Television via the Internet – IPTV offers in comparison

Television via the Internet is flexible, modern and no longer expensive. In addition to pure IPTV tariffs, there are also special offers from the major providers. But which access is the right one for users who want to watch TV over the Internet instead of cable or satellite? atechbook explains.

The way we watch TV today has changed. Instead of sitting rigidly in front of the TV within our own four walls, we want to be able to access our programming on the move from anywhere, pause shows, and simply be flexible. Television via cable, satellite or DVB-T2 doesn’t offer any of that. Instead, the solution is IPTV, television via the Internet. Unlike the streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+, IPTV providers allow access to classic television. While the offers used to be quite expensive and limited, this has now changed. The selection has also become more extensive. In addition to pure IPTV providers such as Zattoo and waipu.tv, Telekom also offers suitable access with MagentaTV, Vodafone with GigaTV Net and 1&1 with HD TV. We present the offers.

Zattoo

The classic among IPTV offerings. The Swiss Internet TV provider has been on the German market since 2011 and offers various subscription models to which different channel packages can be added. These include foreign channels such as the Croatian, Polish, Turkish, Bosnian or even the global TV package.

Die Zattoo-App gibt es free of charge für Android, iOS und Windows. Somit können Nutzer über das Smartphone, ihr Tablet oder den PC fernsehen. Auch im Browser, auf vielen Smart-TVs, AndroidTV, den Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV oder AppleTV und die Xbox lässt sich Zattoo nutzen.

To receive all channels, an Internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 8 Mbit/s is recommended. For SD-only channels, 3 Mbit/s is also sufficient. Users also need a suitable end device, such as one of those mentioned above, and access to Zattoo. For this, they can choose from three basic offers.

Zattoo Free

Das free of chargee TV-Paket beinhaltet 121 Sender der Öffentlich-Rechtlichen in SD-Qualität. Zugriff auf die Privaten, darunter RTL, ProSieben und Vox, haben Nutzer mit diesem Account nicht. Auch können sie das Programm weder aufzeichnen, noch pausieren. Die Nutzung ist zudem auf 30 Stunden im Monat sowie auf ein Endgerät pro Stream begrenzt. Zattoo Free eignet sich somit nur für diejenigen, die ab und zu das Programm der Öffentlich-Rechtlichen verfolgen möchten.

A summary of the most important features:

  • free of charge
  • Use limited to 30 hrs / month
  • Only one stream at a time
  • 127 channels of the public broadcasters
  • no HD
  • Mobile use possible
  • not allowed: record, pause, restart

Comfort

Das Pendant zum Zattoo Premium ist der waipu.tv Comfort. Wie beim free of chargeen Account können Nutzer auf zwei Geräten gleichzeitig Streamen. 126 Sender – darunter die der Privaten – stehen dabei zur Verfügung, die allerdings nicht in HD ausgestrahlt werden. Dafür ist der Zugang mit 5.99 euros per month günstiger als bei Zattoo. Der erste Monat ist gratis. Mit dem Comfort-Paket lässt sich das Programm pausieren und bis zu 50 Stunden können aufgezeichnet werden. Wer waipu.tv Comfort unterwegs nutzen möchte, muss die entsprechende Reise-Option zubuchen.

A summary of the most important features:

  • 5.99 euros per month
  • Unlimited streaming on up to two devices in parallel
  • 126 public and private broadcasters
  • no HD
  • Mobile use only with add-on option for 3 euros / month
  • Pause function possible
  • Recording up to 50 hours
  • not allowed: Restart
  • Additional channel packages and recording time can be added

Perfect Plus (optionally incl. Netflix Basis)

The Perfect Plus package is the most comprehensive offered by waipu.tv. Here, users not only have access to 179 channels from public and private broadcasters. It is also the only package that allows you to watch TV in HD. 150+ HD channels are available for this purpose. The monthly subscription of 12.99 euros includes a recording memory of 100 hours, streaming on up to four devices simultaneously, the pause and restart function.

If you like, you can also book the Perfect Plus package including Netflix. The monthly costs with a basic subscription (one stream, SD) then increase to 19.49 euros and with a standard Netflix subscription (two streams, full HD) to 24.49 euros. In addition, the Perfect Plus package is available together with the waipu.tv stick for EUR 15.99 per month.

A summary of the most important features:

  • 12,99 Euro per month (first month free of charge) – optional with Netflix Basis for 19,49 Euro per month
  • Unlimited streaming on up to four devices in parallel
  • 179 channels of the public and private broadcasters, 150+ of them in HD
  • HD included
  • Mobile use only with add-on option for 3 euros / month
  • Pause and restart possible
  • Recording up to 100 hours
  • Pay TV option included
  • Additional channel packages and recording time can be added

These are the advantages of Internet TV IPTV

Telekom MagentaTV

Deutsche Telekom also markets IPTV. Two rates are available that are independent of the fixed network, as well as an extension to the double flat rate. With all versions, customers have access to the series, movies, shows and documentaries in the Megathek and can add various additional packages such as MagentaSport or streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.

MagentaTV Flex

This is pure IPTV access from Telekom, where the service is accessed via app on up to two devices simultaneously. MagentaTV App can also be booked if users get their Internet connection from another provider. However, Telekom recommends a connection with a bandwidth of at least 6 Mbit/s for smooth streaming.

The first month of MagentaTV App is free, after which the monthly subscription costs EUR 10 per month. The subscription offers access to around 100 channels, 70 of which are public broadcasters and 70 of which are private broadcasters in HD. Users can store programs in cloud storage and watch them later, provided the broadcasters support this function. The same applies to the timeshift function by pausing and restarting a program.

