Catch-up services such as iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD are great for watching programmes from the last seven days. But what if you want to watch live TV on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? TVCatchup is the answer. It’s not an app, but rather a website that streams more than 50 channels to your iDevice – totally free of charge. Supported channels include BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Five, Dave, 4Music, Virgin 1, Sky Sports, Sky News and Film4. It works over both a Wi-Fi and 3G connection, so you’re never more than a few taps away from watching TV. It only streams channels from the UK – handy for those who want to view British TV from abroad, but not so great if you’re eager to see the latest US shows.
Follow us over the next couple of pages as we explain how to create a TVCatchup account and stream live television directly to an iPhone. You’ll soon be wondering how you ever lived without this service.
1: Load up Safari
Open Safari and visit iphone.tvcatchup.com. Once the website has loaded you’ll need to either log in or sign up for a free account. For the latter you’ll only need a username, password and email address.
2: Channels galore
You’ll now see any available channels. To watch a show, tap on the channel of choice and the media player will appear on screen. Tap on the Play button and the channel will immediately begin to play.
3: Live streaming
Because a live stream is playing it’s not possible to fast forward or rewind. You can, however, pause playback and jump back 30 seconds by tapping the 30 second icon next to the volume control.
4: Home screen icon
There’s no TVCatchup app at the time of writing, but you can add a shortcut to your home screen by tapping the plus icon, then Add to Home Screen.
5: Full-screen mode
You can toggle between full-screen and normal mode by tapping the arrows icon in the top-right corner of the screen.