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Eye on Demand | December 4, 2016

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TV Player Review

TV Player Review

Review Overview

Quality of Video Stream
6
User Interface
7
Channels on Offer
7
Device Availability
6.5
Airplay and iOS
8
6.9

Best Free Service

With so many choices and options available, the UK is one of the world’s luckiest countries in regards to watching live television streams over the Internet. One of the fastest growing is TVPlayer, offering free access to channels such as the BBC, ITV, Four, Dave and Five, along with a premium selection that includes pay-tv channels like History and Eurosport.

Think of yourself as lucky in Britain when it comes to live television streams via the Internet. Not only do most of the main television broadcasters stream via their own websites (with the BBC even offering PVR style services), but there is an excellent choice of third party companies bundling channels as well, with TVPlayer, TVCatchup, MagineTV, Zattoo and FilmOn being the most well known, not to forget Sky’s Now TV live channels under their sub. Take into account the number of equivalent services in other countries such as Australia, where it currently sits at zero, and the complexity and costs of similar services in the US, it is clear how much choice British viewers really have.

TVPlayer differs from the competition by offering a choice of free and premium channels. All up, around 85 channels are available including those from the BBC, UKTV, British Eurosport more, along with a limited selection of catch-up content.

So what on earth does TVPlayer have that could possibly compete with FilmOn or Zattoo? The short answer is their premium add-on package which includes some great gems for a seriously reasonable price – but more on that later…

Quality SDTVPlayer currently offers the best video quality I have seen under a 3rd party free service. Although they don’t look quite as good as the BBC’s official live streams, they are certainly better than FilmOn’s iOS simulcasts and Zattoo’s free service – although a far cry still from Zattoo under a sub. This may not be so important when watching via a small mobile screen, but when airplayed to a large television, it makes all the difference.

Platform support is average and limited to web browsers, iOS devices, Android, Kindle and the Amazon Fire TV. Sadly, TVPlayer didn’t work via the Samsung TV’s browser (models tested), nor the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 browsers.

Finally, nothing really is free, so TVPlayer’s free service funds itself at least partially via advertising. There are some commercials played between channel changes, as well as on either the website or mobile apps surrounding the user interface.

 

  • TVPlayer Free

    TVPlayer’s free services offers no less than 60 channels at the time of publication, including many of the big names in British broadcast television such as all of the BBC, ITV 1, Channel 4 and Five, Dave, Really, Yesterday, Drama and more.

    In fact, many people will be more than happy with this line-up on its own, as it includes some of the highest rating channels in the UK.

    Channels Free

    It has to be mentioned though, that there are a couple of channel omissions some people may have trouble dealing with. Not to be found in TVPlayer’s line-up are the additional channels from ITV and Channel 4. By this we mean ITV 2, 3 or 4 and More4, E4 or Film 4.

    This may be a deal breaker for many people, and although this is most likely down to licensing agreements, it is quite disappointing to the viewer that these are still not yet available.

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer Plus

    In addition to TVPlayer’s Free service, they also offer 25 premium channels including Discovery Channel, TLC, British Eurosport (1&2), National Geographic Channel, History, Lifetime, Cartoon Network, Gold and more for just £4.99 per month, contract free.

    Considering that British Eurosport alone charge more than that (£6.99 per month for their contract-free subscription), this is in fact a huge deal when you think about it.

    Channels Premium

    In addition to the premium channels, a TVPlayer Plus subscription will remove the channel hopping ads in the free version.

    It is worth mentioning that the video quality under the premium subscription is no higher than what is offered via the free package. While the actual quality is acceptable for a free service, personally I would have expected something far higher when under a sub. Potential customers who have tried Zattoo under a subscription will have seen how amazing the quality can be, and coming to TVPlayer afterwards is somewhat of a letdown in comparison. I’ve been told that TVPlayer are considering higher quality streams in the future, and I certainly hope they implement that soon.

    Subscribing to TVPlayer Plus is easy and they offer a free 7 day trial over at tvplayer.com/plus. Just like most modern subscription services, you can cancel at any time as there are no long-term commitments.

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer Catch-Up

    In addition to live content, TVPlayer are also offering a limited number of shows via their catch-up service. This is a 7 day window in which a small number of programmes are available to watch if you missed the live broadcast.

    The key word to remember here right now is limited. At the time of publication, there were only 122 titles available to watch via their catch-up service. Whilst this may sound reasonable, it should be pointed out that this is compiled from 80 channels, so the vast majority of shows are not available.

