Holy shit, this is awesome!
So far the closest thing we’ve had to TV on iPhone is down-loadable episodes of our favourite shows or the venerable BBC iPlayer. Both of these are pretty good solutions but neither are actually television. Today I was pointed in the direction of TVCatchup for the iPhone by a tweet from Paul Stanton. I was expecting to see some half arsed excuse for TV streaming or some hacked pirate looking on demand service. What I got, however scored a 12 on my awesomeness scale of 1 to 10.
There is no signing up, no lengthly login procedures and no bullshit. You land on a page to choose your channel and once you do that, the QuickTime player loads and you’re watching (nearly) live TV. You can, like with all websites, add a link to your home screen and use it like an app (see above next to the iPlayer). Obviously I’ve only tested it over Wi-Fi (I only have an iPod Touch) but I hear on good authority that, provided you have a decent 3G signal you shouldn’t have much of a problem viewing on the go.
The picture and sound quality are great with only Channel 4 and E4 giving me audio issues (possibly encrypted, or copyright issue) and it behaves like any other video you watch. you can view it in landscape or portrait and double tapping will toggle full screen/wide screen cropping. So all in all this little service is very very cool. At the very least it’ll mean I’ll never miss Bargain Hunt again! 😀
EDIT: After initially broadcasting with no sound, Channel 4 and E4 both regained full audio later in the afternoon.