If you’re a BT Broadband subscriber, you’ve probably sat hunched over your smartphone watching glamorous Premier League ties such as Stoke vs Middlesbrough or England getting smashed in The Ashes. That’s because the free BT Sport provision only applies to the mobile app – if you want to watch BT Sport on the 40in panel of pixels in your living room, you have to pay The Man. Unless, that is, you know of a workaround like the one we’re about to show you…
Most attempts to stream video from the BT Sport app to the television end in abject failure. BT’s technicians might struggle to get their Smart Hubs working properly, but they are smart enough to block off basic stream-sharing capabilities. For example, the Chromecast button is greyed out within the BT Sport app for Android.
Not all routes have been blocked off, however. If you own a recent Samsung handset, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S8, you’ll have a feature called Smart View available from the menu that appears when you drag your finger downwards from the top of the screen (see screenshot below). It’s on the second screen of options on my S7, so keep swiping if you don’t see it immediately.
Tap on that with the BT Sport (or any other app running) and you’ll get the option to mirror the phone’s screen to Samsung’s range of smart television or (more handily) streaming devices, such as the Roku 3 I have connected in my office. Voila! Peter Crouch and chums are streamed on your TV screen.
This isn’t quite the Chromecast experience: the phone’s screen will stay on and you won’t really be able to do anything else with the handset while you’re watching. Neither are we talking Full HD, let alone 4K resolutions, and the frame rate is decidedly choppy. That said, it is watchable and certainly a better option than squinting at a smartphone screen or handing BT another slice of your hard earned.
By the way, if you were thinking about running this set-up to watch this week’s UEFA Europa League or Champions League finals, there may be better options. BT is offering both finals for free via its apps, website or channel 115 on Freeview.