For a long time, "premium" TV channels were locked behind expensive satellite and cable subscriptions in the UK. If you wanted to watch National Geographic, for instance, you had to pay a little extra for a special channel pack. But viewers want choice, flexibility and cheaper prices, which has forced TV operators to start "unbundling" their most precious channels and shows. It's a positive trend, but many channels are still difficult to find as part of cheaper, standalone monthly subscriptions. Now, this is where TVPlayer comes in. The company already offers free streaming for free-to-air (Freeview) channels, and now it's preparing a paid "Plus" package: for £5 per month, you'll be able to stream 25 pay-TV channels including National Geographic, History and the Discovery Channel.
For that amount, you'll also get catch-up for selected channels. It's an intriguing option if you can't afford a satellite or cable TV package, or just fancy some extra channels to bulk up your Netflix subscription. TVPlayer is available now on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Amazon's Fire TV -- Chromecast, Fire TV Stick and Smart TV support will arrive with "Plus" later this summer. In addition, the company is promising genre-based channel packs before the end of the year -- if it can deliver, Sky, BT and Virgin Media should be wary.