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Video:5 Best Ways to Stream TV on Your Phone

with Mark Casey

Streaming television shows is one of the many highlights smartphones can offer. Check out some of the best services that provide television access right on your phone.See Transcript

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Transcript:5 Best Ways to Stream TV on Your Phone

Hi, I'm Mark Casey for About.com, and today we're talking about the best ways to stream TV shows to your cell phone. Today we'll look at the five best universal services, using an iPhone 4.

Television Streaming Apps Require Paid Subscriptions

The first service is one of the most popular--Netflix. Not just for mailing movies to your home anymore, Netflix has one of the most robust instant streaming services in the world, letting you watch both TV and movies on your computer, TV or cell phone. The app is simple to use, featuring either category browsing or a search function to let you find your favorite shows. Just like their website, you can save the shows you like in a queue and watch them whenever you like. Netflix has the added benefit of streaming many popular movies as well as TV shows. Clicking on a specific title will bring up information and reviews, as well as a 'play now' option, which smoothly opens the episode you want to see instantly.

Another popular service is Hulu plus. Hulu is available for free on your computer, but to watch it on your cell phone you need to subscribe to their premium service. Like Netflix, Hulu offers a wide range of movies and TV shows, but their app has more options for exploring titles by parameters like popularity, title search, or alphabetically.Hulu also has a queue for storing your shows, as well as a history to keep track of what you watched, and a subscription option for shows you want to keep up with.In all, Hulu has the most options for segmenting and tracking what you watch.

Comcast Subscribers Can Stream TV Show with the App

For subscribers to Comcast's Xfinity cable TV, Comcast offers a fantastic app. Beyond streaming shows, you can view a real-time list of the programs on your channel lineup and display show info, change the channel on your TV, or set the program to record. Xfinity also has an extensive list of On Demand programs that you can play on your TV, and they have a special section for On Demand programs that you can play instantly on your cell phone. You can browse by genre and type, but this app doesn't have the queuing and tracking options that the others do.

Crackle is a service that offers free viewing of certain television shows and movies. Its offering is not as extensive as the other three services, but it's also less expensive .For many older shows, Crackle offers a cheap and easy way to stream, but they have a limited selection of popular new shows.

Slingbox Requires Additional Hardware for Mobile Streaming

A final option is the Slingbox mobile app, which is the most expensive option. Slingbox is a piece of hardware that you hook up to your television, and it allows you to watch anything you can on your home TV anywhere in the world via your computer or cell phone.The app itself costs thirty dollars, and you have to have Slingbox hooked up to your television, which costs over a hundred dollars. While expensive, the Slingbox may offer the most freedom of any service.

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