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Eye on Demand | December 16, 2017

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Zattoo Review (For Live UK Television)

Zattoo Review (For Live UK Television)

Review Overview

Quality of Video Stream
8
User Interface
8
Channels on Offer
5
Device Availability
8.5
Airplay and iOS
9
7.7

Best on iOS

Zattoo is one of the new breed of live online television simulcasting services springing up, particularly in Europe and the US that promise to offer an almost normal television service complete with a PVR. Zattoo comes in two flavours, free or subscription based and has over 130 channels from across Europe. Although Zattoo is primarily aimed at the Germanic language region, it also offers many of the main FTA UK channels for which this review will focus on.

It is worthwhile noting that Zattoo differs quite significantly from standard on-demand services in that its main concentration is effectively replicating a normal live television service. An obvious benefit of this is mobile access to live television wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection. That said, Zattoo under a subscription also offers an amazing catch-up service called Zattoo Recall, along with the ability to record programmes off the EPG.

Zattoo restrict their service to various regional boundaries however, but with an appropriate Smart DNS, this can extend the usefulness of Zattoo Live & catch-up TV to a truly global level.

As already mentioned, Zattoo have two main models to choose from: either free or through their paid subscription. For many people of course, anything free sounds attractive and Zattoo’s free service may very well suffice for most people’s needs. But there are significant differences between the two models, which include:

1)   The free version is supported by limited advertising between channel switching in addition to any commercials shown on the live simulcast, while the subscription version has no additional ads.

2)   The free version allows up to a maximum of 20 programmes to be recorded which will last for 20 days, in comparison to 250 from the subscription service that last as long as you remain subscribed.

3)   The subscription service also offers every show from the last seven days on all channels to be accessed, whether part of your recordings or not. Although not technically a catch-up service in the traditional sense, Zattoo Recall as they have named it, does in effect operate not too dissimilar from one. You can even retain the recordings after the 7 days expire if you add them to your playlist.

4)   Some channels are offered at a higher resolution in the subscription service. At the time of publication, all BBC channels and ITV 1 were the UK channels available in Zattoo’s HiQ level, with Channel 4 at an enhanced SD.

Outside of the free service, basic packages include the following: (Based on the Swiss Franc and exchange rates at the time of publication)

– 1 Month: CHF 8.00

– 3 Months: CHF 20.00

– 12 Months: CHF 65.00

(These prices are in addition to a separate Smart DNS service which is generally required for the UK channels when outside of Switzerland)

One of Zattoo’s greatest strengths is its multi-platform support making it easy to watch either on your television or via a mobile device. Available naturally through your standard web browser, but also via iOS, Android and Xbox with appearances even beginning to show up on some smart TV’s including LG and Samsung.

Considering this is a Swiss based service, the greatest bulk of the hundred or so channels are naturally Germanic with about 20 originating from the UK. It also should be noted that the English language channel listing isn’t quite as large as some of the competition. That said, it does include all the main networks you would expect, such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & 5.

iPhone

Recording a show is as easy as visiting the EPG. Simply clicking the record button will begin recording a show, and because everything is saved in the cloud, you don’t need to keep any of your devices powered during recording. Storing everything remotely rather than on your local hardware removes any chance of offline access, but it also means recordings are controlled completely independent of hardware devices.

Quality ButtonVideo quality is Zattoo’s most interest and attractive prospect. Zattoo offers a subSD stream for their free package, and SD or HD streams when under a sub. The SD stream averages approximately 1500kbps, Channel 4 a respectable 3200kbps, whilst their HD streams (known as HiQ in Zattooworld) can reach lofty heights above 5000kbps – and when it does those channels look amazing. Unfortunately, Zattoo are legally only allowed to retransmit FTA streams, and the only HD channels not behind a paywall from the UK are those from the BBC and ITV1.

Whilst Zattoo under a sub can be extremely good, unfortunately the free version is not so forgiving. Watching free channels is barely acceptable on my 40” television screen. Video can get a bit messy as soon as fast action occurs, making this unideal for sport or action films. For general programming it could be watchable from a good enough distance, but it would not be described as pleasant. However, if you are watching on a small mobile screen, this could be good enough for general viewing.

HiQ on the other hand, is a notable improvement and from my experience would suffice for both sport or fast action sequences. Although there may only be a handful of UK channels offered in HiQ, for quite a few viewers it could very well be the most important ones, which also happens to include the channels that offer the best sport coverage. In fact, the HiQ quality is extremely enjoyable and it is such a shame the other UK channels will not be able to be offered in HiQ until they broadcast in the UK themselves in HD for free.

One thing to keep in mind is that although Zattoo stream the current HD channels from the BBC, the screen will go blank when non-HD content is streamed. This can be seen during news bulletins when the local SD news broadcast begins. The BBC plan to upgrade all broadcasts to HD eventually, but until that happens it would be nice to also have the standard SD channels available.

 

  • Zattoo via Browser

    http://www.zattoo.com

    You must sign up with Zattoo to use their services, but this is a painless process and can easily be done through their webpage. Immediately after signing up or logging in you will be greeted with an advert, unless you have purchased a subscription.

    Zattoo’s own commercials are not terribly long and at present seem to be a single advert at the beginning or during channel changes.

    The screen that greets you after the commercial is the somewhat cluttered browse window, where you see a static screenshot of each channel Zattoo offers. I simply cannot fathom the purpose for this as the static screenshots do no justice to the film or TV showing playing.

    That aside, the left hand pane clearly shows the available channels with your own favourites (if created) at the top. Simply select a channel to watch and it will begin playing in the main window. If you are viewing an HiQ channel, you will have the option to change the quality level by hovering over the video.

    Next to the Live TV tab is the Recordings tab where you can manage any shows set to record or those that are already available. Recorded shows will remember their last position if returning to playback at a later time but this is not cross platform compatible, so if you continue on a different device you will have to remember where you left off.

    There are two ways to record shows. Either visit the Guide (EPG) where you will find up to two weeks of program information for most channels and select record or save to playlist, depending on your package. Alternatively you can just press the Save button (+) directly on the video screen. You can also start watching a recording from the beginning even if recording is still in progress, but there is no way to set up a series link.

    As for video quality, the web browser sort of sits in the middle ground. Without a sub, you shouldn’t expect anything better than an average 980kbps* stream for all UK channels. This is actually just watchable, but expect some noticeable pixelation and artifacts if viewing on a larger monitor, or via HDMI to your main TV. Things do improve after a sub, with HiQ channels reaching a tested average of approx. 5170kbps* and non HiQ channels averaging 1540kbps* except Channel 4 at 3200kbps*. The problem is that web browsers rarely behave themselves, so don’t be too surprised if the video quality judders or other issues present themselves.

    Zattoo Web bitrate 5170kbps

    Finally, when viewing over a Chrome web browser, Zattoo offers full native Chromecast support. This differs enormously from the standard “Tab Mirroring” in that video quality and UI are vastly superior. This means a laptop can really make a very adequate “remote” to control the live or recorded television streams playing back on the main TV.

    Platform Pros:

    • Great for watching live TV on your laptop or computer when not in front of your television.
    • Easy to use UI.
    • Native Chromecast support.
    • Partial ability to Resume previously started recordings.

    Platform Cons:

    • Not the most sofa-friendly environment (unless using via Chromecast)
    • Video quality via browsers is never ideal.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK Channels from outside of their geographic region may require using a Smart DNS service)

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON REC BUTTON PVR BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON

    iMac

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Zattoo via iOS

    Best Choice StampAs would be expected, Zattoo provide a free dedicated iOS app. Although at present it is only available in the German, Swiss, Italian, French or Spanish iTunes stores, it is certainly worth a look. Especially when you take into account its amazing AirPlay & Chromecast support.

    In fact, this app is so good, I sometimes prefer to use it to watch local live or recorded television on my living room’s 40″ TV, rather than through the TV’s own user interface – and that surely must be saying something.

    Setting the UK channels as favourites will ensure they stay at the top of the table, both on the channel list and EPG, and using the iPad’s large touchscreen is almost the perfect way to navigate the guide. It’s not quite as easy on the smaller iPhone screen, but then again, the smart phone makes the better remote for channel hopping when watching on the big screen.

    Easy access to recordings again sets this platform apart, and the use of a split screen on the iPad, makes navigation a dream – a feature which even Android tablets don’t have.

    There is a category list as well, but to be honest, I can’t really see the point of this. Personally I would rather see series link recordings in the EPG which would be so much more useful and is probably one of the few major features missing on Zattoo (Along with the ability to restart a recording where you left and offline downloads).

    Tip: Vertical viewing on an iPhone will only show a small window above the channel information. Simply turn the iPhone horizontally for full-screen viewing.

    Video quality via iOS is simply stunning. Even via a free account, streams come in at a more pleasant 1050kbps*. But if you ever need an excuse to jump to Zattoo’s subscription service, the iOS app is a good one. Non HiQ channels stream in a very nice average of 3220kbps* for Channel 4 and approximately 1600kbps for the rest. This is pretty much standard definition quality and watchable both on the smaller iPad screen, as well as on a full sized TV via AirPlay. HiQ on the other hand (available for BBC and ITV 1) takes the viewer to a whole new dimension. Tested on average at around 5370kbps*, expect a stunning picture if your bandwidth can cope with it!

    Zattoo iPad bitrate 5370kbps

    In fact, via iOS and under a sub, all UK channels are streamed in a very watchable manner, making this Zattoo service, via the iOS platform, possibly the best UK TV simulcasting service available.

    Just to top it off, Zattoo also offer near perfect AirPlay support. Despite a somewhat custom video player, Zattoo support full multitasking and full-screen playback, allowing the device to effectively operate as a remote control while your channel plays happily on your television. You can switch off your iOS device to save power or use it for other purposes and your TV show will continue to play without any issues. Just remember to stop the app as it may continue streaming live TV for a long time after you switch off the television – something worth taking into consideration if you are on a mobile internet service or your broadband ISP has data capping limits.

    Chromecast support is no less impressive. And as with AirPlay suppport, the split-screen comes into affect while content is streaming from the Chromecast itself. For more details on Zattoo’s chromecasting abilities, hit the appropriate tab above.

    Platform Pros:

    • Fantastic for watching on the move (as long as you have network access)
    • Great UI, especially via iPad.
    • Amazing HD streams and very good SD streams.
    • UK Channels appear at the top of the EPG once set as Favourites.
    • Fantastic AirPlay support including full multitasking.
    • Great Chromecasting ability.
    • The ability to choose high or low quality streams (high for WiFi or low for 3G)
    • Choice of EPG or browsing page depending on device rotation.
    • Split-screen viewing on iPad makes channel hopping and EPG browsing a dream, especially when used in combination with AirPlay or Chromecast.

    Platform Cons:

    • No offline mode for recordings.
    • No true Resume function.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK Channels from outside of their geographic region may require using a Smart DNS service)

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON REC BUTTON PVR BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON AirPlay BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Zattoo via Samsung Smart TV (d,e,f,h series)

    It’s quite hard to explain both how amazing and trippy the Zattoo Samsung Smart TV widget is when watching UK television abroad. Here I am in another country, watching live television from Great Britain, in (potentially) excellent quality without cable, satellite or any additional set-top box. Just direct from the television as if I was back in Blighty itself. I may sound a little too excited over this, but isn’t exactly what smart television is all about?

    Of course, now is the right time to step slightly back into reality as it is not quite as faultless as I first made it out to be.

