Are desktop apps still in demand

Mobile & Apps

"Nowadays you feel like you're 20 to 30 years in the past when you turn on the TV," said Apple CEO Tim Cook when asked in a TV interview if his company wanted to get into the TV business. There is hardly a better way to express the need for change in this market.

The business - especially in this country - is still characterized by legal issues, complex licensing models and conflicts of interest among the major market players. While the international film and music industries, for example, have long had to accept the business models of iTunes, Netflix, Spotify and Co. that have emerged with the Internet in favor of customers, the classic TV industry still seems to be fighting back with hands and feet.

A wide, varied range of services with which one can watch the most important national and international TV channels in high quality unlimitedly and legally for a cheap flat rate remains a long way off. With the right tools, however, you can already enjoy live television viewing on the Internet today. With the help of DVB-T2, TV can also be viewed without an Internet connection - and not only on the desktop PC, but increasingly also on the go on a smartphone or tablet.

On the following pages we have compiled some of the best desktop and mobile TV applications the market has to offer right now.

  1. Zattoo
    The live TV service Zattoo impressively shows how easy it can be to watch television anytime, anywhere, with any device.
  2. Magine TV
    Magine TV positions itself as an interesting alternative to the top dog among TV streaming services, which can convince with a modern user interface and many useful extras.
  3. SaveTV
    Save TV is something like the VHS recorder of the Internet age. If you don't want to miss a TV show and don't want to have devices around, you should try this service.
  4. DailyMe
    Dailyme is a mobile app that brings together TV shows and video podcasts. It scores with a fresh design, good video quality and a fairly wide range that is put together by an editorial team.
  5. Tizi
    The Tizi product family represents an innovative offer for discerning TV fans who are not afraid to dig a little deeper into their pockets for digital TV enjoyment.
  6. EyeTV
    Whether it should be Tizi or EyeTV should be a matter of taste. Because in terms of reception quality as well as the prices and user-friendliness of the apps, both products offer next to nothing.

Zattoo: The top dog among online TV solutions

One of the most successful providers, one of the pioneers in the field of Internet TV, is Zattoo International AG from Zurich. The company is now considered the top dog among online TV services. With her Zattoo product range she brings international television to almost every device, whether it's a smartphone, tablet, PC, SmartTV or game console. In Germany, the provider claims to have over a million active users, making it one of the most popular online TV services in the country.

Highlights: In terms of design and functionality, the different Zattoo clients do well. The success of the service is primarily due to the fact that it offers a particularly easy way to watch many popular national and international channels live - and that completely legally. In total, Zattoo offers over 75 TV channels, many of them in HD quality. For licensing reasons, however, you can only watch most TV channels if you are within the EU.

Pricing and Availability: Zattoo is currently available in Switzerland, Germany and some other European countries. In the mobile area, the software is compatible with iPhone and iPad and Android. You can stream on the desktop via all common browsers, there are own apps for Windows 10 (including Xbox One), Samsung Smart TVs, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield or Apple TV.

The users can choose between two offers: the free "Zattoo FREE" limits both the number of available channels (and their picture quality) and the use of the streaming offer (to 30 hours per month) and includes advertising. "Zattoo PREMIUM" costs 9.99 euros per month (alternatively: 1.59 euros per day or 99.99 euros per year), offers all available channels in HD quality, no additional advertising and includes the additional package "Zattoo PLUS "(9.90 euros per month) can be expanded to include additional (pay) TV channels. Parallel streaming, time-shifted viewing and the ability to record programs are also included in the package.

Conclusion: Zattoo is not one of the market leaders in online TV for nothing. In addition to the relatively large TV offer, the service impresses with numerous clients with which you can watch TV anywhere and anytime.

Magine TV: All German channels in one app

Magine TV is a relatively new cloud service that is being developed in Stockholm and Berlin and is positioning itself as a promising alternative to Zattoo. The program offers - in the free version - over 30 channels, 15 of them in HD resolution.

Highlights: The programs are available on demand for seven days - without any extra advertising. What is not optimal: If you want to use Magine TV with Internet Explorer or Safari, you have to have Microsoft Silverlight installed. Nowadays it is better to do without such multimedia technologies - which most users do. In contrast, the tool cuts a fine figure with the other browsers as well as on smartphones and tablets.

Pricing and Availability: In terms of platform independence, Magine does not have to shy away from comparison with Zattoo. This means that users can watch their favorite programs not only on their desktop PCs, but also on their smartphones and tablets and on a SmartTV when they are on the move. In addition to iOS and Android, PlayStation 4, Amazon Fire TV and all browsers are supported.

Magine TV offers its users three different models: the (with additional rating) free version, as already mentioned, offers more than 30 channels. In addition, various upgrade transmitter packages can be tested free of charge. The "Comfort HD" package costs 10 euros per month. In return, you get more than 45 channels, more than 30 of them in HD quality - and all of them without additional advertising. The "Deluxe HD" package, on the other hand, contains more than 65 channels (more than 45 in HD) - including pay-TV channels such as Universal HD, CNN HD or auto motor sport HD. The cost of the deluxe package is 20 euros per month.

Conclusion: It doesn't always have to be Zattoo. Magine TV positions itself as an interesting alternative to the top dog among TV streaming services, which scores with a modern user interface and many useful extras.