How to Watch Live TV for Free on a Chromecast or Nest Hub [UK Guide]

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Google’s Chromecast and Nest Hub devices (previously known as the Google Home Hub) are very similar in that you can cast media from your phone to them via your home Wi-Fi network.

This is simple to do with a huge number of streaming services now supported, from Netflix to Amazon Prime. But, can you use your Chromecast or Nest Hub to watch live TV in the UK?

Yes, you can watch live TV on a Chromecast or Nest Hub in the UK for free with the TV Player app. By using a phone or tablet on the same Wi-Fi network, tap the cast icon to play live TV on your Chromecast or Google Nest Hub.

This is my favourite method, but it’s not the only way, I’ll explain the alternative method below.

Table Of Contents

How to Watch Live TV on a Chromecast

There are two ways you can watch live TV on a Chromecast. The first is using the broadcasters’ own apps such as BBC iPlayer, this allows you to pause and rewind live TV, although requires many different apps and isn’t available for all channels.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party app such as TVPlayer which provides live streams of all the major free-to-air TV channels in the UK.

Here is a breakdown of these methods with the pros and cons of each, I prefer the second method:

Method 1: Using Broadcaster Apps to Watch Live TV on Chromecast

This method involves using the major broadcaster’s own apps and casting them to your Chromecast or Nest Hub. These apps include BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Demand 5, and UKTV Play.

How to do it?

  1. Ensure your phone or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Chromecast
  2. Install the relevant broadcaster apps as mentioned above
  3. Using the relevant app, start the live TV stream on your phone or tablet
  4. Once the stream has started, tap the cast symbol and select your Chromecast

Here are the pros and cons of this method:

This is the official way to watch these channels on your Chromecast.
Most apps will allow you to pause/rewind live TV, or watch the current program from the start if you start watching halfway through.
Whilst all of the major Freeview broadcasters have apps for watching catch-up TV, even in 2021, not all of these apps support watching live TV. Those that do, don’t always allow you to cast every program.
You will need to download multiple apps to your phone and will need to switch to different apps to change the channel.

Method 2: Using Third-Party Internet TV Apps to Watch Live TV

There are several third-party apps that stream live TV channels over the internet. My favourite app is TVPlayer which allows you to then cast the live feed to your Chromecast with little effort.

How to do it?

  1. Ensure your phone or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Chromecast
  2. Install the TVPlayer app
  3. Choose the channel you wish to watch from the ‘Live TV’ tab
  4. Once the stream has started, tap the cast symbol and select your Chromecast

Here are the pros and cons of this method:

All of the channels are in one place as they are on your TV.
All Freeview channels available plus a range of premium channels with a subscription.
No pause or rewind functions.
More lag than using the broadcaster’s own apps.

Is the TVPlayer App Free?

Yes, the TVPlayer app is a free way to watch live TV on your Chromecast or Nest Hub.

Here is a list of the 40 free-to-air channels you can watch for free on your Chromecast using the TVPlayer app:

  • BBC One, Two and Four, plus CBeebies and CBBC
  • ITV1, 2, 3, 4, Be, and CITV
  • Channel 4, 4Seven, More 4, and Film 4
  • Channel 5, 5Star, 5USA, 5Select, and Paramount Network
  • FNTV, Film Detective, Lone Star, Classic Rock & Law & Crime
  • NHK World, France 24, and TV5Monde

There are also 15 premium channels available with a subscription, these are:

Fox HD, MTV, Comedy Central, Comedy Central Extra, National Geographic, Sky History, Sky History 2, Crime+Investigation, Unbeaten, Species, Nat Geo WILD, Think History, Think Nature and The Big Issue.

The cost of a premium subscription in the UK is £69.99 at the time of writing.


Related Questions

Does Chromecast Have Freeview?

No, the official Freeview app is not available on Chromecast. This app is a Freeview TV guide that directs you to the relevant broadcaster apps to watch TV, you cannot watch Freeview on the app.

However, you can still watch Freeview channels on Chromecast using the methods shared in this article.

Does the New Chromecast with Google TV Have Live TV?

No, Google’s Chromecast with Google TV has a new interface, but there is no native way to watch live TV in the UK. However, you can use the broadcaster’s own apps or a third-party app like TVPlayer to watch live TV on the device.