It’s the beginning of the end for terrestrial free-to-air TV, guys — you may as well pull your antenna down off your roof right now. Following the launch of the FreeViewPlus hybrid internet catch-up and live TV a couple of years ago, you can now watch all 16 major digital TV channels, in real time, on your phone. If you want to.
Freeview FV debuted overnight on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and gives any person with a phone and a decent 3G or 4G signal live streaming access to ABC, SBS, Seven, Channel 9, Ten, One, ABC2/ABC Kids, ABC Me, ABC News 24, 7Two, 7Mate, 7Flix, 9Gem, 9Go!, 9Life and Racing.com. It’s also a portal to the catch-up TV libraries of ABC iView, SBS On Demand, PLUS7, 9Now and tenplay, without requiring standalone apps for any of those services. It also includes Freeview’s comprehensive guide.
To be brutally honest, I haven’t watched live telly for months. I don’t even have an antenna plugged into my TV. I don’t really need it any more, since it doesn’t fit my viewing habits, but I know I’d be a hell of a lot more likely to watch through the Freeview FV app than I would be on any of the big screens in my house which are perpetually on Netflix or Stan or YouTube. If you’ve got an iPhone and an Apple TV, you can mirror the Freeview FV app from your phone to TV if you so desire.
Wondering about how the app will manage weekly A-League games and Formula 1 sessions? So were we. Well, here you go. The official line is that “for live sport, Freeview FV mirrors the networks’ sporting rights agreements”: that is, unless Seven, Nine, 10, the ABC or SBS has the explicit right to simulcast the event online, you’ll have to find another way to watch. [Apple App Store / Google Play Store]