Today we will be taking a look at one of the most popular free live TV streaming outlets in all of the Netherlands, NOS. NOS is, of course, an acronym, standing for Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (or the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation), and it is one of the many broadcasting arms of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system. NOS is already one of the most trusted, respected, and relied-on news organizations in all of Holland, but is it also one of the best free live TV streaming sites on the web?
Well, let’s take a look for ourselves and find out, shall we?
NOS has a very sophisticated look to it. It’s got clean lines, it’s sparse, and it is sleek. The word “minimalism” comes to mind, as is the stylistic trademark of our time. The site has a sharp look to it, overall, which lends itself to a user-friendly and intuitive browsing experience. In some ways, it could be said that Nos has quite a standard look and feel for a news site.
When you land on the home page, for instance, you will be greeted by a nicely organized hierarchy of stories. At the very top of the page, you will find 2 main featured video stories. Below that, an additional smattering of coverage on current events. One nice feature, however, that you don’t see every site like NOS building into their site design is a mini feed situated onto the right-hand side of the page; here, you can search the latest NOS news stories, quickly filtering by news, sports, or latest.
Scrolling back up to the very top of the page, you will find the site menu bar. Once again, characteristic of the overall NOS site design, this is kept simple and pared back. You will find 3 options here: News, Sport, and Broadcasts. That is not to say, though, that the site menu bar is not effective – it most certainly is. Hover your cursor over any one of these tabs in order to trigger a full-scale submenu, like a miniature glimpse into the page itself.
Click into the broadcast section itself, the only section of the site on which you will actually be able to stream live TV for free, though, and you may be a little underwhelmed. All you will find is a simple gallery of thumbnails representing all of the available live news shows offered by NOS. There is no way to actually stream live TV on the NOS site. Instead, you will be linked to NPO Start (a very capable free live TV streaming site in its own right).
I am slightly disappointed that nothing can be streamed from NOS directly. I am typically not a huge fan of having to enter additional sites when I am trying to stream live television. In this case, at the very least, I know that the third-party streaming site is one that I can trust. But, still, why wouldn’t I just go directly to NPO Start and watch the NOS program of my choice, cutting out the middleman altogether?
The best answer that I can come up with to answer that question would be to say, maybe I would prefer to access these live NOS broadcasts from the NOS site and not NPO Start because the NOS site offers a more comprehensive journalistic experience? In addition to clicking into NPO Start from NOS, of course, I can also read as many stories as I like, watch short, quick videos of news coverage, and even keep up on my favorite sports teams.
All in all – save for the obvious shortcoming – I think that NOS offers some of the best free live TV streaming site design that I have seen in quite some time. This adds NOS to the already sprawling list of high-quality Dutch streaming sites that let users stream live TV for free. I suppose that is one of the many perks to having well-funded national public media.
Content and Features
I have already somewhat inadvertently begun discussing the features that NOS has to offer by way of discussing the site’s design. It won’t be news, then, at this point in the review for you to learn that NOS is, primarily, a news site. I suppose I can still break the story, though, of what kind of news you can expect to find on NOS. Plus, as we all know, not all news outlets are created equal. Is NOS a fair and balanced news source?
The majority of the news stories that NOS features concern the Netherlands directly. It is, after all, a public news outlet. You will be able to find news stories by region or more broadly. That is not all, though. NOS offers several other sections that may be of interest to you: Abroad, Politics, Economy, Royal Family, Tech, Culture and Media, and Remarkable (which are, as far as I can tell, classic human-interest stories). So, no matter your interests, you will be able to find something relevant on NOS.
Then, of course, there is also a rather robust sports section on NOS. Here, visitors can keep up with the latest news in the worlds of cycling, formula 1, football, ice skating, and tennis. And, yes, there are a handful of live TV streaming programs to be found on NOS that concern themselves entirely with sports.
Many of NOS’s content, too, is live streaming 24 hours a day, so, no matter your schedule, you can always keep up with the latest in live news as it happens. NOS may not be the best free live TV streaming site for everyone (especially if you are looking for purely entertaining content). But if you fancy yourself somebody who likes to keep up with current events, NOS is definitely a free streaming site that you should know about.
That being said, you are not going to find a whole lot in the way of additional user features on NOS. This is a shame, too, because for a news streaming site, there are so many missed opportunities that could really enhance the user experience. For instance, it would be ideal if a free live TV streaming site like this, that focuses solely on news, allowed you to follow specific topics. If I could be emailed custom notifications pertaining to the news that I care about most, NOS would have the potential to become my number one go-to free live TV news streaming site.
The site is also notably missing a guide. There is no way to discern when I can watch which news programs on NOS. Thankfully, though, there is an excellent interactive schedule on NPO Start, which is, once again, the site that you’ll have to use to actually stream live NOS
programming anyway. I guess, at the end of the day, I wish that NOS provided more free live TV streaming features than it actually does, instead of outsourcing almost everything to NPO Start.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
There are several NOS apps available. The official NOS app, however, is probably the most relevant. It is a pretty decent app in its own right, especially when it comes to easily and quickly browsing news stories and keeping informed from your mobile device. However, if you want to be able to stream live TV for free, I hate to say it, but I think you are going to have to go with the NPO Start app.
The app is free and available on both iOS and Android devices.
That being said, the mobile version of the site is quite good too. It is perfectly optimized for smaller screens, resulting in a perfectly refit and resized layout, just in case you aren’t an app person.
Suggestions that I have for NOS
As I have said already, my biggest criticism of NOS is the fact that it is less a free live TV streaming site proper and more a news site that links to another free live TV streaming site for viewers who want to watch live NOS broadcasts. I know that there is a much more complex reason for this that has to do with the restructuring of NOS and NPO that occurred in the late 90s. Still, though, it is my job to evaluate free live TV streaming sites as they exist in and of themselves. So, to that end, I really wish that NOS would introduce on-site free live TV streaming capabilities.