Watch TV on tablets

Table of Contents

Sky and Virgin Media customers with Sky Sports subscriptions are being given the chance to watch the Sky Sports channels (1 to 5, as well as Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports News HQ) wherever they are on a Google Android smartphone or tablet thanks to the Sky Sports app. Until now the Sky Sports app has only been available for Apple iPhones and iPads.

More than just sport

But if sports isn’t your cup of tea, fear not. Both Virgin Media and Sky offer smartphone and tablet apps that you let watch other channels from your TV subscription on the go.

Caiaimage/Agnieszka OlekGetty Images

Sky customers can download the Sky Go app (available for iPhones, iPads and Google Android devices) and watch up to 72 channels live (depending upon which package you subscribe to), using either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile internet connections. You can stream live shows on up to two devices and download shows on six!

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Virgin Media’s TV Anywhere is also available on both platforms and offers its customers with a TiVo set-top box the ability to watch up to 103 channels (again, depending on the package you have) live on a smartphone or tablet. This app will also let you download shows onto two devices so you won’t need to munch through your mobile data. Here at the Good Houskeeping Institute, we love this as it means you won’t munch through all your monthly data allowance or run up a huge bill, just from catching up on Call the Midwife. The app also lets Virgin Media customers set shows to record remotely.

What if you don’t pay for TV?

Freeview, Freesat and YouView customers don’t have access to a dedicated app from their TV providers that lets them watch live TV, but TV Player, which is free to download and works on both iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets, will let any UK resident watch 50 channels found on these services, including the major channels such as BBC One, ITV and Channel 4, along with music TV and shopping channels, live over Wi-Fi or mobile internet. Currently only the BBC iPlayer and 4OD apps allow you to download shows to your device for free. You can pay to subscribe to the ITV player which will give you ad-free viewing and let you download ITV shows to your device.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, 16 GB Amazon £79.99 Lenovo Tab E7 Tablet John Lewis £49.99 Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2019) 10.1in John Lewis £199.00 Acer Iconia One 8 16GB Tablet Argos £69.99 2019 Apple iPad mini, Apple A12 John Lewis £382.00 Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Amazon £84.99 Huawei MediaPad T3 8in Amazon £99.99 Alcatel One Touch Pixi 3 10in Amazon £74.00

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App lets you stream TV channels to your Android phone or tablet

Yep, I’m watching “NCIS” on my Android tablet, streamed live with commercials and everything. Screenshots by Rick Broida/CNET The US TV & Radio Free app might seem a little too good to be true. It streams unlimited live TV to your Android device, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

The app offers an extensive list of channels: AMC, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Food Network, FX, MTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, Syfy, TBS, TNT, and lots more. Even more surprising: a few premium channels, including HBO, Showtime, and Starz.

Starting US TV & Radio Free in portrait orientation allows you to see the full selection of menu options, some of which disappear in landscape. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

According to the description shown within the app, it’s an aggregator of freely available content: “We collect channels data from various published sources on Internet. We do not guarantee its correctness and other legal information.” There’s also a notice offering to take down any channels by request from “owners or producers.”

What’s interesting, though, is that the app has been around since October 2012, in both the Google Play store and Amazon Appstore.

The US TV & Radio Free app sounds very similar to the Aero TV-streaming. Aereo uses antenna/DVR technology to let consumers watch live, local over-the-air television broadcasts. The service has sparked lawsuits from TV broadcast giants including ABC, CBS (the parent of CNET), Fox, NBC Universal, and Telemundo, which alleged last year that the service infringes their copyrights and that Aereo must pay them retransmission fees.

Indeed, some channels (including Disney XD, Spike, and Showtime) flat out don’t work. The first time you run the app, a message notes that “several major servers” are down, but the developers are working to get access restored. So for any given channel you want to watch, it’s hit-or-miss whether you’ll be able to.

That said, I tried the app on a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 and a rooted Barnes & Noble Nook HD running Android 4.1. It worked flawlessly on both, allowing me to watch a surprising amount of live-streamed content. The resolution isn’t always top-notch, and occasionally you’ll hear foreign-language dubbing or see foreign-language subtitles, but for a free app, it works well.

What’s more, with a tap of the Record button, it’s a simple matter to save any stream for offline viewing (though you can’t do this at scheduled times or on a timer, so it’s very much a manual procedure).

Also, there’s no program guide, so you’re pretty much limited to flipping channels. Venturing into the Categories listing and then News, I found not only my local Fox affiliate here in Detroit, but also local-access channels for dozens of cities. The app also offers some radio stations, but they’re identified only by frequency (99.1, 102.9, etc.), so there’s no way to tell what you’re going to get. When it comes to streaming radio, there are way better apps available.

Ultimately, US TV & Radio Free is something of a curiosity. It lets you watch live TV on more channels than you’d expect, and works surprisingly well — when you’re able to successfully connect to a station.

Apps to cut cable subscription fee and watch your favorite tv programs

One of the best aspects of using a smartphone or tablet is that they are portable entertainment boxes you can take wherever you go. As well as gaming, emailing, browsing the Internet, taking photos and a whole lot more, you can also watch live TV channels or keep up with the news on the go with Android TV apps. Many free streaming services offer apps to view tv on mobile devices.

Google Play Store is awash with apps for streaming live Television programs. The following free TV apps can also use on streaming boxes and smart TVs. Do note that some of the apps need to access content from your supported TV content provider.

Top free tv apps to stream TV on Android

1. KODI (free)

Kodi is a hugely popular app that acts as a software media player and central location hub. It has a graphical user interface that’s fairly easy to navigate. Once set up properly it enables users to conveniently view videos as well as photos, podcasts, and music options. It’s important to know that this app doesn’t offer actual content, so you’ll need to provide your own content.

