Cutting the cord. It has become a catch-phrase these days for many people. It refers to turning off your cable or satellite TV service in favor of getting your television on the computer or on other hardware. Of course, that works best for those of us who hook an HTPC (home theater PC) to our entertainment center with video going to the big screen TV and audio being pumped through an audio-video receiver and out to a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system.
There are a lot of directions for cord cutters to go and I am planning to cover a number of them over the coming days and weeks. For now though, we are starting out with one simple TV app — ChrisTV Online, which allows customers to access a number of channels from countries all around the world.
There are both free and premium versions of the ChrisTV Online app. For purposes of this post, I only tested the free version, which is a quick, less than 6 MB, download.
You will need to watch the installation, as it comes along with a couple of other apps piggy backing it – Relevant Knowledge and Complitly. You can stop these, but you will need to pay attention to do so. You also may be prompted to take a very quick survey during the installation process.
The app contains channels for almost every country – okay, that may be a stretch, but many countries is a fair assessment. By default, these channels are grouped by country, but you can change that.
The display, however, can be changed. In fact, you can choose to group them by category, station type, type and category,language and station name. the channels are grouped by alphabetical order, although in “country” view USA is at the top of the U area, perhaps because it is an abbreviation.
The land-based channel list is not all you can find. There is also JTV, which stands for Justin TV and Veetle. Plus you can even view by movies, TV shows and Expat.
These additional options allow you to search for exactly what you want in an even easier fashion.
You may not always find the latest and best movies and TV shows, but you find quite a variety from all eras, including back into the 1970′s and coming forward to present day.
Unlike most apps, there is no menu across the top of the screen. Instead, users can access the Settings from a button along the bottom, below the Play window.
From Settings you can access such features as search, add new channel, advanced settings, display mode, help, windows size and more. Of these, advanced settings provides the best controls.
On the Advanced Settings window you can change the language, skin and change the channel list between the right and left sides of the screen. The paid version will allow you to “Play last channel on restart”, keep “ChrisTV window always on top”, “Hide logo and ads while TV Channels play”, change the recording folder, change the recordings file name format and update the channels database.
Clicking settings also displays an option to “Add a new channel”. Clicking this will pop up a box that will allow you to type in a channel name, homepage, description and stream URL. You can use drop down lists to choose channel type and stream type, and even country, language, category and bandwidth.
Playing a channel
This part should be simple, but if something goes wrong then consult the next section of this post. As I stated previously, the channel list is displayed to the side of the screen and, by default, is grouped by country. Scroll down to find the one you want and then click the “plus” to the left of the folder to display the channels available for that nation.
Once you have located a channel then click it to begin playing. Each channel is represented by a logo which displays the plugin required for it. Some are shown multiple times with different logos, indicating that they can play through more than one source.
Once you have clicked on your selection then you can utilize the controls across the bottom of the window. These include the standards like play, stop, volume, mute, recording and full screen.
While the app should work just fine “out of the box”, there is a troubleshooting button at the bottom of the screen that will aid you when things do go wrong. This displays a list of apps and plugins required to play various channels and lets you know if each is installed and if so, what version is present and which version is actually required.
While there are a ton of stations available for numerous countries in this free version, you can access many more by paying the 25.00 Euro or 30.00 US fee for the premium version. That will not only unlock more channels, but also many more features.
- Receive ChrisTV Online! Full Version.
- Gain access to Premium TV Channels from Europe and USA!
- FREE ChrisTV Online! Channels Database updates.
- FREE ChrisTV Online! software updates.
- Unlimited Recording duration.
- No 14 Days trial limitation.
- No Registration windows reminders.
- FREE Email technical support.
Still, for a casual viewer this is just one more free app that can be used on occasion to look for something to watch. With multiple sources available for this sort of thing there is perhaps no reason to pay the fee.
In fact, this whole thing got me thinking about “cutting the cord” and I plan to do a short series on how you can do exactly that, utilizing the media servers, software and hardware that is available today. Stay tuned for the feature.