For those users who want to watch their channels directly on TV, Telekom offers a matching MagentaTV stick for a one-time fee of 49.99 euros. However, the offer is also compatible with Google’s Chromecast.

A summary of the most important features:

  • can be booked independently of the Internet provider
  • 10 euros per month
  • 1 month term
  • Unlimited streaming on up to two devices in parallel
  • Up to 100 channels, 70 of them in HD (public and private broadcasters)
  • Access to Telekom Megathek
  • Mobile use possible
  • Pause, restart and record possible
  • Additional HD channel packages can be added

MagentaTV Smart Flex

Das Paket Magenta TV Smart Flex ist dem oben genannten sehr ähnlich. Allerdings bietet es einen inkludierten Zugang zu RTL+ Premium und erlaubt drei statt nur zwei parallele Streams. Auch ein Aufnahmespeicher von 50 Stunden ist im Angebot inklusive. Dafür kostet das Abo mit 15 euros per month aber etwas mehr.

A summary of the most important features:

  • can be booked independently of the Internet provider
  • 15 euros per month
  • 1 month term
  • unlimited streaming on up to three devices in parallel
  • approx. 100 channels, 75 of which are in HD (public and private channels)
  • Access to Telekom Megathek
  • Mobile use possible
  • Pause, restart and record possible
  • RTL+ Premium included
  • 50 hours recording memory
  • Additional HD channel packages can be added

MagentaTV with a fixed-network contract

Telekom also offers MagentaTV in combination with a fixed-network and Internet connection as a so-called triple flat. The IPTV option can be booked with all MagentaZuhause rates and costs an extra EUR 5 per month in the basic version. The Smart version with 75 instead of 20 HD channels and RTL+ Premium is more expensive at EUR 10 per month. In addition, Telekom charges rental costs for the MagentaTV Box of EUR 5 per month, so that total costs of at least EUR 10 for the TV option are incurred in addition to the costs for the Internet rate. The term is linked to that of the double flat rate and is 24 months.

Customers can access around 100 public and private broadcasters via the Internet, of which around 20 are available in HD with MagentaTV Basic and 75 with the Smart offer. If desired, Netflix or Disney+ can be added to MagentaTV.

A summary of the most important features:

  • Can only be booked in combination with MagentaZuhause
  • 5 euros per month for Basic, 10 euros for Smart (in addition to the price of the double flat rate).
  • 24-month term
  • Media receiver can be added for an additional 5 euros per month.
  • Unlimited streaming on up to two (basic) or three (smart) devices in parallel.
  • approx. 100 channels, of which around 20 (Basic) or 75 (Smart) in HD (public and private broadcasters)
  • Mobile use possible
  • Pause, restart and record possible
  • RTL+ Premium in the Smart package
  • Additional HD channel packages can be added
  • with Disney+ or Netflix on request

Vodafone GigaTV Net

Some may know GigaTV as an add-on for the cable connection. But Vodafone also offers the service for TV via the Internet completely independently of cable TV and regardless of the Internet provider. In this case, it’s called GigaTV Net, for which Vodafone recommends a bandwidth of around 10 Mbit/s. The first six of the 24-month minimum contract term cost EUR 9.99 per month. From the seventh, the provider charges 14.99 euros per month. This makes GigaTVNet almost twice as expensive as Telekom’s MagentaTV App.

The subscription gives users access to up to 67 channels in SD and 54 in HD, as well as numerous media libraries. They can stream on up to two devices simultaneously via the GigaTV app. They also have access to Vodafone’s video library, where they can choose from various movies and series that can be accessed for an additional charge. The Restart, Pause, and Record functions are not currently supported.

The GigaTV Net Box is included in the monthly price and allows you to watch the program and manage the channels directly on the TV. A second box can be added optionally for 5 euros per month. Vodafone also offers various expansion packages, including up to 21 additional HD channels for EUR 9.99 per month and many international channels, also starting at EUR 9.99 per month.

A summary of the most important features:

  • can be booked independently of the Internet provider
  • 9.99 euros in the first 6 months, then 14.99 euros
  • 24-month term
  • GigaTV Net box included, second box can be added for 5 euros / month
  • Unlimited streaming on up to two devices in parallel
  • Up to 54 channels in HD and 67 in SD (public and private broadcasters)
  • Mobile use possible
  • Additional HD channel packages can be added

1&1 HD TV (plus)

Unlike Telekom’s MagentaTV app and Vodafone’s GigaTV Net, 1&1’s IPTV offer can only be booked in combination with an Internet contract from the provider. The provider charges EUR 4.99 per month for 1&1 HD TV. The package allows access to around 50 SD channels from the private broadcasters and up to 37 HD channels from the public broadcasters. At EUR 9.99 per month, 1&1 HD TV plus is more expensive, but also brings the channels of the private broadcasters to the TV in HD. In total, the package includes around 61 HD channels and 27 additional channels in SD.

Both HD TV and HD TV plus allow recording (if supported by the broadcaster) of up to 200 hours. In addition, up to three users per subscription can stream simultaneously. Access is via the app on the smartphone, tablet and smart TV, or via the optional TV box from 1&1, for which users have to pay a monthly surcharge of EUR 6.99. Alternatively, the provider also markets a TV stick for EUR 4.99 per month.

A summary of the most important features:

  • only bookable with 1&1 contract
  • 4.99 euros for HD TV and 9.99 euros for HD TV plus
  • 24-month term
  • unlimited streaming on up to three devices in parallel
  • Up to 37 HD channels of the public broadcasters, HD TV plus additionally with 61 HD channels of the private broadcasters
  • Mobile use possible
  • Recording up to 200 hours
  • Additional HD channel packages can be added