If you own a Google Chromecast, it’s now possible to access Freeview on your TV. This grants you live streaming access to most Australian free-to-air channels – including ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten – without the need for an aerial. Here’s how to get the app working on your TV.
Freeview FV is a free digital television app that delivers free-to-air channels over the internet. The app includes live streaming from all the free-to-air networks, access to all catch-up TV, the ability to browse and search free-to-air TV content, an inbuilt TV guide and a recommendations system that works similar to Netflix.
Available channels include: ABC, SBS, Seven, Channel 9, TEN, ONE, Eleven ABC2/ABC KIDS, ABC ME, ABC News 24, SBS VICELAND, Food Network, NITV, 7TWO, 7Mate, 7Flix, Racing.com, 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
When it launched back in 2016, one of the chief criticisms aimed at the Freeview FV app was its lack of Chromecast support. This forced users to connect their device to a TV via a cable or a third-party workaround. Thankfully, this has been addressed in the latest update.
The advantages of this are pretty obvious: it means you can watch free-to-air channels on your TV even if there’s no aerial available. It also means no more crappy reception from indoor “rabbit ears” – just plug in your Chromecast and start watching.
Here’s what you’ll need to get Freeview FV up and running on your TV via Chromecast:
- A smartphone or tablet with the latest Freeview FV and Google Home apps installed. (Older versions should update automatically.)
- A smart TV with built in Chromecast functionality or a Chromecast dongle. (The latter should work with any HDMI-enabled TV – prices start at around $60.)
- An internet connection.
Setting up Freeview FV on your TV is no different to other Chromecast apps – simply fire up the channel on your device and then click the Chromecast icon at the top of the screen. The video will then be instantly transferred to your TV. (You can find additional setup tips here.)
Naturally, it pays to use a home Wi-Fi connection while viewing Freeview FV content: otherwise you’ll chew through your mobile data allowance pretty quickly and could be slugged with excess charges.
What about HD?
According to Freeview, the streams are in whatever resolution the network partners provide. In most cases the top option is generally 720p.
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