Great players:what every TV viewer wants these days
Mobile devices are revolutionising where and when we consume TV and film, writes CIARA O'BRIEN
UPC is keeping any future plans close to its chest. Rival Sky offers customers the chance to watch live TV through Sky Go, something UPC has yet to offer
THE DAYS of being chained to your living room TV, restricted by TV schedules, are done. With mobile devices becoming increasingly popular, there are more than enough streaming video and TV services available to keep you entertained regardless of where – or when – you want to watch.
RTÉ’s Player service allows you to watch programmes it broadcasts for up to three weeks after they were broadcast on the channel. Available online, through an app and smart TV platforms, the service offers different capabilities to different platforms.
Through the website, viewers can access a live stream of what is broadcasting on RTÉ One and Two, in addition to a 21-day catch-up service.
The basic requirements are an internet connected browser (obviously) that is able to run Flash. A high-speed connection will make watching that little bit easier.
Then you have the app, which is available for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Again, the time limit is 21 days to watch programmes before they disappear. You can also share your favourites with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. Live broadcasts are available through the app too. The iOS app supports Airplay, so you can stream to your large screen TV directly from your mobile device using an Apple TV.
As with most streaming video though, high-speed wifi is a must.
If you aren’t an iPad user, and crouching in front of a laptop isn’t for you, you don’t have to miss out.
Samsung has done a deal with RTÉ to bring the Player to its smart TV platform, and it is also available through the PlayStation 3 console. UPC has also brought it to its on demand platform.
Not all programmes make it on the RTÉ Player for copyright reasons, but RTÉ pledges to make more than 200 hours of programming available.
Programmes typically appear the day after they are broadcast, although not all programmes are available to international viewers.
TV3’s player still carries a Beta tag, so you don’t expect too much. Still, the TV station offers its programmes through its 3Player online service shortly after they air, which is reasonably quick.
There is no facility to download programmes from the site to watch offline, so you’ll always need an internet connection.
Moving on to apps, TV3 offers a limited version for iOS and Android users. A selection of programmes are available through the mobile version.