I took the plunge and signed up for Black and white TV. I have only had the service for a couple of days, so be advised that this is very much a preliminary review.
Signup was easy and I was up and running within mere minutes. The one question I had was answered very promptly. The price is a very reasonable 9.97 USD.
The channels are organized in several sub-folders. While I like the concept, I feel like it was taken a little too far. The US Documentary folder, for example, has just a couple of channels including the Discovery Network. This folder really should have been folded into the Entertainment folder. Likewise, there should be just one UK Sports folder.
Video on demand is definitely in its infancy, but that’s not really a concern for me. No VOD but there are plenty of options for that
Picture quality is generally excellent. There are plenty of high-def channels, including sports channels. And high-def really looks like high-def. I was very impressed.
As for reliability, it is a mixed bag. I have no complaints with the UK channels. Every once in a while I may have a hiccup for buffering, but these are very rare and about as good as one can expect for IPTV.
The United States and Canada channels are a different story. They are much less consistent. The quality seems to vary based on the uploader and/or source. ABC and CBC were just plain unwatchable. NBC and CBS had good times and bad times. The news channels worked very well, except that Fox News disappeared early in the morning. On the other hand, the NHL feeds were fantastic. Hockey is a bandwidth hog, and the picture stayed rock steady. Baseball was also very good, except that not all games were offered.
A great bonus with Black and White TV is their web interface. If I am on the road, I can watch TV over my iPad or laptop. I am really impressed with how well it works. I also like that you are paying per active stream and not per device. This allows me to have two devices using the service as long as I don’t stream to both devices at the same time. Extra streams can be had for a very reasonable 5 pounds per stream.
Will I stay with Black and White TV? There is a lot to like, but until they get more reliable streams for the North American channels, I am reluctant to keep my subscription.
My only other point of comparison is Eternal TV. When Black and White TV is good, it’s better than Eternal But when it’s bad it is worse. Eternal isn’t perfect by any means, but it is more consistent. Hopefully Black and white TV gets the couple of wrinkles figured out. If they do, they are going to be a heck of an offering. I’d even be willing to pay a couple of pounds more per month to help them get to a better level of consistency.
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