Alternatively, you can install a third-party video plugin such as Exodus on Kodi for free content from official content provider websites, with an unlimited choice of TV channels, shows, and movies.

2. YOUTUBE (free)

Many of us automatically associate the word video with the name of YouTube. It’s an excellent streaming video app that offers users the chance to see a whole variety of content including entertainment, news, and music videos, as well as recommended videos based on your choices. Many popular TV channels do Livestream directly on Youtube. You can get a free subscription to your favorite channels to keep track of what’s new, create playlists, watch across different devices, add comments, and share with friends.

Users can also use a Chromecast-enabled app such as AllCast or MegaCast to stream content. You can do this from your mobile device or PC to a TV or audio system and control the playback of Internet-streamed content, or mirror content from the Google Chrome web browser from the screen of an Android device.

3. ABC – LIVE TV & FULL EPISODES (free)

If you’re a fan of some of the most popular ABC shows out there, this could be a great option for you. This ABC app allows you to stream full episodes from a wide variety of content such as TV shows like Dancing with the Stars, Modern Family, and Gray’s Anatomy, as well as light entertainment such as Jimmy Kimmel.

You can view classics such as Ugly Betty or Body of Proof, or binge-watch full seasons of something new with ABC’s Original content. Live TV is also offered including the latest news or mainstream events such as the Oscars (available with participating TV providers only).

4. SPB TV (FREE)

SPB TV is a free application that allows you to watch more than 200 TV channels in multiple languages. The interface is very user-friendly, from which you can quickly scroll through the channel list and mark some as favorites for faster access. It is undoubtedly one of the best options for you to stream online TV on your mobile device.

5. NBC (free)

With the NBC app, you can freely watch your local NBC station live as well as a variety of TV episodes, including the latest ones for a new series. Use the password and username from your TV provider, and in case you don’t have a content provider, you’ll still be able to unlock new episodes eight days after their TV airings.

You can also use Chromecast to cast content from your smartphone or tablet to a TV as well. Content includes classics such as Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider though to shows that include This is Us, Chicago Justice, and others.

6. HBO NOW (FREE)

HBO Now is the free app form the famous TV channel. With HBO Now you have access to all of HBO’s original series right from your smartphone. Intuitive and easy to use app that will give you access to all your favorite HBO TV series and episodes with a simple tap. You can test the service free for 30 days and after that, you will have to pay $14.99 a month if you wish to continue with the tv service.

7. HISTORY (free)

Just as its title suggests, this one is aimed at history enthusiasts and offers history show episodes and clips. It’s free to use, but you can also access more content if your TV provider is supported. Features of the app include a customized favorite shows watchlist, and there’s a wealth of content with new material being frequently added.

Just some of the many shows on offer are The Curse of Oak Island, Ice Road Truckers, Vikings, Ozzy, and Jack’s World Detour, Ax Men, and Big Easy Motors. One of the highlights of the History app is access to some exclusive show clips that have never been seen on TV before.

8. Viki: Free TV Drama & Movies (FREE)

If you enjoy Asian series and novels, this is the best kind of application. The Viki is powered by the community of fans and the content is translated into over 150 languages. The Viki offers very different content, specializes in oriental shows and movies. The content is a mix of live TV with on-demand service and comes with the original audio. Subtitles are available in several languages for almost every program.

9. CARTOON NETWORK APP (free)

If you have kids, or maybe are just a big kid yourself, the Cartoon Network app is a solid choice. A nice addition to this app is the chance to see some episodes before they have even aired on TV. There’s plenty else to choose from with offerings such as The Amazing World of Gumball, Clarence, Powerpuff Girls, and Teen Titans Go to name just a few.

Watching full-length episodes does not require a login, and you can watch episodes that are not marked with a key straight away. Alternatively, by giving your TV provider info, you can also watch episodes with a key. A further feature is the option of a custom mix personalized video based on the ratings you’ve given so far.

10. Crackle – Movies & TV (FREE)

Crackle provides a list of great movies and series from Sony Pictures. They update its catalog every month and you can see the contents at no cost. Of course, for this reason, users will see some advertisements during the exhibition schedule. Crackle’s original series are also available for free.

11. SHOWBOX (free)

Unlike the other apps so far this one is not available through the Google Play Store. Instead, you’ll need to head to the link provided and download the latest app APK for Showbox. Full instructions for how to do this are available at the link, and once you’ve completed the moderately straightforward procedure, you can immediately watch a wide variety of movies & TV shows, all with no payments or subscription charges. Additional content is added all the time, which is always good to know.

12. Wondershare Player (FREE)

Although Wondershare is a media player, you can also add channel lists to assist in the application. The list must be downloaded (a file in .xml) and imported into the app. In addition, you can also send videos and music from your smartphone to your TV over WiFi. The application works well, no crashes, but not all channels are available 24 hours a day.

13. MOBDRO (free)

Again, this one is not available from the Play Store but you can download it as an apk. Mobdro provides free video streaming that is sourced from across the web. You can find content from TV channels across the world in many languages and on many topics such as sports, movies and more. If you want to recommend a video or share it with a friend you can do so with only one click.

Mobdro has a great interface and also features bookmarks so that you can easily organize and filter your streams. An upcoming feature that will be available with a premium version is the capability of downloading streams and watching them offline at your own convenience.

14. Ustream (FREE)

Ustream is a mix of live television and YouTube. It is ideal for sports enthusiasts, but also for those who are looking for some original transmission. It allows you to follow programs of different types in categories, all easily accessible. It also offers the option to upload your own videos and share them with other users.

15. CBS – FULL EPISODES & LIVE TV (free)

This Play Store app offers TV episode HD streaming of many popular CBS shows, only the day after they first air. It features a primetime schedule as well as personalized playlists that you can continue watching across devices. Content includes many favorites including The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and those brilliant ‘Carpool Karaoke’ moments from the Late Late Show with James Corden.

