In the UK we are spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming services.
It all started with BBC iPlayer (free) and Netflix (paid) before every company wished to get in on the act.
Services are divided into free and paid. All the below can be streamed either by using apps on smart TV's or by buying a steaming stick like a Roku. Some TV boxes such as Sky Q and Virgin will also support many of these apps.
The best solution to gain access to all the apps is use of a Roku streaming stick. More Smart TV's and TV boxes often have the most popular choices but can be restricted.
This first post looks at all the free content that is available. I will post part two next week with a summary of paid services.
A good all round service by the UK's national broadcaster, the BBC. Also includes UHD programming and when more feeds are required for events such as Wimbledon and Glastonbury, the iPlayer supports with multi streaming live channels. A reliable service with a wide variety of content which includes films as well as shows. The service that many others aspire to be.
ITV X (and premium)
While a free service with ads, a paid for premium version also exists with Britbox, no ads and additional premium content. Personally, I like the content on this service and do not have any difficulty. While a huge improvement over the previous ITV Hub offering, many still complain about buffering issues. I use SKY Q with the app and never have any difficulties. After the poor picture quality of the ITV hub, this is a huge improvement since launching in late 2022.
A newer offering to the market that is owned by Amazon. A free streaming service supported by ads that has many classic television shows, though mainly older US shows. They are also starting to create their own original content such as Judge Judy and from September (TBC), they will be the home of new "Neighbours" episodes - the popular Australian soap. While the service features ads that you cannot forward, Amazon are heavily investing in this service. Freevee content can also be accessed via selecting free content via the Amazon Prime app.
A service that is gaining traction with live channels showing dedicated channels. A platform that is becoming increasingly popular and shows content like the Drew Barrymore chat show. Also a large selection of movies. Apps and smart tv integration is available with some tv manufacturers.
Previously this service was known as All 4. This new service appears similar but just rebranded as Channel 4. A large library of content that includes Film4, live tv and many shows to watch and download. A slightly odd rebranding with the focus just on Channel 4 and some references to "My4". However, lots of boxsets on offer and film content.
Another UK terrestrial channel with a service supporting live tv, shows and films. This service also has content from other channels such as BET where signed agreements have been reached. The portal also has a TV guide and live channels. Also, a wide selection of children's programmes under the Milkshake banner.
The Scottish version of the ITV X service. A free and premium version exists with both versions supporting live tv and a tv guide. Content is similar to ITV X, though I do believe the player also has exclusive content. An STV player VIP incentive exists and if you sign up for marketing emails, they promise you fewer ads. STV player plus at a cost is also available which removes ads and allows usage on multiple devices. Main service is free with ads.
UK TV was originally part owned by the BBC. The play service has a focus on UK television including soaps which you can stream on demand for free. You can watch their main channels for free. Boxsets are also avalable with many older shows and classic episodes of soaps.
Part 2 with paid for streaming services will be posted soon.