    Also at the time of publication, only selected titles from TVPlayer’s premium service were found in the catch-up category, but I have been informed that this may eventually include free content as well.

    TVPlayer iPad CatchUp

    Catch-up is accessed via a dedicated page that lists all the shows, rather than using an EPG as employed by Zattoo. Although this seemed odd to me at the time, it makes sense since so few titles right now are actually available for catch-up.

    It’s a pity that there is no way to mark a programme as a favourite, so when new episodes arrive, it can easily be found. Perhaps this will be a feature added in the future.

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer via a Web Browser

    www.tvplayer.com

    Although TVPlayer can be used in the standard webpage mode, it looks its best at full-screen where it really shows the good thought put behind all the planning. When you move the mouse, the playback screen fills up with all the sorts of things you want and need. (A note for people using this abroad via Smart DNS: The time in the full-screen window is British)

    Playbackwindow

    Don’t worry, there still is a full EPG as well, and it clearly identifies which channels are free or premium by a beautifully simple timeline bar in either cerise pink or malibu blue. It is quite simply one of the most well designed web-based EPGs I have seen, but it is just a pity it cant be stretched to make full use of a wide screen.

    This high praise is in fact a global response to almost everything I have seen from TVPlayer.com, as they have really pulled off a beautiful and well laid-out website.

    The Channels tab, takes you to a basic list of channels represented by large buttons, with little else to clutter the eye other than making a selection.

    Quality SDVideo quality can be adjusted manually, with the best we tested at a comfortable 3055kbps*. While this is quite a high bitrate, it doesn’t appear to be encapsulated as efficiently as we have seen elsewhere, as pixelation can still be clearly seen at full-screen on a 27″ monitor. This is of course not the most ideal way to watch television anyway, so sitting back does improve things dramatically.

    TVPlayer Web bitrate 3055kbps

    Although video quality is quite far from Zattoo under a sub, it is still the best I have seen of any current free service, which should give it some additional credit.

    Platform Pros:

    • Good quality video stream for a free service.
    • Fast and easy way to change channels.
    • Great user interface.
    • Well designed EPG.
    • TVPlayer Plus channels available.
    • Catch-up content available.

    Platform Cons:

    • Not the most sofa-friendly way to watch TV.
    • Can appear pixelated at full-screen.
    • No channel packs.
    • No Chromecast support.

    (Accessing TVPlayer.com from outside of the UK may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Time Bar BUTTON Sub SD BUTTON Live TV BUTTONSport BUTTONCatch-up BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer via iOS (iPhone and iPad)

    TVPlayer have also provided one of the most impressive iOS apps for live streaming television, utilizing a unique interface that quite simply does a fantastic job – whilst not directly copying the competition. The iOS app is available only from the UK app store, but is free of charge.

    The Home screen provides a list of highlighted shows in much the same way catch-up services do, which to be honest is a little odd for a live stream. Clicking on the show will bring up the channel with the ability to play back what is currently live, rather than the highlighted show itself. Personally I think it would be far better to highlight currently airing shows, mixed in with recommended catch-up content.

    The Live TV tab brings up a Now and Next channel listing, which is probably one of the best places to find out what there is to watch right now. Playback can begin in a tiny window at the top right of the screen, but that can also be made full-screen at any time.

    Alternatively, there is a TV Guide option also available on the iPad app which offers a much more detailed EPG that extends up to 6 further days into the future. It is also possible via this view, to watch a small windowed live stream of selected shows, but probably the most useful feature here would be the reminders that can be set for future programmes. These reminders will pop up even when the app is not currently in use or even closed.

    Quality SDVideo playback only offers dynamic bitrates based on your bandwidth, so there are no manual settings that can be adjusted. That said, the video quality I experienced was very good and averaged 3135kbps* during my tests, and looked more than acceptable when airplay to my 40″ TV when sitting back on the sofa.

    TVPlayer iOS bitrate 3135kbps

    Airplay support is also very good, without the need of mirroring and direct access from the playback screen. It’s also multitask-supported, so your iOS device can be switched off or used for another purpose during playback.

    In addition, there are a few additional playback second-screen features that are really nice…

    Tap the circled i button on the screen and you have the current or next programme information, but my favourite is the channel button. This allows for an almost true-couch-potato channel hopping experience… Well, almost, as you still need to eyeball the iPad or iPhone to switch channels.