While the free CBS app has plenty to offer, you can get even more with a paid subscription. You can try out CBS All Access free and pay just $5.99 per month afterward, and this will get you access to thousands of more episodes as well as live TV events such as the Grammys. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a payment of $9.99 monthly for the CBS All Access Commercial Free plan.

16. POPCORN TIME (free)

Popcorn Time regularly scours the web to find a catalog of content and streams movies and TV shows in HD (including subtitles) to various devices. The app can also install on Mac and Windows devices. You’ll need a decent Internet connection to view specific content as many times as you want, all for free with no download time.

17. IMDb Movies & TV (FREE)

No, it does not allow you to view TV channels from your android. But, it provides a huge database where you can search for updated information on TV series and movies. You can know the blockbusters of recent years or those coming in the next months, take a look at the cast of Game of Thrones, know the plots of any TV series ever aired, viewing photos and stay up to date on the latest television news.

Final Word

These Free TV apps will help you to keep up with all of your favorite movies and TV shows when you can’t be in front of your TV. Whether it’s the latest news, cop shows, light entertainment, comedies, or an action movie to get your teeth into, there is something for everyone with a massive variety of content available. If you use an Android TV app that you think is worth a mention, tell us about that too!

Rumours continue to circulate that Apple will launch a television set, the Apple iTV. There’s plenty of speculation about what technology would be in it, what services it would offer and how you’d control it.

But these rumours tend to ignore the fact that Apple has already helped to revolutionise the TV industry with the iPhone and iPad. They’re great for watching on, thanks to their brilliant image quality and, in the case of the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch, wide screens – but developers have also pushed forward how you find and interact with the shows you love.

Between on-demand services, live-streaming channels, dedicated apps, 3G and 4G coverage and social networking, the idea of watching television has changed. What was once a passive pastime – where you had to hope there was something interesting on – has become an engaged activity where you can seek out the shows you love most, keep up with live broadcasts and chat to your friends about it while you’re watching. You can find things to watch that you might never have considered, and catch up with things you missed.

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Whether Apple ends up producing an actual TV set or not, this kind of flexibility is surely the future of television. In this feature, we’ll look at the best ways to watch TV live, no matter who your provider is, as well as all the on-demand options you need to either catch up with TV you’ve missed, or find something from the past.

We’ll also look at how your iPhone or iPad can be a companion to a full-size TV, and pick out the accessories that make the viewing experience that much better. Your iPad could become the best TV you’ve ever used – and you just need the App Store to get started!

Watching live TV

Though there are ways to watch Freeview live TV directly from the airwaves as it’s broadcast – using something like the Elgato EyeTV or equinux tizi+, which we’ll go into later – the easiest way to watch shows as they happen is generally to stream them over the internet.

If you’re on a Wi-Fi network, any iOS device can connect and stream video, while the iPhone and Cellular iPad models can use 3G and 4G mobile broadband connections.

Many TV channels can be streamed with an app from the owner, but the best one-stop shop for watching just about anything live is the TVCatchup app. It offers over 50 channels to watch for free, including the bulk of Freeview channels and all the big free channels from the major UK broadcasters. It’s a free download, and the Universal app supports iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, so you can watch on any of them.

On the iPad, you can see a channel list with a now-and-next guide alongside a small video window, or easily expand the video to fit the screen fully. On the iPhone, you still get the guide, but it fills the screen, as does the video when you tap on a channel.

The quality of the video streams is really solid and reliable, though the level of detail isn’t all that high, and the app’s adverts never get in the way. TVCatchup really does an amazing job of turning your iOS device into a TV – it’s so good, in fact that Tap! readers voted it the Best App Ever last year, beating the likes of Tweetbot and Hero Academy.

Giving you much less in the way of selection but keeping it simple, the BBC iPlayer app and ITV Player app both let you watch their respective channels directly through the apps, and in the case of iPlayer, you get a much better guide to what’s on that through the minimal but effective interface of TVCatchup.

How to watch Super Bowl LIV for free on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and the web

Super Bowl LIV is set for 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, February 2, with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami. Follow along for how to watch the game for free on Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, and the web without a cable login or app subscription.

It can often be a hassle to watch major events without a cable login or paid app on streaming devices like Apple TV and more. That’s why it’s great to see Fox making Super Bowl LIV free to watch across the Fox Sports, NFL, and Yahoo Sports apps without a subscription or cable login.

The game will also be streamed on NFL.com, so you can watch anywhere you have access to a browser.

Another bonus, Super Bowl LIV will be broadcast in 4K so devices like Apple TV 4K and Fire TV 4K can get an even better viewing experience. Funnily enough, though, on Apple TV 4K it will be 4K in SDR (standard dynamic range) instead of HDR (via the Verge).

How to watch Super Bowl LIV on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and web

  1. On your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad, download one of these apps:
    1. NFL
    2. Fox Sports
    3. Yahoo Sports
  2. On Sunday, look for the option to watch the game live on the main page of any of the apps
  3. On any Mac or PC, you can also head to NFL.com to watch Super Bowl LIV
  4. If you subscribe to a Live TV streaming service like Hulu, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, etc. you can tune into Fox for the game on Apple TV or other Apple devices.

Who: San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs

When: Sunday, February 2 @ 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Halftime show: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. The NFL will be making a “visual album” available of all the Super Bowl performances on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

Super Bowl ads: Adage is keeping track of all the Super Bowl ads, so check out everything from Coke, Doritos, Amazon, Walmart, to Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg.

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There was a time when you needed an aerial to get access to live TV, but that has long passed – today you can access a whole range of TV content directly on your smartphone, be it live TV or VOD (video on demand). We’re going to show you the apps you need to download to get access to live TV and catch-up content.