    First of all, you will still need to access the smart hub, so the uk channels are not seamlessly mixed in with your terrestrial, cable or satellite ones. Secondly, there are not yet any direct channel up and down buttons, requiring the viewer to use a more convolutive method denying any possibility of true channel hopping, and finally the app itself seems to have a few issues with Samsung’s hub, which often denies the highest quality setting from kicking in. This means video often streams at a much lower 900kbps* than the 3200kbps which you should be seeing. Zattoo have stated this is a problem with Samsung’s firmware and they are in talks with Samsung to resolve this problem.

    Like Zattoo’s other platforms, the widget starts on the multiscreen Preview page, ignoring any favourite channels you may have set. To get to your favourites is a four step process, pressing RED (A) for the Menu, down to Channel List, Enter to select and GREEN (B) for Favourites. It is only slightly easier to change channels, something Zattoo should certainly consider improving. And while I’m at it, Zattoo didn’t make life any easier by also ignoring your Favourites in the EPG view.

    Keep in mind, Zattoo’s recording features also work directly from this widget, along with playback of your recordings and if you have the sub, Zattoo’s Recall feature allows you to access all available EPG programmes from the last 7 days, even if you forget to record them.

    As for recording a programme itself, it is as simple as moving forward on the EPG and clicking the select button on a programme, although I had issues trying to go backwards within the programming guide.

    Non-HiQ video quality is a bit of a letdown. Naturally as expected, all free streams are only available in the rather poor 975kbps* quality. This may be fine on a smaller mobile phone screen, but it is quite pixelated on the large television.

    Through a subscription, video quality improves for the HiQ channels (BBC and ITV 1 HD) pulling off a more impressive stream averaging at 3200kbps*, but still significantly lower than other platforms via HiQ. I personally found the video quality to be acceptable – as long as it retained that level. The good result for the HiQ channels for some reason is completely lost on the SD ones, with a distinctively subSD quality that is not really different to the free streams, and noticeably lower than what other platforms provide.

    Zattoo STV bitrate 3200kbps

    Creating a smart TV widget was a clever move by Zattoo and is unquestionably a step in the right direction. Although some work still needs to be done to fine-tune this app, I personally find this one of the most exciting developments in live Internet television. It’s about time that our smart TVs started making use of the Internet also for live streams.

    Platform Pros:

    • Great to have directly on a TV without the need of additional hardware.
    • HiQ looks good on the big screen TV (when sustained).

    Platform Cons:

    • Lacking true couch-surfing ability (i.e. flicking easily through channels).
    • Quite outdated UI that needs updating.
    • Lower HiQ levels than other platforms.
    • Starts on the Preview page.
    • Non HiQ even under subscription streams still quite poor.
    • Will not remember favourite channels from global account.
    • No way to keep favourite channels at the top of the EPG.
    • Video can sometimes cut out during the stream.
    • Video quality often drops lower than it should.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK Channels from outside of their geographic region may require using a Smart DNS service)

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON REC BUTTON PVR BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

    Zattoo UK Samsung

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Zattoo via Xbox One

    If Zattoo’s foray directly onto smart televisions wasn’t exciting enough, Zattoo on the Xbox One could probably hold their greatest potential of any platform to date.

    When you take into account that via a good Smart DNS service like Getflix, you can access a massive range of live channels from across Europe including the main UK ones, along with the Xbox One’s amazing ability to mix and match apps from different regions, an incredible opportunity arises for a true, global smart TV platform.

    Unfortunately, Zattoo’s Xbox One offering is still a little bare, and that is me being polite. In fact, it is probably the least functional platform in their collection at the moment, but hopefully this will improve with their next update.

     

    Let’s look at the good stuff first.

    In a brilliant move, Zattoo start their preview Home page with your favourites right at the beginning. This isn’t done on many other platforms and really makes a positive difference. Why have a favourite section if you always have to find it first? Thankfully that is not the case here.

    Xbox One UI Pins

    Scrolling through the preview list will take you through the various categories on offer, starting with your Favourites and going through General Interest, Regional Channels, Sports, News etc. It can take a bit of scrolling to get through everything, but thankfully either the LB or RB buttons on the controller, or two fingers on SmartGlass will speed things up.

    Video quality under a sub is very good for the HiQ channels and acceptable for the standard ones, with tests averaging 5115kbps* for the HiQ channels, around 3200kbps for channel 4 and approximately 1600kbps for the SD ones. As expected though, video quality under their free service is quite poor on a large television screen.

    Zattoo XboxOne bitrate 5115kbps

     

    So where does Zattoo go wrong on this platform? 

    First of all, although there is a way to access existing recordings, it can be very difficult to make new ones – but I’ll get to that later. This may be due to rushing the app out for the Xbox One launch, or possibly due to licensing issues, I have no idea. But it is a bitter pill to swallow especially for those who pay Zattoo for their subscription service.

    Access to recordings, along with Zattoo Recall (their 7-day catch-up service) is such a vital part of Zattoo when paying the subscription, that I am rather amazed such an important feature is missing.

    The main reason there is a problem is that there is only a partial 24 hour EPG for the current day. This means you can set recordings or play back recall content for anything on the current day, but that’s it.

    Finally, there are no PVR style features either, which means you can’t FFW, REW or even pause the live stream, and there was no quick way to instantly flick through channels – despite the controller having so many potential options.

    All that said, there are a few things really cool about Zattoo on the Xbox One, such are the options available to control the app. Looking at that, there are no less than five ways to control the catch-up service, each with their own pros and cons.

    Voice: Every now and again, my Xbox One just looses its ability to hear me. It doesn’t matter if I speak clearly or scream at the top of my lungs, but the Xbox sometimes just refuses to respond to anything I say. Some of you with kids may know just how this feels. In any event, the Xbox One simply refused to listen to me on test day, so I was not able to review Zattoo via voice control. This is purely the fault of Microsoft here, and not Zattoo, but if I can get it working during a review update, I’ll post the results here.

    Motion Control: I have to admit, gesture control on the Xbox One is improving slowly over time. This doesn’t mean it is a realistic alternative for the controller, but if you really can’t be bothered to get off the sofa and find the remote and voice control is again on the blink, everything can be accessed by waving your arms about.

    Xbox Controller: Probably the easiest way to control Zattoo is via the Xbox controller. The only real downsides here are the awkward shape for such a simple operation, and the problem it will go into hibernation after a while – still, if you urgently need to pause, you can always yell it out. Otherwise the controller is a pleasant way to navigate and control Zattoo, and at least for navigating, one of the best. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of buttons on this controller, there is no way to quickly flick through channels. This is such a pity as there is even a whole, free analogue stick just crying out to be used for channel up or down, let alone the d-pad which has no other use during live streaming.

    Controller Zattoo

    SmartGlass: The Xbox’s SmartGlass concept has so much enormous potential, almost all of which has been completely wasted on this particular app. Imagine the possibilities here, with the second-screen showing all your favourite channels as basic icons, which you can flick through with ease. Or how about the full EPG like on the iOS app, which you can access and control the streams playing on your television. Unfortunately nothing so special has been implemented. Instead what we have is a very basic and only moderately accurate virtual touch pad. It does work, but only just. Use a single finger to move through options or swipe with two to scroll through the categories.

    Programmable remote: If all else fails, you can always resort to a programmable remote such as the Logitech Harmony, and return back to the retro pleasures of horizontal sofa laziness. Once set up, it will work a dream, but be prepared for a lot of hair-loss during configurations, especially if you are competing with voice control to also switch on your Xbox and TV

    There is so much untapped potential here. If Zattoo do indeed update this app, they could create one of the most exciting platforms for live television. Until then, if this is your only way to watch Zattoo on your big TV, go for it, otherwise head for something that includes access to your recordings or Zattoo Recall.

    Platform Pros:

    • Favourites are at the front of the Home screen.
    • Excellent video quality.
    • Favourites are brought over from your account.
    • Rudimentary cross-platform support.
    • Limited recordings and Recall

    Platform Cons:

    • Limited 24 hour EPG
    • Can only recall from current day.
    • Channel names can be a little difficult to see from the sofa.
    • No PVR features.
    • Cannot move favourites around.
    • Controller requires two hand operation.
    • No ability to easily switch channels during playback.
    • Cannot pin your favourite channels directly to the Xbox home screen.

    Movies BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Via Android (Mobile or Tablet)

    The following app has been tested on a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 running KitKat 4.4. Due to the enormous fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, features, availability and UI may vary dramatically between devices.

    As you can imagine, Zattoo also offer an Android app which is available from the German and Swiss Google Play stores.

    To be honest, it would probably be very close to the iPhone’s version for features, but because there is no dedicated tablet version, the iPad edition pips the scale as Zattoo’s best platform. Still, when using as a remote for Chromecast, especially on a mobile phone, the Android Zattoo app is really impressive.

    The interface is much as you would expect. With the lack of the iPad’s split-screen UI, vertical handling of the device is preferable for most situations, with the exception of full-screen playback or browsing the EPG.

    In order to set favourite channels, you will have to do so on a different platform as the Android app for some odd reason doesn’t have this feature. I found it a little unreliable as well, since some channels which I set as favourites via the desktop app appeared at the top on my Android device, but not all.

    Video quality is as expected, a stunning 5130kbps* average for HiQ channels under a sub, with 1590kbps* for the rest except Channel 4 which averages 3200kbps*, and 975kbps* when free. As you can imagine, the HiQ channels look amazing on the mobile screen.

    Zattoo Android bitrate 5130kbps

    But the best feature of all is the apps native Chromecast support. If you have one of those fantastic little €35 HDMI dongle’s, even an older Android smart phone that has been languishing in the bottom drawer can find a new life as a remote to watch great quality streams on your main TV! For more details on chromecasting Zattoo streams, jump to the next tab.

    Platform Pros:

    • Excellent User Interface.
    • Fantastic for watching on the move (as long as you have network access)
    • UK Channels appear at the top of the EPG once set as Favourites.
    • Great Chromecast support.

    Platform Cons:

    • No offline mode for recordings.
    • No Split-screen mode as possible on the iPad.
    • Tablets just use the same app as the mobile phone, which doesn’t make good use of extra screen real estate.
    • No Resume feature.
    • No ability to set favourite channels.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK channels outside of Switzerland may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service to Switzerland)

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON REC BUTTON PVR BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Zattoo via Chromecast

    Zattoo fully support native chromecasting either via the Chrome browser on a laptop or computer, or their iOS and Android apps.

    For the most part, Chromecast utilizes the Zattoo UI on whatever device was used to control it. The only difference now is that a small Chromecast button also appears if a device is within the network.

    Which means at least for this review, refer to the Android, iOS or browser tabs for an overview regarding the general user interface.

    To implement chromecasting, activate by pressing the Chromecast button found on the playback window, or if you use iOS or Android, there is a dedicated Chromecast button usually found at the top of the screen. When using a Chrome browser, don’t confuse the tab mirroring Chromecast button for the one with native support, as the playback quality is significantly lower.

    Once Chromecast is activated, if a channel is already playing it will shortly switch to the television. If nothing is playing, a Zattoo flash screen will be displayed instead.

    Chromecast

    Video quality plays at about the same bitrate as it would on the Android or iOS screen, and generally speaking looks great on the big screen TV for the HiQ channels. However, I have to say I think that despite the bitrate appearing almost the same, the actual visual quality is slightly lower via Chromecast. I notice mild levels of pixelation I don’t see via AirPlay or even the dedicated Samsung Smart Hub app.

    Zattoo Chromecast bitrate 5120kbps

    So what happens to the mobile device after the live stream begins? Well, Zattoo do quite a good job here.

    Whether you use Android or iOS as the controller, the UI is extremely good. In my opinion, the best device for simple channel changing is an iPhone or small Android Phone in the vertical position, whilst the ideal device for navigating the EPG is the iPad, which due to its split-screen feature, makes the best platform all up.