    Platform Pros:

    • Good video quality.
    • Excellent UI on both the larger iPad or smaller iPhone.
    • 7 day EPG with reminder setting on the iPad app.
    • Quick and easy to change channels.
    • Good multitasking AirPlay support.
    • iPad or iPhone become second-screen devices during AirPlay with info and channel changing possible.
    • TVPlayer Plus available.
    • Includes Catch-Up content.

    Platform Cons:

    • No Chromecast support.
    • TV Guide only available on iPad (not on iPhone or iPod Touch)
    • No Search function like on the Android app.

    (Accessing TVPlayer from outside of the UK may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Time Bar BUTTON Live TV BUTTONSport BUTTONCatch-up BUTTONAirPlay BUTTONSD BUTTONAlerts BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer via Android

    The following app has been tested on a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 running KitKat 4.4. Due to the enormous fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, features, availability and UI may vary dramatically between devices.

    TVPlayer.com is also available on selected Android tablets and smart phones, and if you have access to the app on the UK Google Play store, it is certainly worth installing.

    Android’s tablet app still reflects the older version that has long since disappeared from the iPad, which means the Home-screen is dominated by channel packs not found on other platforms.

    Away from the Home-screen, the Android app generally falls short of the iPad’s equivalent features as well. The excellent and beautifully laid out 7 day EPG on the iPad is replaced with a far less intuitive 4 day EPG on the Android. But like the iPad, a well designed channel changer can pop up on the screen when you tap the appropriate button.

    At this stage there is also no access to TVPlayer’s premium or catch-up content, but we expect a major overhaul of the Android app soon, which will include these and most likely replicate the iOS experience.

    Video played back at the same high rate we saw for the other platforms, testing in at around 3200kbps*. I still saw pixelation on the tablet’s screen, which is always disappointing for such a high bitrate, but it wasn’t an unpleasant picture.

    TVPlayer Android bitrate 3190kbps

    Overall the Android app is pleasantly suitable for the burden of live TV streaming, however it is a tad disappointing TVPlayer don’t release a tablet version as well designed as the iPad’s one.

    Platform Pros:

    • Attractive UI layout.
    • Search function.
    • EPG & Reminders.
    • Channel packs for genre filtering.

    Platform Cons:

    • Ads on the bottom of many screens including the Home-screen.
    • No Chromecast support.
    • No Premium content.
    • No Catch-Up content.
    • TV Guide not as good as on the iPad.
    • EPG is nowhere near as good as on the iPad.

    (Accessing TVPlayer from outside of the UK may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Time Bar BUTTON Sub SD BUTTONLive TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer via the Amazon Fire TV

    Since the AFTV was first launched in 2014, TVPlayer has been available on the UK hub, and this is quite honestly huge.

    First of all, this brings the live streaming service direct to televisions in a comfortable, sofa-friendly environment, not too dissimilar from traditional terrestrial or satellite TV – at least minus any PVR features.

    Plug the tiny Amazon Fire TV box or stick into the television, and regardless of access to any terrestrial, satellite or cable signals, as long as you have a good enough broadband connection, you’ll have live UK television controllable via a good old-fashioned remote control! At last, lying on the sofa with a remote lazily dangling from your fingers and flicking mindlessly between channels at ease is finally possible again!

    That said, while channel hopping is certainly easier, it is not unfortunately by a single key-press as seen on a traditional TV-flicker. This is a bit of a pity, as Zattoo features a single key-press for channel hopping on the German Amazon Fire TV hub, and it works great! (the Swiss-based live streaming service that also offers UK channels).

    Channel changes can be achieved either by the Menu button which overlays all the various options, or hitting the Back button to get to the home screen where there is a choice of Channel Packages, a Channel Grid or On Now/Next with programme information. That same information can also be accessed via the i button.

    Outside of that, there really isn’t much else happening via the UI – it is after-all simply a vessel for simulcasting linear television.

    As for video quality, I would best describe it as average. To be honest, for a free IPTV streaming service it is acceptable and if you sit far enough from the TV, you would soon forget about the mild pixelation and artifacts – as long as your TV isn’t too large. But this should really not be a problem in the first place, as my own tests indicate an average bitrate of 3235kbps*. With this bitrate, we should be seeing much higher quality video than what is actually coming through. I would like to see TVPlayer perhaps upgrade their encapsulation algorithms where they could keep the same bitrate, but deliver smoother and higher quality streams – after all, their greatest competition here is free terrestrial television, which not only comes in SD, but some channels in HD as well.