How to watch individual channels on Android or iOS

All of the major distributors of live TV in the UK have their own application that you can download to get access to their live and VOD content. Please find below a list of each of these apps, along with the terrestrial channels that they cover. All of these apps are free to download on iOS and Android:

  • BBC iPlayer for iOS and Android – BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Scotland, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Alba and S4C
  • ITV Hub iOS and Android – ITV1, ITV2, ITVBe, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV
  • All 4 iOS and Android – Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and 4Music and shorts
  • My5 iOS and Android – Channel 5, 5 STAR and 5 USA
  • UK TV Play iOS and Android – Dave, Yesterday, Really, Drama and Home

Each app should include a section to watch live TV, and a section to search for past content. Please be aware that programmes that have aired recently are sometimes kept for a limited amount of time – each website should declare their own individual timeframe.

These apps can also allow you to access more content outside of TV shows – iPlayer gives you access to BBC sounds and all of the BBC radio channels, for example.

How to watch multiple channels on Android or iOS

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all TV channels, and to have access to a standard TV guide, there are ways to do this.

If you already have a premium TV package such as Sky, Virgin or BT, then these providers actually have their own companion app to access all the channels that you pay for in your package. All of them include real-time TV guides, the option to access both live and VOD content, and of course shows on those premium channels that you pay for. These apps are:

  • Sky GO for iOS and Android
  • Virgin TV GO for iOS and Android
  • BT TV for iOS and Android

You should be able to sign into your corresponding app with the email address you have registered with your TV package – but double-check with your provider first to see if there’s a device limitation.

If however you don’t pay for your TV and are looking for an app that covers multiple channels, we have two recommended free options for you to choose from.

Freeview mobile app for iOS and Android

Freeview has created an app that functions as a nicely laid out TV guide – letting you know what is on, as well as displaying on-demand content across all the major distributors.

Once you’ve had a browse of what is currently on offer, in both the live and on-demand sections of the guide, you can select the content you wish to watch and the app will then open up the correct application on your phone and play it for you.

Please note that whilst this app is great for browsing what’s on TV right there and then, it works as a hub for all the other individual apps. So for example, if you wanted to watch Coronation Street on ITV1, you’d still have to download the ITV Hub to access it.

There is another option if that’s not for you…

TVplayer for iOS and Android

TVplayer provides you access to live TV from several of the distributors all in one app. You’ll have access to BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 – as more specific channels such as CBeebies and BBC Four too.

Unlike the Freeview app, this does allow you to watch content directly through the app, which will help save space on your device. The free version of the app only includes live TV – you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version to access the VOD content that they have.

There is one exception to this – and this is the case on all apps, including the premium ones – you can only watch BBC content through iPlayer. This is due to the laws surrounding TV licenses with its channels.

You’ll notice on the app store that there are other apps that advertise as providing live TV, but the two above are ad-free, and work without bugs or lag. We recommend trying both of these first before trying any other alternatives.

What you’ll need to access TV apps

First of all, you’ll need to register to use any of these apps, so ensure that you’re happy to provide your email address and name where necessary.

Watching TV on your phone is also quite a demanding function for your device, so you’ll either need a stable internet connection or a good amount of data to spare. You won’t be able to just tune in like you would with a TV set.

We also advise having your battery life as high as possible – you’ll be sure to see it drain quickly when watching the telly.

If you’re looking for the best SIM-only deals to support your TV watching when you’re out and about, make sure you take a look at our top picks. And if you’re keen, here’s how you can watch TV on your PC or laptop.

Our smartphones are essentially an extra appendage at this point—extensions of our brains that never stray far from our fingertips. They’ve also increasingly become an ever-present second screen while we’re watching TV.

According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, 73 percent of US adults use a digital device at least occasionally while watching TV, and 45 percent of those respondents do so “very often” or “always.”

While this trend is certainly caused in part by the way we constantly and absentmindely scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or other social feeds, Nielsen found that many TV watchers are using their devices as an extension of the entertainment experience. Of those respondents who use digital devices while watching, 71 percent said they’re often looking up information related to whatever they’re watching. (Personally, I’m always opening the IMDb app to figure out who that actor is and where I know them from.)

Aside from looking up info, 41 percent said they use devices to send messages to friends about what they’re watching, and 28 percent said they open social-media apps to read and write posts during a show. There’s nothing quite like live-tweeting a crazy twist in your favorite show, along with millions of other people.

In what I suppose means that TV advertising actually works, 35 percent of respondents said they use devices to look up or shop for a product they saw in an ad. And finally, 15 percent said they switched to something else on TV after seeing something online. The internet and social media have become our new TV guides.

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Gemius studied the consumption of TV advertisements among the Internet users in April 2018. This analysis was possible through the use of the proprietary gemiusAdReal methodology allowing to measurement of ads displayed on PCs, laptops and also on smartphones and in TV. What can we learn from the first results of the Gemius’ newest single source study?

Highest activity after 8 p.m.

The daily pattern of PC, smartphone and TV usage reveals new interdependencies in media consumption. Smartphones accompanied Internet users from dawn to dusk; the intensity of smartphone usage gradually increased from early morning to peak between 8 and 9 p.m. A similar pattern of consumption was observed among PC and laptop users; however, it was almost two times less intensive. The daily schedule for watching TV was much more diverse (the study covered the four most popular TV channels on the market: Polsat, TVN, TVP1 and TVP2). Before 3 p.m., TV consumption was the lowest among the devices studied, only to rapidly increase after 4 p.m.

Combined consumption of smartphone and TV

In April 2018, the highest consumption of all three types of devices was observed after 8 p.m; for TV and for smartphone the usage peaked at the same time: at 9 p.m. Gemius studied how it affected advertising consumption. It appears that as many as 93 percent of the Internet users used the phone during TV commercial breaks at least once in a month. But What is more important, consumers were active on their mobiles during 28 per cent of all TV ads to which they were exposed.

