Streaming TV and Video for Android – Netflix and Web TV

May 24, 2011, By Christian Cawley

An increasingly popular use for mobile phones is to watch TV, either to catch up via a file downloaded overnight and synced to your device, or by streaming the content directly to your phone across the web. You might even stream content from your PC (something we’ll touch on later this week) to your phone, which while impressive can have its disadvantages.

Generally speaking, the way in which we watch TV has been changing ever since the first TV cards were made available 15 years ago, and it is going to continue changing.

Now this is a subject that we have touched upon before, mainly with BBC iPlayer, but of course this is currently only available in the UK (unless you have some other means of viewing it, which again is something that we will address at a later date). As such, and with a wealth of TV and video choices for Android, here are a couple of other ways to enjoy top TV and video, streamed to your Android phone or tablet.

There are two top options available that you should try out today, Web TV for Android and Netflix. Both are easy to use and free to download, although Netflix charges a subscription for use after the free trial is up.

Streaming tv and video for Android with Netflix

Web TV for Android

Your first stop at the Android Market should be for Web TV for Android, a free app that offers Flash based TV streaming for Android 2.1 and later users.

Using this app is really easy – simply click on the download notification or launch it from the apps screen and it will open in your browser, delivering a huge selection of channels for you to view. The selection includes BBC Four, Russia Today, QVC, Sky Poker TV, Red Bull TV and many more, each of which can be streamed to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi or 3G! All you need to do is select a category (such as cartoons, sport, entertainment, etc.) and then tap play to enjoy.

While the browser-based interface may be a little inelegant (and you can see the results by visiting webtvforandroid.com) this is a free TV viewing app, so it is useful to have on your phone as you never know when you might need it…

Netflix on Android

If you prefer TV on demand, then your preferred option might be Netflix, although note that this is available only for a small selection of devices (notably the HTC Incredible with Android 2.2, HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2 or later, HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2, HTC G2 with Android 2.2 and the Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3).

Hopefully more devices (more than likely Honeycomb-based tablets) will be added to this list in the near future, as Netflix allows you sign into your account and watch movies and TV shows on your phone, with your account kept up to date so that you can always check how much of a particular show you have watched.

A particular scenario might be that you get on the train home from work to catch up on last week’s CSI: Miami; as you only have a 30 minute journey, however, you might not make it to the end of the episode, but by signing into Netflix on your computer you can pick-up the action where you left off!

Note that Netflix requires a subscription for use, although this begins with a free trial for new users.

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