How to Create an App for Streaming Live TV

March 22, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

How to Create an App for Streaming Live TV
How to Create an App for Streaming Live TV

As part of our ongoing series on TV and Streaming, we decided to talk about apps for streaming Live TV. This basically involves developing an app for a set-top box (STB) – a little device that sits on top of a TV set. This device has a built in TV-tuner and a TV-output, in addition to an external signal source that converts content into a watchable format.

STBs have been around for a long time, traditionally converting older forms of Television signal. In the last few years, there has been a resurgence in Hybrid STBs – or STBs that can convert content from the Internet into watchable video on both dumb and smart TVs. This is in keeping with the ongoing trend towards mobile that our experts are seeing across all industries. At SDI we develop set-top box apps and live TV apps from scratch.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2014, streaming grew by 60%, while traditional TV viewing dropped by about 4%. This translates to over 50% of all videos being watched over a mobile phone. By the end of this year, that number is expected to be closer to 7 in 10 of all videos watched globally.

So, how can the clever entrepreneur take advantage of this evolving situation? I suspect most already know this answer – you create an app. Apps represent a shift in how business is conducted: specifically, it’s opened access to entrepreneurial world to the average joe with a few extra bucks.

The rest of this post will cover a few good scripts on which one can build a TV streaming app, as well as a unique market opportunity for the savvy businessperson looking to support their local community. If you’d like a different take on the subject, feel free to peruse our article on how to use streaming apps to leverage your eCommerce business.

The Best Around

Let’s look at the two best apps out there for streaming live TV and why they’re loved:

1. Periscope

After Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show used this app to stream his opening monologue, it became one of the hottest companies in the country. Originally funded to the tune of 1.5 million dollars in February of 2014, Periscope was purchased for a whopping $75-100 million dollars by tech giant Twitter.

This app launched on iOS in March of last year (in fact, this Friday will mark its one-year launch!); in May of later that same year, they launched on Android. By early August, they had over 10 million users.

Users cite the easy, one-tap video streaming feature as the best feature provided. This speaks once again to the importance of good UI and a well-designed UX. But undeniably, another great feature is the ability to connect to our other great Live Streaming app of the day, LiveStream.

2. LiveStream

This platform is one of the best for editing videos as well as a providing a live stream with excellent rendering and little to know issues with stuttering/lag. This app company provides services beyond just streaming HD content:

    i. Production editing

    • As mentioned above, LiveStream lets users edit content prior to streaming. This includes provide tools for editing and mixing audio, as well as actual video editing;

    ii. Accessories for video devices like a wireless camera;

    iii. A Content Management System (CMS); and

    iv. Cloud-Based video storage.

With increasingly valuable services such as customized channels, LiveStream is bound to grow even more. Already, the Live Streaming abilities of this company are considered the best on the market. LiveStream does such an excellent job of providing an excellent service that, even though it’s a free app or software download, they have over 10,000 paying customers ranging from Tesla to Spotify.

Serve Your Local Community by Broadcasting Local Channels

Local channels have long been a staple for community voices to receive attention. Everything from local public access shows in Michigan to Wayne and Garth’s Wayne’s World can be seen on public access shows, but often these shows lack the distribution power of major network shows.

The subversive power of the internet changes this: Live TV Streaming Apps can stream local channels to anyone who downloads the app. Additionally, streaming live TV for free can increase viewership of local channels (not to mention downloads!), leading to much higher potential revenue generation. After all more downloads mean your app provides more value to investors and may even earn some interest from the major TV companies.

Your TV App Developers

SDI specializes in Technologically-based enterprise and SMB solutions. Our expertise lies in Custom App, Software and Website development, and market strategies. With over 16 years of experience in technology and marketing, SDI can help you broadcast your local channels over apps and over STBs for a fair price and within a reasonable timeline. You can reach us at our Silicon Valley office by phone at 408.805.0495 or by email at

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