‘What we are seeing is the simultaneous consumption of both media types, which means distracting the viewers’ attention and drawing their eyes away from the TV screen. We are talking about apps including social media, phone calls or gaming. However, instead of worrying about the ineffectiveness of communication, we should think of it as an opportunity: the data enables us to open new channels of communication with the consumer. Matching the content of an online smartphone campaign to that of a TV commercial break opens a new dimension in omnichannel optimisation’, said Marta Sułkiewicz, Chief Sales Officer at Gemius.

Commercial break is for smartphone

Gemius not only analysed the users’ multiscreening habits, but also checked what exactly they are doing on their smartphones during TV commercial breaks. It turns out that they most frequently browsed social apps, with 33 per cent of surveyed internet users engaging in this activity. More than one fifth (21 per cent) of consumers played games on their smartphones. Communication apps, including traditional phone calls, were used next (8 per cent) along with online shopping apps (6 per cent).

Watching people play live video games from anywhere in the world has become a surprisingly huge phenomenon in recent years. Twitch is now a game-streaming juggernaut while YouTube has embraced gaming and live streaming in a big way, and seemingly everyday people have become well-paid Internet personalities because they play video games and chat.

Are you the next streaming sensation? Don’t bet on it—but you can still get in on the social fun of live streaming, and you don’t even need a high-end gaming PC or console to do it. It’s surprisingly easy to live stream Android games right from your phone or tablet using apps like YouTube Gaming and Mobcrush, or to use an Android emulator on your computer.

All you need is some decent bandwidth, an extroverted spirit, and hopefully decent skills in at least one Android game. Got all that covered? Great: here’s what you need to know.

What is streaming?

In case you’re not one of the millions of gaming fans tuned into Twitch and YouTube on a regular basis, here’s a quick rundown of the live streaming phenomenon. In short, people share live footage of themselves playing video games, often competitive online games or those that have some kind of unique hook.

Even on a weekday morning, 26,000+ people tune in to watch a game of League of Legends on PC. The peak totals get dramatically higher than that.

This might not sound very fun, especially when you could play a game yourself, but there are often compelling reasons to watch. For example, a streamer might be an amazing player, letting you see a level of competitive play that you aspire to. Or maybe he or she does speed runs to finish games as quickly as possible, or try to find all the collectibles or secrets. In that sense, a live stream might prove informative. It could also just give you a look at real, unedited gameplay so you can decide whether or not to buy a game for yourself.

The social element is also important, as viewers can not only chat with the streamer, but also other viewers. That creates a sense of community around games, and it’s a good reminder that there are best practices to follow if you’re the one doing the streaming.

Ideally, you should use the camera and microphone to show yourself playing, and be sure to react to and perhaps even describe what’s happening in the game. Also, interact with your viewers: mention them as they come into the room, speak out responses to their questions and comments, and give them reasons to stick around. And if you plan on streaming regularly, set a schedule and advertise your streams via social media.

YouTube Gaming

With all that set, your best option for streaming footage directly from your Android device is YouTube Gaming, the games-specific app from the video giant. YouTube is the home to just about everything in video, and its streams cover PC and console games alongside mobile stuff, with everything neatly categorized in the app. Note that you’ll need to have Android 5.0 or 5.1.1 or newer to use the streaming functionality.

Streaming with YouTube Gaming is super simple, plus it’ll archive your videos for viewing later.

Getting your stream up and running is a breeze: in the upper right corner, click the little upward-facing arrow with the Wi-Fi-like waves above it and choose whether you want to stream or record what’s on your screen. Assuming it’s the former, you’ll pick between 720P (HD) and 480P (SD) quality, choose the game you want to play, and give your channel a name. You can also share the stream link via social media before it starts running.

Once live, the feed will capture everything from your screen—so consider turning off notifications so your private messages remain that way. The front-facing camera can capture your mug, and tapping the image brings up the controls, letting you add visual filters to your camera feed, enter chat, see how many viewers you have and the stream quality, or pause/stop the stream.

Tap your camera image to bring up the overlay, which has quick controls and stats on your broadcast.

When you’re finished, the stream is saved as a YouTube video and published for posterity, although you can always delete it if you please. YouTube Gaming is straightforward and easy to use for direct-from-device streaming, plus YouTube has a huge audience, so you might have an opportunity to reach a wide audience with your streams and saved videos.

Mobcrush

Looking for something a bit more focused than YouTube? Mobcrush, which just recently hit Android with its public beta release, is a streaming community focused entirely around mobile games. That means you won’t have to fight through endless Overwatch and League of Legends streams to find what you want… assuming what you want are Android favorites like Clash Royale, Hearthstone, and Vainglory.

Mobcrush also makes direct-from-device streaming a pretty straightforward process, plus it’s all mobile games (and fans) here.

Mobcrush has a different interface than YouTube Gaming, but isn’t difficult to figure out. To start streaming, simply swipe from the left and tap “Broadcast.” Hit “Start Now” and input the game title and a channel description, as well as your preferred bitrate, and you’ll start streaming immediately.

As with YouTube, it’ll capture anything that appears on your phone screen, so keep that in mind while browsing your device—and you’ll need Android 5.0 or newer to stream. Rather than show your own image on your screen during play, Mobcrush puts a small “M” icon in view that you can drag and drop anywhere. From there, you can dig into the same kinds of settings, including video controls and chat.

That little “M” logo on the bottom left can be moved anywhere so it doesn’t block essential UI elements. Tap it to bring up stream controls.

It’s all pretty easy to get a hang of, and getting your stream online takes minimal effort. Mobcrush doesn’t have quite the reach of YouTube, certainly, but the mobile-centric approach and focused feeds might be useful for finding like-minded Android fans.

