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We initially covered online P2P IPTV service Zattoo last year when they launched in the UK. Our reporter in Switzerland, Corsin Camichel, has the scoop on today’s launch of high quality, full television resolution (HiQ) channels on Zattoo. The new HiQ service isn’t full HD (yet?) and is only available in Switzerland.
The monthly fee for the Zattoo HiQ service is 5CHF ($4.60) per month. Zattoo has a partnership with Swisscom and Swisscom VDSL subscribers get the HiQ channels for free. The channels included in the HiQ plan are: ARD, Canale 5, Eurosport, France 2, France 3, M6, Pro7, Rai Uno, RTL, Sat1, SF 1, SF 2, SF info, TF1, TSI1, TSI2, TSR1, TRS2, VOX and ZDF.
Zattoo, an online P2P IPTV service created by engineers at the University of Michigan, have launched a localised version for the United Kingdom. Zattoo reports itself as differentiating from others (such as Joost) by the fact that all the stations are traditional television stations, such as the BBC, MTV and Bloomberg.
The current line-up of stations available in the UK seems sparse, but promising. All BBC channels are available (One, Two, Three, Four, CBBC, CBeebies, News 24 and Parliament) along with other European-based stations, presented in English.
Features seem quite limited also, with the absence of even a preferences area. But those that are there include choosing between mono and stereo audio, and adjusting the video size. These seem pretty standard and expected to me, though.
The quality of the picture is perfectly fine, if viewing with the window smaller whilst doing other things. Once you enlarge the video much, quality degrades rapidly and pixelation is very obvious. This is not HD, that's for sure.
I have no idea of the legal grounds for the service, but Zattoo seems to be run by a legit company, with many seemingly experienced individuals onboard. I feel that the licensing fees for the stations provided (and the BBC being publicly funded) may be quite a lot, and therefore recognised no blatant sign of monetisation or current revenue streams.
Obvious additions to rectify this in the future, would of course include advertising. But I am not sure the BBC would like this, with their stations being free of advertising, as it is publicly funded through fees.
Clients are available for Mac, Windows and Linux – but I have only had the chance to try the Mac version as of yet. I applaud their inclusion of a Linux client – a move often sadly ignored, or at least seen as less important.
Zattoo feels not so much as a huge, important service (the way Joost does to me, for example), but it is quite nice to have running in the corner whilst getting on with some work. The international version is available now, and the UK version is in private beta.
Matt Harwood is an Independent Online Media Consultant from Bedfordshire, UK. His background covers Interactive Marketing, and Design.