Apple iOS

iPad Air - The power of lightnessThere are many options available to view TV or listen to radio on Apple iOS devices, these include iTunes Radio, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, My5, FilmOn and TVCatchup to name just a few of the many apps available.
Please not that many of these apps are not available on an Apple TV, which has no access to the App Store, connect your iPhone, iPad or iPad to the Apple TV to increase viewing options.
Apps such as BBC iPlayer are restricted to the UK App Store, so you will have to use this to download UK only apps.

The Apple iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone are all good for accessing media such as live TV, radio or Video On Demand (VOD).
Some apps only require a Wi-Fi connection, others will only be available only in the UK, these will require a UK Virtual Private Network (VPN), when used overseas. To see available apps, visit the App Store

iOS 9, codenamed “Monarch”, is Apple’s current-generation mobile operating system. It includes a more intelligent Spotlight, more proactive Siri, a new News app, an updated Notes app, transit directions in Maps, a renamed Wallet app with store and loyalty cards, tether-less CarPlay, and slide-over and split-screen modes for iPad.

iOS 9 supports the same hardware as iOS 8, so chances are if you are running iOS 8, you will need to update to iOS 9.
Apple has made iOS 9 much smaller than iOS 8, so users will not run into issues with not having enough space to install the new OS.
iOS 9 does not feature a drastic redesign from iOS 8, yet continues to build on apps and features. Other top new features of iOS 9 include improved Siri suggestions, Selfie and Screenshot albums in Photos, faster access to Apple Pay, low power mode, content blocking in Safari, new features in Notes app, quicker multitasking, and much more.


 

Apple TV 4

Apple TV 4The 4th generation also uses a new operating system tvOS with an associated app store, allowing download of third-party apps for video, audio, games, and other content – initially from a limited range of providers on release, with others able to release further apps using new APIs allowing them to do so.

A requirement of these apps and games is that they all must include interfacing with the new touchpad-enabled Siri remote.
TVOS is 95% based on iOS 9 with the interface and APIs being tweaked to support the big screen.

Video Formats
Apple TV natively supports the following audio, video, and picture formats (although with the 4th generation, apps may use alternative built-in software in order to play other codecs and formats, e.g. Plex/ VLC Media Player):

  • H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.2 or lower
  • H.264 Baseline Profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats
  • MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640×480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

Audio Formats
HE‑AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

bbciplayerappletv-3BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4
BBC has redesigned its hugely popular catch-up streaming service with a native tvOS interface. Programmes are sorted either by channel or genre.
The app includes on-demand and live content from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and more.

In the UK you can browse through the BBC’s live channels, recommendations, favourite programmes, search, and the 30-day archive. You can pause and rewind, too. Currently there are no subtitles on the BBC iPlayer app, Apple does not support the subtitle format used for BBC iPlayer, so it’s not possible to turn on subtitles at this time.

Purchased content from the BBC Store can be watched on the Apple TV through the app.
BBC is working on integrating its app with Apple’s universal search, making it possible to use Siri to find TV programmes and content.


 

iTunes Radio

iTunes RadioiTunes Radio is a free service that lets you stream hundreds of DJ-curated and genre-focused stations directly to your device or computer.
With iTunes Radio users get access to 100 stations created by the Apple music team; you can create stations by typing in artist names. Stations can be shared and tweaked to include songs you like, and exclude songs you hate.
iTunes Radio also creates personalised stations based on your listening and iTunes purchasing history, and features Siri integration for track information.

The iTunes Radio app uses a streaming protocol known as HLS that includes 3 required bitrates, 64 kbps, 128 kbps, 256 kbps and an audio compression standard known as HE- AAC v1 for the 64 kbps streams and AAC-LC for the 128 kbps and 256 kbps streams.

NOTE: iTunes Radio is not supported in all countries and regions, it is available in the UK.

Bitrates on iTunes Radio
64 kbps HE-AAC v1
128 kbps AAC-LC
256 kbps AAC-LC


 

Radioplayer 

radioplayerThere is a Radioplayer app available for Apple iOS devices, please note that some stations are Geoblocked on the app, though available through the desktop app without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in some cases.

There are a number of options available on the main page, Live radio, Recommended and catch-up. You can also access Settings, information about the app and Intro page.

Use the Search box at the top of the app to search for stations, or look under Live radio to browse alphabetically. Use the drop down menu to see programme information, along with options to add the current station to favourites, Tweet on Twitter or share on Facebook. Browse stations alphabetically under Live radio.

Radioplayer offers the option to catch-up on previously broadcast programmes. Search catch-up either by using the search bar or browse by categories.

Bitrates vary on Radioplayer and are dependent on the individual broadcasters, under settings there is an option for High quality (when possible).