What about Twitch?

Curiously, as of this writing, the official Twitch app doesn’t let you stream gameplay directly from your Android device. That’s a surprising oversight, seeing as Twitch is seemingly everywhere else (including game consoles), although I imagine that will change soon. In the meantime, how are you supposed to broadcast your amazing Android antics onto the preeminent game streaming network?

One option is to use Screen Stream Mirroring ($5), an all-in-one app for streaming your Android phone’s screen to Twitch or YouTube, or mirror it to a PC or another device. The app has a lot of options and settings, which might seem overwhelming at first, but getting online with Twitch isn’t too difficult. Simply log in and find your stream key in Twitch’s settings, pick your nearest Twitch server, and then your feed should be live.

Screen Stream Mirroring isn’t quite as streamlined as those other apps, but it’ll get your Android games onto Twitch.

It’s worth looking through all of those options, however, as you can change the quality of your stream, enable camera and chat overlays and customize those elements, and do a lot more fine-tuning of the experience. As with the other streaming apps, you’ll need at least Android 5.0 for streaming to web services. And if your device is rooted, you can also tap into internal audio for your stream, rather than just what the microphone captures.

Ditch your phone?

Alternatively, consider using BlueStacks, an Android emulator for PC that has built-in and officially supported Twitch streaming functionality. BlueStacks is an interesting beast: it doesn’t rely on your Android device at all, and in fact, you don’t even need to own Android hardware.

BlueStacks runs purely on your Windows PC (the Mac version doesn’t have Twitch support), and it offers a streamlined version of Android right on your desktop. Once logged in with a Google account, you can download anything from your local Play Store—including anything you’ve purchased on your Android phone or tablet—and start playing using your mouse and/or keyboard commands.

Android emulation is another way to stream games onto Twitch, although you won’t use your touch device at all.

Using BlueStacks is a bit off-putting, to be honest: initially you’re only shown Asian versions of apps until you log in, and it’s an older, trimmed-down version of Android with a custom launcher. Furthermore, Google recognized my logins on Mac and PC to be from a Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, respectively, rather than mentioning BlueStacks by name. All told, the early moments are a bit confusing.

But once you’re up and running, it works… and pretty well, too. I played Alto’s Adventure on my first-gen Surface Pro running Windows 10, and streamed the gameplay to Twitch along with my face from the PC’s front-facing camera. Performance suffered just a little bit once I had the stream live, but the game was plenty playable, and my Android phone never came into play. It’s an easy way to get Android gameplay onto Twitch, even if it doesn’t really feel like the real thing.

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Watch NBA Live Streaming TV on IPad, IPhone, Tablets and Android Mobile

By availing of the MobileSportsTV service, anyone can enjoy the simple and straightforward user-friendly interface that makes accessing channels a breeze. With unlimited viewing from stations all around the world at specific languages, viewers can catch their local news coverage live on hi-definition quality picture transmission.

With the NBA season just about getting underway, at MobileSportsTV.net/Sports users can watch NBA live streaming games on their phones and tablets. In addition to the NBA, the service allows users to catch their favorite soccer, football, rugby, NFL, NRL, MLB, boxing, NCAA College Football and Basketball and cricket games live.

MobileSportsTV.net works with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone5, iPod touch, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad mini. Android gadgets such as Kindle Fire, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Superpad, Viewsonic gTablet, LG, HTC, Sony and Dell devices are also supported.

MobileSportsTV.net underscores that streaming live TV – as opposed to TV shows or movies online – is completely legal. However, if the country you reside in has any individual laws or required licenses for watching Live TV, the issue should be addressed before availing of the Mobile TV software service.

To find out more about the new, exciting new way to follow NBA action live and other shows on live stream from a variety of handheld devices, please visit http://www.mobilesportstv.net for information.

Ustream

Watch live video and broadcast live on your phone or tablet – anytime, anywhere!
• Watch live and recent videos, discover upcoming events
• Broadcast live to any number of viewers using the camera of your device
• Manage and re-share your Ustream recorded videos
• Interact with your audience by chatting
• Access your followed Ustream channels and events that you’re attending
• Enjoy your Ustream Premium Membership ad-free experience on your device
• Go live right from your Home Screen using the new Quick Broadcast widget
HD Broadcasting
Broadcasting in 720p HD and 360p HQ is available on the following devices:
• All Android 6.0 or newer device
• LG Optimus F6
• Samsung Galaxy S4
• Sony Xperia L
• LG Nexus 4
• LG Leon
• Samsung Galaxy Note 4
• Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
• Verizon HTC One
• Verizon HTC One Max
• Verizon LG G2
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 2
• Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3
• Verizon Motorola Razr M
• Verizon Motorola Razr Maxx
• Verizon Motorola Razr HD
• Verizon Motorola Droid DNA
• Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra

How can we help?

You can watch NOW TV on most Android devices, just as long as they were bought in the UK and are in their original state.

How to watch NOW TV on your Android tablet or smartphone

Step 1: Download the app

You’ll need to download our app to watch NOW TV on your Android device:

  • Go to Google Play.
  • Search for the NOW TV app.
  • Install it.

Step 2: Sign in

  • Already got a NOW TV account? – Simply open the app and sign in with your NOW TV username and password. Be sure to enter your password carefully, as it’s case sensitive.
  • Haven’t signed up to NOW TV? – If you don’t have a NOW TV account yet, set one up here.

Step 3: Sit back and start watching

Find something to watch – whether it’s an epic blockbuster, an award-winning box set or a big match.

FAQs

To watch NOW TV in the best quality on your tablet or smartphone, you’ll need:

Operating system: 4.0 or higher
Processor: 1.0 GHz or higher
Memory: 1GB RAM
Screen resolution: 480×800
Eye-tracking features: Should be disabled

No. On an Android device, you’ll need to use the NOW TV app.

