How to watch live TV on Android

Watching on-demand TV shows and movies has never been easier on your Android device. But what about live TV?

Yes, there are services like Sling and YouTube TV. However, if you know where to look, you don’t need to sign up for their expensive plans. You can use IPTV for free instead. You just need an IPTV app and an IPTV source.

But what is the best IPTV app for Android and Android TV? Keep reading until you understand.

What is an IPTV application?

IPTV apps are somewhat similar to Kodi; They are empty shells that cannot stream any content without some user input. You are responsible for adding channels, playlists, and other sources. As such, it is completely legal.

Normally, you cannot use the apps to watch Netflix, Hulu, or live content from other third-party providers. You need to get the M3U file, which you add to the IPTV app.

Noticeable: Due to recent crackdowns by Google, the only way to download some of these apps is via trusted APK download sites. We’ve linked them in this article for when needed. If you are also an Apple user, you will find that many of them are still available in the Apple App Store.

1. Smarters Player

If you have previously subscribed to a paid IPTV service, there is a good chance that the provider will give you access to a branded version of the IPTV Smarters Player app. It is the preferred software by many distributors.

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However, you do not need to rely on a branded version. As long as you have the M3U URL from your provider, you can add it to the app and enjoy all the same features. Even better, this “white label” version of Smarters Player can accept multiple logins, while the branded versions usually cannot.

The app supports on-demand movies and TV shows, as well as catch-up channels (if your provider offers them). It even integrates with external video players (such as Perfect Player and VLC) if you prefer to use their respective interfaces.

Smarters Player is great on mobile devices but really shines on TV. It is definitely one of the must-have IPTV apps for Android TV.

Download: Smarters Player (Free version available)

2. Lazy IPTV

Lazy IPTV supports M3U playlists in open view, ZIP and GZ formats. The application can also read playlists in XSPF (XML Shareable Playlist Format) format.

Adding new content to Lazy IPTV is easy. You can access media on your local file system, as well as paste URLs directly from the web or from your device’s clipboard. The application 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.

Most importantly for an IPTV app, Lazy IPTV supports Electronic Program Guides (EPGs). It can read XMLTV EPG files saved as Open View, ZIP or GZ.

From a usability point of view, Lazy IPTV allows you to add favorites, use nested folders, and create playlist groups. You can export your playlists if you decide to switch to an alternative app. The app’s home screen is also fully customizable, providing an option to add shortcuts to your most-watched channels and change the way content is displayed.

Lazy IPTV is great for mobile devices. However, it is less suitable for larger Android TV screens.

Download: Lazy IPTV (Free)

3. TiviMate

In our opinion, TiviMate is comfortably the best IPTV app for Android TV. Unfortunately, the mobile version is not available.

The app supports multiple playlists, rename channels and categories, and hidden categories. You can import custom channel logos, rearrange the appearance of channels in the TV guide, and take advantage of the search feature (which works with the names of channels and shows that are currently being shown).

The free version of TiviMate will be enough for people who have one playlist and don’t watch it often. If you are a premium IPTV user, it is worth upgrading to the premium version. This costs $4.99 per year and allows you to install the app on up to five devices.

You also have the option of a one-time $19.99 payment. If you are interested in TiviMate premium, you can try it with a 5-day free trial.

Download: TiviMate (Free, subscription available)

4. GSE Smart IPTV

GSE Smart IPTV is one of the most popular IPTV apps for Android and for good reason. First, it is one of the best designed apps. Its clear design and cable TV-like EPG layout make it easy to forget you’re using an app.

Secondly, GSE Smart IPTV is available on much more platforms than most of its competitors. You’ll find versions for Android, Android TV, iOS, and Apple TV. The app is also compatible with Chromecast. And remember, you can even install Android apps on Amazon Fire TV devices if you know how to download APK files.

In terms of features, GSE Smart IPTV supports EPG content in XML, ZIP and GZ formats. It also provides support for native parental controls and support for subtitles (SRT files). It can play live streams from HTTP, HSL, M3U8, MMS, RTSP and RTMP sources. The app is ad-supported and suitable for both Android TV and Android mobile devices.

Download: GSE Smart IPTV (Free version available)

5. Perfect IPTV Player

Perfect Player IPTV is another hugely popular app. It is especially popular among Android TV users who are looking for an alternative to the original Live Channels app.

The application 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, including Auto, Native, Software, Hardware, and HW+. Other features include the ability to watch locally saved content, UDP-to-HTTP proxy server support, and automatic syncing with the desktop version of the app for a consistent experience.

Like GSE Smart IPTV, Perfect Player uses an easy-to-eyes theme and derives its design cues from cable and satellite TV EPG kits.

Download: Perfect Player IPTV (Free version available)

6. IPTV Pro

IPTV Pro app is a fast and reliable IPTV player for Android.

As you would expect, you can add 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 local network), you can use the IPTV app to play multicast streams.

The app offers some customization options as well. It can display the channels you’ve 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 to watch IPTV, it is worth upgrading to the pro version. It includes a feature that allows the application to start automatically when the host device is turned on. The pro version also removes ads and adds a “Resume Watching” feature that can auto-play your recently watched channel.

Download: IPTV Pro (Free)

7. OTT Navigator

OTT Navigator is the biggest IPTV competitor to TiviMate on the Android TV platform. Like TiviMate, it is popular among professional users.

There is little difference between them. The two apps share many similar features. OTT Navigator supports filters (by channels, categories, genres, seasons, years, favorite channels, rating, country), customization of channels and categories, and a search tool.

In our view, TiviMate’s interface is a bit more modern and the user interface is more user-friendly, but you might think differently. Make sure to check both options before selecting the best IPTV app for your needs.

Download: OTT Navigator (Free, in-app purchases available)

What about Free IPTV on Kodi?

In this roundup, we focused on applications specialized in IPTV. Kodi can stream IPTV content but it does so much more that we didn’t feel it was a fair comparison. Make sure you also consider Plex. It does not allow you to add M3U playlists, but it has some preloaded IPTV channels that you can check.

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