Website: www.radioplayer.co.uk


 

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn RadioTuneIn Radio offer users the ability to listen to streaming audio of over 100,000 radio networks and radio stations worldwide, including AM, FM, HD, LP, digital and internet stations.
Additionally, over four million podcasts are available for streaming on TuneIn. TuneIn’s directory carries the most comprehensive list of sports, news, talk, and music from around the world.

TuneIn Radio is available as a free app on all smartphones and tablets, including iOS.
There is a one-time pay version, “TuneIn Radio Pro”, which allows you to record anything heard through the TuneIn service to play back at any time.
Recordings made by TuneIn Radio Pro are stored on the device and cannot be played on other devices.

Bitrates
The bitrate that TuneIn Radio Pro provides varies according to the quality of the data connection and the radio service in question.
A small blue box next to the radio station or programme lets you know what the bitrate is – typically this is between 64kbit/s and 192kbit/s.

BBC Radio streams available on the TuneIn app are:
128 kbps MP3
48 kbps HLS
96 kbps HLS
128 kbps HLS (UK only)
320 kbps HLS (UK only)

Website: http://tunein.com


 

BBC iPlayer Radio

BBC iPlayer RadioYou can listen to BBC Radio using BBC iPlayer Radio through your iPad, iPhone or iPod.
On BBC iPlayer Radio, all of the BBC Radio stations are available to “listen live” and the majority of their programmes are available on demand.
BBC National Radio, the BBC World Service, BBC Nations and BBC Local Radio are all available on Apple iOS devices.

Radio Bit-rates on BBC iPlayer
All BBC services are now available in HLS using the AAC codec, this is a native Apple format.
HTTP streams are available in both UK (320 kbp/s HLS AAC) and international variants (96 kbp/s HLS AAC), which allows those in the UK to continue to enjoy BBC Sports coverage.

How much data will listening to BBC Radio use on 3G & 4G?
30 minutes of radio may consume up to 30 MB of data.
60 minutes of Radio may consume up to 60 MB of data.

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/radio


 

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer and reflectionBBC iPlayer is an online service which allows you to play TV and radio programmes from the 30 days.
You can watch live BBC channels on iPlayer, as well as a selection of programmes that have already aired. On-demand services, like BBC iPlayer, allow you to play programmes whether they are live, or have already been broadcast.

Streaming & Bitrates
The BBC uses adaptive bitrate technology, BBC iPlayer will automatically drop down from 1500 kbps to 800 kbps, and then down to 500 kbps, as needed.
The default video quality on BBC iPlayer, is  800 kbps H.264, audio is 96 kbps HE-AAC  (same quality as 192 kbps MP2). This applies to both live TV streams and to VOD content.

Low bandwidth streaming (480 kbps) = 190-210 MB
Standard quality streaming (800 kbps) = 320-340 MB
High quality streaming (1500 kbps) = 600-640 MB
High definition streaming (2800Kbps) = 1.10-1.20 GB

How much data will watching TV or VOD on BBC iPlayer use?
Here are some file size estimates. You can use these to calculate how much data you might be using when watching or listening to BBC programmes over 3G or 4G.

High Quality (encoded at 1500 kbps):
30 minute programme – 315 MB
60 minute programme – 630 MB

Standard Quality (encoded at 800kbps)
30 minute programme – 160 MB
60 minute programme – 320 MB

Standard quality is the default setting for iOS devices.

For smoother streaming in low bandwidth connections go to the ‘Settings’ icon in the iPlayer app and select ‘Video’. Set to ‘On’. If you leave this on it will automatically start at low bandwidth and depending on your connection speed will upgrade after 15 seconds.

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer


 

ITV Hub

ITV HubITV Hub for iOS lets you watch a wide selection of catch up and live ITV content on your Apple mobile and tablet devices.
As part of ITV free, ad-funded catch-up service, you can watch your favourite ITV programmes for up to 30 days after broadcast over WiFi or a 3G/4G mobile data network, as well as live streams of ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV.

You must be in the UK to view ITV programmes. ITV are unable to show their content to users outside the UK. If you are in an STV or UTV region, you will only be able to view ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV programmes, or just change your postcode for full access.

ITV Player uses adaptive bitrate streaming, with four streams available depending on your Internet connection, 1200 kbps, 800 kbps, 600 kbps, and 400 kbps.
This is the same for both live TV and VOD content on ITV Hub.

Live Channels
Each time you access one of the live channel streams you may be required to watch some adverts at the start of playback. You will then see adverts during the broadcast as you would if you were watching on TV.

All ITV content is now available over both wi-fi connections and mobile data networks. Please be aware that streaming video over mobile networks may incur additional costs.

