What you need
Your internet needs to be up to speed.
Most of rural New Zealand struggle with good broadband access. Spark Sport is advising that customers have access to 15Mbps for watching on a TV (natively smart or using an HDMI adapter such as Chromecast) or 6Mbps for tablet or mobile device. The live stream will work on lower bandwidth internet connections, but the picture quality will take a hit. Go to www.speedtest.net to perform a speed test.
If you're on "fixed wireless" (i.e. 5Ghz / RBI / 4G / 3G) type services:
The inherent problem with "fixed wireless" is the wireless tower has a limited amount of capacity that is shared by all its users. It's true that fixed wireless often has faster speeds during the day, but at peak times the speeds achieved by customers are significantly lower. Many fixed wireless customers will not be able to stream Rugby 2019, Spark themselves has said so. Spark scaremongered it's own customers into switching to fixed wireless, and you can read more about this switch in this Consumer Magazine article. Ultimately this has benefited Spark's pockets; fixed wireless means they get to keep 100% of their customer's money (as they own the local tower) instead of having to share revenue with landline & fibre network operator Chorus.
Check with full flavour to see if you can move to a landline-based connection such as ADSL or VDSL.
ADSL & VDSL broadband plans have unlimited data, and the service is provided by cabinets down the road, which themselves are fed by fibre which means unlike the old days, ADSL & VDSL customers no longer share limited bandwidth.
If you're on "landline" (i.e. ADSL or VDSL) type services:
In 2011 Telecom and Chorus split into two distinct companies, with Telecom taking the retail side of the business as well as mobile network and Chorus taking the landline networks (copper and fibre). Telecom later rebranded as Spark. Independent service providers have emerged, such as Full Flavour, who have the same access terms as the big players to the landline networks operated by Chorus.
ADSL and VDSL are the names of the broadband technology delivered over existing landlines. ADSL2+ was launched initially by Telecom in 2007, and the latest version of VDSL (VDSL2 Vectoring) was properly rolled out by Chorus in 2018.
Three factors will influence your landline speed.
1. Technology - if you're currently on ADSL (or are unsure), check with Full Flavour to see if you can be upgraded to VDSL2 Vectoring. VDSL uses other frequencies on the landline to achieve faster speeds but isn't enabled by service providers automatically.
2. Home Wiring - most houses built before 2012 have wiring that is optimised for telephone services, not broadband. To get the most out of your bandwidth, a dedicated data jack point should be installed in the home which will use a dedicated copper pair to carry broadband signals to the box outside your house. Results vary widely, with improvements between none and 3x faster. For streaming live video you want the maximum performance your line is capable, so we'd recommend you check with Full Flavour what improvement can be seen with getting your home wiring optimised.
3. Distance - the further you are from the local fibre cabinet, the slower your maximum speed will be. There isn't much that can be done about length, so we recommend you focus on what can be controlled - the technology you're using and ensuring your home wiring is optimised.
Make sure you have the right tech to watch Spark Sport
These are devices that will allow you to watch Spark Sport:
A Google Chromecast plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and uses your home WiFi to stream sports from your device onto your TV. When watching something on the Spark Sport app, click the Chromecast icon, at the top right-hand side of the screen, to cast the sport to your TV.
Laptop and Desktop
You can also catch the action from the Spark Sport website, either on your laptop or desktop computer. Spark Sport is available on Windows 7, 8 and 10 and MacOS X on the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
If you're out and about, sometimes you'll want to watch the action from your smartphone. To do this head to the App Store or Google Play Store and download the app. The Spark Sport app works on iOS 10 and above and Android 5.0 and above. Spark Sport will use your mobile data for streaming if you are not connected to WiFi.
Spark Sport is not currently available to watch using an app on Smart TVs. Spark says it is working to introduce this functionality onto several different TV makes and models. Samsung will add Spark Sport to its Smart TV app line up shortly, supporting models going back to 2016.
Sign up and download the Spark Sport app
No need to be a Spark broadband customer!
You can buy a pass to stream individual games, or a complete tournament pass to stream all the games live or on-demand.
We recommend that you sign up for the Spark Sport 30-day free trial* then use it over your internet connection at a time and place where you will be watching the matches. Check out Spark Sport.
*remember to cancel before the 30 days if you no longer want it; otherwise, you will be charged the usual monthly fee of $19.99
Get a hand from our local helpdesk
Based in Durham St, Tauranga, we've got some great folk working our helpdesk, ready to help new and existing customers with Getting Rugby Ready.
You can call in to see us, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 07 577 0099.
Tip! Scroll to the bottom of this page to fill in an expression of interest form for Rugby 2019.