TiPb Asks: How do you watch TV shows on your iPhone or iPad?

I have to admit I'm still using Netflix to watch TV shows and movies on my iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, though the recent news has gotten me looking into alternatives. I just finished the first season of Damages and really liked it, and Sherlock was cool, but there's a lot of choices out there now. Both Netflix and Crackle have a few old Anime shows I like, and several TV stations and cable and satellite companies have apps so if I miss an episode of the new fall premiers I can probably -- hopefully -- catch it later on my mobile device. But not always. For example, the HBO stuff is awesome and I loved Game of Thrones but it's not available in my area... so what do I do? There's always iTunes but buying is too expensive when I'm only ever going to watch something once. Which brings me to my main point.

Why is this still so hard? I have money. I want to give a reasonable amount of this money to Hollywood so I can watch their TV shows. They've pretty much figured this out for cable and satellite, but I don't have either of those anymore. Why can't they figure out the same type of thing for internet TV? Just let me pay a few dozen dollars a month and give me all the same TV everyone else gets in the old traditional way, along with the commercials if they really have to, and the goofy catalog channels that go with him. Just let me do it on demand.

But they won't, so like I said I'm still with Netflix and all the other apps right now, scattered and fragmented across my poor iPhone and iPod. Unless anyone has any better ideas on how to watch TV shows on iPhone or iPad these days? Any apps you prefer? Anything besides bootleg internet downloads streamed from a PC via AirPlay...?

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Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

TiPb Asks: How do you watch TV shows on your iPhone or iPad?


Netflix, Max Go, HBO Go, ABC, NBC, TNT, TBS, U-verse apps. More are probably available or on the way as we speak.

I use the following apps on my iPad 2 to watch TV shows: YouTube, NBC, TNT, TBS, ABC, SyFy, HBO GO, MAX Go, PBS, NetFlix.
If I download TV Shows I use "AZUL" iPad app and download through IceFilms.info and TheBigU.info.
I watch all my favorite shows for Free! The Office, Community, The Sing-Off, Fringe, Castle, Alphas, etc.

How do you watch Fringe with the apps you listed? I didn't see Fox as an app and I know it's not offered on Netflix.

  • Record from EyeTV and sync from iTunes

Or apps;
- BBC iPlayer
- 4OD
- itvPlayer
All free except license free (which is outstanding value) and the Miglia USB TV tuner hardware cost.

The Office, 30 Rock, Community and Parks & Rec...subscribed to on iTunes. I teach every Thursday night and this is cheaper and better than a Tivo type of solution (no cable TV to boot). Then I can watch them at my leisure...

They haven't figured it out because they cannot afford to piss off the cable and satellite companies, who -- not you, and not me -- are their biggest customers.
Once they have figured out how to make and sell directly to thee & me at such a scale as to offset alienating the TWCs, Coxes, and DirectTV, they will.

Jetflicks. It's only for mobile devices. For $50 a year you can use their entire tv library. They update daily, so if the show want just air last night, it will be on the next morning. I love it and I am always watching tv on my iPad and iPhone. It's not an app but in the browser. Amazing.

+1 for jetflicks cant beat 50$ for a year and they update the day after the show airs. large selection of shows and adding new ones every day. and it has all seasons for all shows

SlingBox / Slingplayer is the ONLY way to go.
1) one time fee (buy the Slingbox and buy the app for the iPad/iPhone)
2) You get ALL your cable channels
3) You can watch your DVR or Tivo
4) You can literally watch it ANYWHERE (unlike HBO go and such) in the world. I have used it in Thailand.
It beats anything out there.
But i still use Netflix for old shows (like 24)

I just watched every episode of Bones on Netflix and just started 24. I'm worried about the news lately with Netflix but hope they will fix it. I LOVE HBOGO and now MAXGO! Every episode of HBO's series is awesome. Would love TNT and tbs but they don't have charter added yet.

I have dish network and we have a sling box. the VIP 922, it was a one time fee but we had a coupon so it was like 100 bucks only. It's really great since their sling player app is free and the box itself is connected wirelessly to my home network. It not only let's you watch recordings but you can watch any live tv channel also! Great for the football games when the wife wants to shop lol. It has an awesome guide also, shows the channel emblems which we love.

I don't have your problem at all.
I either DVR them or torrent them. Consider yourself lucky to live in a country where choice and fragmentation are the issues.
I can't even BUY TV shows in iTunes in New Zealand. Or anywhere else. Well, I can buy DVD or Blu-Ray, but that's old school, right?

I either rip a DVD or download in iTunes and use Tunebite to unDRM them and I then use AirVideo to stream them from my home server.

I prefer Slingbox, but with AT&T Uverse, the cable boxes aren't compatible with Sling... Anyone know if I'm missing something???

@GeorgiaTiPb re: "Why is this still so hard? I have money. I want to give a reasonable amount of this money to Hollywood so I can watch their TV shows."
You and 100 million others. It sounds to me like the whole TV industry, even the relatively modern internet-based content providers, are ripe for the crushing. Everything from broadcast TV to PVRs to cable / satellite networks to the Netflixes and Hulus of the world.
Time for some Apple Disruptive Innovation (TM).

You forgot SlingCatcher for TV. Even tho Sling doesn't make them anymore, you can find em on E-bay. I live in NYC and have a condo in Fla. I don't want to pay crazy prices for cable in fla when I am rarely there. so I set up a Slingcatcher, use my neighbor's WiFi when I am there (I kick in a little $ when I use the WiFi) and presto! I got HD cable down in Florida. I LOVE my Sling!!!!!

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