FilmOn.TV launches live TV app for Facebook

30 May 2012

Subscription HD TV streaming service FilmOn.TV has launched a live TV app for Facebook that beams more than 120 HD television channels straight to the social network.

FilmOn.TV is giving Facebook users the opportunity to watch live TV in high definition, invite friends to join them, and discuss or comment on programmes in real-time.

As well as 120 channels streaming live TV, the FilmOn.TV app offers access to additional pay-per-view and movie channels, plus more than 2,000 video-on-demand titles.

No iPlayer? No problem

Though a wide variety of channels are available in the app, terrestrial Irish channels are not. However, there’s great choice when it comes to popular UK channels, with BBC One, BBC Two, four ITV channels, Channel 4, E4, More4, Channel 5, Really, PickTV and Dave all available.

The availability of live streaming from these channels will appeal to Irish viewers who have no access to BBC’s iPlayer but may still want to catch some of the British broadcaster’s programming online.

Free trial period

For a limited time only, while the product is in beta testing stage, all channels are available free of charge, as well as additional FilmOn.TV services, such as the ability to record upcoming shows for later viewing. These are stored in your FilmOn account, which is automatically created when you log in via Facebook.

The stream quality is as good as Netflix or any other streaming player but, as far as the on-demand selection goes, there’s plenty for UFC fans but not much high-quality content for anyone else – certainly nothing to contend with Netflix (and that’s saying something as even Netflix’s dated collection is almost universally bemoaned).

Social television

While television gets more social it seems natural that more apps of this ilk will turn up, allowing viewers to engage with friends online as they watch a show. However, the chat function in the FilmOn.TV app provides just one window for all users, not necessarily just the people watching the same show. As the app gains popularity, it could get very noisy on there and users might be deterred from joining in on the conversation.

Many channels, including all the UK and European broadcast ones, will remain freely available even after the testing period ends. Following that, a FilmOn.TV subscription will be needed to gain access to premium channels and video on-demand. This model is currently being reviewed and will be implemented in the coming months. Annual subscribers will also receive the FilmOn.TV AIR device, a portable tuner that brings over-the-air HD channels to mobile devices and computers.

To check out the FilmOn.TV live streaming app for yourself, visit the website and log in via Facebook.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.