    TVPlayer AFTV bitrate 3235kbps

    On a disappointing note, the Amazon Fire TV app lacks a few channels found on the other platforms, and I’m not just talking about the premium ones either. Plenty of free channels seem to be missing, including those from UKTV such as Dave.

    I hope this will change as soon as the app is updated to include TVPlayer Plus, rather than this being the result of licensing agreements.

    Platform Pros:

    • Good video quality.
    • Easy(ish) to change channels.
    • Love the On Now/Next guide.
    • Good programme info.

    Platform Cons:

    • Video quality should be better for this bitrate (at least SD quality).
    • Missing single key channel hopping (as Zattoo on Amazon Fire TV offers).
    • No access to premium content.
    • No access to Catch-Up content.

    (Accessing TVPlayer from outside of the UK may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Time Bar BUTTON Live TV BUTTONSD BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

  • TVPlayer via the Apple TV 4

    One of the big surprises for the new Apple TV 4 launch, was the inclusion of TVPlayer on the platform from day dot. This was especially good news since it currently sits pretty lonely there in regards to other UK-specific media streaming services.

    Unfortunately, its not one of TVPlayer’s finest efforts, although this may be down to the limited time Apple gave most developers before the new platform was launched. It should also be pointed out that this app is only available on the Apple TV 4 and not older models.

    There are three faces to the TVPlayer app on this platform, Live TV, Catch-up and Channels. Whilst Channels just lists all the available channels on TVPlayer, the Live TV screen will also provide a now/next EPG. Either way you can fire up a channel to watch live.

    The Catch-up screen is where you will find all the available shows on their 7-day on-demand window, but unfortunately as yet there are no filters to help drill the selection down.

    Video playback started out pretty poor, but it seems to me that TVPlayer may be experimenting with higher bitrates on selected channels. I have noticed that they are now streaming BBC’s HD feeds, and on one occasion I’ve seen a rather impressive bitrate flowing through – I’d rather not mention high how it was until I can replicate it via several tests. During my scheduled bench-test however, I measured a steady 4260kbps*, the highest yet for TVPlayer over any platform tested. I’m not going to go so far as to say these are HD streams yet, but I’ll keep a eye out on these latest developments and report back any changes.

    TVPlayer ATV4 bitrate 4260kbps

    On the other hand, many other channels haven’t been so impressive, with an average of around 2260kbps* as shown below. It seems to be a bit of pot luck at the moment.

    TVPlayer ATV4 bitrate 2260kbps

    As far as channel hopping goes, there is no easy way to flip between channels. You’ll have to hit the back button, move to the next channel and then select it – considerably more work than a 30 year-old television, so a little more thought needs to go here for a future update.

    On the positive side, a couple of the unique ATV4 features work quite nicely here, including the “Reduce Loud Sounds” options for evenings (which reduces the volume of loud sounds like expositions, so the kiddies or ever-complaining neighbours are not bothered so much), and limited Siri voice integration, such as jumping ahead x-amount of minutes or seconds when viewing catch-up content.

    Platform Pros:

    • Includes TVPlayer Plus content.
    • Catch-up content available.
    • Siri integration.
    • Fast FFW&REW in catch-up content.
    • ATV4 Audio controls.
    • Video quality has reached record heights for TVPlayer.

    Platform Cons:

    • Video quality not as stable as some other platforms.
    • Poor channel hopping.
    • No manual video quality controls.
    • No Catch-up filters.
    • No timelines.
    • No programme information on playback screen.
    • Missing UKTV Play channels like Dave.

    (Accessing TVPlayer from outside of the UK may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTONCatch-up BUTTON SD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

  • Roku & Now TV

    Unfortunately, at the time of publication the good folks at TVPlayer have not yet released an official app for the hugely popular Roku and Now TV platforms. Roku’s omission is an unusual one, due to the popularity of this device, but the lack of a Now TV app probably comes down to Sky who are ultra selective on what services they will allow on their subsidised Roku clone.

    That said, there is an unofficial version of TVPlayer that can be easily installed onto any UK Roku device via the Private Code: arteseatvp or sideloaded on to a Now TV Box. While this version is not officially endorsed by TVPlayer in any way, it should go to show them how desired such an app is, that a developer would go to all the trouble to reverse engineer it for the British streaming public. In any event, you can find the developers blog here.

