Television from the Internet: FUNKE’s IMTEST magazine publishes largest nationwide test of Germany’s main IPTV providers

Overall, an excellent result. But if we look more closely, we can see potential for improvement.

1&1 is the test winner, with Telekom and Vodafone the runners up
Experts from the Ismaning-based company zafaco carried out more than 500,000 measurements 

The days of the TV aerial and classic cable TV have been numbered for quite a while now, and IPTV is developing rapidly, that is, TV channels and other media content via the Internet

IMTEST, Germany’s largest consumer magazine, has focused on the three IPTV providers, Telekom, Vodafone and 1&1, which are available nationwide, and also on NetCologne, which is available only in the Rhineland metropolitan area. Due to technical reasons, two further providers, EWE and M-Net were unable to participate in the test this year. All the results were published on Saturday, April 8th, in the form of an e-paper in the apps of the main daily newspapers from the FUNKE Media Group, and also online.

Test winner

The winner of the test, with an overall score of 1.37 (‘very good’) is the service provided by 1&1, followed closely by Deutsche Telekom with a score of 1.41 (‘very good’). Third place went to Vodafone with a score of 1.98 (‘good’). The NetCologne service scored 1.14 (‘very good’) in the test but this is not included in the nationwide rankings as the service is only available to a limited number of users.  

Information on conducting the test

On the one hand, the test focused solely on TV, and looked at factors such as the quality of the set-top boxes in terms of failure rates or channel switching times, as well as the quality of the video streams themselves. It is not possible to separate the evaluation of the TV side from the quality of the Internet connection itself. zafaco therefore always tested the pure Internet and phone connection as well and measured and evaluated the simultaneous combination of all three usage types. A total score was then calculated from all test areas. 

It is already the second extensive test in which FUNKE’s IMTEST team has cooperated with network specialist zafaco. The Ismaning-based company has long been renowned for the Germany-wide, complex measurement of mobile, IPTV and broadband quality. zafaco has been measuring IPTV services since 2012. For the latest test, more than half a million measurements were taken in February. 

Overall, an excellent result. But if we look more closely, we can see potential for improvement.

‘TV via the Internet – this is the future of TV. Consumers these days insist on the convenience of time-shifted television, media library access, and streaming offerings’, says Axel Telzerow, Editor-in-Chief of IMTEST. ‘With IPTV, you have the whole range from a single source, together with telephone and Internet access. And it’s all the more pleasing – as the test shows – that the providers can now deliver this service in top quality, from a technical and viewing perspective.’

Christoph Sudhues, Managing Director of zafaco, acknowledges the quality of the results of this year’s test series, ‘overall, an excellent result. But if we look more closely, we can see potential for improvement. For the first time, 1&1 HD TV emerges as the winner among the nationwide providers with its very good test results for high-speed Internet and IPTV measurements.’


IMTEST is Germany’s largest consumer magazine under the FUNKE umbrella. The editorial team offers readers guidance when choosing day-to-day products and services. IMTEST is published monthly, alternately as a print supplement in all FUNKE daily titles and as an e-paper, and it is also available digitally on the FUNKE portals. The IMTEST team also joins forces with the editors of other titles to provide individual and comparative tests tailored to specific target groups. Five times a year, IMTEST is also published as a newsstand magazine. 


Service provider zafaco GmbH, with headquarters in Ismaning, Germany, specialises in recording, checking, safeguarding and optimising quality aspects in convergent networks and Internet-based applications. The company conducts independent comparative measurements and quality evaluations using its own measurement technology infrastructure. zafaco GmbH is a technology and market leader for broadband network tests and partner to regulatory authorities, telecommunications providers and industry customers.