The New World of Football Coverage?

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This evening many people will be switching on their TVs to watch the Champions League Football Final between Real Madrid and Juventus from Cardiff's Principality Stadium. But for all that, for many fans watching at home remains a poor substitute for being at the game itself.

The good news is that with the advent of 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR) football coverage, which makes it feel like you're really in the stadium watching the game unfold, it might not be that way for too much longer. Even better news is that BT Sport has this week announced it's giving everyone the chance to watch the Champions League Final in lush 360-degree VR for free. And you don't even need to be a BT customer.

To get the fully immersive VR 360-degree experience, you need a smartphone and the free Virtual Reality Google Cardboard headset (see accompanying picture) that that BT is offering to anyone who wants one. BT was initially taking orders for the free headset online and posting them out for free but the stock from this source has since run out and, therefore, you need to head down to your nearest EE high-street store to pick one up if they are still available from there.

To watch the game in VR you'll need to download the BT Sport VR app and select the 'Smartphone' mode when prompted. Once you've got the app you'll be able to watch the game on your device, while switching between eight cameras for an entirely personalised viewing experience and you will also be able to take a look around the stadium from each of these cameras, by either moving your phone in the direction you want to go, or scrolling on the screen. Fancy changing camera angle? You can do that by tilting your phone forward or simply scroll down to bring up a 'console', where you'll be presented with the selection of the eight cameras. If you decide you don't fancy exerting that much control over viewing angles, you can select 'auto' and BT will choose for you.

To watch the game in VR 360-degree TV on your smartphone, you'll need a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps. If you try to watch with a connection speed below that, you'll probably encounter bad picture quality. That's if the video stream even loads.

If you are not interested in VR you apparently can just watch the Final for free on your TV in the following ways:

 Freeview on BT Sport Showcase HD
 Virgin Media
 Sky
 Live on BT Sport's YouTube Channel
 On BT's site
 BT Sport App, which provides extra statistics, angles and exclusive content