We can speak about globalization both good and evil, but we can’t ignore it. In XXI people are mobile as never before, and millions are either torn apart from their homeland violently or led away by own decision.
No wonder that services like GLWiZ had to appear. GLWiZ online TV has been created by Iranian company Ava Telecom and initially was meant to broadcast Iranian TV worldwide. But later the service has grown wider, so now it covers multiple regions and broadcasts TV and radio from there to the whole world.
You can estimate the demand by download numbers. Only the official popularity of Android app is between 1 and 5 million; let alone iOS and third-party sources installation.
This app is for streaming TV and radio from Asian countries, as the service is first of all meant for the Asian audience. It includes Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Afghan and Chinese packages. Web version also offers Canada and Portuguese versions, but the mobile one lacks them. Portuguese seems strange here, but think of former Portuguese colonies in Africa, India or Pacific. The developers promise to add them soon.
Each package includes both live TV and radio stations streaming video or audio data. They are sorted by the most logical parameters: countries, content, and so on. For example, when you open the list of Arabic channels, you can see them sorted by location — Gulf, AlSham, North Africa, and by content — entertainment, news channels or others. So it is with other national and language packs.
As you select the category, you can view the channels listed there and connect to the one you’d like to watch or listen. The description tells whether the selected channel streams video or audio only. When you’re watching or listening, all the controls you need are hidden. The only element you can see on the screen is the volume control in the right upper corner. So the screen is fully given to the streamed video.
Unfortunately, Internet radio features are mostly not used in this app. All the metadata streamed along with audio track is lost now. If you like some song on air, you cannot see the track name, let alone album cover. You’ll have to run Shazam to recognize it, with no guarantee it has the song in its database.
It’s hard to overrate the possibility to watch your homeland TV and listen to the radio when you’re away. But the audience cannot be limited by migrants. If you’re learning some Oriental language or trying to discover some new musical genres, GLWiZ is a real treasure box for you.
We have checked some random channels, both TV, and video, from different regions. The stream is fetched quickly. Well, the problems are hidden by video ad any stream starts with.
The app looks as simple as it can be. The interface looks too straight. Experienced users could have expected more from it, but the developers’ aim was obviously in making the app as simple as an old TV set with the set of buttons, and that’s all.
Yes, there is one more thing to complain: the ads. The developers didn’t bother to put them all right, so you can see the video ad playing in landscape mode while you hold your phone or tablet vertically.
Even the ones not familiar with mobile interfaces will easily make it out. The main page demonstrates large buttons with the packages. The hardest thing for unversed users is, in fact, to download and install GLWiZ. Then it’s all about selecting the channel from the right category.
The simplifying itch has played a bad joke on users with even a bit more experience. As the only control element on the screen is volume, you can’t adjust the picture, change contrast, brightness or color, so the app follows behind even the oldest TV sets. You cannot even add the station to your Favorites list when it’s opened. When it comes to radio streaming, the bitrate is defined automatically, and usually, it’s far from Hi-Fi. And even if the source streaming is available in higher quality, you cannot access the desired stream via GLWiZ app.
Cross-platform use 4/5
GLWiZ TV is available for Android and iOS. Other platforms are left overboard, and no wonder, as they quickly go down. The good news is that the app never requires the latest OS version; so, iOS users can get it with iOS 8.0 and iPhone 5s or newer, and Android required is at least 4.1. That is, most devices actually in use or in manufacturing are covered.
To keep GLWiZ free, the developers stuffed the app with ads. They pop up as you connect to the channel. They always appear in the bottom of the screen. We should thank the developers for not integrating ads directly into streams. Yes, that’s the case many of us would rather pay than see those ads always popping up as you switch the channel.
The idea of Asian TV worldwide streaming covered Africa, China, Pacific region and some other countries. The app does its work of providing access for those not deep into today’s gadgets, so millions of users should be thankful for that chance. But this simplification has its dark side; more advanced users will feel restricted with that violent simplicity.
Even if you are of other origins, the app can be precious for you if you learn an Asian language and need some real spoken environment. Of course, live streams can’t replace training courses, but they can be a great addition.
The app could have been richer in options, but the access to TV and radio of Asia is priceless for millions of people.
Pros : Many TV and radio channels from different regions of Asia;
Free TV and radio access;
Decent stream quality and quick connection.
Cons : The app is only available in English;
The app lacks Portuguese and Canadian packages available in Web version;
Stream quality cannot be selected;
No option of turning off annoying ads.
Cross-platform use 4.0