If you’re having a few issues running the NOW TV app on your Android tablet or smartphone, it could be because:

  • your device has been modified or rooted – even if this was done by the manufacturer
  • you bought your device outside of the UK
  • it’s a Kindle Fire HD device (not supported).

We’re not yet at the point where one device can rule over everything, but we’re getting awfully close — especially when it comes to controlling your TV set as well as other smart devices. A multitude of apps can turn your Android phone into a remote control for your TV, PC, media center and a variety of smart appliances.

We’ve searched through the Google Play store to find the best Android remote apps available. Check out this collection of apps for the couch potato in you.

Android TV Remote Control

(Image credit: Google)

The Android TV Remote Control serves as a generic universal remote for Android TVs, providing basic D-Pad, touchpad and gamepad controls for navigating your Android TV’s interface. The app also includes support for voice controls, as well as the use of your phone or tablet’s virtual keyboard to input text. The app connects to your Android TV through your local network or via Bluetooth.

Download Android TV Remote Control: Android

Amazon Fire TV Remote

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon’s Fire TV set top box is a pretty neat video streaming device, especially if you’re running with a Prime account. While the Fire TV box already comes with a WiFi-capable remote, you can take things to the next level with the Amazon Fire TV Remote app, which copies the functions of the handheld remote, turning your touchscreen into a navigation pane, complete with playback controls, a virtual keyboard, and voice command support.

Download Amazon Fire TV Remote: Android

Yonomi

(Image credit: Yonomi)

The Yonomi app works like an all-in-one automation hub app for smart homes and appliances, using a system of triggered Routines to automate and control more than a 100 different devices from a variety of manufacturers.

As an agnostic platform that can work with a variety of systems and automatic device discovery through Wi-Fi gives Yonomi a solid draw, and the addition of recommended recipes for specific devices makes things a bit more user friendly to set up. You can even set up Yonomi to work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, triggering Yonomi’s routines from the popular smart speakers.

Download Yonomi: Android

Mi Remote

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

You don’t need a Xiaomi phone to take advantage of the Mi Remote app — which is good since Xiaomi phones aren’t on sale in the US. But Mi Remote will work with almost any phone with a built-in IR blaster, whether you’re packing a Samsung, HTC, or Huawei device.

Mi Remote is a multi-purpose IR remote app, compatible with a wide variety of IR-controlled devices, such as TVs, air conditioners, set top boxes, DVRs, projectors, and digital cameras. You can even use the app as a remote control for smart TVs that accept commands over standard Wi-Fi protocols. You can also expand the app with the Peel Mi Remote extension, which adds a TV guide and personalized show recommendations to the core Mi Remote experience.

Download Mi Remote: Android

Google Home

(Image credit: Google)

With Google releasing an increasing number of smart home devices such as the Google Home and Chromecast devices, the old Google Cast app has been rebranded as Google Home.

While the name and the coat of paint may have changed, Google Home still does the job as the all-in-one command center for your Chromecast and other Google devices, while also supporting an expanded range of smart appliances such as lights, cameras, and thermostats.

Google Home showcases a wide range of Cast-enabled apps, featuring content from these apps and allowing you to do things like use the app to open up and stream a new episode from a Netflix series. The device control tab handles everything from dimming the lights to controlling speaker volume, and you can even set automated routines to trigger with a single button press.

Download Google Home: Android

Amazon Alexa

(Image credit: Amazon)

Of course, Google is far from the only player in the smart home hub and home automation game. Amazon’s Echo smart speaker also functions as an internet-enabled smart home hub, and the Alexa app turns your phone into a setup guide and remote control for your Alexa-enabled devices.

Among the many different Alexa skills, the Alexa app can show you what music is playing and information you’ve searched for. You can let the app manage your alarms, searches, music playback, shopping lists and more, making Alexa an increasingly capable smart assistant that learns from your shopping, surfing and media habits.

Download Alexa App: Android

Roku

(Image credit: Roku)

Roku’s streaming service on a stick provides a wide variety of shows, movies, and channels to watch, and the Roku app turns your mobile phone into a Wi-Fi-driven remote control for the streaming stick. Users can browse for movies and TV shows, enter searches through a keyboard or through voice input, add channels and games, and even listen to streamed audio beamed straight to the phone with Private listening. Of course, you’ll still need a Roku device, and certain content may require premium subscriptions or purchases.

Download Roku: Android

Smart Things Mobile

(Image credit: Samsung)

Of course, TVs aren’t the only things that you can now control remotely from an Android phone. Samsung’s Smart Things Mobile app serves as a centralized control app for devices connected to your Smart Things hub device, such as smart outlets, motion sensors, and more.

Users can configure the behavior of each device, monitor the status of things like whether a smart outlet is turned on or off or whether a door is closed or open. You also can schedule actions and configurations, and the Smart Things app can also connect with the Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, providing you with voice control for your connected devices and switches.

Download Smart Things Mobile: Android

IFTTT

(Image credit: IFTTT)

IFTTT is a fantastic mobile task automation app, and it also makes a great addition to smart appliances that take advantage of the Internet of Things. The app allows users to create customized “recipes” or tasks built around the structure “If this, then that” (from which the app takes its name).

IFTTT employs a wide variety of triggers and actions ranging from websites, apps, and even smart devices, appliances, and peripherals. You can even browse through other people’s trending and featured recipes, as well as themed collections and all-time favorites that you can install or modify. Using a variety of triggers, from GPS to Wi-Fi connection, you can automatically turn smart appliances on or off at your return, or trigger tasks with a status message.

Download IFTTT: Android

Yatse

(Image credit: Tolriq)

Kodi is a fantastic open source media center for playing local and streaming media on your HTPC and connected devices. While there is an official remote control app for Kodi (known as Kore), you can also get your hands on a feature-packed third-party remote app, Yatse, which adds on to the basics like playback controls with features such as voice control, support for Plex and Emby servers, widget controls, and custom controls.

