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What Is TV Everywhere And How Does It Work?

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TV Everywhere is a great feature that makes it possible for live TV subscribers to watch their favorite channels everywhere. That’s not only in terms of everywhere there is a device that has access to the internet, but potentially also on device that are not currently supported by the individual’s live TV provider. All of which makes TV Everywhere support a really useful feature to be aware of.

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One of the benefits of live TV streaming is the removal of the need for specific hardware. Yes, consumers do still need streaming players and devices in general, but they are no longer resigned to using devices that have been preapproved by the provider. Worst still, devices that are provided by the same company for an additional charge. However, there are still some limitations, considering all live TV streaming services have their own supported device lists.

TV Everywhere does away with such concerns as there isn’t really a single app or website. Instead, any live TV channel that offers an app or the ability to watch though its website might also offer TV Everywhere support. Providing that same channel is included with an individual’s live TV plan, and the live TV provider also supports TV Everywhere for that channel, the subscriber can user their subscription details to log in to the website or app and watch live. These services also tend to offer a good amount of on-demand videos as well, which can also typically be accessed once logged in.

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An Example of how TV Everywhere works

Again, TV Everywhere is not a specific app or website that a consumer can access. Instead, channels and live TV providers offer TV Everywhere support as a bridge between their services. For example, sports fans can easily watch ESPN by heading over to the ESPN website and logging in with their live TV subscription details. Once logged in, they will be able to watch any of the live sports that are currently on, or catch up on any recently aired events.

  1. Visit the ESPN website
  2. Click on profile icon (top right)
  3. Click on ‘TV Provider’
  4. Select the TV provider (scroll down the list or search by name)
  5. Sign in with the email and password linked to a live TV account

After first clicking on the TV provider, the user will be redirected to the website of that TV provider. This is intentional as the live TV provider has to verify the person does actually have a subscription and that the channel they are trying to access is included in their plan. Once that authentication process has been completed, the user will be redirected back to the original network website. At which point, all of the content that was locked will be unlocked and ready to view.

The instructions above are for using a channel’s website, which can be a good way for a subscriber to make use of TV Everywhere when away from home. However, it is equally as easy to download a channel’s app on a device and use TV Everywhere, which can prove very useful when at home. The exact instructions for using TV Everywhere with an app will vary depending on the channel and the devices the app is installed on but here’s an example of the process using Apple TV.

  1. Open the Apple TV’s App Store
  2. Search for FX (or any other app)
  3. Click on the app
  4. Click on ‘Get’ (‘Download’ on other devices)
  5. Confirm the download
  6. Open the FX app
  7. Navigate to and click on ‘Account’
  8. Click on ‘TV Provider’
  9. Click on ‘Sign In’
  10. Visit fxnetworks.com/activate on a phone/computer
  11. Enter the code shown on the TV
  12. Select or search for the live TV provider
  13. Sign in with the live TV email and address

After a couple of seconds the TV screen will refresh and the channel app will be unlocked, providing the channel is included with the individual’s live TV plan. Once again, the instructions above can vary between apps and devices. For example, if already signed in to the live TV provider’s app on Apple TV, Apple will offer the option to auto-authenticate without having to use another device to visit the channel’s website and log in. Likewise, some apps may not offer the web option and may require the user to input the information directly on the device.

Benefits & Limitations of TV Everywhere

TV Everywhere is a great way to expand access to a particularly channel on different devices. Or, for example, accessing a particular network on an internet-enabled device when away from the subscriber’s usual devices or home location. However, that’s just the start of the benefits. For one thing, a network’s own website or app is far more likely to offer more content for the subscriber to watch. Even though live TV services do often include on-demand content, the amount can be limited in comparison.

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TV Everywhere can also help to occasionally solve simultaneous streams issues. Even though live TV services allow subscribers to watch on multiple devices at the same time, they also tend to limit the number of streams. In situations where the number of streams is reached, TV Everywhere can be used as an additional stream for that channel. As the subscriber is accessing the channel’s app directly, it does not impact on the number of streams limited by the live TV provider.

In spite of the many benefits of TV Everywhere, there are times when users might run into problems. For example, TV Everywhere relies on the use of third-party apps and websites. This can mean that some consumers may find that the app for the channel they want to access through TV Everywhere might not be compatible with their devices. Likewise, not every channel available with a live TV streaming service is guaranteed to come with TV Everywhere support.

TV Everywhere summary

TV Everywhere is a feature that makes it possible for live TV subscribers to access a network’s app or website to watch live channels or on-demand videos. The feature requires the subscriber to log in to the the network’s app or website using the same login details they would for their live TV provider’s app or website. As TV Everywhere is directly linked to live TV plans, it can only be used for channels included with the subscriber’s plan.

While most live TV streaming services offer TV Everywhere support, the level of support varies to some degree. Consumers may find that TV Everywhere support for certain channels is not available with their live TV provider. Consumers may also find that a network’s app is incompatible with the streaming devices they have in the home.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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