Going away but want to catch up on your favourite TV shows? No problem, our guide will show you how to keep watching whether you’re on holiday or just sat outside in your garden.
With the summer months upon us our habits change. Whether that’s going away on holiday or just decamping to the garden for the day, the chances are that you’ll spend less time in front of your main telly, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up watching your favourite TV shows.
Ways to watch
In this post, we look at the ways that you can keep watching when you’re out and about, or just lazing around in your garden. Before we start, it’s worth bearing a few things in mind:
- Firstly, UK TV channels are licensed for the UK, so you have to be in this country to watch.
- Secondly, to watch live TV you need to have a TV licence, regardless of whether you’re watching on a television, mobile phone or tablet. You also need a TV licence if you want to watch or download on-demand content from BBC iPlayer.
- Finally, be careful of any data charges you may face, as streaming video can use a lot of data. This is particularly important if you’re watching on mobile and don’t have much data with your contract.
Freeview mobile app
One of the benefits of having Freeview Play on your TV is the seamless integration of live and catch-up TV. The good news is that this experience is replicated on your iPhone or iPad via the official Freeview app.
The app prompts you to install the BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, My 5 and UKTV Play, STV Player apps, which take care of the actual streaming. So, why, you may ask, install Freeview Play? The answer is simple: it unifies all of the content you can watch in one place to make things easier.
Via the What’s On section, you can quickly see which programmes are available to watch now and next. Then, there’s the full TV Guide, which shows you what’s on, on every channel and lets you step back up to seven days to see on-demand content. Tap any show to get more information and, if it’s available through one of the installed players, you can select to watch the programme.
The Freeview app also gives you an integrated search, letting you find shows to watch regardless of which channel they’re on, saving time from having to open multiple apps.
Here’s an overview of each major service, each of which is available for Apple, Android and online. We’ll explain the differences with each.
BBC iPlayer requires an account and TV licence to watch. Once you’re signed in, you can watch both live and on-demand content. TV shows can be downloaded for offline viewing via the website, iOS or Android apps.
ITVX requires you to have an account before you can watch live or on-demand content. If you upgrade to ITVX Premium (£5.99 a month), you go ad-free, can download shows and watch exclusive content that isn't available on the free version of ITVX.
Channel 4 lets you watch live channels on all platforms, while on-demand content is available on the web and mobile apps as well if you register an account, which also gives you the option to download content on Apple and Android devices. The service is ad-supported, although for £3.99 a month you can upgrade to Channel 4+ and go ad free on 1,500 shows.
With My5, you can watch both live and on-demand content on the website if you're on a laptop or via the mobile app. Unfortunately, there’s currently no download option, meaning you'll have to be connected to the internet to watch, and like on your TV, the service is ad-supported.
UKTV Play gives you access to live and on-demand content via the web and the Apple and Android apps. There’s currently no option to download content and the service is ad-supported, much like the live channels available through Freeview Play.
Watch live and on-demand content on the STV Player website, or download the mobile app for even easier watching. While STV is ad-supported, you can sign up to STV Player VIP for free and get fewer ads when streaming, or upgrade to STV Player+ for £3.99 a month for no ads when streaming on demand shows.