Say Goodbye to Joost and Bablegum, here comes Zattoo

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 8, 2007
Updated • Feb 29, 2016
Music and Video

My participation in both the Joost and Bablegum beta phase has taught me several things about those social TV over Internet clients: they do add interactivity to the TV experience.

Users can chat about a TV show they are viewing at that moment or rate shows for instance. Both TV clients have one big disadvantage though that weighs much more than the new interactivity. Joost and Bablegum stream pre-recorded tv shows only, at least in this stage. There is absolutely no live content and the content that is currently offered is considered by many as B-Movie content.

Update: Both Joost and Bablegum are no longer available while Zattoo is alive and kicking. The service is available in six countries now, and users from those countries can download a desktop client to tune in, or a mobile app instead offering the same functionality.

Zattoo is available as a free offering that provides free ad-driven access to TV channels, and a subscription version that does away with the advertisement, and provides access to HD channels as well.

Users may furthermore subscribe to channel packages, for instance foreign language channels.

Zattoo Review

This is a different and probably the better working method for now to stream TV content over the Internet. Zattoo is a European company which already has more than 300000 subscribers to their service and will soon become available in many European countries including Germany, Great Britain and France.

I was able to test an international version of Zattoo which allowed me to stream all TV programs currently available.

Those are the same TV stations that can be seen in Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Switzerland using a regular TV. Some of the stations that are currently available include: BBC Prime and World, Canale 5, France 2-5, ARD and ZDF and Rai Une to Tre.

Image quality of the shows is excellent, it takes a few seconds until all artifacts disappear but from that moment on it looks great. It is possible to watch the shows in fullscreen with a slightly better image quality than Joost or Bablegum offer at the moment.

Zattoo is currently preparing launches in major European countries and if they will be successful they intend to expand to the American market as well.

I personally think that Zattoo is far more complete at this stage than Joost and Bablegum are. You can actually see live TV which includes for instance sports events like Champions League, the Olympics and Formula 1. It is also a great assistance in learning new languages. What could be better to learn French than to listen to French television?

Image quality is far superior to other known p2p Internet clients such as TVU Player. Watchout Joost, Bablegum - here comes Zattoo.

Update: While Zattoo is still available, it has not really expanded into other countries in Europe or the world, and even moved out of France and Italy. The countries that were added are Spain, Denmark and Luxembourg.

If you live in these countries currently, or have access to a VPN with exit nodes in those countries, you can tune in and use Zattoo to watch live TV.


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  1. Zoe C said on September 11, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Surely not pointless. Who doesnt want all the channels in one place, this is what people have been waiting for!

  2. Mary Bell said on June 15, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    All the channels listed are available on the internet anyway – and those that arn’t like the BBC, will only be available in the UK. It’s all pretty pointless

  3. Santa Clause said on June 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Ho Ho Ho

    And just who is Martin ?

    Bet the spammers are having a field day with all these e-mail addresses.

    Now now children, never give your e-mail address to strangers


  4. Dr. E. A. Marsden MD said on May 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Hey Zattoo, I’m all for global television where can I find it? Let’s democratize TV content. It is doubtful that America is ready for real “Reality TV”, television enjoyed in the rest of the world. However, we need truth in media in America, we’re not children. How can media be a check on government, elected by us, if we can’t see what is happening in the world we live in? Most, if not all, US TV content is “sanitized” at the alter of a political correct ethos, then we’ll see nothing real here, much like Iraq. Just why is it we can’t see what is happening to the young lives we send there to fight for our right to watch TV? The media say they sanitize, allegedly, to protect Americans sense and sensibilities, as if we are babies and can’t make up our own minds relating to truths our own eyes may witness through the unmitigated eye of unedited footage of HD TV cameras.

    I for one, don’t like events of the world I live in streamed to my TV or PC sanitized by the commercial media caving to Government dictates. Is that not how we got to spill the blood of our young sons, brothers, fathers and mothers in Iraq? Yes, all demographics are represented in the modern military serving and dying in Iraq. Most of us certainly did not “see” truth then and we still don’t see it now. What we see is “satanized” pulp fiction from our big four networks? We saw, whoops! Actually, no we did not “See” was more than two hundred thousands civilians have been killed in Bosnia and Croatia during the war as we watched sanitized US TV and print media content here at home.

