Viacom just released TV Land, a Netflix-like video service that works great, even for those living outside the US.
Far from trying to compete with the streaming titans, such as Hulu and the aforementioned Netflix, TV Land offers access to some classic TV shows as well as original content.
Everybody Loves Raymond, New Adventures of Old Christine and How I Met You Mother are among some of the good old “classics” featured in the app, as well as TV Land’s originals Younger and the Jim Gaffigan Show.
TV Land is available in the US App Store, and therefore needs a subscription to a major American cable provider like DirecTV and Mediacom. Most of the episodes are locked and need you to sign in, but you can still enjoy one episode per show for free.
To access TV Land’s content abroad just tunnel your location to a US city. That way you can enjoy free, HD quality episodes on your iPad or iPhone wherever you are in the world.
If you are not signed in, but tap on a show, the free episode available will start automatically. Something convenient for when you just want to jump right in to start watching.
The app enables you to watch a TV show on both landscape and portrait mode, although it lacks picture-in-picture support. In other words, you can’t multitask and watch a show at the same time.
TV Land’s free episodes are ad-supported, and can’t be streamed to an Apple TV or Chromecast. Not at least for the time being.
The four commercial breaks are spread across a video and last for about a minute each. I didn’t find them annoying enough to stop watching.
Each episode has subtitles available, and if you quit the app or close the streaming window to access the home, tapping on the video brings you back to where you left.
Something to keep in mind is that resuming content doesn’t work after a few minutes. TV Land forgets what you were watching pretty quickly, unlike Netflix to-the-minute stored playback.
I’m also not sure whether TV Land rotates its headline free content, but I guess keeping the same episodes would bore and scare away users who don’t want to sign in.
Another “bright side” to not having a cable subscription is the free, still ad-supported TV Land original series. Younger, The Jim Gaffigan Show and Impastor are available in full at no cost.
TV Land’s interface is pretty straightforward; tap on a series to start watching. Nevertheless, I enjoy the panning effect of a series’ artwork in the app’s home, and the fact that it brings another option to watch free, and legal, content on iOS.
What do you think of Land TV?