WinBeta’s guide to watching your favorite TV shows on Windows 8.1
Last week, we put together a list of official apps that let you stream full episodes of your favorite TV shows to your Windows Phone, allowing you to catch up on the latest if you happen to be away from the TV. This week, we’re giving you a look some of the apps available to watch TV shows on Windows 8.1. It’s a long one, so let’s get started.
Keep in mind that most of these English language apps stream full episodes in the US only and require you to have a TV provider subscription to access their content. Although there are a few exceptions.
Turner Broadcasting System:
From the Turner Broadcasting System, you’ve got Watch TNT and Watch TBS to choose from. You may have noticed the same apps on our Windows Phone list and that’s because these are Universal Apps that sync across devices. Both apps are designed for Windows 8 and follow the Modern UI guidelines set by Microsoft. They support Windows 8 features like Live Tiles, Snap View, and Semantic zoom.
Popular TV shows include: Falling Skies, The Last Ship, Bones, and Dallas
Popular TV shows include: Conan, American Dad, Cougar Town, Friends, and The Big Bang Theory
American Broadcasting Company:
ABC have two apps available for Windows 8.1. The regular Watch ABC app and the family-oriented Watch ABC Family. Both apps offer similar functionality despite being listed by different publishers. The former is a Universal app so you can enjoy your TV shows across devices however can only stream to specific cities in the US. The latter does not seem to have similar restrictions. Do let us know if you face any.
Popular TV shows include: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Modern Family, Scandal, and the Goldbergs
Popular TV shows include: Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Switched at Birth, and Baby Daddy
NBCUniversal has a total of 6 apps available for Windows 8.1 but the 3 below are the only English language ones that stream full episodes of TV shows. All of the following are decently rated with at least 3 stars out of 5 and feature a range of different TV show genres. They all share a similar UI layout and design and that’s not a bad thing because they look great.
Popular TV shows include: Helix, Face Off, Bitten, and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Popular TV shows include: Suits, Covert Affairs, Sirens, Royal Pains, and White Collar
Popular TV shows include: The Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing New York, and Watch What Happens Live
Fox Broadcasting Company:
Some of the most popular TV shows out there reside under the Fox umbrella, and you get access to them all with the Fox Now app for Windows. Unfortunately, the app isn’t as well polished as its Windows Phone equivalent, but it does serve its purpose provided your TV provider is supported by the app.
Popular TV shows include: Family Guy, The Following, Glee, Hell’s Kitchen, and American Idol
The home of nature lovers and scientists alike, there is no place like Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, at least until National Geographic release official apps for their channels. Both of Discovery Communications apps function as advertised and are well designed. And that’s reflected by their high Store ratings and glowing reviews.
Popular TV shows include: Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush, Mythbusters, Backyard Oil, and Sons of Guns
Popular TV shows include: Call of the Wildman, Cats 101, Dogs 101, Finding Bigfoot, ‘Weird, True and Freaky’, and My Cat from Hell
As part of Viacom Media Networks, Comedy Central has a reach of over 97 million American households, and has been rapidly expanding on a global scale, so the name shouldn’t be unfamiliar to many internet and TV viewers. Their Windows app is well designed and you’ll appreciate that watching some of their most popular TV shows does not require you to sign in with a TV provider.
Popular TV shows include: South Park, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and Workaholics
The CBS app for Windows allows you to watch your favorite TV shows in HD and includes the complete CBS experience that not only includes watching TV shows, but also viewing the Primetime schedule, photo galleries, live social feeds and more. This allows you to use the app as a companion when watching shows on TV too.
Popular TV shows include: NCIS, CSI, Elementary, Survivor, Extant, and Under the Dome
The CW Television Network:
Jointly owned by CBS and Warner Bro’s Entertainment, the CW television network features some pretty entertaining shows. Their latest superhero shows Arrow and The Flash have received favorable reviews so if you haven’t already you may want to check them out, even if it’s only to see all the airtime Microsoft devices get on them!
Popular TV shows include: America’s Next Top Model, Arrow, Nikita, Supernatural, The Flash, and The Vampire Diaries
A&E Television Networks:
This TV Network offers 3 apps for Windows that offer full episodes of the latest TV shows. All of A&E, Lifetime, and the History channel apps look great, and are highly rated, so you’ll likely have an enjoyable experience using them.
Popular TV shows include: Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, The First 48, Longmire, and Barter Kings
Popular TV shows include: Dance Moms, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Abby’s Studio Rescue, and Army Wives
Popular TV shows include: Swamp People, America’s Book of Secrets, and American Daredevil
Both the MTV Shows and the VH1 apps for Windows offer content that focuses mainly on TV’s teenage audiences. The apps offer a range of additional content aside from HD full episodes of TV shows including sneak peeks, after shows, bonus clips and exclusive, original content. Unsurprisingly, both apps share a similar design and have Windows Phone equivalents.
Popular TV shows include: Catfish, Geordie Shore, Awakward, Teen Wolf, and 16 & Pregnant.
Popular TV shows include: Audrina, Basketball Wives, Celebrity Rehab, and Black Ink Crew.
We put the following apps under the same category because they all offer a range of content from a wide selection of TV networks, including some of the ones mentioned above. They deserve to be on this list because they also offer original content of their own which are listed below.
Popular original TV shows include: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Arrested Development.
Popular original TV shows include: The Awesomes, Behind the Mast, Deadbeat, and The Wrong Mans.
Popular original TV shows include: Chosen, Sequestered, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
That’s our list, have we missed anything? Do let us know in the comments below! Also let us know which of the above listed apps you prefer.Further reading: Apps, Microsoft, TV Shows, Windows, Windows Store