    Being a Chromecast stream, you can also move away from the playback screen by pressing the back button, and either browse the Zattoo app, use the mobile device for something else, switch off, or even remove entirely from the network. You don’t actually need the mobile device at all anymore, well, except to stop the stream itself or change channels.

    Tip: Make sure your Chromecast device is using your TVs USB port as the power source. Using Chromecast this way ensures live streams will stop when you switch off the television. If you just connect to the wall socket for power, you must make sure you also stop the live stream as technically that could continue indefinitely and cause all sorts of issues for people with data caps.

    Platform Pros:

    • Excellent way to bring Zattoo’s live, catch-up or recorded streams to your main TV.
    • Full multitasking on the mobile device used for controlling.
    • Easy to use.

    Platform Cons:

    • Video quality seems ever so slightly lower than some other platforms.
    • Stream will continue if TV is switched off before Chromecast on the mobile device if plugged directly into the wall.
    • No dedicated remote control (can not use universal remotes).

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK channels via Chromecast from outside Switzerland may require a Smart DNS service configured in your router, along with blocking Google’s DNS lookups)

    Zattoo Chromecast

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

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  • Zattoo via Amazon Fire TV

    The Amazon Fire TV was launched in Germany on the 25th September 2014, and Zattoo was amongst the first apps to be found on this great new platform.

    First of all, lets start with the negative side to Zattoo’s Amazon Fire TV app – and it’s a big one. Because the new platform has not yet launched in Switzerland, the home of Zattoo, the German version is missing two vital features; recordings and Zattoo Recall. This is due to licensing restrictions in place in Germany, where neither of those features are officially provided by Zattoo.

    For many people, this will no doubt be a deal breaker. Unfortunately, if Zattoo follows the same pattern as shown by the Xbox One, this feature won’t become available until the Amazon Fire TV launches in Switzerland.

    What we are left with, is nothing more than a vessel to stream live TV.

    That said, the UI is the best I have seen from any similar IPTV service on a set-top-box. We loved the polished feel of Zattoo’s iOS app, and this Amazon Fire TV app oozes the same level of quality and thoughtfulness. Unlike the clunky Smart TV version, this is the closest we’ve felt a live IPTV service to be to a traditional satellite or terrestrial broadcast.

    First of all, the app starts immediately on the last channel that was watched. If you’ve switched off the TV the night before, and just pressed the select button on the Amazon Fire TV remote, your TV will fire up automatically straight to the live stream as a normal satellite service would – presuming your TV supports this HDMI Power-on function.

    Changing channels can easily be achieved by a single press of the up/down remote buttons, again, just like a normal TV, and if your bandwidth is good enough, the pause between channel changes is almost indiscernible from a normal satellite or terrestrial stream – I measured approximately two seconds between channel hops. The only odd thing is that it seems the up button moves down the channel list, and the down button hops up. Perhaps this was by design, but it certainly feels like an odd bug.

    Although I couldn’t set favourite channels, it either remembered my favourites from our account, or using the selected language as English, it shifted the UK channels to the top of the list – I haven’t exactly found the reason yet, but I’m not complaining.

    Clicking the right button will bring up an info screen, and the left button the channel line-up, where it’s possible to quickly flick through channels before selecting if you prefer that method.

    Video quality was the usual stunning level we expect from Zattoo’s HiQ streams, averaging 5360kbps* for the HD channels, and 1650kbps* for all the rest except Channel 4 at 3200kbps*. Thankfully, we didn’t experience any of the quality drop issues that was always present when using Zattoo’s Samsung Smart TV app.

    Zattoo AFTV bitrate 5360kbps

    One thing to keep in mind, is that switching off the television doesn’t stop Zattoo’s live streams. As the box itself has no off button, Zattoo will continue to stream in the background. Just keep this in mind if you have bandwidth caps with your ISP.

    Platform Pros:

    • Highly polished user interface.
    • Single click up/down channel hopping.
    • Stunning HiQ streams.
    • Easy to use.
    • Fast switching between channels.
    • UK Channels at top of list.
    • Starts straight to last watched channel.

    Platform Cons:

    • No access to recordings.
    • No Zattoo Recall.
    • Channel up/down buttons seem the wrong way around.
    • Sometimes remote buttons are not responsive.
    • Zattoo will continue to stream when TV is powered off.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK Channels from outside of their geographic region may require using a Smart DNS service)

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Cross Platform BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

  • Zattoo via Apple TV 4

    Zattoo have also released an Apple TV option for the new 2015 model ATV4, with a free app that can be found in either the German or Swiss app stores.

    And what a brilliant app this is already, despite early days and no Zattoo Recall or Recordings options.

    Simple and well laid out, Zattoo’s Apple TV app shows that they already take a few of the basics seriously. The app will remember where you left off, so when you start, it’ll fire up the live channel almost immediately – just like a good old-fashioned TV! And on a similar note, channel hopping can be perfectly achieved by swiping left or right on the remote’s touchpad (or left/right buttons if you are using a universal remote) – that’s exactly the one click hop between channels that we like to see!

    But it’s not like they have ignored a bit of modern tech as well, as if you swipe down, you’re presented with a line of available channels which you can flick through by long-swiping on the remote control. This line also shows a static preview of each channel’s current show, which becomes live as you move over each channel. If you have good bandwidth, channel hopping is almost as fast as a normal TV as well, with only a minimum of time before the next channel appears.

    Swiping up on the remote displays the current programme information, which just adds to the well thought out UI.

    Playback is solid and we’ve seen the same expected high quality video streams as found on other platforms, with an average bitrate of 5360kbps* on HiQ channels.

    Zattoo ATV4 bitrate 5360kbps

     

    Is there anything we don’t like here? Not really outside the obvious lack of Zattoo Recall and Recordings. Although we don’t have a date for when this will arrive, Zattoo have confirmed that it is on the way. That said, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can always use Zattoo Recall and Recordings on those devices, and airplay across to the ATV4 until the native app arrives.

    Platform Pros:

    • Excellent high quality streams.
    • Fantastic new user interface.
    • Quick and effective channel hopping.
    • Programme Information.
    • The closest I have seen a live IPTV service to resemble normal television.
    • Starts immediately at the last channel watched.

    Platform Cons:

    • No Zattoo Recall, Recordings or EPG (Should arrive soon).

    Note: Zattoo’s Apple TV App is only available on the 2015 model ATV4 and not any of the earlier boxes.

    (Accessing Zattoo’s UK Channels from outside of their geographic region may require using a Smart DNS service)

    Movies BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Cross Platform BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

  •  

  • Conclusion

    Zattoo offer an excellent service at either price point, free or through subscription. The free service gives you 20 UK channels, including the main FTA ones and if you want to subscribe for additional features, you can do so either by month, three months, or a year. The 7-day Zattoo Recall function is a well thought out and implemented feature, especially as you can save shows from the last 7 days to keep permanently – that is as long as you continue your subscription.

    Video quality used to be a serious letdown with this service, and it still is without a sub on most platforms. But Zattoo have made rather impressive strides, with the quality of streams on all channels to be at the very least good and at best, excellent. Because of this, and the value of the service, Eye on-Demand recommends Zattoo under subscription for UK channels on iOS – and more so if you have an Apple TV or Chromecast dongle so that you can watch the content on your main television. After-all, for starting at around €6.57 per month (when subscribing from Switzerland) (+Smart DNS fees) you not only get 20 of the main UK television channels live, but in very good to excellent quality, PVR recording for up to 250 programmes plus access to all shows within the last 7 days! Alternatively, a cheap Android phone plus Chromecast could be a very affordable way to achieve an almost as good service.

    Overall, Zattoo does exactly as it says on the tin. If you want to watch live television and record shows to view anywhere with a WiFi Internet connection, this service will accomplish it (Taking into account an additional smart DNS service for global access). The subscriptions on offer are not needed for basic viewing but are priced attractively enough that they certainly are worthy of consideration. You don’t get a lot of UK channels with Zattoo as they do aim more at their native Germanic market, but if you are just after the primary ones, you may find everything you need here.

    Pros:

    • Where available, HiQ high quality video streams are very good. (BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, ITV 1).
    • Channel 4 has an enhanced SD stream.
    • Full AirPlay support including multitasking.
    • Full Chromecast support.
    • Good range of platforms supported.
    • Includes all the major FTA UK channels.
    • Additional European channels for those interested, especially in the German language.
    • 7-day access to all channels and television shows after broadcast (subscription only).
    • Ability to start a live show from the beginning (subscription only).
    • Cloud recording for 20 shows (free) or 250 shows (subscription)
    • User Interface available in several languages including English.
    • Samsung Smart TV widget.
    • Apple TV 4 app.

    Cons:

    • No series-link recording.
    • No Resume feature on recordings.
    • Not all channels offered in HiQ mode.
    • EPG order is non-configurable.
    • No offline downloads.
    • Limited cross-platform communication.
    • Favourite channels are not stored in the account or cross-platform compliant.
    • Zero support for free service but good support for those under a sub (Requires VPN outside of Switzerland).
    • Samsung Smart TV app is buggy and inconsistent between models.

    Technical details:

    • Supported platforms include Windows, OSX, iOS (inc. AirPlay), Android, Windows Phone 7, Xbox One, Linux, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and the Samsung Smart TV (Selected models)
    • UK Channels: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC World News, BBC HD, BBC Arabic, BBC Parliament, CBeebies, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4, Channel5, S4/C, Sky News
    • Channels also available from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France and Spain along with additional countries depending on subscription selection.
    • HiQ channels include all BBC and ITV 1 and average 3200kbps*
    • Non HiQ channels via subscription average 1400kbps.
    • Free service offers generally between 550kbps and 900kbps depending on platform.

    * video quality results are averaged from multiple tests and may be affected by geographic location as well as available bandwidth.

    Movies BUTTON Catch-up BUTTON HD BUTTON REC BUTTON PVR BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON AirPlay BUTTON

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Log:

    08.03.2013: Review published with score: 6, Above Average.

    12.05.2013: Major update including review on Samsung Smart TV widget, score updated to 6.2.

    26.06.2013: Zattoo updated UK feed to include BBC One and BBC Two with HiQ video quality. Score updated 6.6

    23.08.2013: Major update including bitrate tests and iOS app: Score updated to 7 – Best on iOS

    02.09.2013: Zattoo added BBC EPG information. Improved UI score: total: 7.2

    06.12.2013: Updated with additional information and improvements to the Samsung TV app.

    22.01.2014: Xbox One review tab added.

    16.04.2014: Updated with new bitrate tests & iOS UI update.

    13.06.2014: Updated with Android and Chromecast review. Due to Chromecast addition, score updated to 7.4

    26.09.2014: Updated with Amazon Fire TV Review.

    04.09.2015: Updated with new and improved video quality and test results. Score increased to 7.6

    09.11.2015: Updated with Apple TV 4 app. Score upgraded to 7.7

     

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Comments

  1. Graeme

    First off….happy Christmas. Second off, do the Zattoo RECORDINGS come across as HD/HiQ without asking (on the three channels that have it) when you get a subscription?

    Graeme

  2. Sam

    A question from me, I use unotelly and for some reason only the live works – no recorded shows will play. Do they work using other services?

    • Via OverPlay both live and recorded shows work on all platforms reviewed here. Actually, the Xbox One as well, but that only offers live channels at the moment. Overplay offer a 2 day period in which you can cancel if you are not happy, so it won’t hurt really to give it a go.

    • Martin Moffatt

      I have lost Zattoo recall twice using unotelly, but it has been resolved within 3 days after I have contacted them.

