Watching live TV with your iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices has been a source of vast legal debate over the years. Ideally, users would be able to subscribe to a service and have access to live television broadcasts via mobile devices. However, in the past, many of the services that offered mobile live TV access did not take proper action to avoid infringement of copyright laws. Thus, many mobile television providers have come and gone over time.
Today, a few paid services exist that allow iPhone and iPad users to view previously aired television materials for a reasonable fee. Although not the same as plopping on the couch and flipping through channels, today’s mobile television services offer a chance to catch up on your favorite shows while out and about. Likewise, a number of apps and services are being developed to make television a more social experience. Let’s take a look at what’s out there!
Available at no cost for basic services, hulu.com offers a collection of the most recent episodes of popular television series, movie trailers and viral clips. For a $9.99/month fee, hulu.com provides their “plus” service that has recently been expanded to an iPhone and iPad format. With “plus” programming, users can view full seasons of their favorite shows and an expanded collection of movies whenever they want! With multiple categories, hulu.com features a number of kid and family friendly programming options that are easy to find and well organized. Check out Hulu’s programming by pointing your browser to: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051?mt=8
Catering to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad crowd, Netflix launched a free app in August of 2010. In order to make the app work, a subscription to Netflix is required, but at only $8.99/month users are given unlimited access to their choice of movies and television shows. As an added bonus, users can start watching a program on their iPhone that they may have already started on the TV. That means you can finish “Snow White” on the way to the grocery store! Get the free Netflix app at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051?mt=8
With 25 channels available such as national news, documentary and children’s networks, StarHub allows mobile users, including iPhone folks, television access. Users may choose to pay for a monthly fee for service in the $25 range for unlimited access, or pay per channel and day starting at about $0.50. To check out the availability of StarHub, and learn how to subscribe, visit http://www.starhub.com/mobiletv.
Developed by former Apple employees, yap.TV is available in form of an iPad app. Although yap.TV isn’t designed to allow users to watch television, it does feature a comprehensive programming list and the opportunity to interact with fellow television fans. Live feeds within yap.TV follow the latest updates about shows on Twitter, Facebook and more. Chat with viewers around the country about the nightly news, or vent your frustrations about the most recent episode of “The Bachelor.” Download yap.TV from the iTunes store for no cost at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yap-tv-social-tv-program-guide/id392986707?mt=8