Bucking the trend of Asian P2P TV apps flooding the software world is Digital TV 2050 which offers an English interface and hundreds of channels from around the world. First launched in 2005, it was actually one of the first such programs on the scene and despite the rather basic presentation, it actually delivers channels quickly, in real-time although the selection available leaves something to be desired.
After installing Digital TV 2050, don’t be put off by the dated interface and the confusing advertising on the right. The advert relates to the developer EndicoSoft but the pictures of high rise buildings and luxury apartment interiors give you the impression that they’re trying to sell you property. You’re presented with a huge screen with channel list and various internet links (mainly to the developer) running down the lefthand side and along the bottom.
Before you can start to watch any channels, you need to register with the developer which requires nothing more than your name, country and e-mail address to which your registration code is instantly sent. Enter this code in the box on the top left, click ‘activate’ and you’re ready to choose a channel. Until you do this, even though you have full access to the program, you won’t be able to watch a single channel.
A drop down menu offers you a choice of countries ranging from Albania to Vietnam and even the Vatican. Of course, like many P2P programs, most of the major channels are excluded from the list of available for viewing. However, scrolling through the American list reveals some major names such as Bloomberg and C-SPAN although the rest are mainly a collection of local or college stations. However, there are a few interesting additions too such as Nasa NASA TV and a rotating webcam over New York’s Times Square. Countries like the UK are completely bereft of decent channels however limited to- only offering a tiny selection of unknowns such as ‘Ideal World’ and ‘Nation 217’. Most other European networks are served by similarly mysterious channels that half the time don’t work anywaywhich often didn’t even work.
Digital TV 2050 tries to make up for this lack of quality by also offering a selection of radio channels from around the world. At least here, you can choose from a small selection of the major broadcasters although again, many of them weren’t streaming when we tried. There’s another button along the bottom of the screen that turns the screen into a webcam viewer too. Again, you’re offered a drop-down menu of webcams worldwide although with the same bizarre choices – the UK featured one focused on a DJ in London Greek Radio whilst the rest focused on the comings and goings in the offices of a company called Start-dot Tech.
It’s clear that Digital TV 2050 is severely limited on in terms of what it can offer although on the plus side, the streaming and quality of channels that do work is very good. You often have to wait no more than a few seconds for a channel to start and even at full screen size, the image quality is good. However, there’s no way of knowing whether the channel links are buffering or dead until you discover that to see the status bar, you have to click the ‘Controls On’ button at the bottom.We were further put off by ‘quirks’ in the user interface which force you to select ‘Controls On’ from a menu just to see the streaming status bar.
As mentioned earlier though, there seem to be very few decent channels available in Digital TV 2050 and those that are, are not particularly important ones. For users in the USA, this program may be of interest but other users around the world would be better to stay clear.
Pros: Huge selection of countries to choose from, Streaming and image quality good, Features integrated radio and webcams
Cons: Poor selection of national channels, Many streams do not work, Interface looks dated