    Overall, the app is clear and well laid out, as well as being easy to use. Channels can be selected by the Channels overview screen, or through the Now/Next screen, and video quality is as good as we expect for TVPlayer, where our tests averaged 3290kbps.

    TVPlayer Roku bitrate 3290kbps

    We won’t dwell too long on this version, due to it not being official, but we can certainly say we are really happy that the developer went to all this fantastic effort.

    Platform Pros:

    • Amazing effort by The Artesea.
    • Great video quality for a free service.
    • Well designed UI for a reverse engineering project.

    Platform Cons:

    • Does not include TVPlayer Plus content.
    • Not the official version.

    (Accessing TVPlayer from outside of the UK on Roku or Now TV devices may require using a good Smart DNS or VPN service configured at the router level)

    Sport BUTTONCatch-up BUTTONSD BUTTONLive TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    NowTV2 UI TVPlayer

     

    TVPlayer is geographically restricted to the UK. To access TVPlayer from anywhere in the world on this platform, we recommend one of the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

  • How to watch TVPlayer from Abroad

    Watching TVPlayer on your home television outside of the UK is not only possible, but incredibly easy to do. The trick is to grab yourself a good Smart DNS service. While some people tout VPNs, that method is a little out of date these days and nowhere near as good as Smart DNS.

    Smart DNS is faster than a VPN, easier to set up than a VPN, cheaper than a VPN, and unlike a VPN, it can be configured on most smart TVs and set-top-boxes. So how easy is it?… well that depends on which device you are using. The easiest of all would be the Apple TV 4 (Apple’s latest model), although the Amazon Fire TV and iOS devices are also pretty easy.

    Although we love the Roku and Now TV devices, we don’t recommend them unless your router can manually configure DNS addresses and static routes, and many can’t (especially ones supplied by ISPs), as well as the fact that at the time of publication only an unofficial version of TVPlayer worked on those platforms. If you prefer these devices though, contact us for more details.

    So otherwise grab yourself an Apple TV 4 or Amazon Fire TV and watch live UK TV today! You’ll need to add the TVPlayer app to either device, and outside of the UK this is incredibly easy for the Apple TV 4 (Note: Earlier Apple TVs do not provide the TVPlayer app). If you don’t already have a UK iTunes account, create a free one using this guide. Then add the TVPlayer app from the UK app store. TVPlayer can sit happily side-by-side with apps from your own region, so there are no issues there.

    The Amazon Fire TV is just as easy if you already have a UK Amazon account and only want to use the Fire TV for that country’s apps. If you want to mix apps with your own country or another, you will need to follow this guide.


    Now, you just need to unblock TVPlayer. Normally TVPlayer notices if your IP address is outside of the UK and blocks access to the streams. The easiest way to unblock this is via a Smart DNS service.

    There are a lot of Smart DNS services out there right now, but our current favourite for TVPlayer is Getflix, not only because they work great for TVplayer, but they also have fantastic support for the Apple TV 4 and Fire TV platforms, meaning plenty of other apps like the BBC iPlayer ITV Hub, Demand  and more also work outside of the UK.

    Ad GetflixGetflix offer a two week free trial with no credit card required for the trial period! This means you can test it out risk free, to see if it works in your home network. If you are happy with the service, they’ll charge only US$3.95 per month and cheaper if you go for longer plans – and that’s less expensive than a cup of coffee these days! Not bad really when you consider full access to theTVPlayer’s live and on-demand content, as well as an enormous range of other services as well.

    So why not give it a go and see how easy it is to work for you. You can set up TVPlayer on a reasonable range of devices, including mobile phones and tablets (complete with offline downloads), as well as via a browser.

    Note: It is worth mentioning that some people in the countries furthest from the UK (we’re looking at you Australia and NZ) have been experiencing episodes of buffering and lower quality streams when trying to access TVPlayer. This hasn’t affected everyone in those regions, but it is likely to be caused by the huge distances involved, and all the hops needed for the live streams to reach their final destination.

  • Conclusion

    TVPlayer arrived on the crowded UK live streaming scene missing a few rather important channels and no PVR or cloud recording features, two omissions that may have dissuaded many television viewers from using their services.

