A while ago I had signed up for a trial of this app, but I had totally forgotten about it. Today, I received an email from the development team, and my initial instinct was sadness that they were alerting anyone who had signed up for the beta test that the app was being shelved – not sure why I felt that, but it was a long time ago since I first signed up. But great news, the app is live in the Store for Windows Phone 8 devices!
FilmOn TV is a brilliant free app from developer Charaf Hormi that allows you to watch live TV right on your phone. It very likely has regional settings so depending on where you are in the world will dictate the choice of TV channels you can watch. Based in the US (and rather specifically in New York), I am able to watch local New York news channels such as NBC 4, ABC 7, Fox 5, as well as CW PIX 11 along with a whole slew of what I would call ‘the dross you get on cable but never watch’ – to give you some examples, there are various ‘film’ channels that show movie reviews, and even a ‘Bikini Beach’ channel (I will NEVER watch that!) ;^) hehe
What else? Well you can rid yourself of large annoying ads buy buying the opt-out option for just $1.29 and if you ask me, it’s well worth financially supporting the developers, but also it makes the whole viewing experience that much nicer without them. I like it when devs give you this option of either a free app or a paid app without the ads. I hate ads in my apps, so $1.29 is like one less Snickers bar I’ll buy today and my gut will thank me for it.
Playback on my Nokia Lumia 1020 is (thankfully) totally smooth and stutter-free, and that is while using it inside a building where I’m picking up AT&T’s 4G LTE with 3/4 bars of signal. I was relieved to see the TV playback work so flawlessly, as a similar app in Symbian was a dog to use on cellular service, and you could only use it properly and satisfactorily when connected to wifi.
The broadcast is clear, not pin sharp but definitely viewable, and sound was loud and clear. Turning your phone will give you full landscape viewing.
Other options include being able to record your fave shows. It’s not clear to me at this early stage if shows are saved onto your physical phone storage, or if they are kept on the server of the app (a bit like the way Aereo works over here in the US). But however you’d prefer it to be there is a charge for this sort of service, which is roughly $10 a month or $100 for the year. To be honest, most people have DVRs anyway at home, or if they don’t, shows can be easily streamed via Hulu+ so I can’t see this part of the app being too much of a crowd pleaser. This goes for the ‘a la carte’ section also, whereby users can choose particular shows to watch for a $1 fee or so. Again, if you subscribe to Netflix or Hulu at home, you can watch these shows for free, and on a much bigger screen!
That said, for grabbing some Winter Olympic highlights from your local news channel or finding out what is happening on Jerry Springer this morning (!) this is a great app to add to your collection.
Very highly recommended!
Grab the app: HERE