    The europeans on the other hand saw these events unfolding daily on their TV’s, when did we lose that right to truth n media here in America? The Europeans witnessed the atrocities daily and therefore could jointly act consciously to curtail the slaughter of men women and children, while expressing outrage that it was even happening. Oh sure, you can say its not our problem, not our neck of the woods, but which World do you live on? If not Earth, then its not your problem. Its ours who live on Earth! The US sanitized versions of global events like the aforementioned, gave us not sense of outrage between our 30 second commercials and the next installment of crap TV. While we sit there hoping what little news we do get wont interruption the Game or last long enough to disrupt our next installment of Crap TV! Thus, we could all returned to our virtual complacency, the Game, and whatever hit show of the moment was on US TV.

    Media decided you did not need to know that tens of thousands of women were raped, some of them more than a hundred times, while their sons and husbands were beaten and tortured in concentration camps like Omarska and Manjaca. Millions lost their homes due to a process called “ethnic cleansing.” That is how I eat my breakfast in California each morning, blissfully unaware of the the real suffering in the world in which I live in, powerless to witness the true events and express my horror as big four and print media cave to media self censorship.

    In that vacuum the lack of “live” GLOBAL CONTENT” engendering live “GLOBAL OUTRAGE” we hear of yet another spectacle of mans inhumanity to man in Dafoe, resulting in yet another incident of ethnic cleansing. Where is our media? Where is the Global outrage? And, don’t let me even begin to narrate the failures of local media in our own backyard, Missing WMD’s in Iraq, and our own Dafoe, Katrina. Forgive any errors in the aforementioned text, I’m still shaking with anger over the loss of a Friend’s, Son’s and Daughters’ in both Katrina and Iraq.

    Please, please bring on Global news, as long as it is not sanitized or sacrificed to the commercial gods of time slots and the next commercial I for one need it, I was Stationed in Germany during our action in Bosnia, so I got to see what truly unfettered free media could broadcast on BBC Prime and World, Canale 5, France 2-5, ARD, ZDF and even Fox News (UK). I understand it will be a paid, system. I hope it is affordable, if it is too expensive then it will limit its viral appeal and will be beholden to advertisers and toeing the line of their political agenda. However, let give it a try, bring it on Zattoo, sign me up!

  5. fly3ind said on April 24, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    We all wanna share the experience,zatoo

  6. Frank said on March 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm
  7. Mikoo said on January 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Can I have one?

  8. cesar said on January 7, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Hi, i would like to try zattoo, can i have an invitation, i got joost but its not what i expected, saludos de america

  9. Frank said on December 24, 2007 at 7:34 pm


    Could I have an invitation please? I do not like Joost, thank you.

  10. dylan said on December 15, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    might as well try and get an invite…


  11. Mjsub said on November 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Hello, I would love to try Zatoo. Could I have an invitation please? Thanks a lot!

  12. F.Olsem said on November 4, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Can someone please give me an invite to Zattoo


  13. georgegino said on September 27, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Please,can anybody invite me for zattoo?I tried Joost and Babelgum and i thoutgh it would be easy to find an invitation for zattoo, but it’s not to easy.

  14. shilianyu said on September 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Hello, I would like to trial zattoo. You give me? Issuing invitations. Thank you!

  15. shilianyu said on September 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Hello, I would like to trial zattoo. You give me? Issuing invitations. Thank you!

  16. angie said on September 20, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    would like an invite to Zattoo, please. am trying to get stations from Spain and certain ones only seem available through zattoo!

  17. Ken W Sinclair said on September 8, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Sounds very interesting.

  18. Graziano said on September 8, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    I would like an invitation to Zattoo. My e-mail address is


  19. proiecto2203 said on September 3, 2007 at 3:34 am

    I would like to have an invite,please.Thank you!

