iPad Apps for TV allow you to watch TV without being in front of the TV. As long as you’ve got a connection to the Internet with your iPad, you can watch TV wherever you are. That includes Wi-Fi, as well as 3G/4G dongles. Some of the apps that are available only give you access to certain networks, while others give you access to pretty close to everything you can watch on TV. There are even some that give you access to TV networks most Americans don’t have access to.
Netflix: Best on the Net, Now the Best on Your iPad
I consider Netflix to be the best overall video streaming service on the net. That’s because they have the largest selection of any of the sites/services I’ve used, including a huge selection of TV series box sets. I can watch three or four seasons worth of “That 70s Show,” whenever I want. Some services let you catch up on maybe four or five months’ worth of missed episodes. Netflix lets you catch up on three or four years’ worth.
Of course, if there’s a Hollywood blockbuster movie from a year ago you want to watch, you’re able to do that, too. The app is free to download, but you’ll need a Netflix subscription, which will run about $9 a month.
Hulu Plus: Another Great Around iPad Apps for TV
What Hulu Plus delivers to your laptop or desktop can now be delivered to your iPad. For only $10 a month, you have access to everything that Hulu Plus has available. This app requires iOS 4.3 or later and works on both 3G and 4G, as well as Wi-Fi connections. One of the reviews on the iTunes store says they had problems with it, but the people I know with iPads all love it.
EyeTV: Live TV to the iPad
EyeTV has had an application for Mac users for some time now, so many Apple aficionados have been wondering when it would be ported to the iPad. Well, wonder no more, my friends, it’s here. One of the few independent (non-provider or network) apps to let you watch LIVE TV, the app runs $4.99 from the iTunes store and requires iOS 3l.2 or later on your iPad, as well as a Mac with a TV tuner. It works over both Wi-Fi and 3G networks, so you’ll have lag-free streaming content.
TV.com From CBS Interactive
This is one of the very few totally free iPad apps for TV available that gives you a good selection of networks that you can watch episodes and programs from. You’ll also be able to stream certain web video programs from CNet.com. Apparently, the app doesn’t like 3G/4G signals much, because the user is warned that the best video pictures are obtained using Wi-Fi networks. You’ll need iOS 4.0 or later to use the TV.com app. Catch up on old “Star Trek” episodes or stay up to date with “The Big Bang Theory” episodes. After Netflix, this one is shaping up as my favorite.
Crackle: Free Movies and TV (Ad-Supported)
Crackle is similar to the free version of Hulu that you can get to on your computer. Browse the selection of movies and TV episodes and make your choice. Watch a couple of commercials for about two minutes (what I call “get the popcorn ready” time), then watch about 15 minutes of the episode. You’ll get another bathroom and snack — I mean — commercial break of about two minutes, and the next 15-20 minutes will be shown, and so on. This app was named “Best of the iPhone Entertainment” category during the 2011 iTunes Store review. Your iPad will need to have iOS 4.3 or later to use this app. The current version is 3.0.3. You’ll have access to thousands of full length TV episodes, both old and new, as well as hundreds of blockbuster movies.
Major Cable and Satellite Providers Apps
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Dish Networks all have apps for the iPad that let you watch what’s on TV on your iPad. All of them are free, and usually go hand in hand with a current subscription to the provider’s service. Stay tuned for detailed coverage on these apps.
Major Networks Have iPad Apps For TV Too
Most of the major America networks, as well as a large selection of networks from overseas have apps for the iPad that let you watch their content without having to turn on the TV. These include HBO, TNT, CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC, BBC, and HKN, among many others. Stay tuned to this channel for in-depth coverage in who has what.
The one constant through all of these, is that in order to even get them on your iPad, you’re going to need iTunes and you’re going to need a high quality Internet connection. Enter your street address into the top-right corner of this page to see what offers and providers are available to you in your area.