How to watch TV for free from your smartphone

Sometimes on a trip or on vacation you want to watch TV, but cable or satellite is not at hand. The solution is simple – use your smartphone. There are many apps and websites that let you watch TV directly from your phone or tablet.

Mobile applications

This is the most convenient and simplest way, because in applications the channels are usually grouped and work almost always stably. First of all, find out if your provider has a similar application. Many Internet service providers are developing software for TV boxes that can be run on smartphones without any problems. If there are no such applications from the provider, then you can download one of several for free on Google Play.

One of the most popular applications for watching TV on a smartphone. The catalog contains more than 150 channels, including regional ones. Most of them are free, among them: First, STS, Rossiya24 and MUZ-TV. The interface also offers adding channels to the Favorites list. The player allows you to quickly adjust the sound with one swipe up or down. There is a change in broadcast quality and a detailed TV program for the week ahead with a short description of some TV shows and films.

In the Lime TV settings, you can set a sleep timer, choose a dark theme, and also more flexibly customize the player. There is a function for people with slow internet, which speeds up the start of TV shows.

But Lime TV has several drawbacks. Firstly, more than 50 channels are closed and are available only by subscription. Moreover, for each group of channels – a separate subscription. Secondly, the app contains ads. In addition to static banners, it pops up every time you turn on a channel.

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Thirdly, most of the channels are Russian, so broadcasting in other countries may be limited. For all other points, Lime TV is a stable and convenient program that correctly displays the picture on both phones and tablets with different screen sizes.

Light HD TV
Platforms: Android , iOS

The application offers over 250 channels, each of which is available for viewing. There are no subscriptions to Light HD TV. The player can select the broadcast quality, aspect ratio of the screen, and there is also a “sound only” mode. Rewind is available on some channels. The settings are similar to Lime TV – brightness and volume control in the player itself, a sleep timer, a choice of broadcast quality and an item “increased stability”.

Since there are no paid channels, there is aggressive advertising in Light HD TV, which pops up almost after every action. The second major inconvenience is that the application only works in landscape orientation. It is so convenient to watch broadcasts, but in the menu it is a little inconvenient. In addition, there is no sorting of channels, so you have to search through the search or scroll manually.

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A premium subscription can be purchased for 1-3-6 months, it completely removes ads from the application. Despite its disadvantages, Light HD TV offers many Russian channels for free viewing.

This application is from one of the largest TV services. In addition to watching various films in 4K quality, the software also offers more than 260 TV channels. Among them are TV 1000 (Action, World Kino), VIP (Megahit, Premiere, Comedy), Fox, National Geographic, Discovery and others. The player can rewind, select quality (from 480p to 1080p), TV program. The interface also allows you to sort channels by genre.

The main problem is that all this fun is paid, but new users are given a 7-day trial period. At this time, you can watch any channels and movies available in the application. SWEET.TV is ideal for watching TV on a short business trip or short vacation. All week you can watch popular channels absolutely free in HD quality, and if you like the application, you can buy one of the subscriptions – the prices are quite modest.

The application offers over 150 channels, which are conveniently sorted into different categories. Search by name is available, and there are no ads at all. Brightness and volume quickly change with swipes on the right and left sides of the screen. The interface also allows you to watch programs and change the aspect ratio of the broadcast. The program is as simple as possible and this is its main advantage. The broadcasts are stable, and the catalog contains most of the most popular TV channels.

Using players and playlists
This method is a little more complicated, but it allows you to get more free channels, and you can independently configure which specific channels will be available. On the Internet, you can download playlists for IPTV for free. These are files in the “.m3u” format that contain a list of streaming broadcasts. Such a file can be opened in special applications and start watching TV channels.

Let’s give an example on the LazyIPTV application , which can be downloaded for free from PlayMarket. Install it on your device. Next, you need to find a m3u playlist. For example, work playlists can be selected on this site. Next, in the application, click on the “New playlist” button and specify the source:

The first option is to specify the location of the file directly on the smartphone, if you downloaded it. It is faster and more convenient to simply provide a link, but not all sites provide it. All that remains is to save the playlist.

Go to the playlist manager, select the previously downloaded one and examine the channel list. In our case, the playlist includes as many as 537 channels, which is several times more than what various free applications offer. You will need a video player to view it. You can use both a standard one (in Xiaomi it works great through Mi Video), and a third-party player – VLC ( Android / iOS ) or analogs.

The advantages of using playlists are obvious – you can get almost any channels for viewing, while LazyIPTV offers a choice of TV program sources, search by channel and program, as well as manual editing of the playlist with the addition or removal of individual channels.

There are several disadvantages to this way of watching TV:

you have to search for m3u files on the network yourself;
playlists may periodically be disconnected or become irrelevant;
a separate player is required for viewing;
not always convenient switching between channels.
Despite this, LazyIPTV and its analogues, when using playlists, offer the greatest opportunities both in functionality and in the number of free channels.

Watch TV through a browser
If you do not trust third-party applications, then the easiest way to watch TV on your phone is to go to the corresponding site through a regular browser. The problem is that not all sites are adapted to the mobile format, and the player used often has limited functionality.

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The most popular sites are: – more than 100 channels are presented, however, on some the broadcast may be interrupted or absent. The site is adapted for mobile devices, there is a search by name, the player is stable. There are banner ads. – includes the most popular Russian channels with an indication of the category and data transfer rate. On the site you can choose the quality of the broadcast, and there is also a spare player, in addition, the “dark mode” is turned on. is a large site with broadcasts of Russian and foreign channels. The interface is adapted for mobile, large icons, no advertising banners. The only drawback is the playback of the commercial at the beginning of the viewing. Broadcast quality selection is not available.

If you need a specific channel, just type in the name of this channel plus the phrase “watch online” in the search engine. As a rule, in the top ten of search results, there are proven resources with a stable broadcast.