      • Zattoo are back up on Unblock-us and OverPlay too. Just a tip for OverPlay users, their new JetSwitch allows different services to be connected to different regions all at the same time, and Zattoo also has a region switch. However, this should be set to Switzerland for UK channels. As odd as it sounds, it is the Swiss region that has all the British channels, and not the UK region.

  3. Sam

    Thanks Jo, really like the site! I reached out to unotelly and they informed me that zattoo frequently change their geo checks, they were able to fix it and now it works a charm on mac/iphone anyway. Maybe there is a similar issue stopping it on xbox one using overplay?

    In a further thing, just a heads up that zattoo actually has very divergent charges based on country of registration – France for eg seems to be the lowest and is only 25e a year!

    • Bob

      Does a French Zattoo account log into the Swiss service?

      • If it is anything like Germany, A French Zattoo account will give you French channels only. Add Smart DNS and you should then see channels from other countries.

  4. Bob

    I guess the Xbox One is different than Xbox 360? I was able to get the Swiss app on my 360 via a Swiss Xbox Live account but unable to play anything always showing connection error. Zattoo was working on computer and Android Phone using Overplay Smart DNS.

    • Yes, the Xbox One is quite different to the 360 for media services. For a start, your single MS gold pass is all you need, regardless of which country’s app store you are trying to access, and secondly, you can mix and match these apps from all over the world onto a single Xbox One home screen. So, you can add apps from Germany, the UK, Australia, US etc. (i.e. Zattoo, Netflix, 4oD, Demand 5, Hulu Plus etc). Of course, you will need a Smart DNS to access anything outside your region.

      Zattoo should still be working on Android & plenty of other platforms via Smart DNS. However, although OverPlay support Zattoo on the Xbox One, I don’t know if they support it on the 360.

  5. Andrew

    Hi Jo,
    First of all, thanks for your great help on this site. I have a new F-Series Samsung, and following your instructions changed the app store from Germany to UK, now I have iplayer etc through my Overplay dns…:)
    Do I understand correctly that the only way to add Zattoo is to go through the sammygo hack to enable apps from multiple country stores? If so, it seems that this has not yet been finalised for the newest samsung software version, and thus I don’t want to take the risk with my new TV! What do you advise?

    • Hi Andrew, really glad that you like the site. You are correct in that if you have your Samsung TV set to the UK, the only way to add Zattoo is by merging the apps with the method described in our How-To’s. I was not aware that there may be issues with the latest firmware. I have tried on my F-series TV again only recently and it still worked, but Samsung TVs are somewhat fragmented with their firmware, so what is the latest on my TV may be different on yours. If you got your information from the SammyGo forums, I would trust them and wait – those people have the greatest knowledge and experience in this area.

      One thing you could do is try Zattoo via the browser. It sort of works on my F-series TV, but my test model is a low-end version. If you have an F-series higher up on the number scale, perhaps the processors are good enough and you can get a good enough service through it.

      However, there are other ways to get Zattoo on to your main TV, especially as the Zattoo app on Samsung tends to have a few issues anyway (even on the F-series). My personal favourite is via iOS and AirPlay. This method is so good, I even prefer to watch normal German TV this way, despite having a built in Sat tuner in my TV set. But, if you don’t have iOS products, you may have Android and I believe Zattoo have an Android app as well. Now, as you can see from my site, I don’t test Android yet. This is planned in the near future, but until then, there may be ways to get that Android stream onto the main TV. Perhaps via a cable, or through other wireless methods.

  6. C

    How were you able to check the stream bitrates for the Samsung E series TV?

    Has there been any further updates as to the quality of HiQ streams for E series TVs?

    Finally what speeds were you able to get using SmartDNS?

    As for shortcomings with respect to the Chnl Up and Chnl Dwn buttons, these seem to be easily implemented.

    • Hi C, I use PTRG on a dedicated server that logs the traffic going through the specified port. It reports an average bitrate each minute, which I measure over a period of time, then average all of them. There hasn’t been any updates I know of that has improved things, but perhaps something will come in the future. I am due to test the E-series again soon, but I was reaching a maximum of 1600kbps previously. I suspect when the quality turns south, I am seeing around half that.

      • C

        Do you think the quality issues for HiQ streams might be a function of the F series TV being quad core and being able to be handle all that’s going on in the app.

        I assume it’s an issue of the app, because using the iPlayer app on my TV, the quality of the HD video is very good.

  7. AP

    I have Overplay running fine, have bought Zattoo HiQ. While Zattoo loads i can see the UK HD channels but when the page is fully loaded they disappear…er…

    • Hi AP, try scrolling well down the list. Often the UK channels are right near the bottom. Did you have access before you bought Zattoo HQ?

  8. AP

    Hi Jo
    I can see the UK channels in the left hand column at the top under `General Interest`. This is on the zattoo.com/browse page. As the page loads i can see BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD etc, but when it finishes it just goes back to the regular UK channels BBC1/2 etc etc. I cant see any HiQ channels or see any difference in quality, but I can record shows now.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi AP, interesting. are you doing this via a web browser? Do you have the same problems on other devices such as Android or iOS? Can you check your account details and see if it mentions anything about your subscription (i.e. when it renews). I’d switch off auto-renew at this stage as well until the problem is fixed. Your problem sounds rather odd, so hopefully we can find a solution.

      Couple more questions: Do you have Zattoo Recall, where you can play back content from the last few days direct from the EPG. If you could send a screen shot and email it to our info email address, that may also help.

      • AP

        Hi Jo,
        Yes doing it via Firefox and Google Chrome. Can’t see any mention of HiQ anywhere. No adverts and can record shows so something is working. I’ve got a feeling it’s me. It normally is. Cheers.

        • Hi AP,
          I have two questions for you. If you look very very carefully at the BBC One button on the left of the screen, do you see a very faint “squiggle” to the right and above the word “One”? That squiggle, if you look really closely, should say “HD“. It is really tiny though. If it is too hard to see, hover your mouse button over the BBC button so it shows some programme information, and in that you will see a letter “i”. Click this for more information about the programme, and the BBC logo is clearer and easier to see where it mentions “HD” in the same spot. If you do NOT see this, then you really are not getting the HiQ channels. If you do, and the video quality is still very low, can you tell me what bandwidth your Internet has? HiQ requires at least a steady 3.5MBps. Do you also see any difference between BBC One and Channel 4 (Channel 4 has no HiQ).

  9. AP

    Aha! You are a very patient chap.
    Yes I can see the little HD etc.
    My bandwidth is 2MB.
    I told you it was me (sigh). 🙂

    • Yeap, that would be the problem. Still, the video quality should be better than without a sub, just not as good as it could be. What I have noticed though, is that the video quality can stream better on different devices. The best success I have is with iOS devices, where the video quality almost always remains at the highest quality. If you don’t have Apple, perhaps the dedicated Android Zattoo app will also be better. It may be worth checking this out, as iOS via AirPlay is an incredible way to get the streams onto your big screen, and while Android is not quite so easy yet, Zattoo are planning Chromecast support maybe as early as this month.

  10. Marko

    Hi, I have downloaded normal version of zattoo tv with an account in Swiss iTunes Store on my iPad. However, how can I purchase the HD version of th app? I don’t have a Swiss credit card and hence my Swiss account won’t accept my foreign MasterCard…

    • Hi Marko, good question. Have you tried PayPal? I believe Zattoo accepts PayPal payments (or at least they used to)

  11. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Sorry to bother you again. But I am going to go for a major tech-upgrade as I need a smartphone (to throw the TV) and also my laptop just died.

    As I live abroad it looks like I can’t use Chromecast without port forwarding, so I’ll leave that.

    1. But can I use Apple Airplay to throw to? Does it work everywhere? Do I need more port forwarding or does it just work, like the Roku box does?
    2. If I use Airplay – as I can’t use Chromecast – I take it I can only throw from an Apple tablet, phone, laptop. Is that right?
    3. If so what model of iphone would I need to be able to make it all work?

    Cheers, Adam

    • Hi AP, AirPlay is an amazing way to send content to your main TV. It works and it works really, really well… Well, most of the time. By this I mean that some developers don’t make full use of AirPlay (Demand 5 is a classic example, and they use the mirroring method which has major drawbacks).
      That said, others use it to its full potential, which means you have direct access to the AirPlay button on the video window and full multitasking (so you can still use the iPhone or iPad for other things – or even switch off). Zattoo just happens to be one of these really good apps for AirPlay – it works great with Zattoo.
      What is a bit different to Chromecast is that you can not leave the network while playing the content, so if you leave your home, the stream will stop. But that may not be important, besides, the advantage is that it is easier to keep track of and control.

      AirPlay doesn’t need any port forwarding on your router, or even the DNS servers on the router (you can place the DNS servers directly in the Apple TV and iPhone/iPad), but I tend to prefer the router method. In any case, this makes it really easy to use and yes, even easier than the Roku box.
      You can also really easily add apps from around the world to your iOS device. BBC iPlayer from the UK, PBS from the US, ABC iView from Australia etc. You will need different iTunes accounts for each of them, but that is really easy to make, and you only need to switch between them every few months to check for updates.

      You will need an iOS (Apple) device for AirPlay, and an Apple TV. Any of the modern ones will work, but my favourites are of course the newer models that allow iOS7 (I have an old 3GS which works still, but Zattoo don’t support that model for new updates).

      The Apple TV itself sadly doesn’t have many decent UK apps. But you can leave that on whatever region your prefer, it won’t affect AirPlay. I leave it on the US one as that has PBS, Netflix and Hulu Plus.

      Zattoo on iOS and AirPlay is near perfect. The video quality is very good, and the user interface is better than Android in my opinion. Even the cheaper 5c is a good model, but I am also quite fond of the iPad Air. The choice is yours.

      Keep in mind, you will need a good WiFi network at home (as it will first have to stream to your iOS device, and then stream to the Apple TV), and you will need good Internet. But if you have those, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

  12. AP

    Thanks so much again Jo.

    So, regarding the Apple devices…the phone or tablet…are the older models of the iphone and ipad incompatible in any way? Would they still work okay?

    I’m only on PAYG on my phone – as I don’t live in the UK – so I’m trying to work out functionality-to-cost ratio…

    cheers, adam

    • Hi AP,

      Yes, I also use an old iPad3 sometimes (which was the first retina iPad), and an old iPhone 3Gs also works to a degree – by this I mean the 3Gs will airplay content, but some of the apps have been updated and require iOS7 (Zattoo is one such app), so the 3Gs will only work with an older version of Zattoo, and that can be risky.

      I believe the iPhone 4s is an older phone that also works with iOS7, but I would stick at least to the 5 and above. iOS8 is coming around the corner, and this may have many great new features.

  13. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    It’s me again. White everything has been working fine we have been experiencing problems with logging into zattoo yesterday. Which I could mend with re downloading the App and restarting the ipad but this morning all we are getting is no connection. On all devices. Ant ideas, please??

    Regards
    Heike

    • Hi Heike, this is an odd one. I just tested Zattoo and it is working via Smart DNS fine on my devices right now, including the UK channels. This means it could be a local problem just at your end.
      Do other geo-blocked apps on your iPad still work, e.g. the BBC iPlayer, Netflix etc?

      If it does, it means the problem is isolated to Zattoo.
      Where does the no connection problem happen, when you fire up the app (before it completes the start-up) or when you try to access a channel like the BBC? Do the German channels play?

  14. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for The quick answer. I have just tried the iPlayer from BBC and it does not work either. Over play is set with the app on my iPhone correctly with both IP addresses the same and set on UK like we have it always. Any ideas?

    The no connection is when firing up the app.

