The Best Apps For Watching Free TV On Your iPad

tbs ipad app

Photo: Apple App Store

Television networks are finally starting to catch on to this whole Internet thing.Sort of.

In the past week NBC, TNT, and TBS have launched iPad apps that let you stream full episodes of popular shows to your tablet. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

But unlike Hulu+ for iPad, these apps offer the same content for free. We rounded up the current roster of free streaming TV apps for iPad right here.

NBC just released its new iPad app

NBC's new iPad app launched last week. It feels a bit late, but you'll finally be able to stream full episodes of your favourite NBC shows.

Download it for free here

ABC was the first major network to offer full episodes on the iPad

ABC's iPad app has been around since the tablet first launched in 2010. Since then, then network has diligently posted full episodes of its shows the day after they air. Good for ABC for taking the early initiative.

Download it for free here

TNT is another newcomer to iPad

TNT's iPad app also launched last week. In addition to full streaming episodes, you'll get clips of upcoming shows and behind the scenes video.

Download it for free here

HBO Go is incredible (as long as your cable provider supports it)

HBO Go gives you on-demand access to full episodes of HBO's most popular shows (Sopranos, True Blood, Game Of Thrones, etc.) But there's one huge downside: If your cable provider doesn't support it, you can't use it. Most notably, Time Warner customers still can't use HBO Go. We've heard it may come soon, though.

Download it for free here

PBS picks the best documentaries and specials to watch

The PBS app doesn't offer a HUGE library of streaming shows, but it does a good job at keeping the selection fresh. You'll get the best of NOVA and other classic PBS series. We're big fans of this app.

Download it for free here

TBS offers reruns of some great sitcoms too

TBS is known for reruns of great shows like Family Guy and The Office. Its brand new iPad app provides access to full streaming episodes of those shows plus TBS originals like Conan.

Download it for free here

CNN lets you watch the!

CNN recently added live streaming to its app. That means you can watch the same stuff you get on cable on your iPad. (You'll have to log in with your cable provider first though.)

In addition to live streaming, you'll get access to's stories and video.

Download it for free here

Time Warner Cable's app lets you stream live TV

While the app's design leaves much to be desired, Time Warner Cable's iPad app is a wonderful concept. You can stream live TV from a selection of channels straight to your iPad. No more arguing over the remote. You can also use the app to manage your DVR.

A few caveats: You must log in with your Time Warner account and be connected to Time Warner's cable internet to use the app.

Download it for free here

Comcast's Xfinity TV app gives you a nice selection of TV shows

Unlike its Time Warner counterpart, Comcast's app offers on-demand TV streaming instead of live TV. You can also use the app to change channels on your TV and manage your DVR.

Download it for free here

WatchESPN lets you stream all ESPN channels

With ESPN's iPad app you can stream ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU directly to your iPad, live. Like the other apps listed here, you'll have to log in to your cable provider before you can get access.

Download it for free here


ABC and NBC have signed on to iPad streaming, but where are the other two networks? We hope Fox and CBS can get their acts together soon just like the competition.

Now check out another new iPad app we're obsessed with

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