There was a time when you needed an antenna to get access to watch TV, but that’s long gone – today you can access a whole range to watch live TV for free content right on your smartphone.
Even if your device doesn’t have a built-in Digital TV receiver, you can watch your favorite programs through the various apps available for Android and iOS, and in this article you’ll find a complete guide with all the options.
How to watch live TV for free with your cell phone
All major live TV distributors in the UK have their own app 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 they cover.
Each app should include a section for watching live TV and a section for browsing past content. Please be aware that programs that have recently aired are sometimes held for a limited period of time – each site must declare its own individual deadline.
These apps can also allow you to access more content outside of TV shows – iPlayer gives you access to BBC Sounds and all 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 that. These apps are:
Freeview for iOS and Android
Freeview has created an app that doubles as a well-defined TV guide – telling you what’s going on, as well as displaying on-demand content across all major distributors.
Once you have 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 want to watch and the app will open the correct app on your phone and play it for you.
Please note that while this app is great for browsing what’s on TV there and then, it acts as a hub for all the other individual apps. So, for example, if you wanted to watch Coronation Street on ITV1, you would still have to download the ITV Hub to access it.
TVplayer for iOS and Android
TVplayer gives you access to live TV from multiple distributors in a single app. You’ll have access to BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 – as well as more specific channels like CBeebies and BBC Four as well.
Unlike the Freeview app, this allows 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 will have to upgrade to the paid version to access the VOD content they have.
There is an exception to this – and this is the case with all apps, including premium ones – you can only watch BBC content through iPlayer. This is due to the laws surrounding TV licenses with their channels.