi IPL 2016 on Android, or Star Sports: Live Scores and Streaming for Pepsi IPL 2016. Despite the names, both free apps include not just IPL 2016 streaming, but also match schedules, statistics, and also live streaming for other sports including football, F1, badminton, tennis, hockey and kabaddi.
To use, just start the app, and tap the Live Video button. Like Hotstar, this is also free to download and use, aside from data charges.
Watching on a computer
If you want to watch the IPL 2016 on your computer, all you have to do is visit the Pepsi IPL Livestream page on the Hotstar website.
We watched a little on our computer, and while there is some buffering and pixelation when the video is loading, once it starts playing the playback was perfectly smooth with no further glitches. If you’re stuck late in office with some emergency work, and can’t convince the boss to put a TV in front of your desk, then this website is your best bet.
Are you planning on watching the IPL 2016 online, or will you be heading home on time to catch the action? Tell us how you’re planning on watching the matches (or if you don’t watch cricket and can’t understand what the fuss is about) via the comments.