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How can I watch live and catchup TV on my laptop, tablet or mobile?

Want to stream and watch live TV channels such as BBC One and Two, ITV and Channel 4 on your mobile device or laptop? Here’s how to enjoy your favourite shows on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows laptop or Macbook, when a TV isn’t available.

These days we’re all pretty mobile, and occasionally we want to watch some live sports or tune into our favourite shows when we’re on the move. The easiest way to do this is by hooking your laptop or mobile device up to a decent WiFi network and using the following apps and services to stream your chosen content, for free.

Of course, if you have a mobile contract with plenty of data available, you can also use your mobile network to watch TV via an app. Just make sure you monitor how much data you’re using if you don’t have all-you-can-eat.

Read next: How to download movies and TV shows to your phone or tablet

How to stream live and catchup TV: BBC iPlayer (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)

The iPlayer online streaming app allows you to watch all BBC channels in real time, including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, BBC Parliament, BBC News and CBeebies. You can build up your own schedule with the planner, and now you can even download shows to watch offline for a limited time. After this time they will expire and delete themselves from your device.

If you’re using a laptop, BBC iPlayer is available on the Web through Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari. You can also download the desktop app if you don’t have a supported web browser.

On mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, you can download the BBC iPlayer app.

Of course, to enjoy BBC content you’ll need to stump up for a license, even when viewing shows through the app. 

Read next: What TV license fee changes are happening in 2016?

How to stream live and catchup TV: ITV Hub

If you’re a fan of shlocky reality shows or family entertainment, the ITV Hub gives you access to live streaming of ITV’s channels, as well as featured content to view over and over. ITV Hub allows you to watch anything that’s showing on ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, CITV and ITV Be, giving you plenty of shows to appease the whole family.

Like the BBC iPlayer, ITV”s channels can be watched online or via its ITV Hub smartphone and tablet app. On your laptop just tap the link above, while mobile users on Apple or Android devices can head to the App Store or Google Play store. Just search and download.

You’ll need to sign up for an account before you get streaming, but this is free and easy enough.

How to stream live and catchup TV: All 4 (Channnel 4)

All 4 is Channel 4’s online streaming service which covers all channels in the Channel 4 family, including Channel 4, E4, More 4, Film 4, 4 Music and more.

Just sign up for an account and you can get live streaming immediately, or of course check out 4’s massive back catalogue of awesome shows. On mobile devices, just download the All 4 app and it works just the same.

How to stream live and catchup TV: TVPlayer

TVPlayer is one of the best choices if you want to watch a wide variety of TV channels through your laptop. The player features 77 channels that can be streamed for free to your computer or mobile device, including BBC channels, ITV’s selection, Channels 4 and 5, Dave, Food Network, the Travel Channel and plenty more besides.

Parents will also be grateful to hear that Cbeebies and CITV are also included. Great news if you’re on the move and the little ones are getting bored.

There’s a pretty awesome TV guide built into TVPlayer, so you can plan ahead and see what’s coming up next. And if you want even more channels than the free selection, you can simply pay £5.99 a month for the TVPlayer Plus subscription. This offers up a further 22 channels, including MTV, Gold, Eurosport and National Geographic.

How to stream live and catchup TV: ToView

Like TV Player, ToView is a great app that gives you convenient access to a wide range of channels including the standard free-to-view efforts. In the UK you can set your region to access specific programming, which is nice. And there’s also news channels from France and the US, plus Al Jazera.

To get the ToView app, just head to the App Store or Google Play store and download away. It’s free to download and to use.


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