Watch TV on Android!

April 28, 2011, By Christian Cawley

There are many things that you can do on your Android phone (or even tablet) but few are as satisfying as enjoying the sensation of having a handheld device that you know is capable of displaying TV pictures.

Several great apps are available for Android for watching TV, some of which we’ve featured before and some that we will be featuring in future.

They’re all easy to use, playback TV pictures when your device is connected to the Internet and pretty much allow you to be entertained with live or delayed TV shows. Best of all, these apps are all free!

Watch TV on Android!

BBC iPlayer

One of the most popular services on the web in the UK and parts of Europe is BBC iPlayer, an online tool from the major UK broadcaster that has blazed a trail for other broadcasters by providing a web-based portal for viewing and enjoying streamed TV content, both live and catch-up.

The BBC iPlayer app is available via the Android Market, and is for Adobe Flash-capable devices. This is the approved app, and offers access to BBC TV (sometimes live) and radio, as well as to a massive database of previously broadcast shows. A major service, BBC iPlayer is also incorporated into the TV-on-demand services of various UK communications companies and ISPs. Having it for free on Android is a great bonus, although note that it is only currently available over WiFi.


Another free TV app from the Android Market is SPB TV, offering over 150 channels from over 20 countries around the world. No subscription to these channels is required, and with a WiFi or 3G connection you can get great streamed TV to your phone.

Over 4 million people use SPB TV on the various platforms that it is available on, and it offers access to public TV channels in the USA as well as some video on demand services. Additionally, SPB TV offers an integrated TV guide and picture-in-picture mode for viewing two channels at once.

A great tool for keeping tabs on sports results and catching the odd movie while holed up in a hotel, SPB TV is a great option on Android and comes recommended.


An increasingly popular service is Ustream, a service for creating and watching your own streamed TV shows!

You might be interested in webcasting your thoughts about a TV show or sports event, or have the idea of streaming a convention or talk across the World Wide Web using your phone or tablet, and thanks to your device camera on 2.1 devices or later, this is possible!

There are two Ustream apps available; the newer one offers video capture and streaming, while the older only offers the ability to watch any of the many channels currently being webcast by Ustream users around the world. This is genuine citizen TV, available free from the Android Market!

If you know of any more top TV streaming apps for Android, let us know in the comments below!

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