    Regards
    Heike

    • Hi Heike, OverPlay have a diagnostic webpage which you should try from the device which you tried Zattoo and the iPlayer. just head here and report back if it says “Enabled” or not (the line after the cross or tick). You don’t have to post the IP addresses given there, as this is an open forum.
      http://www.overplay.net/smartdnstest.php

      I would also at the same time open up a support ticket with OverPlay themselves, as this sounds like there is an issue with your connection through OverPlay. You can do so here, https://support.overplay.net/
      Hopefully this can be sorted soon.
      Have you had any changes made to your home network recently by any chance?

  15. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    It says enabled and at the bottom de de. No we have not done anything to our network at all.

    I have just tried restarting my router and had to enable the overplay IP address for uk again and it still says no connection. Zattoo is working on another network though. We have got 2 routers.

    I have opened a ticket but cannot get anywhere. Live support is off and under ” unable to connect, no connection , cannot connect with zattoo” I get ” no results found”.

    Help :(, please!
    Heike

    • Ok, so we know that OverPlay is working “somehow” because you have enabled as in that test. I am presuming this test was on exactly the same device where Zattoo fails (and not on the other network). If one network works and the other doesn’t, are there any differences you can think of between the two networks?
      Unfortunately, I’m not a networking guru here, so I’m going to have to ponder on this one, but it sounds more of a change in one of your networks more than anything else. Perhaps things are getting mixed up between both of them.
      In the meantime, don’t worry about OverPlay’s live if they are offline, and also don’t worry about their knowledge database or anything. Create a new ticket, select “general”, then “next” then describe what you write here and they will also look into the issue.
      We’ll do what we can to get you online. The fact you have it in one network at least is a good sign!

  16. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    Sorry I forgot to say that zattoo works on the other network but without the English channels.

    On my ipad where over play s enabled zattoo still has no connection.

    Nothing has been den to our network. Overplay is overplaying the man router and the other router, which is the slave is our network for our satellite receiver. I really don’t understand why this is not working anymore as it was fine yesterday.

    So just to be clear we cannot watch anything from zattoo UK and just as I am writing this I was asking my hubby if he tried it and he shouts it’s back! And. Check mine and right there zattoo works again!

    Very strange indeed! I did not do anything…

    Regards
    Heike

    • Hi Heike,
      First of all, I am really happy it is working again. But somehow I still want to understand what went wrong. If nothing changed from your end, it has to be external. Can I ask who your ISP is, as I heard of another similar case in Germany today as well.

  17. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    We are with the German Telekom. This is very odd that you have heard of another case! The internet worked ok though!
    Let me know if you find something out, please!

    Regards
    Heike

    • Hi Heike,
      Well, I’m having the same issue you were earlier. Everything is completely down. But I don’t think it is OverPlay, as if I completely clear their DNS services I still get the same problems. I am reading reports all over Germany that t-online is having major issues, and I’m also with them.

      I think we may have nailed the problem.

  18. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    That is very interesting. I am happy to say that everything is working fine here this morning, thank goodness.
    Telekom seems to be the problem, just wondered what happened as the internet worked ok.

  19. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    We are experiencing the same problems with the connection again! Any idea what causes it yet?
    regards
    Heke

    • Hi Heike, not really. When I experienced issues shortly after yours got better, it ended up being a crook switch on our network. Everything that was faulty was passing through this switch. Rebooting it fixed my problem. Perhaps your issue is also a clitch with something on your network. As you say, you have two different networks in your home. On one, you can not connect to Zattoo or iPlayer, but you can connect to Zattoo on the other. Perhaps the router on the problematic network has issues?

      Do you have your DNS servers on your router, or on the laptop/iPad? I would first see if I can connect the iPad to the other network, complete with Smart DNS, reset at OverPlay to make sure it registers the new IP address, and then see if you have luck. If it works on Network B, then the problem is Network A. If you have problems on both Networks (and they are completely separate), the fault can’t be one of the routers.

      I know it sounds vague at the moment, but fault finding is always a method of narrowing things down and isolating the problem. You’re lucky if you have two networks, as this is one thing most people can’t test.

      If you get the time to try getting Smart DNS and Zattoo (+ iPlayer) working through the second network, get back to me and let me know what the results are. Hopefully we can work out exactly what is going wrong.

  20. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for your answer. A short while later everything worked again. I did not do anything this time, it just worked. Really weird…
    Our network work with one router as a main that is the Telekom one, into that plugs an apple time capsule and another router which we use with a VPN. Our DNS is on both our iPads. So there is not really an independent network. But I can log into the 3 different networks with my devices.
    Oh and while I am writing to you I experienced one day of a different zattoo. It had a different little tv while you are playing a show and also let the ipad go to black standby while still mirroring the show on the TV. And it also showed a blue time line on the TV when you paused it. But it changed to the other the next day. Very strange!
    Regards
    Heike

    • Hi Heike, it sounds like something in your complex network set-up is causing this issue. If it happens again, let me know via info@eyeondemand.com and I’ll make a few suggestions. I can see complications if a VPN is in use during normal Smart DNS streaming.

      That is certainly odd about the alternative Zattoo app! Although you should be able to switch the iPad off with normal AirPlay (Zattoo allows AirPlay multitasking). Question: You said you are “mirroring”, do you actually have the “AirPlay mirror” button set to on? This is not needed for Zattoo as normal AirPlay works (which should have better quality streams). Can you no AirPlay Zattoo without mirroring?

  21. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    your answer solves many questions!

    Our VPN runs out shortly anyway and as we don’t use iplayer and co. anymore on the satellite we don’t need it. So once that goes off we should not have any problems anymore!

    We always used mirroring and then that one time we by chance did not and found the quality better (:D)… So we know why know. There is just so much to learn about it all!

    You have been such a great help! We really love Zattoo and having to change the Smart DNS every day on the app by overplay is so easy. Hopefully we can get a bit more speed out of our internet then. But it really is not that bad considering our speed is only about 2,9…

    Thank you very much yet again for all you support.

    Regards
    Heike

  22. Britasia

    Hi Jo,

    I just purchased an Xbox one, overplay smart DNS, zattoo HiQ sub and fritz box 7390. Everything is working fine except Zattoo.

    On starting zattoo app, I see the channels like BBC & ITV however when selecting them to watch, I just see a spinning cursor and no video.

    Testing the setup with an iPhone, zattoo works fine. Any ideas?

    By the way Demand 5 & 4OD are working fine on Xbox. Just zattoo is failing.

    Any ideas?

    • Hi Britasia,
      It looks as though Zattoo is currently not working via OverPlay on the Xbox One. I’ll send them a note and see if they can get it back up again. Meanwhile, a good tip is to set the Xbox briefly to the Australian store and grab a few apps from there. TenPlay and SBS are free, and offer more content, and it can sit next to Zattoo & the UK apps. Also, BBC iPlayer should arrive before the end of the year.

      • Britasia

        Hi Jo,

        Thanks for your quick feedback & suggestions for alternative apps.
        Happy to report they are all working!

        Appreciate if you can update overplays zattoo xbox one response here.

        Thanks & great site you have here!

  23. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    I am very embarrassed , it is me yet again! Everything is working here except yesterday, but zattoo seemed to have a problem,
    It has now come up that in 7 days my subsciption is running out and to renew it I can do that in the App Store. But the link does not work, it opens the App Store but not zattoo. How can I renew and I also would like the cheaper longer option?

    Thanks again

    Heike

    • Hi Heike,
      It’s no problem at all. In many cases, subscription for Zattoo will automatically renew, but if you ordered it through the iPad, I am not so sure. What I do is go to http://www.zattoo.ch on a laptop or computer (the Swiss site, because the English channels are part of the Swiss package), and log in. It probably starts in German, but after you log in, if you set your language to English it will turn to that. Once logged in, go to your name at the top/right, and select “Account”.
      In the Account page, you will see an Auto-renew date, and if Auto-renew is on or off.
      If you want to change your sub to something longer, go back to the top of the screen and press “Shop”. It looks as though the pricing has changed since I last updated the review, so it may differ slightly. After you update, you can check the date it will renew in your account section.
      Tip: I don’t know if it will add the longer date to your remaining 7 days, so it may pay to wait until the last day (Maybe just me playing it safe)

  24. Heike

    Hi Jo,

    thanks very much, I have hopefully sorted it now. But I will wait until the end or it cuts the old one short. I noticed that when I got the free week voucher yesterday and applied it it started straight away and so I only had one extra day as my subscription was running another 6 days :-(… Very sneaky…
    So like you said, always renew on your last day…

    Regards

    Heike

  25. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Hope you’re doing well.
    I have moved to a place in Spain with a 50mb fibre optic line. But when I put either Overplay or Unblock-us numbers in the router I cant get it to work. Had no problems doing this at any other place I’ve been and putting Overplay or Unblock-us on just my laptop at the new place works fine…

    Sounds like a router issue. A Movistar fibre optic router, I can get into it as normal and change the DNS, but it has no effect. Any ideas? The modem is made by Comtrend and the other little fibre optic box is by Huwei.
    Cheers.

    • Yeap, this is definitely an issue with your new router. I can see two ways around this. First of all, do you still have your old router from your last place? If so, try putting that old router between the new one and your network. So the new Movistar router will still get your Internet, but your wifi and ethernet cables will connect to your old router that has the DNS servers in it, and this forwards through to the Internet via your Movistar router. Like this Internet < <>> Movistar < <>> Old Router < <>> Home Internet.
      If you don’t have this, you can always buy a cheap, second hand router (with Wifi) and use this, but make sure it can have the DNS changed on it.
      Alternatively, you could invest in a good router/wifi and just replace the free one that Movistar gave you, as long as it works with their fiber.

  26. Uwe

    Hi Jo
    I’m new here.I live in Germany.
    My setup is :Samsung smart TV H 6750 configured with overplay smart dns, Internet 16 Mbit/s
    subscribed to zattoo Hi Q , zattoo app on tv
    I’m having quality issues with the hd picture.When the picture is loaded it stays on hd quality for a certain time than it goes to sd which is not very pleasent.Another time it stays on hd for a longer time, about 1 hour.
    When it’s on hd the picture quality is very good.
    On the other hand I got the BBC I player on my samsung blue ray player F 6500 running very well with very good quality.
    So I suppose it’s not the internet.
    ps.when I reload the channel it’s hd again for a certain time than its going again to sd.
    I wonder if you have any ideas what to do.
    Thanks kind regards Uwe

    • Hi Uwe, and welcome to Germany!
      Unfortunately this is a known issue with the Zattoo Samsung TV app. Zattoo say the problem is related to the Samsung Smart Hub, and they have been awaiting a firmware update to fix this. We have been waiting a frightfully long time.
      There are two far better ways to get Zattoo onto your television, where the picture quality is a lot more stable, and the user interface is a lot better.
      My personal favourite is via an iPad (or iPhone) and AirPlay over an Apple TV. If you have this equipment already, you are set up. If you only need the Apple TV, it may be worth an investment if only for the excellent AirPlay feature.
      If you have Android, then a Chromecast stick is the next best. You will need to put the Smart DNS in your router (and create a routing table on your router to bypass Google’s DNS), but if your router can do this (most can, though many free ISP ones can’t), then it is a good option. Chromecast is only €35 so pretty affordable and hides behind the TV. An instruction on how to do that Chromecast routing trick can be found in the how-to’s at Eye on-Demand (see menu)
      One slight catch. Zattoo are experiencing video quality issues right now that started a couple of weeks ago. They say they are now on top of the problem, but I have still seen some quality drops that were never happening before. I hope they sort these out soon.

    • C

      I had this issue as well, I modified the Zattoo app and was able to force the highest quality playback of 3Mbps. Additionally further updates, gave me to option to navigate using CH buttons, number buttons and view what’s on other channels while watching a program.

