Streaming UK TV shows on Windows Phone possible with upcoming TVCatchup app

If you're not familiar with the UK service, TVCatchup is a free way to watch television shows when not sat in front of the big screen. Unfortunately, despite the naming, TVCatchup does not sport functionality to enable users to watch shows that have already been on air, but the available free streaming is a great feature for any device.

TVCatchup already has an app available for Windows 8, but there's also currently an app in development for Windows Phone 8. All About Windows Phone has taken a look at what we can expect.

The app is basically a native experience for what's stored and presented on the main website ( It provides users a list of what's currently on television as well as future programming on UK Freeview channels. When selecting a channel, detailed descriptions of current and following programmes are displayed.

TVCatchup App

When the app is published on the Windows Phone Store it'll support all three Live Tile sizes, which flip over to reveal thumbnails of last viewed programmes. Individual channels can be pinned as small or medium sized tiles for more convenient access to favourite sources. TVCatchup offers two video quality settings for streaming, which can be selected automatically depending on connectivity (WiFi or 3G, etc.)

Unfortunately, while the service is free, users are viewing what's broadcasted by providers. This means advertisements are present (with no way of skipping through), but the app does allow users to repeat the previous handful of seconds of the stream, handy if you have missed some content. As well as channel adverts, TVCatchup also sports some adverts of its own but are reportedly not as intrusive.


We'll keep an eye out for when TVCatchup is released for Windows Phone, expected to be approximately two weeks. Until then, be sure to check the desktop app out, which is available (opens in new tab) on the Windows Store.

via: AAWP

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Does this include BBC (I.e. Top gear)? :)
  • As far as i know it does. If top gear is being shown live on a freeview channel then you can watch it using this app. As stated in the article, you are essentially tapping into the live stream so if you miss the start well there is nothing that can be done i am afraid until BBC and MS play nice regarding a WP8 iplayer app or the BBC move to html5.
  • windows phone 8... what about 7xx
  • Well, probably no app for WP7 users, as the OS is being phased out - we were probably seen by Nokia/Microsoft as beta testers - officially the system is still supported but in reality it is being slowly killed by Microsoft - the same thing will probably happen when they release WP9, which is likely to be the same thing for phones, tablets and laptops at least as far as apps are concerned. MS fanboys, will you be happy if you learn your WP8 devices are turned into legacy devices by MS trying to sell more, faster and with (look at the illogical pricing policy of Windows 8 laptop version - 400% of the January price starting soon...
  • Excellent looking toward to its release its a great service it has lots of channels you can check out what channels it will have at only two weeks thanks for the heads up wpcentral
  • Finally. Hopefully it will be awesome
  • Finally BBC three, lol
  • Speaking of Live Tiles... Has anyone ever thought of having duplicate live tiles? My idea, and something that would help me out, is to be able to pin up to 3 live tiles of the same tile to the start screen. Reason being is that I find myself wanting my "settings" tile, and others, in multiple places on my start screen so that I can access it from the top, middle, and bottom of the screen. I know that I'm not the only one who has wished that they could have duplicate tiles at some point, and this is something that should be relatively easy to implement.. The pin option would simply loose its opacity after 3 pins. So❓❓❓
  • There's already numerous apps for pinning various settings and launchers e.g. WizTiles, Dashboard etc. You can't use it for general apps, but you're better off swiping to the right screen and using the jump-list to launch the app.
  • Thanks, but that's called a work around, and that's not what I'm looking for.. I like to think of new ideas that I can submit to MS so they can possibly be implemented in future updates. Of course there are many ways of accessing content, but that's another subject. The idea of duplicate tiles is for quick access no matter what position you are at on the start screen. Like I said some people might use the messaging hub a lot, so they may find it convenient to be able to pin it in multiple places on the start screen. That's my point,, to come up with new ways of doing things that no other OS can... Ya dig??
  • Sounds messy
  • Mess is in the eye of the beholder!! LOL... Its simple, if you think this would clutter you start screen then simply pin only what you prefer...
  • I understand what you're saying... it just seems really unweildly to show updates numerous times and present the same shortcut several times, because it's too difficult to use the other options available to you. You can press the Home button and jump right up to the top, or use the jump list as I mentioned before. It's a bit like having 5 shortcut icons to the same application on your deskop because you don't want to move the cursor very far. I'd much rather MS focused on custom hubs or folders or multiple screens :P
  • I see where you're coming from, but its not like a desktop where everything is displayed right in front of you and its easy to just drag your mouse to tiles. WP start screens can get very long, and hide information way below, in the middle, and up top. If I had multiple tiles for certain apps I use often that would keep me from doing a lot of unnecessary scrolling. This is a very simple, and useful idea, and I'm sure it would be put to use by many... Like I said before it's simple, those who wouldn't find it useful would simply just not chose to pin more than one. But, extra functionality within a OS is never a bad thing.. I bet you would eventually find use for this!! Lol
  • It would be awesome if this worked with Aussie TV for ABC iView and SBS OnDemand :)
  • Yes at last another must have app now coming to windows phone.
  • +1
  • ➕2
  • Already have it on my Surface. Looking forward to it being in my htc8X (especially when Im on a long journey)
  • Is this a work around for the BBCs region lock? Had to watch Top Gear in a dodgy stream yesterday...
  • No, the streams only work if you're in the UK.
  • Congratulations WP8. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS
  • Is there a genuine reason why they have spelt 'TVCATCHUP' as 'TVCATCUP' in all the individual tiles in the app (see article image). Frankly it is a little embarrassing adding software to your phone when it can't even get the spelling of its own product right!
  • Haha +1
  • It is a beta app and the writer of the article David Gilson took screenshots of this to publish it and of course they will be corrected before release.
    Typos happen in anything I am afraid.
  • Definitely an app i will use but i do think the name is a bit misleading. To me 'tvcatchup' means the ability to watch programmes i have missed not watch live streams.
  • I think originally the TVCatchup website and service was meant to allow you to record programs, an online PVR. They ran into legal troubles and moved to just streaming all free to view channels in the UK - with a few second time delay.
  • I use this a lot on my Surface tablet and it works well with all the major Free to View channels covered and a free additional ones. Certainly the quality is fine on a tablet so the allure of the HD paid version holds no great appeal. Nice app whether I would watch it on my phone is unlikely but nice to have for sure.
  • And another one drops out of the hat. :) Come on BBC take your head out from Apple's dirty behind and give me my iPlayer app. Yes, I'm a paying customer.