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SPB TV brings streaming TV to the iPhone and iPad, if you aren't too picky

Mel Martin

SPB TV Free is a little app that gives you more than 100 free TV channels for your iOS device. You get channels from 17 countries, including a few in the US. The only problem? You may not be interested in the television shows the app makes available. There are English language broadcasts from NHK in Japan, and other channels from Italy and Germany. I tried a local Florida station, and instead of the station I got a traffic camera feed. There are some Public Access stations, but I saw mostly city council meetings and water rate hearings. NASA channels are there, but NASA provides an app to see them anyway. There is a old Western channel and one with sci-fi, along with two US Christian-oriented feeds.

While the app is free, it won't work unless you provide an email address. The developers promise they won't sell or use your info improperly. A static ad also plays before you start every video feed. The app works in landscape and portrait mode, and while picture quality is variable, it's certainly watchable. Playback does not require WiFi -- it worked just fine for me on a 3G connection.

SPB TV is not a substitute for Hulu, but if you want to see a smattering of international news, and some rather mundane local broadcasts, this is the free app for you. It's just been updated to support the iPad, so give it a go if the channels available interest you.

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