Television apps for your Windows Phone
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Television Apps
A little change of pace with this week's Windows Phone Central roundup. This being the day after a holiday for many, we picked a more relaxing topic and week focus on television apps. Just in case anyone's in the mood for being a couch potato today or are stuck in the office and want to catch up on their favorite shows.
These are Windows Phone apps that deliver the network news to your Windows Phone, that streams programming to your device, and others that delivers schedules, episode information, and other tidbits about what's on the tube. There's a wide variety of television apps in the Windows Phone Store and we plucked a few out off the shelves that may come in handy.
Discovery (free): The Discovery Channel is an entertaining and educational stop on your television dial and the Discovery app pulls it all to your Windows Phone 8 device.
With the Discovery app you can check out the channel's show schedule, read up on your favorite shows (MythBusters, Fast and Loud, MoonShiners, etc.), view clips and full episodes of various shows, and catch behind the scenes action and aftershows.
You can share episodes with friends, pin your favorites to your Windows Phone Start Screen and there is lockscreen support that will display the Discovery Channel lineup for the evening.
If you're fan of the Discovery Channel, the Discovery Windows Phone 8 app is a must have. It is a free app and you can find the Discovery app here in the (opens in new tab) Windows Phone Store.
TVShow (free/$1.29): Need to keep track of a wide range of television shows? Check out TVShow for Windows Phone 8 and 7.x.
TVShow provides a quick overview of upcoming episodes, screen captures, YouTube videos, ratings, schedules and more on all your favorite television shows. It's like TV Guide (opens in new tab) on steroids.
There are two versions available, TVShow Free (opens in new tab) and TVShow (opens in new tab) ($1.29).
The Free or Lite version does not include live tile support, notifications of show times, cloud back-up of your data (viewed shows, favorites, etc.), or the ability to use your Windows Phone as a remote screen for subtitles. TVShow Free is also ad supported.
Just follow the above links to the Windows Phone Store for either version of TVShow. It is a well rounded, comprehensive app if you need to stay on top of all your television shows.
NBC News (free): Okay... there are tons of network news apps for our Windows Phones (ABC News, Fox News, CNN, etc.) but we tapped NBC News for this roundup because of the features the most recent update brought to the table.
With NBC News you have pages dedicated to the top stories of the day, videos, slide shows, full episodes of your favorite NBC News shows, topical content, toast notifications on breaking news and live tile support.
You also get voice commands to help navigate around the app and launch searches as well as closed-caption support and audio playback for printed news stories.
NBC News is one of the more well rounded news app amongst many quality news apps for our Windows Phone. There is a Windows Phone 7.x version but it lacks many of the features the Windows Phone 8 version has (voice commands, close caption support, etc.).
NBC News is a free app that you can find here in the (opens in new tab) Windows Phone Store.
Hulu Plus (free/monthly subscription): Hulu Plus is a very popular service that delivers streaming episodes of your favorite television shows and movies to your computer. With the Hulu Plus Windows Phone 8 app you get the same streaming entertainment delivered to your Windows Phone.
Content ranges from classic television shows to the current crop of hits. Hulu Plus spreads everything out nicely with pages for trending shows, popular shows and a category page to let you do your own channel surfing of sorts.
Shows can be pinned to your Start Screen for easy access and if added to your Windows Phone Kid's Corner, you children will only have access to the kid's collection of television shows and movies.
While Hulu Plus is a free app for your Windows Phone 8 device the service will run you $7.99 a month. There is a free, 14-day trial for the subscription to let you get a feel for things before the monthly fee kicks in.
Hulu Plus is available for Windows Phone 8 devices and you can download it here (opens in new tab) in the Windows Phone Store.
While there are more television oriented apps available in the Windows Phone Store, these four jumped off the shelves at us. If we missed your favorite boob tube app, we promise there's no conspiracy a foot.
As with other roundups, feel free to share your recommendation in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.
By Jez Corden
Anyone else say "Finally!" when they first saw the title? lol
The app doesn't do any of the Whole Home DVR / Genie stuff but it took them forever to get that on Android so I wouldn't hold my breath on WP anytime soon.
Metrotube is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (auch, broke a finger)
Only avaiable to side load as I understand...(Unlocked device NEEDED)
*BuddyTV Guide - the only app I know of with listings and not just following specific shows like TVShow
*IMDb - I look stuff up with this app all the time
*Netflix - it really is more about TV that movies these days
This is the single biggest drawback for using this app. If a show is broadcast on a Tuesday in the US, I do not want the app telling me that it will be shown on Wednesday, just because of a 6 hour time difference.
When asked about it, the developer of TVShow has repatedly stated "just wait for the next update", but nothing ever happened. By now, he is not responding to inquiries anymore, so I have pretty much given up to ask him directly.
PrimeTV would be my first alternative choice, but unfortunately it does not get updated anymore, the developer having most likely abandoned the project.