    Since then, the service has increased to around 80 channels including a mixture of free and premium content with a limited amount of catch-up as well, at quite frankly, a brilliant price point. It is sadly still missing some key channels like ITV and 4’s complimentary ones, but it almost makes up for it with inclusion of British Eurosport.

    Video quality is certainly more than adequate enough for the free service, but to be honest, I would have liked to see something a lot better under a sub. These days we expect pin-sharp television regardless of how it is delivered.

    That said, if you take into account the rather excellent user interface, we have the base for a very competitive service. TVPlayer on its own covers a good range of the UK’s free-to-air channels, and adding the premium content only compliments the already good selection.

    On the other hand, if you want higher quality streams, cloud recording features and a full 7 day back-catalogue, Zattoo’s subscription service, when combined with a good Smart DNS, is probably still the best out there – and great value to boot.

    TVPlayer is officially only available to those with a UK IP address, so if you wish to have such a thing, you will either need a good VPN, or even better, a good Smart DNS service – especially if you also want to airplay.

    Time Bar BUTTON Live TV BUTTONSport BUTTONCatch-up BUTTON

    AirPlay BUTTONAlerts BUTTONSD BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pros:

    • Good video quality.
    • Fantastic user interface.
    • Most of the main UK channels are available.
    • Premium channels.
    • Includes the BBC Red Button channel!
    • British Eurosport for cheaper than with British Eurosport.
    • Some catch-up content.
    • Good AirPlay support.
    • Great on the Amazon Fire TV!

    Cons:

    • Missing some popular channels.
    • Commercials between channel swaps.
    • No ability to subscribe for higher quality streams.
    • No HD (or even SD) streams.
    • No ability to change regions.
    • No Recording or PVR features.
    • No Chromecast support.
    • Missing on major platforms such as Roku (officially), Android TV, PS4 and Xbox One.

    Log:

    05.02.2014: Published: Score 6.2 – Best Free Service.

    26.02.2014: Added bitrate tests.

    19.06.2014: New channel details added & bitrate tests updated.

    11.06.2014: Updated with new details & Android review

    13.10.2014: Added Amazon Fire TV and updated score to 6.4.

    22.10.2015: Major Overhaul. Including Premium content. Score increased to 6.8.

    05.11.2015: Added ATV4 review. Score increased to 6.9.

    04.03.2016: Added Roku/Now TV section.

     

    *video quality results are averaged from multiple tests and may be affected by geographic location as well as available bandwidth.

     

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Comments

  1. Linda

    Hi, I’ve just installed this on my Android tablet, Nexus 10. Works great. It’s a pity you don’t cover more android devices.

    • Hi Linda, glad to hear it’s working on Android. We plan to add reviews for Android devices as soon as possible.

  2. Steve

    Isn’t Adam Smith from simplestream the same guy who was behind TVCatchup.com?

  3. James

    Have you managed to get Tvplayer working on fire tv from abroad? Zattoo and bbc iplayer work great with unblockus but stv and tvplayer don’t.

    I’m sure unblockus or a similar DNS service will add tvplayer and Fire tv to their supported list in the future but I’m wondering whether in the meantime you’ve got them to work?

    Thanks

    James

    • Hi James,
      TVPlayer is supported by OverPlay on the Fire TV Platform, but I don’t believe Unblock-us have official support yet. Your best bet would be to raise a request ticket with Unblock-us. The more people that request the services, the more chances they will see a good reason to add them.

      As for STV, neither OverPlay or Unblock-us support that on the Fire TV yet, so that could certainly be another request if you require it.

  4. Lynda

    I installed the app and it worked really well. When I tried again today, the screen was just blank in all sections. I deleted the app and reinstalled it but it is still blank. Is there a problem with the service at the moment?

    • Lynda

      Sorry, just realised this should have gone directly to TV Player. Apologies! Please feel free to delete.

      • No worries Lynda, glad it is all working! 🙂

  5. Grahame Wildon

    I have been using TV Player through my Amazon Fire Stick for several weeks, however I am becoming increasingly despondent with the continual re-buffering. I could not ever imagine paying for premium channels on this app until it is more stable. Several times a day this app will close down completely which is most inconvenient, it has a long way to go to be as stable a viewing platform as a tv aerial or virgin/sky etc.
    Very Disappointed!

  6. James

    TV Player unofficial is not working anymore but the developer has updated their app.

  7. CaptainHijab

    You probably want to do a new review, as the new service is buggy as hell.

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