Your Android smartphone is fast becoming your media hub. Personally, I consume movies, TV shows, and music on my Android smartphone. The SPB TV app is another example of expanding your smartphone’s entertainment capabilities.
While the app itself has some flaws, there is no denying that it can provide you hours of entertainment for free. However, the same rules that applied to your standard TV apply to the SPB TV as well.
Remember when there was nothing good on TV, and you were forced to go out and play? This same phenomenon happened to me while I was testing SPB TV app for Android.
But some of the time there was something so engaging that I stopped everything and watched. For example, the NASA TV kept me glued to the screen for at least 40 minutes.
With that being said, let’s move ahead with the SPB TV App review and see what makes it tick.
Some of the channels are genuinely entertaining. The video quality is great on some channels while others are average to watch.
The app is well designed and comes with a relatively easy to use interface. The options are well managed and are explained when needed. The in-video controls are also touch based and can work without affecting the playing video.
The app advertises that there are more than 200 channels on the app. While this may be true, many of them are in Russian and are of no use to a lot of people. English channels are hardly around the 40 mark.
The video quality can drop dramatically for some reason. During my testing period of 2 hours the quality when from high to low around two times and then jumped back up. My internet works flawlessly. Some channels are hidden behind a paywall, which is misleading.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the ultimate choice remains with you. If you like one or more channels, you will have a great time using SPB TV. If, for some reason, none of the streaming channels gel with you, this app might become useless.
The app performs well and streams any free channel you want with just a click of a button. With a lot of options and some great streaming prowess, SPB TV is one of the best free TV apps for Android.
Installing the App
Getting the app on your Android tablet or smartphone is very easy. You only need to go to the Google Play Store page and tap on install. This is the same method you might have used a lot of times to get apps on your smartphone. The app is small in size and will take only a few moments to download.
The initial setup is a little odd for my taste. There is the lengthy EULA (End User License Agreement), which I skimmed through. Then there is a form asking about your age, gender and email address for some reason.
Thankfully this part can be skipped. Other than that there is nothing more keeping you from accessing the main content.
The main screen shows the hottest channel on the app. The featured channel changes after a while though.
At the bottom of the screen, there is a channel bar. This bar is scrollable and houses a lot of channels. You can instantly add a channel of your choice by pressing the big plus icon.
On the top, there are search functions and options. The top also houses the sidebar that can be accessed by pressing the three horizontal slashes on the top left corner of the screen.
All in all, the main interface is satisfactory and provides a good experience to the user. The side gives you quick access to featured channels, a full channel list, videos and paid subscriptions. The bar also allows a passageway to the settings and managing channel option.
To watch a channel all you need to do is tap on its icon. The channel will start playing after a little while.
An ad will most probably be displayed right before the streaming starts. The ad lingers for around 1 or 2 seconds and then disappears. The rest of the app is ad free though, which is a great thing.
While watching the channel, you can use gesture controls to change the volume and brightness. Slide vertically up or down on the left side of the screen to adjust the brightness. The other side controls the volume.
You can also change the streaming quality by pressing the second button from the top right corner. This allows you to watch TV even on a slower internet connection. Alternatively, you can save a little data just by lowering the streaming quality.
Another good thing about this free Android TV app is that it comes with a pop-up player option. Simply tap on the third icon on the top and the app will go into a windowed mode.
If you are confused looking at the image below, there is a channel streaming in pop-up mode. The window is fully movable too, so you can perform other tasks while you watch TV.
Content and Quality
While the quality of the streams changes from channel to channel, I found that very few of them were in full HD or even HD quality. This means you will constantly be streaming lower resolution content on your smartphone’s HD screen. This has a more pronounced result on tablets.
The promised 200 channels might be there, but a lot of them are locked behind paywalls. Among the free ones, there is a ton of channels which are in Russian. This results in around 30 to 40 channels in English.
The app can access your accounts and get the email address. This may apply if you input your email address in the starting form.
The app can also know your location and might share it. It might be possible that the app wants to show local content to you, but I was not able to locate such option.
In the end, SPB TV app for Android is a competent TV app. While Google is cracking down on TV and free movie apps for Android, SPB TV remains a constant in our lives. It has been running for a while now and by the look of things it is not going anywhere.
This app is a great alternative to getting bored out of your mind while waiting in line for your trial. I suggest that you at least give this app a go just to discover if you like anything or not. There are a lot of channels which can potentially capture your attention for an evening or two.
So what is your personal favorite TV app for Android? Let us know in the comments below.