If you've forgotten about TVPlayer, don't worry — so had we. The company, which offers a live TV streaming service in the UK, piqued our curiosity in 2015 with TVPlayer Plus. The £5 per month package gave subscribers access to 25 premium channels including National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Since then, Plus has been split into two packages, Lite and Max, for £5.99 and £7.99 respectively. Next week, TVPlayer will launch a cloud-based DVR service that allows Plus members to record live TV. The feature is critical given that TVPlayer doesn't have a conventional library of on-demand content like Now TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Plus members will get 10 hours of Network Personal Video Recorder (nPVR) storage as standard. For an extra £5 per month, you can boost that allowance to 150 hours. Unfortunately, it only works with paid TV channels — so anything you would normally find on Freeview, like Dave and BBC Four, will be off limits. TVPlayer says "additional channels will be added in the coming weeks," however, followed by temporary downloads "in the coming months." TVPlayer is available on a bunch of different platforms, including iOS, Android, Roku and Apple TV. Cloud-based recordings could have some utility, then, if you travel a lot and want to stream on the go.
Ultimately, though, TVPlayer still feels like a niche proposition. Streaming is hugely popular, but the industry has moved toward on-demand libraries, rather than linear broadcast channels. TV-style recordings are a useful perk — especially for shows like Match of the Day, which take an age to come onto BBC iPlayer — but you have to carefully manage your storage and remember to press the big red button. For a similar price, you could get a Now TV Entertainment Pass, which offers similar live streaming (without the free TV channels, admittedly) and a fairly extensive VOD catalogue.