      • This sounds really interesting, can you tell us exactly how you done this? What version software are you using, and which Smart Hub region? (i.e. Germany, Swiss etc).

        • C

          The app is written in javascript, so if you know javascript it’s easy to make the changes. Hence I’m using a version that I modified myself, the original version I believe came from the Swiss Smart Hub region.

          Here are some pictures I’ve taken of the changes I’ve made.

          Channel Info:
          i58.tinypic.com/o6d8a0.jpg

          Manual Channel Entry:
          i62.tinypic.com/29ekoh.jpg

          Mini Channel Guide:
          i58.tinypic.com/14ui7ly.jpg

          Mini Channel Guide Channel Entry:
          i58.tinypic.com/mh5yyo.jpg

          As you can see, these changes did make the app slightly more usable. There are still further changes I would like to make, but truth be told I’ve gotten bored of Zattoo development.

          • Well C, this blogger is duly impressed!

  27. Bo

    I can’t seem to stream Zattoo on to my TC.. I have both Apple TV and Chromecast, but neither of them seem to eb able to show more than about 1 minute before screen goes blank.

    I updated to paid version, to see if that makes a change, but no.

    Seems to work fine when watching local channels, but when trying to see international channels by changing the DNS, it just doesn’t work…Works fine onboth Iphone, Android and Laptop…just not on the TV…

    Anyone else have similar problems? Solutions?

    B

    • Hi Bo,
      We should be able to work this one out. How are you unblocking the region for UK channels? Are you using a DNS service, and if so, which one, and where do you place the DNS servers? (on your iPhone, Android phone, or router?)

      • Bo

        I use unblock-us.com and change the DNE settings to point to their servers.

        I’m based in Denmark, but would like to see ITV and BBC.
        NetFlix UK works just fine..Iplayer seem to have similar problems..maybe it is a DNs problem…but then why is the problem only when I try to cast onto the tv?

        • Ok, where exactly do you place these DNS servers? On the device itself, or on your router?

          • Bo

            Manually on each device

          • Ok, this explains the Chromecast failure. Chromecast doesn’t have the ability to add DNS servers, so you need to do two things. Add the DNS servers directly on your router, and secondly, create a routing table that bypasses Google’s own DNS server. It may sound complex, but it really is easier than it sounds. I have a quick guide here.

            This doesn’t explain the problems with AirPlay though. Usually, when people have problems with AirPlay, I suggest adding the DNS servers to both the iPhone and the Apple TV. I recommend you double check both devices and make sure they both have the correct DNS servers. Alternatively, perhaps having the DNS server in your router will fix the problem out. (don’t forget, you don’t need to mirror, just use normal AirPlay). If these don’t work, come back here and I’ll throw a couple of other suggestions across.

          • Bo

            Seems to work now..Thanks for your help

  28. Uwe

    Hi im having the same issue with chromecast when I try to cast zattoo to my samsung tv.
    I got smart dns configured to my I pad .But after 1 minute it stopps.
    I’m afraid to make any dns changes to my fritz box fearing to mess up my Internet connection.
    I also have apple tv that works with my I pad but it seem there is the same picture quality issue like I have with the Samsung tv app.

    • Hi Uwe, the Chromecast issue is definitely related to not having the DNS configured in your router. When Chromecast begins streaming, it takes the stream directly from the dongle itself, and not (like with AirPlay), from the mobile device. This is why AirPlay can have the DNS servers inside the iPhone or iPad, and the Chromecast can’t. As for the additional Chromecast requirement (routing table on the router), some people may be lucky that this isn’t required, but for most, it will also have to be done.

      Yes, it can be a bit daunting to make changes on the router, and if you don’t want to, then definitely stay clear of that. If however your router is easy to configure (t-online’s Speed Port is not by the way), it should be pretty easy to just make note of the existing DNS setting (usually set to auto), and making the quick change. If things go wrong, you can always set it back. Alternatively, some people put a third party router in place.

      As for the quality issue on airplaying, as long as you are not mirroring, this is likely to be related to the issue Zattoo have had in the last couple of weeks where video quality had dropped. Hopefully this is fully resolved soon. I have seen improvement this morning, but usually the big factor is during peak hours.

  29. AP

    Hi Jo,
    So I have managed to get decent enough video playing via Apple TV on my TV, Zattoo and BBC iplayer through a Mac Book Air and smart dns. (Thanks!) But do I always have to use the Apple TV mirror? Don’t Zattoo or the BBC support Apple TV?
    Also any guide on what resolutions are best for a 40″ TV.

    Secondly I can’t seem to download the Zattoo app for an iphone here in Spain or in the apple uk store. Is there any way to do it?

    • Hi AP, both Zattoo and the BBC iPlayer allow full AirPlay support via iOS without the need of mirroring. You should just need to select airplay, does this not work at your end? As for AirPlay using a Mac Book Air, I can’t say, but I guess everything on the laptop is done by mirroring.

      You will need to create an iTunes store on a German or Swiss account, as the Zattoo app is definitely on those stores. It is free and easy and you don’t need a credit card or any payment details if you do this via your Mac Book Air using this guide.

      Just a heads-up here. Many people are experiencing very poor Zattoo video quality during peak hours at the moment, so I would hold off on buying a sub until this is sorted out. I’ll post a message here when everything is working back to normal.

  30. AP

    Hi Jo…and your readers.
    Although I’m sure I’m jinxing this…we now have Zattoo playing off an iphone 4 onto a 40inch LG TV, quality is great. It even works okay even though we need to use an extender (Netgear) to get the internet down this end of the flat.
    You have been a massive help Jo. Next time you are in Barcelona email me and i’ll get you a tapas/cervesa or five.

    But you are not out of the woods yet:
    I would like now to buy a better router which allows us to stick the DNS on it.
    1. Are fibre optic routers the same as ADSL ones?
    2. Do you have a recommendation for a router? What do you use?

    Cheers, A

    • AP! You are in Barcelona and I’m stuck in Frankfurt! This is simply not fair. Anyway, I’m really glad Zattoo is working well for you. Actually, we’re seeing some poor quality streams in the late evening here in Germany, so if you can let us know the evening or weekend quality you are seeing, that would be great. (trying to isolate the problem).

      Unfortunately, I am not the best to ask router questions, as I tend to find them frightfully boring. In any event, most 3rd party routers will allow you to change the DNS settings, as it is usually just the ISP ones that have this blocked. But my advice would be to go to a brick & mortar store in Barcelona, one by the seaside if there happens to be one, with a nice cafe across the street and… well, I digress… one where you can ask if the device works with your broadband connection. Try to get a router that will be a little future proofed, so that it won’t need to be replaced when a faster upgrade comes your way. Then don’t buy on the spot, go to that cafe or beach across the road and download the manual so you see if you can actually change the DNS servers.

      Another good thing to look for, is the ability to create routing tables – just in case you want to go the Chromecast way in the future. (This is needed to block Google’s hard-wired DNS servers, but is only needed if you use Chromecast).

      Also, if anything doesn’t work, put it all back in the box and take it back to the shop for a different model.

      I use a Fritzbox 7390 which is a great little thing, but I miss the fact it doesn’t have a built in VPN (usually a DD-WRT router is needed for this). Has about everything else though.

  31. AP

    Hi Jo,
    I haven’t seen any picture quality problems apart from one of the German channels last night showing Bayern-City. That’s it. Watching Enders right now and it’s ace.
    AP

  32. AP

    Is there any launch date – or estimated launch date – for Amazon Fire in Switzerland?

    • Hi there. Unfortunately, it looks as though Amazon have only launched the Amazon Fire TV in markets which has Amazon Prime Video. I have no idea is or when Amazon will expand their Amazon Prime video market, but since Switzerland doesn’t even have Amazon Prime delivery, I’d say they won’t be the next market to join – then again, since Zattoo invested heavily in the Amazon Fire TV for Germany, perhaps they know of a timetable that I don’t. It would seem illogical to launch on the Amazon Fire TV if that had no plans to come to Switzerland soon.

  33. Max

    Hi Jo!

    First of all: Thank you very much for your great website and detailed information!

    I have got a small problem and do not know how to solve it: I set up Zattoo Uk about 6 month ago, got a subscription and used overplay for the country code. Everything worked fine. I discovered recently, that Zattoo now only displays German Channels and that I lost all UK channels.

    I recently got a new FritzBox. Might this be the problem? What do I need to do? I can’t get the old zattoo channels.

    (on the other hand: I watch itv, bbc iplayer, 4od,.. with overplay on smart tv without problems…)

    I would be very greatful for any help!

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Max, Well, you certainly should be seeing the UK channels. I’ve just tested this myself, and via OverPlay and a Fritzbox, the UK channels have come up, so the problem must be elsewhere.
      1) First of all, if you haven’t already, try scrolling all the way down the list of channels. They have been known to hide at the lower end sometimes.
      2) When you say “German” channels, I presume you mean actual German ones, and not starting with the Swiss ones.
      3) Are you getting this problem on all devices (i.e. iOS, Android, Web, Desktop app, etc?)
      4) Where have you placed OverPlay’s DNS addresses? On the new FritzBox or on each device?
      5) Have you checked if other normally blocked services work through the same devices? So, if you are failing with Zattoo on a web browser, try the BBC iPlayer on the same browser. If the iPlayer works (and you are not in the UK), then OverPlay is also working. (Different to your point about watching 4oD etc on the Smart TV itself – unless that is what you watch Zattoo on?)
      I’m sure we can work this one out, as Zattoo should be working here

  34. Max

    Hi Jo,

    thanks a lot for your quick response.

    Well, there are mainly German Channels – even if I scroll down.

    I have set up overplay only on the ipad. (Don’t really know how to do it on the Fritzbox…)

    But what I can’t explain is that:

    I use the ipad (after activating overplay) so for example if I open google maps I see London, because this is the place where I (supposedly) am.

    I open the bbc iplayer website and it shows on the site Location: London

    I open the Zattoo website (UK) and it says: This is a British offering. Please open our Germna offering.)

    I’m sorry I haven’t a clue…

    • Hi Max,
      Ah, I think I may have found the issue. It sounds like you have set up OverPlay’s VPN on the iPad rather than OverPlay’s Smart DNS. Could this be the case?
      As odd as it sounds, Zattoo must point to Switzerland to access the UK channels, not the UK. This is because Zattoo is a Swiss service and they are simulcasting the UK channels only in Switzerland. In Germany, they only stream German channels, and although they used to stream UK channels in Britain, they no longer do.
      So, you will either need to VPN into Switzerland, or even better, just use OverPlay’s DNS servers on your iPad. You can set this up by following this guide: (Click on the iOS tab)
      (Don’t forget, with Smart DNS you will most likely need to register your IP address each day, but you can easily do this by OverPlay’s iPad app from the iTunes store.

      Just one last thing. Are you using Zattoo’s iOS app or their website on the iPad’s browser. It works much better with the app! If you have a German iTunes account, you can just download it from there, as it is the same app as from the Swiss store.

  35. Max

    Hi Jo,

    thanks a lot.

    Problem solved.

    I didn’t set up overplay correctly. You were so right…

    Thanks again!

  36. Martin Moffatt

    Hi Jo
    Excellent site. I have the Zattoo subscription service with Unotelly here in Portugal. The only problem I have is I cannot recall ITV 1, very strange

    • Hi Martin, I just tested ITV1 recall with “Secrets from the Sky” from Friday, and it played. Does this work for you?

