A new app called Endless TV mimics the channel surfing experience on your phone or tablet, giving you a continuous stream of videos without the obnoxious pre-roll ads.
The app, available now for iOS and Android, is extremely simple to set up and use. Just pick a channel you want to watch, from sources like CNN, the Food Network and ESPN, and Endless TV starts playing a selection of clips without any ads.
You can then swipe to the left to skip to another video, or swipe up to see your list of channels. Tapping the screen pauses the video, which also brings up a display ad. There are no other ads anywhere else in the app—video or otherwise.
EndlessTV lacks fancy features. You can’t search for particular clips or see a master list of available videos. But in a way, this just makes for a simpler, couch potato-like experience. (Chromecast support would be lovely!)
It’s unclear how content publishers will respond to EndlessTV using their videos this way. According to Re/code, EndlessTV has arrangements with some publishers, who are allowing the ad-free clips as an experiment, but at least one publisher said it didn’t realize the ads would be stripped away. For other sources, EndlessTV is relying on an unnamed aggregation service that provides ad-free videos. If EndlessTV became popular, it seems likely that publishers would look to be compensated somehow.
In the meantime, EndlessTV is worth checking out, as it’s the rare streaming video app that lets you sit back and relax, instead of constantly worrying about what’s up next.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.