Review: is DAZN Live Sports Streaming service worth it?

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Are you tired of spending a fortune on cable TV service just to keep the privilege of watching live sports games? Or maybe you have already cut the cord and saving lots of money. But is something missing in your life? How about adding a low-cost live sports streaming service to bring some sporting excitements back to your life? Welcome to our DAZN live sports streaming service review. In this article, we have thoroughly reviewed a live sports streaming service called DAZN (pronounced as ‘da-zone’). After 3 days of almost non-stop testing (ok… not quite because we had to rest), we are happy to share our findings with you.

 

Who is DAZN?

DAZN is based in the UK and owned by Perform Group. Its core business is video streaming and they focus on making deals with various sports leagues to deliver live sports games via its streaming app. DAZN currently provides its streaming service in Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, USA, and Canada. Over 8,000 sporting events are played per year for all the regions DAZN serves.

DAZN could be for you if you like their offerings below (partial list; info subject to change without notice):

  • Soccer: MLS | UEFA Champions League | UEFA Europa League | Premier League | La Liga / Copa Del Rey | Ligue 1 / Coupe de la Ligue / Coupe de France | Serie A | Sky Bet EFL | Carabao Cup (EFL Cup) | FIFA CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers | FIFA CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers
  • American Football: NFL Network (yes, Super Bowl!)
  • Baseball: MLB Network
  • Golf: PGA Tour
  • Tennis: ATP 250 | WTA
  • Basketball: NCAA | FIBA (International Basketball Federation)
  • Ice Hockey: KHL
  • Motorsports: MotoGP | MotoAmerica | SBK
  • Rugby: Six Nations | Pro 14
  • Cricket: Elite International Cricket Tournaments
  • Darts: PDC
  • Other: Boxing Fights | Commonwealth Games | Snooker | Wrestling and more

 

Reasons for a paid Live Sports Streaming service

It is no secret you can find free live sports streams online. However, the video quality of these free streams ranges from average to horrible. From our experience, the time you spend hunting for free streams is not really worth it. Why? Because these websites or apps claiming to offer free sports streams are often filled with ads (ranging from annoying to aggressive) and some could even trick you into installing spyware in your device, so why risk it?

A paid live sports streaming service such as DAZN can offer live sports anytime and anywhere with consistent video quality thus saving you time and frustration. If watching sports is in your blood, DAZN may just be worth it.

 

Why DAZN?

Most buying decisions boil down to your needs and budget. DAZN appears to have found a good balance between its sports offerings and a monthly cost that is appealing. In fact, DAZN reminds us of Netflix, both offer a low monthly fee but DAZN focuses on delivering live sports instead.

If any of the sports listed above from DAZN catches your eye and you can afford $12.50 per month, DAZN could be your best excuse to cut your cord especially if you already have a streaming account like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

If you prefer watching NHL and NBA, another streaming service called Sportsnet NOW is a better choice for you. However, Sportsnet NOW’s monthly cost is twice as much ($24.99 vs. $12.50). Please note: at the time of this writing, Sportsnet is $24.99 per month (no annual subscription is offered). DAZN is $150 per year (works out to be $12.50 per month) or $20 per month (not a good deal in our opinion).

 

Free Trial for One Month

While researching for this review, it appears DAZN’s initial launch in Canada in 2017 was less than stellar. They had technical problems that caused many video quality issues which upset its subscribers. There is an old saying: “the first impressions are the most lasting”, so DAZN did not do itself any favours by not being completely prepared. But in order to write a fair review about DAZN one year after their launch in Canada, we signed up with DAZN’s one-month free trial so we can “stream” their current service for ourselves.

The one-month free trial is simple to set up. An email, password, and a payment method complete the sign-up process. You can sign up in DAZN’s website or within its streaming app. A few tips for you to consider during the sign-up process:

  • Note the free trial expiry date and set up a cancellation reminder on your phone right away. This way, you can cancel it before you get charged if you are not satisfied with their service.
  • Use PayPal for payment method if possible. In today’s digital world, nothing is bulletproof in terms of security.
  • Shorter password and email will make it easier to enter them on your streaming player or gaming console. However, you still need a strong password.

 

Tips for using the DAZN app

Once you have signed up with DAZN, you are almost ready to watch some sports!

Download the DAZN app onto a supported device. Sign into your DAZN account with the registered email and password. You can then watch live sports on your TV if you have a streaming player or gaming console; on your smartphone or tablet; on your PC monitor or on your smart TV. As long as you have a decent Internet connection, you can view live sports anywhere within Canada.