  37. AP

    Hi Jo,
    How you doing?
    Just to say I have been having a kind of stuttering picture off Zattoo for the last three days or so (via iphone 4 to Apple TV box). It is pretty annoying. Sound and definition are still really good but there is a kind of juddering in the picture. It is still kind of watchable but it is not a good development.
    Separately, I have bought a Fritzbox but it looks so complicated I haven’t got it out of the box. Have you got any Fritzbox-for-dummies type links or tips? 🙂
    Cheers mate,
    AP

    • Hi AP, doing well thanks! When you say definition is still good, that suggests it isn’t a bandwidth thing.
      * Are you seeing the same effect with Zattoo via the browser?
      * Does this happen all day, or just at specific times?
      * Do other apps on your iPhone also have this affect when airplaying?
      * Does the stutter happen on Zattoo when just on your TV via AirPlay, or even when watching from the phone?
      * Have you changed HDMI ports by any chance recently?
      Sorry for so many questions, as it may help.
      As for the Fritzbox, you wait until you press the advanced tab on it ;). I don’t have any generic tips, but if you tell me what you want to actually do with it, then I may be able to help 🙂

      • AP

        Hi Jo,
        It seems to be ITV1 only. How odd, during IAACGMOOH certainly.
        A

        • That’s odd AP. And do you see ITV1 experiencing the same issue on other platforms (e.g. web, desktop app, etc?)

  38. AP

    Actually it isn’t just ITV it is all the channels and it seems to be about 10pm. It only happens on Airplay and seems fine on the laptop. Bit weird.
    Separately, my Apple TV box has taken to kind of going into standby when you don’t use it as well.

    • Hi AP, So the problem seems to be localized via AirPlay, and around 10pm. AirPlay can be affected by WiFi disturbances. Are there any electronic equipment that normally switches on around 10pm (dishwasher, washing machine etc?) Perhaps if you live in an apartment, a neighbour switches something on.

      Zattoo is very bandwidth high, as it streams a constant 3300kbps (average) bitrate during playing. Do you have anything else that can AirPlay after 10pm of a similar bandwidth.

      When the problem happens, try switching the ATV off at the wall (and shutting your iPad/iPhone down) and restarting both. Try also switching off your WiFi access point at the wall for 30 seconds and back on again (although this may change your external IP address, so you may have to re-register immediately).

  39. Bill

    Happy with my subscription Zattoo at the mo (smartDNS + Static routes in router chromecasted to Tv) but was thinking of an android STB solution running Zattoo, all the UK iPlayers etc. (my TV can’t be hacked out of its euro setting).

    Although numerous Droid boxes on the market (MX, Comag, DROIDx etc) always quoting Google Playstore the “advertised apps are mostly rubbish with very little reference to Zattoo/iPlayers etc. Very little info about how these apps run on these boxes.

    Surprised no review available

    • Hi Bill,
      The problem with an Android box is that the apps used are designed for mobile touch screens, and they work horribly or not at all on the STB. Zattoo is actually one of the few exceptions, which as long as you use something like a cordless mouse, it is not too bad. I have to get around to reviewing this one day!

      Sadly with Zattoo, there are no perfect solutions that also have all the UK apps. The closest would be the Xbox One, which has Zattoo (with limited recall and recordings), along with 4oD and Demand 5, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc, but still no ITV or BBC iPlayer (And neither OverPlay or Unblock-US support Zattoo yet on the Xbox One). The Amazon Fire TV is simply amazing as it can merge UK, US and DE apps all together, which means BBC iPlayer, TVPlayer, Demand5, Netflix, Amazon Prime UK and Zattoo can all live together on the same hub, but the catch is that there are no 4oD or ITV yet, and Zattoo is from the German market, so no recordings or Recall.

      Finally, an iPad or iPhone is a good option if you have an Apple TV. Zattoo AirPlay‘s perfectly, so does 4oD and the BBC iPlayer. ITV Player is a bit iffy and Demand 5 just uses mirroring.

  40. Bill

    Thanks Jo.
    The Android boxes all seem to big up the fact that you can download apps from Google Playstore so the assumption is that you can download Zattoo, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player etc as they’re all available in the Appstore

    • Hi Bill,
      Technically they can, except they don’t tend to mention that many catch-up or on-demand streaming services either won’t work at all (they won’t run on rooted devices) or that they limit the video quality drastically (like Netflix), as they expect this to be a small mobile screen. Zattoo is one of the few that can work well.

  41. Phil

    Hey Jo,
    What’s Demand5 like on the FireTV as a matter of interest? I find Demand55 generally to be very poor with broken stremas etc. and from googling I don’t think it’s restricted to those of us outside the UK. Would be interesting to know if their app on the FireTV is any better than some of the crap they’re released before.

    It’s a real shame that the catchup is missing from Zattoo. I would order a FireTV today if it had that. For the moment gonna stick with the cheapest option….Chromecast + Android app. Can’t say it’s flawless, sometimes the stream just stops and needs restarting, but the catchup is all important when you have kids in the house and can’t just sit down at x o’clock to watch that thing you wanted to watch!

    Keep up the good work, great site.

    • Thanks Phil,
      Actually, I rarely watch Demand 5, so I can’t honestly say that I’ve done a burn-in test with their app on the Fire TV. But, I’ll give it a go over the next few weeks and get back here.

      As for Zattoo, year, until the Fire TV launches in Switzerland, it is unlikely to add Recordings and Zattoo Recall. The problem there is that Switzerland probably won’t be next on the list as they don’t have Prime Video.

  42. AP

    Hi Jo,
    For a few days now I haven’t been getting the guide up on Zattoo via my phone. Wondering if I need to re-install the app. Via laptop is fine, all working okay. Problems with my iphone 4 maybe?
    Cheers
    AP

    • Hi AP, The guide is working on my iPhone still, so perhaps a reinstall may fix it at your end? Are you running iOS8 or lower?

  43. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Downloaded and ran an app called Battery Doctor which cleaned mi cache and so on. Then guide came back for Zattoo. And it’s been updated i now have ITVbe and the divider/space between UK/German/French channels has gone…

    Separately wile I have your attention, can you change the DNS on an Amazon Fire TV box? Or does it have to be through the router like a Roku?

    Cheers,
    AP.

    • Thanks, I didn’t realize Zattoo have added ITVbe, cool. Also, the UK channels always appear at the top for me, whether on the channel list, or EPG. I always assumed this was to do with my favourites (certainly is for channel list). Are you seeing the same?

      As for the Amazon Fire TV, DNS addresses can be directly installed on the device. Some people say it is a bit tricky, so I’m planning a how-to guide, but it really isn’t too hard.

  44. AP

    Hi Jo’,
    Happy new year.
    I was wondering what spec Ipad you use with Zattoo/Apple TV as I might pick one up in the sales.
    Cheers,
    AP

    • Hi AP,

      The oldest one I have that Zattoo works on is the iPad3. It works quite fluidly still and has no issues. That said, it is still running iOS7 as iOS8 would slow it down too much. It requires iOS7 or later, which means anything running iOS6 can’t install Zattoo. Also, there will come a time when Zattoo may require iOS8 or later, so newer versions will not be able to be installed. But if you can find an iPad3 or newer for a bargain, it certainly may be worth a go – I find it my favourite UI via AirPlay over any other platform. (If you have AirPlay issues, make sure Smart DNS is configured in both the iPad & ATV – even if it is on the router. I haven’t seen issues here, but I have heard of a couple of people who have and this resolved it)

  45. AP

    Hi Jo,
    When you say Ipad3 does that mean 3rd generation? Would an Ipad Mini work?
    Cheers,
    AP.

    • Yeap to both 🙂

  46. AP

    Hi Jo,
    For the second time my Zattoo guide on the phone has disappeared, now for about 3 days. All the other features work, search etc.
    At the same time my BBC Radio iplayer has stopped working, just spins and spins and doesn’t connect.
    Both are working fine on my macbook air.

    Is this the limitation of an iphone4 do you think?

    • Hi AP,

      Can you give more description of what you mean by the guide disappearing? It all seems fine on my iPhone 5s and iPad. Is this the EPG which lists all the shows that you can Recall? And is it empty or won’t open etc? Can you do a screenshot (Press home key and power at the same time)

  47. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Yeah the 7 day recall guide was there, but empty. Days across the top but no show time-lines.

    But of course today this morning, it has come back, as I looked just now. I have absolutely no idea why it did this. I haven’t changed anything since last night ( was too busy partying 😉 ) or rebooted anything.

    It feels a bit like a Zattoo issue, maybe to do with itunes sotres? An upgrade in the german store.

    BBC radio iplayer still not working, just spins, shows all the right shows, but won’t connect. Think I will do a re-install of that one.

    The technology is so near to being great, when it works well it is brilliant, but still a bit faulty 20-30pc of the time in our experience…

    Cheers mate
    AP

    • Hi AP,
      Yeap, technology can be a real pain sometimes. Neighbours have been known to see me silently pulling my hair out as they walk past the window, without realizing that it’s because my Xbox refuses to listen to me or my laptop has decided to format my c-drive. Glad it is working now.

      As for the BBC Radio, check to see if it works on LTE/3G when outside of your LAN. If it does, then check to see if it works with your Smart DNS switched off. If that also happens, notify your Smart DNS provider. I’ll check mine the same way as soon as I can.

  48. JONATHAN

    I am a new user to Zattoo i live in france and cant see any UK channels on Zattoo tv only French channels ? can you only watch what is broadcast in your own country ?

    • Hi Jonathan, yes it is possible. However, you will need to watch the Swiss version of Zattoo as this is the only one that has multiple countries. If you just visit Zattoo Switzerland, it is geoblocked from France and will most likely redirect you to the French version.

      To unblock this, you will need to use either a VPN to Switzerland, or better, a Smart DNS service. Smart DNS is easy to set up (you just place two different DNS servers into your device that you are watching Zattoo from, or your router for all devices in your network) and then Zattoo will have British TV as well as many other countries.

      For Smart DNS and Zattoo, I recommend OverPlay. They cost around US$5 a month and work will with Zattoo on most platforms. If you have problems setting it up, ask their support team or back here. It is really easy though – just remember if your external IP address changes each day to re-register your IP address with OverPlay. (I recommend their mobile app for this)

      You only need OverPlay’s cheapest solution for Smart DNS. OverPlay unblocks Zattoo for UK channels, but you still need to have a subscription with Zattoo for their high quality streams and recall features. From what I understand, even the French sub is good enough for this.

      Oh, that Smart DNS will unblock a pile of other geo-restricted content as well. All the main UK catch-up services will also work, such as the BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player etc, as well as services from other countries like the US.

      OverPlay will refund you in full within 48 hours if you are not happy with the service.

  49. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Made some progress. Might be illustrative to your readers.

    I use an iphone4. It does work fine but I had other apps on it like Whatsapp and one or two others which used bandwith/processor…I deleted them and picture, reliability is much better.
    Ta, AP.

  50. AP

    Hi Jo,
    As of Friday 20 Feb I have no recall or access to recordings on either my laptop or phone. Still playing live TV fine tho. Fyi.
    Cheers,
    AP

    • Hi AP, I see this as well. Log a support ticket with your Smart DNS service. It looks as though Zattoo have simply changed a host for their recordings, and this is the Smart DNS company needs to know about this.

  51. AP

    Ok I sent one in to Overplay. I’m not 100pc convinced by their support services. I’ll try the chat version as well though I’m never sure if I’m talking to a real person or a robot. 😉
    ap

    • Hi AP, the good news is that I can confirm the Recall and Recordings are back up via OverPlay. Hopefully it’s all working great where you are as well. Unblock-us will also hopefully be up again soon.