  20. kevin wang said on September 1, 2007 at 3:17 am

    I’d like an invitation to Zattoo. My e-mail address is

    kevin wang

  21. Henry said on August 30, 2007 at 6:41 am

    I would like an invitation to Zattoo. My e-mail address is


  22. JoeTF said on August 24, 2007 at 9:36 am

    It sucks.
    They’re showing only the stations that are available in your country. So, if you live in UK or anywhere _not_France then it’s no French for you.
    Basically, there is no bloody point in the whole thing, since I can just turn my TV on and save a lot of bandwidth.

  23. Martin said on August 24, 2007 at 6:19 am

    scanner Zattoo is basically showing what the tv stations they partnered up with are showing. The major problem that Zattoo has at the moment is their availablity.

    There are no invites and won’t be because this is a paid system unlike Joost or Bablegum..

  24. david4423 said on August 24, 2007 at 6:02 am

    hey,i would like to have an invite,thank you!
    my email is

  25. scanner said on August 21, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    is F1 and Champions League really available, in full or just clips in news segments? I’m not aware Zattoo has the rights to this content. Or am I missing something in the business plan of Zattoo?

    The thought of a better web TV experience being based on BBC Prime is truely depressing, as BBC Prime is so lame. All of the best shows will not be on there as the best shows are owned by others often not the broadcasters. The BBC has its own web playback now for its own (in-house produced not commissioned) best shows.

    In the future, the broadcasters will not be able to demand internet rights so the situation will move from broadcaster dominance to programme producers in the driving seat.

    Don’t right off Joost or Babelgum yet, wait until their $£€millions have started buying rights to stream and see what the viewing experience amounts to.

  26. Bruno said on August 19, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    sorry forgot email is

  27. Bruno said on August 19, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    hey thanx for the post can i please have a invite i cant wait!

  28. laoli said on August 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I would like to have an invite too. Thank you very much!!

  29. rosalinda said on August 19, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I would like to have an invite too. Thank you very much!!

    my Email is :

  30. kevin said on August 18, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I would like to a have an invitation too if it’s possible. Thanks my adress

  31. 姚林彤 said on August 17, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I would like to have an invite too if it is possible . my email is “� thanks.

  32. Frank said on August 17, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Hi, Martin, would you please send me an invitation? I want to try this software. My Email is Thank you. Frank

  33. virna said on August 16, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    zattoo invite? sounds good!

  34. chokahn said on August 14, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I would like to have an invite too if it is possible . my email is “� thanks.

  35. Iness said on August 12, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Hi Martin, I would love an ivitation to join Zattoo too. Thanks

  36. randylu said on August 8, 2007 at 6:26 am

    HI, I would like to have an invite too. my email is “� thanks.

  37. c.francis said on August 1, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    hello I would like to have an invite. my email is “” thanks.

  38. julia said on July 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    hi, i would also like to try zattoo, please send incite thanks

  39. ouluo said on May 4, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    expecting invitation. Big thanks.

  40. yody said on April 20, 2007 at 4:27 am

    其实全��人群体是��估�的 希望能开�中文版本
    并放上中文频� 特别是香港电视频� 都比较好看的
    对比一般的p2p电视软件 一般的电视软件就是画�模糊

    �外我个人网站有香港电视 香港电� 国外电视等软件

  41. yody said on April 20, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Hello, I would like to trial zattoo. You give me? Issuing invitations. Thank you!

  42. Timo said on April 19, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    some more invites ?

    big thanx

  43. Martin said on April 10, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Andrew I send an invite to the email that you use in your posts..

  44. Andrew Gardner said on April 10, 2007 at 3:13 pm


    Do you still have any Joost invites as you mentioned that you would be giving them out last week?

  45. Martin said on April 8, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Mike what do you mean ?

    Joe the screen is not that big by default, the first screenshot that i made is the original size.

  46. Mike said on April 8, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    This smells like shameless self promotion form Zattoo!!!!

  47. Joe said on April 8, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Actually it sounds like a great name for a country.
    I wish I lived in Zatoo.
    You gotta wonder though what their nation anthem is like.
    BTW – how big is the screen on zatoo?

  48. Daniel said on April 8, 2007 at 11:41 am

    > “Zattoo is a European country”
    Do you mean “European company” or did some smaller country change its name? ;-)

    Happy Easter!

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