In my book, watching TV on a mobile phone is one of the most futuristic things you can do today. Although the technology is really still in its infancy, it is possible to enjoy decent quality television on your phone without having to invest lots of money in new equipment or services. In fact, many of the mobile TV broadcasting apps and services out there are free of charge, and are available on a wide range of devices.
Joost for iPhone – Joost was one of the first free Web TV services to hit the Internet and now you can enjoy the delights of the portal from your iPhone. The free iPhone client is very easy to operate and programs can be watched in either horizontal or vertical aspect. There are almost 50,000 videos currently available to watch through Joost and the picture quality is generally excellent.
Good for: music videos, celebrity gossip shows, sports magazine-style programs
MobiTV – Although MobiTV isn’t free it’s certainly not worth discounting as an option due to the quality of the content on offer. Available for Windows Mobile, Palm and BlackBerry devices, the service starts from $9.95 per month but for that you get access to shows from the most popular US networks, including Fox, NBC and CBS.
Good for: US series, comedy, documentaries
Pocket Live TV – If you’re using a Windows Mobile device (Pocket PC or Smartphone) then you may want to check out Pocket Live TV. As its name suggests, this one lets you watch live television from your PDA or phone. It boasts access to an impressive array of more than 100 channels from 10 different countries around Europe and North America. This includes the likes of CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Sky News and NBC. It’s not free, but only costs $14.95 for high quality access to all this.
Good for: major European and US channels, live sport, music channels
vTap – If you’ve grown tired of conventional television and watch most of your shows in the form of online video clips then get a load of vTap. This app, available for Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry and Java devices, lets you easily tap into all the videos on the web from your phone. That means you can use it to browse videos from the likes of YouTube, DailyMotion, Metacafe, MySpace, etc.
Good for: squirrels on skateboards, babies pulling funny faces, Star Wars Kid – anything you’d find on YouTube, basically.
FreeBe TV – Although it doesn’t offer access to any of the big channels, FreeBe TV, like Joost, does provide genuinely ‘free’ mobile television (apart from your data charges, of course). The service offers up its own selection of news, sports, and movie clip channels, and is available for users in the UK, USA and Brazil. It’s compatible with a number of different handsets (including the iPhone) so check on the FreeBe TV site to see if yours is compatible.
Good for: news, extreme sports, short films