  52. AP

    Yes Jo, good news. *Bows to rapturous pan-European applause* 😉
    ap

  53. AP

    Hi Jo
    Zattoo not working with new Overplay interface it seems…
    ap

    • Hi AP,
      OverPlay have just launched a whole new backend today and this has changed the way Zattoo works. Now there is a switch at Zattoo which you can change countries.
      Go to https://www.overplay.net/myaccount.php# and select the Smart DNS tab. You will see five switches. Look at the one labelled Zattoo, and change the country selector from UK to Switzerland. As odd as it sounds, this must be in Switzerland for channels like the BBC etc.

  54. AP

    Hi jo
    Yes i worked it out. But now I cant access any of the BBCs site, not even the weather, Overplay comes up and asks me to login every time. It’s not like the weather on the web site is geo-blocked…
    Very poor imo.
    adam

    • This one is above me. I’ve got no problems accessing the BBC website. I think this could be teething issues with their new smart DNS engine, so you may have to contact their support. The good news is that they have overhauled their support as well, so hopefully it can be solved quickly.

  55. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Can’t seem to access my Zattoo guide shows or recordings from my iphone at the moment. Are you seeing the same? No problem via laptop.
    Cheers,
    AP

  56. AP

    Hi Jo
    It’s come back! No problem, no idea what happened. (As usual) 🙂
    ap

    • Hi AP,

      Yes, Zattoo made some changes recently, and this threw off the Smart DNS providers. It looks as though they are getting things back. OverPlay seems to be fully operational again, and Unblock-US have at least got the live streams working again. If anyone is still having problems, contact your Smart DNS provider as they will need to make a few minor changes to fix this.

  57. FeeBee

    Just wondered if anyone else has been experiencing “player error” issues with Zattoo in the last few days?
    We’ve only been able to access the UK channels intermittently and absolutely none of our recordings (old or new) will play. All we get is a black screen and then the Player Error message.

    • Hi FeeBee, yes, it seems Zattoo have made some changes recently and the Smart DNS companies are working to fix things. OverPlay seem to have it all sorted now, Unblock-us are getting there, but I can’t say for the rest yet. Contact your Smart DNS supplier, and tell them of your problem, what platform it is failing on (i.e. Android, iOS, Smart TV etc) and what does’t work yet (i.e. live, recordings, recall etc).

      Possibly this is related to some news I got from Zattoo a few weeks back that they are planning some “exciting new features” soon. Perhaps these will be seen soon, whatever they are?

  58. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Now seeing `can’t resolve IP` when try and get Zattoo on the laptop.

    Much as I like the service in theory, we have finally (after eight months) found a way to change the DNS on a Movistar fibre optic router (via the ridiculously named Alejandra portal) and we are gonna get another Roku box for where we are living now.
    Very fond of Zattoo but it just isn’t reliable enough, so many reboots!
    Adam (AP)

  59. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Yup Zattoo appears to be down, on both my laptop and iphone.
    AP

  60. AP

    Okay it must be me…apparently the site is working fine (siiiiiigh)
    ap

  61. AP

    Hi jo,
    Sorry to bother you.
    Having messed about with our DNS settings, everything was working. But now Zattoo.com won’t be displayed on my laptop or phone. Everything else works, I can get all the BBC iplayer on both laptop and iphone. But Zattoo.com comes back and says “Unable to determine IP address from host name zattoo.com The DNS server returned: Timeout”
    Is this an Overplay problem?
    Thanks
    AP

    • Hi AP, Looks like Zattoo have made some changes again. I’ll notify OverPlay. Zattoo does seem to be somewhat up and down at the moment. I was informed a few weeks ago that they were planning some major upgrades. I have no idea if this is part of them, but something is certainly happening.

      J

  62. FeeBee

    Can now get Zattoo fine on my laptop but not on my Smart TV, so I’m still none the wiser. The “loading” icon just shows and then it’s back to the black screen.
    If the DNS setting on the TV is set to automatic, then Zattoo opens fine but of course without the UK channels. If I enter the DNS info given by Overplay, then nothing at all.
    Is this something obvious I need to change?! As I’m not technical in the slightest, am completely clueless… 😀

  63. FeeBee

    Brill, thanks a lot for the info, much appreciated.

    • Hi FeeBee, I noticed that Zattoo is working again via the Samsung TV.

      • FeeBee

        Yes! Until about 1 hour ago. Now it’s the same problem again. As Overplay haven’t updated their webpage am presuming it’s still work in progress. Hope so….

  64. AP

    Hi Jo
    Zattoo not coming up with UK channels on my laptop. iPhone seems okay…

    Starting with German ones…not seen this layout before…

    Hope it’s going well. Thanks,

    AP

    • Hi AP, Zattoo seems fine on my web browser. Perhaps this is an issue on your cache? This happens from time to time. If you have a different browser, check if it works there (and if not, try clearing the cache and all history on the 2nd browser before closing it and starting it again). If it then works, it is clearly a cache problem. If not, let me know.
      Cheers,
      Jo’

  65. AP

    Hi Jo,
    Overplay upgraded their DNS the other day and it seems to be much more solid, much less buffering. But just noticed with Zattoo that during Champions League semi final 2nd leg the whole service was pixelated. Not just football channels I tested out a few others and picture quality was poor, but still with zero buffering. Wondered if Zattoo service was struggling with a larger number of viewers…because when the football ended all the channels went back to the normal very decent Zattoo quality.
    Cheers,
    AP

    • Hi AP,
      Yeap, I’ve been testing OverPlay since the update and stability seems to be improved. In fact, although my bitrate tests don’t show any major difference, it almost seems the Zattoo video quality is a notch higher. Though I am probably just imagining that part. As for the buffering, unfortunately this can still happen with major sporting events. I saw similar issues on the World Cup final and a couple of other major events. Internet delivery of television is getting better, and pretty much there in regards to on-demand, but live still has a few issues. It doesn’t always fail at major sporting events, but it can happen as you saw – a problem which hopefully will be resolved soon.

  66. AP

    Hi Jo
    Been having a lot of problems with Tattoo/Overplay recently, picture has been best ever but simply cannot connect a lot of the time via iPhone, and now laptop won’t even bring up zattoo page…any idea what is going on?

    • Year, probably the world cup. Loads of pressure on everything from Zattoo to the infrastructure, right down to the smart DNS providers.

      Which Smart DNS Provider are you using these days? Though right now, I see the same problems with all of them.

  67. FeeBee

    In the middle of watching the rugby yesterday afternoon, I got the message “error getting stream for ITV” and Zattoo disconnected. Brilliant!

    Since then whenever I try open the add (Smart TV/Overplay), simply get the message “Connection Error – Check your network”. Everything else is working just fine, so it’s definitely not a network issue. Have deleted and reinstalled the app but it makes no difference.

    I love Zattoo (except when I’m wanting to watch the RWC), the only complaint is that they always seem a little slow to share known issues.

    In the meantime, desperate measures are called for – what’s the next best option to watch the games today?! Thanks.

    • Hi FeeBee, as with AP, try Zattoo with Getflix and see if they are better. I’ve also been seeing issues with Zattoo since the world cup started. I’ve had quite good results with ITV Player’s live stream on the other hand. It was never as good as Zattoo at its best, but it doesn’t seem to suffer under the world cup strain – or at least not yet.

  68. AP

    Hi Jo,
    I use Overplay. It is pretty shoddy of Zattoo and the DNS people if they can’t actually provide a service that is paid for. They need to invest in their kit. I mean, it’s the rugby world cup, it isn’t that popular…

    Just tried Zattoo now, can’t even get the page up on my laptop.

    Very poor show.

    Cheers,
    AP

  69. AP

    Just to add, now ten minutes later Tattoo is back but showing only the domestic channels of the country I live in.

    Really poor stuff. Been a very bad service for a couple of weeks now.

    AP

    • Hi AP, try Zattoo via Getflix, they have a two week free trial and see if it is better.

  70. FeeBee

    Exchanged some emails today with Zattoo as I still can’t open the app.

    Them:
    Is TV Firmware up to date – yes
    All OK with internet connection – yes

    We’re giving you 2 extra months free subscription.

    Me:
    Great, thanks. But as I can’t access the damn thing, it doesn’t help. And it’s really generous of you to do this especially after you’ve just told me that all is OK from your side….

    Is this a known problem, have you had any other subscribers complaining of a similar problem. Their response was a resounding NO.

    Apparently I am an isolated case. 😀

    Think they’re telling me a few porky pies….

    • Thanks for sharing. Can you tell me exactly which TV model you are having the problem with (Is it a Samsung Smart TV) and if you are using a Smart DNS provider, who they are?

      • FeeBee

        Model is UE55H6470 and using Overplay.
        The last firmware automatic update was Thursday last week but as I said, everything was just fine til Saturday afternoon.
        Thanks for any help.

        • Hi FeeBee, I just fired up my F-series Samsung TV and switch over to OverPlay and Zattoo worked. Unfortunately I don’t have an H-series to test but I am guessing that it is a similar app – that said, Samsung have a lot of different firmwares going around that can all cause problems.

          Question: Do you have any other device which could work with Zattoo and test? Such as the Chromecast, iOS app (iPhone or iPad), Android Smart Phone or tablet, Nexus Player, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One etc? Does Zattoo also work via a web browser? Perhaps we can find an alternative way to get this working for you.

          Question 2: Do you mainly use Zattoo for live TV, recordings (and Zattoo Recall) or both?

          • FeeBee

            We use it for both live TV & recordings. Just tried Zattoo on my trusty laptop, can access it but only seeing German channels. DNS addresses are correct and Overplay is telling me I’m good to go.
            No doubt it will be something blindingly obvious that I’m missing…
            App on TV is still not opening and no further response today from Zattoo.
            Anyway, you at least deserve a few beers (and a medal) for your patience. Let me know where to send them to please.

          • Hi FeeBee, as mentioned with AP, give Getflix a go. I can’t promise it will fix the issues, but I have seen it work sometimes. I had a similar problem with Zattoo stopping to work on my laptop and switched, then it worked again. They have a two week free trial, and it’s the same basic deal. You just need to swap their own DNS servers for your current ones.

            Make sure you have it both in the TV and in the laptop (or on the router if you go that way). Let me know how it works out.

            No worries about the beer 🙂 I appreciate the offer though!

            Hmmm, just one question (in two parts). You wouldn’t happen to be on IPv6 by any chance, and if so, how long? (In case you don’t know, IPv6 is a more modern protocol and it has really long IP addresses)

          • FeeBee

            1am update – just for fun, I’ve tried to open the app again on the TV and hey presto, it works just fine. Log-in details and password still there and all the recordings and favourites saved as before.

            What the heck! No idea what was going on but it seems (at least this time) it wasn’t my fault. 🙂

            And no, no IPv6….

            Thanks again for your help. Fab website. No doubt you’ll be hearing from me again!!

  71. AP

    Hi,
    I still can’t even get Zattoo on the laptop, just says `page not found`, 3 days now.

    Cheers
    AP

  72. AP

    Of course it was me. Safari, cache, whatever, yada yada.

    *gathers up all tech stuff and throws it in street*

    😉

    sigh, works now.

    AP

    • Year, that cache can be a real hassle. I’ve seen this in some STBs as well. Glad it is working now.
      You may wanna give Zattoo a go via Getflix. I’ve seen some impressive performances via them and they offer a two week free trial. Though I have to admit even Zattoo under Getflix is getting hammered during the Rugby World Cup.

  73. FeeBee

    Just to let you know that I got an update from Zattoo – they informed me that they were aware of some issues accessing their app after firmware updates had occurred on the some of the latest Samsung Smart TV models and they’re working on a fix.
    So I’m presuming that’s what the error was with my access because since then, I’ve had no problem.
    Like I said to them before tho, if it’s a known issue, would be good if they could post it on their Help section.

    • Thanks for the update FeeBee 🙂