The iPhone: Carry your TV around with you
The vast majority of people enjoy watching TV shows. Those who claim they are not really interested probably watch MythBusters or Ultimate Survival. No matter what your TV show tastes are, you can use your iPhone as a replacement for a traditional TV set. Let's take a look at how to watch TV on your iPhone.
iPhone TV fundamentals
Traditional TV is actually dead. What you can get on your iPhone will not be the same as what you would get on an old-fashioned TV. And it is for the best, since devices like the iPhone made TV channels adjust themselves to your schedule, not vice versa.
Generally speaking, there are three types of TV apps for the iPhone:
Streaming TV apps that stream TV channels to your iPhone through the Internet. This may sound like old-fashioned television. With streaming TV, you will have to watch through all of the ads displayed on this or that TV channel. In other words, streaming TV programs on the iPhone just replaces your cable with the Internet and your TV set with an iPhone. Even on Wi-Fi networks, the video quality is not always acceptable, since it depends, not only on Wi-Fi signal quality, but also on the ability of the TV channel's server to handle large numbers of requests.
iPhone applications for popular premium TV-on-demand content providers. Providers of movie rental services and TV-on-demand services such as Netflix and Hulu are happy to sell more subscriptions through the App Store. The technologies they use, although they are called "streaming," are way closer to downloading what you need onto your iPhone with the ability to watch it later even when you do not have an Internet connection.
Free apps that search for available video online. Since there are many popular TV shows that provide their videos freely on the web, there are a whole bunch of aggregating apps that provide video content to the user in a convenient bundle.
Using channels apps
With the current popularity of iPhones, most of the top mainstream media outlets are working hard to make their own applications. Many TV channels have their own iPhone applications. You can easily watch CNN, HBO, CNBC, FOX News, PBS, and many other channels. Just install their free apps onto your iPhone, and you're ready to watch.
These are not the only channels that provide their content through iPhones. Many TV shows have their own iPhone applications, with a good examples being Comedy Central's "Colbert Report." So, if you know precisely what show you want to watch, check with the App Store, and it may be available there.
For true TV show fans, Netflix is probably the best option around. The Netflix app in the App Store is a gateway to one of the biggest lists of TV shows available online . Netflix is a premium service that allows you to watch your favorite TV shows at a convenient time. The monthly fee for using this service is $7.99, but Netflix also provides a free trial period allowing you to test-drive the service.
The good thing about Netflix is the number of movies and TV shows available for almost all kind of tastes and preferences. Adjusting your viewing experiences to your tastes can be accomplished through the categories and search features.
The most convenient part of the Netflix service is that you may watch TV at the time that is most convenient for you. Moreover, the user can stop playing the show or movie and return to it later in the very same place.
Hulu is another TV-on-demand service that decided to provide its application for the iPhone. Note that there are two Hulu-related applications.
One is called Hulu, and other one is called Hulu Plus. They differ in their availability of premium content.
With Hulu Plus, you will get a wide range of TV shows and movies available in high definition for a $7.99 monthly fee.
Hulu without plus will give you access to its free content, which contains hundreds of classical shows and movies.
This TV application for the iPhone will cost a user $4.99, but that's it since there are no further necessary fees. The TVUPlayer provides users over 1,000 channels of streaming content from all over the world. Yes, it is as simple as that. You watch streaming TV channels with your iPhone for free.
With this application, there are some additional requirements. The Internet connection speed needs to be pretty good so that you can watch these shows (Wi-Fi is highly recommended). The application's developers indicate that, in order to watch TV with acceptable quality, you need to choose channels that have a bandwidth below 200 Kbps.
And one more thing — this is live TV, so you will not be able to rewind the show, skip the advertisements, or reschedule the watching time.
The TVUPlayer has a free sibling, TVU Lite, which allows you to watch a number of streaming TV channels for free but only for 2 minutes. TVU Lite is a demo application that demonstrates the capabilities of the TVU Player.
This is another free application in the App Store that allows you to search for different shows and watch them.
There is almost nothing special about this app except for the fact that it can provide quite unique content, which is hard to find among subscription services that are focused mainly on the newest and best TV shows.
This content may include some old documentaries or extreme sports shows.
Anyway, if you do not like to stick only to the mainstream media, give Joost a try.
Although DailyMotion is a video-sharing website, you can often find documentaries and TV shows on it. Using the DailyMotion app from the App Store enables you to search through all of the richness of this web resource's video content.
This application will come in handy to people who want to know what is on air now. Not only can it check out the local and national listings, but it also provides information on what is available on Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes and provides information on your favorite TV shows from IMDD and Wikipedia.
i.TV will also allow you to schedule your TiVO device to record your favorite show or find it on NetFlix or Hulu if you have missed it.
Although Plex primarily positions itself as a media center application, you can watch TV shows using this truly great piece of software.
Besides the TV channels available on the Plex iPhone app, the same app can be used to view videos streamed from your Mac or PC.
So, if you have a bunch of TV shows on your computer and want to watch them on your iPhone, launch the Plex Media Server on your Mac or PC, and you are ready to go!
Plex also collaborates with Hulu (which was mentioned above), so you can watch many Hulu videos through Plex
Truth be told, there are many other TV apps for your iPhone. We have selected the best, and it is totally up to you to decide which suits your personal tastes and viewing habits the best.
Not helpful? Ask our experts. It's fast and free.