Tap That App: Yaveo, The First of Many Internet TV Subscription Services (Hands On Review)
The race to true Internet TV subscription services is under way, especially as Dish just announced a $20 per month subscription called Sling TV, which includes live ESPN. But DirecTV got there first at the end of 2014, announcing the first true Internet TV subscription for Latinos, called Yaveo.
We checked the service and app out, and we've got the details in this week's Tap That App.
Yaveo: Spanish-language On Demand
The first live Internet TV provider, Yaveo, provides Spanish-language programming focused on popular telenovelas, movies and other original Latino-focused on demand content from networks including Univision, along with three live channels. Futbol fans will be happy to see that beIN Sports is included among the live offerings. The other two channels are ¡Hola!TV and Cine Sony Television.
Yaveo costs about $8 per month and doesn't require a subscription to any pay-TV provider, including DirecTV. It streams on the website, and is available on mobile devices through Android, with connectivity to Xbox, iOS devices, and others on the way.
But Not Fully Live Yet
The service is overall pretty good, especially considering that DirecTV officially made the late-2014 debut of Yaveo a "soft launch." This indicates expanded programming is on the way (though don't ever expect to see Comcast-owned Telemundo shows on DirecTV's online Latino package) -- hopefully along with some technical fixes.
The Android app streamed on demand content just fine in our tests, but live channels would crash the app -- at least on the four Android devices, ranging from 2013 tablets to just-released phablets and smartphones. This is obviously a problem that needs a technical fix, especially since DirecTV obviously expects live content to be an integral part of the app, which otherwise seems like a Spanish-language Netflix variant.
However, on the website, Yaveo's three live streaming channels work fine -- with decent streaming resolution (though not Full HD) which we didn't mind scaling up to full screen, and no technical glitches to speak of. One nice design touch on the live page of the website was a schedule for that day listed underneath, just like on TV.
But besides debuting an Xbox app soon, Yaveo will need to reach out through more devices and connectivity options to users' TVs (Chromecast support anyone?), and the streams will eventually need to improve in resolution if it's going to feel like the real thing.
Yaveo and the Internet TV Revolution
Being the first official Internet TV subscription service, DirecTV played it safe going for a niche audience that would otherwise have to pay for a large cable or satellite package in order to get Spanish-language programming. It also helps that Latinos in the U.S. are overwhelmingly among the first digital adopters, according to study after study.
But in order to stay relevant, Yaveo will have to follow what it started. Dish's $20 per month is only the opening salvo in what's likely to be an Internet TV debut-filled 2015, and other Spanish-language packages, or mainstream Internet TV at a better value, will threaten the niche Yaveo has made the first crack at.
It's going to be an interesting year.
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