It's easier than ever to watch TV shows and movies on demand on your Android device. But what about live TV?
Yes, there are services like Sling and PlayStation Vue. However, if you know where to look, you don't have to subscribe to their expensive plans. You can use free IPTV instead; you just need an IPTV app and an IPTV source.
What is an IPTV app?
IPTV apps are a bit like Kodi; they are empty shells that cannot stream content without user input. You are responsible for adding channels, playlists and other resources.
Typically, you cannot use the apps to watch Netflix, Hulu, or send content from other third-party providers.
Here We Are Not Interested In The Best On-Demand Streaming Apps Canceled Cable? 8 Streaming TV apps to fill up the voided cable? 8 Streaming TV Apps to Fill the Void If you've canceled cable, you might be wondering what to watch next. These streaming TV apps could be the answer as they offer a traditional viewing experience. Read More We only look at the IPTV apps themselves. Specifically, we want to know what are the best IPTV apps on Android.
1. Lazy IPTV
Our first choice is Lazy IPTV. It supports M3U playlists in open view, ZIP and GZ formats. The app can also read playlists in XSPF (XML Shareable Playlist) format.
Adding new content to Lazy IPTV is easy. You can access content on your local file system and paste URLs directly from the web or to your device's clipboard. The app works with HTTP and UDP streams and can play videos directly from YouTube and the VK social network. There is also a built-in audio player for internet radio channels.
Important for an IPTV app, it supports Electronic Program Guides (EPGs). It can read XMLTV EPGs saved as open view, ZIP or GZ.
From a usability standpoint, Lazy IPTV allows you to add favorites, support nested folders, and create playlist groups. You can export your playlists if you ever decide to switch to an alternative app.
Finally, the app's home screen is fully customizable. You can add shortcuts to your most watched channels and change how the content is displayed.
2. GSE Smart IPTV
GSE Smart IPTV is one of the most popular IPTV apps in the Google Play Store. It has been downloaded over a million times and has an average rating of 4.5 stars.
The app is popular for a good reason. First, it is arguably the most visually appealing IPTV app for Android. The clean design and cable TV-like EPG layout make it easy to forget you're even using an app.
Second, GSE Smart IPTV is available on many more platforms than most of its competitors. You will find versions for Android, Android TV, iOS and Apple TV. The app is also compatible with Chromecast. And don't forget that you can even install Android apps on Amazon Fire TV devices. Sideloading apps on your Amazon Fire TV stick Upload apps on your Amazon Fire TV stick. Your Fire TV Stick can run almost any Android app and installing them couldn't be easier. Read More
Functionally, GSE Smart IPTV supports EPG content in XML, ZIP and GZ format. It also supports native parental controls and subtitle (SRT files).
GSE Smart IPTV can play live streams from HTTP, HSL, M3U8, MMS, RTSP and RTMP sources. The app is ad supported.
3. Perfect Player IPTV
Perfect Player IPTV is another hugely popular app. It is especially popular among Android TV users looking for an alternative to the native Live Channels app.
The app supports M3U and XSPF playlists. And if you want to add an electronic program guide, you can use XMLTV (ZIP, GZ, XZ) and JTV.
There are also a few different decoder options to choose from: Native , Software , Hardware , and Hardware Accelerated . Other features include the ability to view locally stored content, support for UDP-to-HTTP proxy server, and automatic synchronization with the desktop version of the app for a consistent experience.
Similar to GSE Smart IPTV, Perfect Player uses a theme that is easy to use and draws its design elements from the EPGs for cable and satellite TV.
Note: If you're considering buying an Android TV device, check out our list of essential Android TV questions before you start shopping.3. IPTV
The straightforward IPTV app is the most downloaded IPTV app for Android; more than 10 million users have installed it.
As you would expect, you can add both M3U and XSPF playlists to the app. EPG support comes in the form of XMLTV and JTV. If you have a UDP proxy (installed over your LAN), you can use the IPTV app to play multicast streams.
The app also offers some customization options. It can display the channels you have added in a list, grid, or tile view, depending on your preference.
Finally, if you have a dedicated Android set-top box that you use for watching IPTV, it's worth upgrading to the professional version. This includes a feature that automatically launches the app when the host device boots up. The pro version also removes ads and adds a “resume watching” feature that can play your most recently watched channel automatically.
OttPlayer is pre-installed on some smart TVs. It should be familiar to anyone with a Sharp, Hisense or Sony set.
A Russian developer created the app. For a long time it was available only in Russian. Fortunately, there is now an English version.
OttPlayer supports four streaming protocols (HLS, RTSP, TS by UDP, RTMP) and M3U playlists. It does not work with XSPF playlists. You can also customize your channel icons and add your content sources to the OttPlayer website. Adding one to the site will sync it across all your devices.
Note: You must create an account on the website before you can use the app.
Unlike many other free IPTV apps on Android, OttPlayer is not ad-supported. It means you don't have to wait for a channel to load while watching those annoying “Your video will play in five seconds” messages count down to zero.
What about free IPTV on Kodi?
In this round-up, we wanted to focus on apps that specialize in IPTV. Kodi can play IPTV content, but can also do so much more that we didn't think it was a fair comparison.
If you prefer to use Kodi, you don't need to install any third-party Kodi add-on. M3U playlist support is a native part of the Kodi app - you just need to add the right part.
To get started, get started Add-ons > My Add-ons > PVR > PVR IPTV Simple Client > Configure . Enter your M3U playlist address when prompted.
If you want to learn more about watching live TV, check out how to watch free TV on Android TV. How To Watch Free Live TV On Android TV How To Watch Free Live TV On Android TV Want to watch live TV from your Android TV device? These are the best Android TV apps that you can use to stream TV after cutting the cord.