In-app purchases unlock extra features such as streaming media to and from your Android device, cloud-saved settings, and more. With an app like Yatse, there’s little reason to fidget around with a keyboard or mouse for your HTPC or Kodi box, just sit back, relax, and put on your favorite shows and streams.

Download Yatse: Android

Universal TV Remote Control

(Image credit: CodeMatics Media Solutions)

Universal TV Remote Control allows you to use your phone’s IR blaster to send commands to more than 300 different brands and models of TVs, as well as commands to smart TVs through Wi-Fi. The app supports a wide variety of devices with traditional IR receivers, and the smart remote features don’t even require an IR blaster on your phone — just a Wi-Fi connection to pair to your TV with.

Download Universal TV Remote Control: Android

ASmart Remote IR

(Image credit: NXRsoft)

NXRSoft’s ASmart Remote IR works with built-in IR blasters on Samsung and HTC phones to send commands to a variety of appliances, from TVs and set-top boxes to air conditioners and DSLR cameras. The app comes with a number of built-in remotes, with more being added, and you can organize your remotes into rooms for convenient sorting and use.

Download ASmart Remote IR: Android

ZaZA Universal TV Remote

(Image credit: Tiqiaa)

The ZaZa Universal TV Remote app uses the internal IR blaster of Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, HTC, Lenovo, Huawai and TCL phones to provide a universal remote app that supports a wide variety of appliances. The app contains a searchable database of more than 300,000 appliances across 8,000 brands, which you can sort through by brand and model, covering everything from TVs and air conditioners to smart light switches and DVD players.

Download ZaZa Remote: Android

Smart TV Remote

(Image credit: Adiroid)

Adiroid’s Smart TV Remote requires a bit more setup than other remote control apps, but this IR/Wi-Fi remote app works with a wide variety of hardware and TVs, from your device’s internal IR blaster or an external IR device, as well as a W-iFi based controller for a number of older Samsung smart TVs.

Among the best features of the app is its configurable interface, allowing you to easily create channel hotkeys and lay out the buttons as you wish. There’s also support for multiple devices so you can command your TV, set-top box, and stereo all from a single app.

Download Smart TV Remote: Android

Sure Universal Remote

(Image credit: Sure Universal)

Sure Universal Remote combines the best of IR and Wi-Fi remotes to create a truly universal remote that can handle old-school IR-controlled devices such as TVs and set top boxes while also handling smart appliances and home automation systems through Wi-Fi.

The developers boast that the app supports almost 1 million appliances, and the app also allows users to create “systems” of multiple appliances that can be controlled with a single tap, for easy one-button controls to, say, turn all your living room media devices on and off.

Download Sure Universal Remote: Android

Control4 for OS3

(Image credit: Control4)

Control4 offers up a range of solutions for smart home automation, with users able to control smart appliances and connected utilities such as doors, heating, lights, multimedia systems and more through Control4’s OS3 home operating system. While Control4 has dedicated remote control slates and devices, you can also use the Control4 for OS3 app on your Android phone to access and command your connected devices and appliances.

Designed for improved customizability compared to previous Control4 OSes, users can personalize their interface and use the Favorites bar for fast access to frequently used devices or room controls. You also get a new active media bar for playback controls of media that you’re playing or streaming.

Download Control4 for OS3: Android

Universal TV Remote

(Image credit: WaveSpark)

Wait, another app called Universal TV Remote. Yes, though this one used to be known as IR Universal Remote. And it turns your IR blaster-equipped smartphone into a universal remote for a variety of devices, such as TVs, set top boxes, DVD players and air conditioners.

The free version of the app comes with a variety of pre-built remote control templates; you’re also able to create a single custom remote control that you can save. Paying for the full version of the app removes ads and unlocks the ability to create multiple custom remotes which you can share with other users.

Download Universal TV Remote: Android

Anymote Universal Remote

(Image credit: Color Tiger)

If you’ve got an IR blaster mounted inside an older smartphone such as the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G3, try Anymote. This little app turns your blaster-equipped smartphone into a universal remote for a wide variety of appliances, from TVs, set top boxes, DVD players or just about any device that accepts IR commands.

The app has a lot of cool features, such as the ability to create custom remotes that bring together commands from different devices into a single screen (for example, turning on your TV, DVD player and sound system on with a single tap) and the ability to create custom macros. The app can also function as a Wi-Fi remote for a variety of devices and apps, such as Sonos speakers, the Kodi media center, or VLC.

Anymote is a free download, though with an in-app purchase you can add unlimited remotes.

Download Anymote: Android

AIR Remote Free for Apple TV (Free)

(Image credit: Yelomo)

AIR Remote Free for Apple TV turns your IR blaster-equipped Android device into a replacement for the Apple TV remote, mirroring both the classic button controls and the swipe view, with tap controls mirroring those on the remote hardware.

AIR Remote Free does require an IR blaster, with support for the older phones such as the LG G3 as well as a range of Samsung and HTC models. The app is ad-supported, with a premium version removing advertisements.

Download AIR Remote Free for Apple TV: Android

CetusPlay Remote (Free)

(Image credit: CetusPlay Global)

The CetusPlay Remote app serves as a WiFi-based universal remote app for a variety of set-top boxes and devices, such as Android TV and Fire TV. Simply install the remote app on your phone and the CetusPlay receiver app in your TV, and it’ll guide you through the rest of the setup process.

You’ll also get a rundown of features from CetusPlay, which include a variety of control modes, media Casting from your device, launching TV apps, screenshots, and more. The app is ad-supported, with a $5.99 in-app purchase to remove advertising.

Download CetusPlay: Android