Getting 'live TV' on your smartphone isn't really about watching your soap operas on the bus, it's about short bursts of 'live' in the place where you are. Two particular examples for me recently were:
- watching the last ten minutes of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix while out and about in the car (don't worry, I pulled over!)
- dipping into live world news a few times a day around the house, perhaps while doing chores - the smartphone becomes the mini TV that goes into every room, etc.
With that in mind, what exactly are the options on Windows Phone? Do bear in mind that I'm talking from a UK perspective, mind you - I can't try out native TV stations/streams from other lands for obvious reasons, just as people outside the UK shouldn't (necessarily) be able to get hold of UK TV streams.
In each case, the application name is hyperlinked to its entry in the Windows Phone Store.
This longstanding application ties into (in practice) a few dozen open TV streams from around the world, and uses a network of servers across the world to maximise throughput to its client software on all platforms. The interface is fairly slick, the buffering delays of the order of only about ten seconds when starting to play a channel, and you can even browse the channel guide during playback.
In recent years the channel selection has got more and more culturally diverse, with fewer English language channels, presumably due to licensing issues. You can still stream France 24 (in English, despite the name) and Euronews though, plus niche streams like 'NASA TV'.
The official offering from one of the biggest news corporations on the planet, the initial focus here is on textual content, but flick across in the panorama view to get the Sky News 'Live TV' stream:
The two faces of the Sky News application, including a 24 hour news video stream...
This 're-broadcast' service for terrestrial UK TV has been in trouble with the law in the past, but that seems to be a thing of the past now, thankfully. The application does check which ISP or mobile network you seem to be 'coming in from', i.e. checking that you are indeed in the UK, and it's touches like this which helped TV Catchup achieve its current respectable status.
There's a choice of high (wi-fi) and low (cellular) quality streams of over 50 'free to air' UK channels, all playing 'live'.
The least reliable of the applications here, LiveStation offers a smattering of channels from around the world (a little like SPB TV), though it does include BBC TV News and Bloomberg - in theory. In practice, the BBC stream worked, but tapping on 'Bloomberg' crashed the application. In fact, several times during the review period, LiveStation simply came up with all blank channel selections, so it seems as though the developers have some serious bugs to address here.
There's a channel guide, with some potentially useful live TV streams.
Delving into RT, a Russian English language station....(!)
How is Windows Phone live TV support in your part of the world? Do please chip in with the comments, add links to relevant apps, etc. Thanks.