Local TV channels and mobile phones have never really come together in a good way, but now that streaming media is proving a real threat to TV broadcasters, someone has had to think up a solution.

And that solution this week comes in the form of an app from Freeview, called “Freeview FV”.

Designed for Android and iOS, Freeview FV kind of does what apps should have probably done a long time ago: sent TV broadcasts to the mobile environment for viewing of live TV whenever you want to watch.

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Freeview’s weekly TV schedule is a part of the app, revealing what you can watch across the spread of locally broadcasting television stations across the digital spectrum, and if you jump into each one, you’ll find you can bookmark programs by adding them to your favourites, or even alert you some time before they start to remind you to watch.

And as someone who has never really been a massive sit-down TV viewer, this sort of thing is important, not least because television is predominantly one of those things that normally requires you to be at home in front of the screen. Freeview FV finally gets local TV out of this area, even if it has come very late, possibly too late.

Australians know all too well at this point that their favourite stations more than likely have catch-up options available ready for them at all times, and some of the networks — ABC, for instance — stream their own channels live, technically providing what Freeview already does, but in their own system.

Freeview’s FV isn’t without its audience, however, because the TV guide is super handy, and now that you can watch without being near an actual television, you may actually get some of that soap watching accomplished provided you time yourself to match the program.

 

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Testing it this week, we found Freeview FV to work with the majority of stations in Sydney, though Ten’s networks wouldn’t load at all, revealing nothing on Ten or One, both of the stations operated through the Aussie major broadcaster.

Catch-up TV listings are also provided in the “Featured” section, though these act more as bookmarks and links to catch-up television, and less actual catch-up programs, merely linking you to the source material on the website for the program, though dependent on the platform, this may load the right application on your device.

Overall, it’s handy, and since it’s free is a welcome service for Australians, though keep in mind this isn’t free in a total sense of the word. Yes, the Freeview FV app is free, but the broadcasts consume data, making them different from a standard television broadcast which does not.

That means if you want to watch any of the stations and you’re on a mobile device, you may end up getting charged a pretty penny if you’re doing a lot of watching on the go.

Just a bit of a public service announcement, because as much as we want you to enjoy your bus trip home, we’d hate for it to come at the expense of a massive download bill.

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A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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