The BBC has expanded the number of devices that can stream live TV and radio to include mobile phones. The expanded service to mobile devices is currently in beta, according to the BBC, and is only available on a small number of handset models.
According to the FAQs section of the BBC Mobile website, live TV is available on a ‘wide range of Wi-Fi-enabled handsets’ and will be extended ‘over the coming months … to more handsets and over 3G networks’.
To find the latest mobile handsets with Wi-Fi, read Which? reviews of the latest mobile phones including our highest-scoring mobile ever: the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Or, check out our guide to making the most of BBC iPlayer online.
The BBC TV channels now available for live mobile streaming are BBC One, Two, Three and Four, plus CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News and BBC Parliament. The radio stations are are Radio 1, 1 Extra, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 and the BBC Asian Network.
Live TV and radio streaming requires TV licence
As the service broadcasts live TV, to legally view live programmes users will need to be UK licence-fee payers, even though the image resolution will be just 176×144 pixels. As with all BBC internet broadcasting, some programmes, such as imported shows and sports coverage, will be absent from the line-up due to broadcast rights restrictions.
Which? tech expert Al Warman said: ‘the BBC continues to push the boundaries in the variety of distribution methods by which it makes live and on-demand programming available. However, unless you’ve one of the very latest mobile handsets, live TV on your mobile won’t yet be a reality.’
BBC mobile website update
The BBC Live TV service forms part of an update to the BBC’s mobile website. which brings greater customisation and personalisation and allows users to choose featured content.
According to a post on the BBC internet blog, the new mobile site is available on smartphones such as the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and Google Android G1; handsets running the Opera browser; all Nokia N Series and high-end Nokias; Sony Ericssons and Samsungs running the Net Front 3.3+ browser; and BlackBerrys running 4.2+.
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