MediaCorp Singapore offers 7 FTA (free-to-air) terrestrial television channels. Both Pay-TV operators, StarHub and SingTel, bundle the FTA channels together with their Pay-TV subscription packages.
But if you do not have a Pay-TV subscription, and if you want to watch the MediaCorp FTA channels, you will need to stick to the MediaCorp analogue (PAL-B) or digital (DVB-T or DVB-T2) broadcast. Even though Singapore has a very high broadband penetration rate, MediaCorp does not offer a way to watch the channels online. Instead, they are moving to a digital broadcast that requires a purchase of an indoor antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top box . This option, though, is only applicable to non Pay-TV subscribers.
I have a plan to cut my current cable connection once my contract ends, and switch over to a pure online streaming solution with Netflix and DishWorld. Netflix for documentaries, shows and movies and DishWorld to fix my mum’s craving for Asian channels. I would also not like to miss out on the programs shown on the FTA channels but getting an indoor antenna and a set-top box for that is a no no for me. My preference is some sort of an online streaming solution to watch the FTA channels and guess what – it’s a reality now!
RecordTV has come up with an Android app called InstantTV that allows you to stream the FTA channels on an Android phone, tablet or media player.
The lag is usually just a few seconds behind the live broadcast and the quality is generally good.
The InstantTV app was also working when I tried to stream one of the channels while logged on to a VPN in the US. So Singaporeans who are stationed overseas and want to catch some of the local FTA channels will now be able to watch them, thanks to RecordTV.
I am not sure what is the exact business model of RecordTV, and even if they start charging for this service later on, I would not mind a $2 to $5 monthly subscription to watch the channels live online, any where, any time.