All the Tech and Gear to Show Your Support for Team GB at the Rio Olympics

By Tom Pritchard on at

The 2016 Olympics are now in full swing, and despite all the problems in Rio Team GB are there hoping to bring home some bling. With the exception of Wales, the British teams didn't do all that well in the last big sporting event, but this time should hopefully be a bit different.

From watching the games to proudly displaying your support, here are the bits you should try and get your hands on to support Team GB in this year's games.

Panasonic TX-40CX680B4K 40-inch LED TV, £449

Olympic broadcasts in this country are being handled by the BBC, who aren't planning on broadcasting any of the coverage in 4K. So if you want to watch the Olympics, you don't necessarily need a fancy 4K TV and 1080p will do. But if you're going to go out and buy a brand new TV, there's no harm in future-proofing a bit. This 40-inch 4K TV from Panasonic won't break the bank, and it'll make things look nice and colourful thanks to the LED-based panel.

It's also worth pointing out that US Network NBC will be broadcasting some Olympics footage in 4K, so if you can find a good enough high quality stream then this purchase becomes more worthwhile. Just be prepared to see a lot of adverts, it is American TV after all. [Buy it here]

Streaming Devices

The bonus of having the BBC as official Olympic broadcaster means that we can all watch the games on iPlayer, rather than sticking to what's on the TV at any given time. To do that, you're going to need something capable of streaming it. Many smart TVs (including the Panasonic above) have iPlayer apps, but there's more you can get your hands on.

Good stand-alone choices include the small and discrete Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Streaming Stick. You can also opt for Chromecast, to beam the stream from your computer, phone, or tablet onto your TV. If you've got money there are always games consoles, the Amazon Fire TV, NVIDIA Shield, Roku 3, Apple TV, or Roku 4 (import only). If you don't have a huge budget, then there's the uber-cheap Now TV.

Virtual Reality Headset

4K is only being used internally at the BBC, but 360-degree VR-ready video is available to all. Using the BBC 360 app (available on Android, iOS, and Samsung Gear VR), you can watch certain events in full 360-degree video. It's the closest thing you'll get to really being there, just without having to shell out for flights, tickets, accommodation, and running the risk of getting Zika.

Because BBC 360 is Cardboard based, any old mobile VR headset will do but just remember that they aren't all created equally. If you're using a recent Samsung Galaxy device, obviously opt for the Gear VR. It might not be the latest one, but it'll suit you just fine.

Related: The Best headsets for Mobile-Powered Virtual Reality

Booze

Sometimes events are so thrilling you can't take your eyes off the screen. Other times they're dull, dull, dull. If they're thrilling, you probably want something to keep you refreshed (or to celebrate an epic victory), if they're dull (like Dressage) you're going to need something to get you through it. There's an answer to both: booze.

Everyone has their own beer of choice, but here are a few bits you should look into. A beer fridge (that doesn't have to be used for beer), Corkcicle's bottle cooling sticks (for beer and wine), The Beer Machine 2000 beer dispenser, a machine for making your own frozen boozy drinks, and a rotary stand for whatever spirits you want quick and easy access to.

Mascot keyring, £5

A simple way to show your support for Team GB, by slapping the mascot onto your keys. It's certainly a lot more subtle than, say, a t-shirt, but it is a great way to support the team while sprucing up your keys. There's also this logo two-pack (£4) if you want something a little more sophisticated. [Buy it here]

Logo Mug

A little bit more out there, showing off your faith in Team GB while you enjoy some sort of drink. It could be coffee, tea, water, or even a slightly less obvious way to intake some alcohol. That Dressage won't watch itself you know. [Buy it here]

Branded Clothing

Keychains and mugs aren't that obvious, but clothing lacks a lot of subtly. If you really want to show public support for the athletes of Britain, grab yourself some branded clothing. There's a lot out there, but let's cover the basics with an official 2016 Olympics t-shirt, a Team GB branded baseball cap, a logo t-shirt, and a hoody.

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, £25.20/£34

Nintendo seems to be the only company bothering with an Olympics-themed video game this year, and with it Sonic and Mario take their respective supporting characters back into the world of sports. Why they bother, I'm not so sure. No Mario character could possible beat Sonic or Shadow at the track events. In any case it's your only option for playing along with the tournament, but that's no bad thing. Playing as a character we all know and love is better than an anonymous digital athlete. [Buy for Wii U here | Buy for 3DS here]

Rio 2016 Mascot Toys, £14

There seems to be a big shortage of Rio 2016 merchandise, or at least stuff that we can get outside of Brazil. You can get both mascots in cuddly toy form though, and they're a darn sight better than whatever the hell the London Olympic mascots were. It's not going to show your support for Team GB (not even in spirit), but it's nice to get into the festivities isn't it? [Buy it here]