Playback quality is dependent on your device and network capabilities. For optimum performance, please ensure that you are running the latest version of iOS.
For more information, see the support pages at http://www.itv.com/help/


 

All4

All 4The All 4 iPad app offers a 30-day catch-up service. The current requirements to run this app are an iPad with iOS 3.2 or later. The design of the app was elegant and intuitive but received negative reviews around technical issues and its use of commercial breaks.
The All 4 app for the iPhone and iPod Touch also offers a 30-day catch-up service.
Both apps feature enhanced search functionality to enable users to more easily navigate the catch-up and archive content.
They can both be browsed in 3G, though video playback is still only available with a Wi-Fi signal to “ensure the quality of the viewing experience is not affected.
The apps also feature a link to Channel 4’s content on iTunes, offering the chance to purchase shows.
The app automatically detects the best available bandwidth to play out the most suitable quality video/audio format.
If you are in an area with low Wi-Fi or Mobile Data connectivity, the application will detect this and send a lower quality video stream.
The lowest quality stream is audio only. As soon as the application detects you are in an area with better connectivity, a higher quality video stream is transmitted.

The All4 app supports AirPlay for iOS7 and iOS8 devices, and HDMI TV-Out connection for iOS8 devices only.
Features

Content can be download and watched offline support.
Programmes from All4 are streamed with advertising before, and sometimes during, the show.

Features

  • Catch up on a range of programmes from Channel 4, E4 and More4 from the previous 30 days
  • Discover your favourite shows by browsing by date, by category or alphabetically, or use the new search function
  • Multi-task by viewing content and browsing the app simultaneously (supported on iPad only), or by swapping between apps
  • Restrict content to specific age groups with PIN access parental control options

Website: www.channel4.com/on-demand


 

My5

My5My5 is a service from Channel 5, bringing you your favourite shows from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA and Spike for free.

With My5 you can:

  • Catch up on recent shows for at least 7 days (without registering for a My5 account)
  • Create a free My5 account and enjoy longer catch-up windows for your favourite shows
  • Watch My5 exclusive shows and content extras
  • Access premieres of brand new shows and box sets of the best of our archive
  • Subscribe to our newsletters and be the first to hear about new releases and offers

Video quality on iOS devices is around 1560 kbps. on the iPad, the streaming quality appears acceptable for the enlarged tablet screen.
The My5 app does not support AirPlay to Apple TV due to rights restrictions.

The My5 app can be installed on the following iPads:

  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini with Retina display

Website: www.channel5.com/demand5


 

Sky Go

skygoSky Go lets you watch TV from Sky on your compatible tablet, smartphone or laptop. Watch TV you love live, or catch up on demand, with the widest range of channels anywhere in the UK and Ireland.
As well as all the Sky channels, Sky Go also includes all of your ITV and Channel 5 channels.
Watch TV from Sky however you like on your compatible mobile, tablet or laptop wherever you are in the UK & Ireland.
Watch live channels including Sky Atlantic and Disney Channel, as well as Sky Movies and Sky Sports, live and on demand, depending on your TV subscription.
Available content depends on your TV subscription and you can register up to two compatible devices.

Sky Go is available to all Sky TV customers at no extra cost on your iPhone or iPad with a 3G, 4G or WiFi connection.
Sky Go is supported on Apple mobile devices running iOS 5.1.1 or higher (recommended use for Sky Go is 6.0 and above). Sky Go does not support beta OS versions.

Important
Sky Go does not permit the use of  jail broken devices. Second screen display is also not permitted, for instance through the use of Air Play.
Individual user experience of Sky Go is tracked through Conviva across iOS devices. The Sky Go advertising platform also tracks individual usage for the provision of serving advertisements.
Sky employs technologies such as digital rights management and copy protection to control the play back and copying of digital content provided via Sky Go.

Website: http://go.sky.com


 

FilmOn
filmonFilmOn.com is an internet based television provider owned by FilmOn.TV Inc. In 2010 FilmOn.com launched a streaming internet TV service for mobile devices.
The FilmOn app offers streaming television  for iOS devices and even supports AirPlay, allowing viewing on a larger screen through an Apple TV.
Video quality for SD on FilmOn is an acceptable 850 kbps through iOS devices, this is higher than other platforms such as Android and Chromecast, where SD streams are only 550 kbps.
The HD subscription service offers 1000 kbps, which may not be much higher, though it is noticeable on a larger screen.

UK channels available:

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • BBC News
  • CBBC
  • Cbeebies
  • ITV
  • ITV2
  • ITV3
  • ITV4
  • ITVBe
  • Channel 4
  • E4
  • More 4
  • Film4
  • 4Music
  • Channel 5
  • Dave
  • Really
  • Viva
  • Pick TV
  • Yesterday
  • QUEST
  • 5STAR
  • 5USA
  • CBS Drama
  • CBS Reality

Website: www.filmon.com

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