Below are a few tips for using the DAZN app:

  • DO NOT “Sign Out” of the DAZN app on a streaming player or gaming console. Always use the “Exit App” option so you don’t have to enter your email and password for login every time. Because using a remote control or controller to do so is a slow and tedious process.
  • On your mobile device, you can set notifications for upcoming games.
  • You can cast the stream from your mobile device to a TV if you have a compatible streaming/casting device connected to your TV.
  • On a Roku player, if you press and hold “OK” on the remote control during a stream, a half-screen video diagnostics page will appear that shows your current network status.
  • Avoid extensive downloading while streaming with the DAZN app (if possible) to get the best picture quality and shortest loading time of each stream.

 

Hands-on Experience

For Canadian viewers, you can expect 5 to 10 scheduled live sports games daily (number of games vary each day depending on the season). At the time of this writing, three 24/7 sports channels are available: NFL Network, MLB Network, and beIN Sports. Aside from the live games and 24/7 sports channels, the rest of the contents are recordings.

All the live games are recorded in real time. This means you can replay any game at any time even ones still in progress. Also, we found it was nice to be offered a choice to either watch the full game, highlights or a condensed game for some recordings. It is not uncommon to find a game recording ranging from 4 to 8 hours in length. Depending on your mood, you can watch a condensed game to save time or watch the full game to kill time.

DAZN app’s menu is simple but works for us. All the live games are featured prominently in the main screen. You can select “Schedule” from the menu and find all the live games within 14 days in advance.

Overall, DAZN gives you full reign over your viewing preferences with ease. There is one complaint we have, to watch a recorded game, we couldn’t figure out how to skip to the beginning of the game using a remote control. So instead, we have to rewind the stream all the way to the beginning.

 

How is DAZN’s Video Quality?

Before we answer this question, it needs to be explained that most live streams that encounter buffering/pausing issues are the results of either a poor internet connection or insufficient broadcasting capability. For example, you found a free live game online. However, the stream kept buffering. Frustrated, you triple-checked your Internet connection but nothing was wrong with it. So what gives? The cause(s) of the buffering most likely rest on the broadcaster. Let us explain below.

Since hundreds or thousands of people might be streaming at the same time as you, the broadcaster might not have sufficient capacity to upload/stream to everyone. Other reasons may include the broadcasting computer(s) is not powerful enough or the broadcaster might not have encoded the streams properly for optimum transmission. Furthermore, the broadcaster might not have a proper data delivery network so bottlenecks occur and your free stream buffers. So it is quite normal for a live stream with an unknown origin to buffer. Delivering live streams certainly is not something anyone could pull off easily.

However, with a paid streaming service company like DAZN, it must dedicate adequate capacity (connection, software, hardware, and its delivery channel) to satisfy all its customers because its livelihood depends on it. If any of DAZN’s stream freezes, that’s a huge problem because it probably would affect all of its subscribers. So, how did DAZN perform in terms of video quality during our test? Let’s find out.

 

Video Quality Test Details

The test location is in the Pacific time zone in western Canada. The Internet connection speed is 30 Mbps download and 2.5 Mbps upload. The following devices were available to us for testing DAZN’s streaming service:

  • Desktop PC with Windows 10
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android Smartphone/Android Tablet
  • Roku streaming player

 

Video Quality Test Summary (based on Roku streaming player)
  • Every stream played flawlessly on all the devices listed above.
  • All the streams were in HD picture quality regardless if it’s live or recorded. (see exception below re: slow Internet)
  • No buffering was detected during our tests when the Internet is healthy (not even once); however, when the Internet is crawling, video buffering was detected. The stream would still play in HD picture quality but brief pauses occur every 2 – 3 seconds. This buffering state would last for more than a minute before the stream finally lowered its picture quality to cope with the slow connection.
  • App loading time is about 15 – 16 seconds from the start to the first stream.
  • Most streams took around 4.00 to 4.30 seconds to load on average.
  • Beginning portion of some streams needed 1 – 2 seconds before adjusting to HD picture quality.
  • We ran the DAZN app on 3 different devices simultaneously (on the same Internet network), all the streams worked without issues (however, it was observed that more time is needed for each stream to load and adjust to HD picture quality).
  • Despite performing multiple torrent downloads on purpose while streaming DAZN contents on one device, the stream again works without any issues (however, longer loading time is detected while switching to different streams, there is obvious picture degradation but no buffering).
  • Overall, we were able to watch all the streams without any issues and the picture quality was mostly excellent when the Internet was fast.

 

Verdict

NFL, MLB, and tennis are central to DAZN’s sports offerings. Still, DAZN has signed a number of new deals with various sports bodies and leagues in the past year (MLS, PGA Tour, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Cricket, FIBA basketball and Rugby). This shows DAZN is eager to expand its contents. This is good news for its existing customers and an obvious attempt to attract new subscribers. Unfortunately, NHL and NBA fans (like ourselves) may need to look elsewhere. Also, for die-hard fans who follow a particular team(s) in NFL or MLB, DAZN’s offers may be limited because it streams featured games instead of every game played.

Our video quality test of DAZN’s streaming app on multiple devices showed mostly good results. All its streams (live or recorded) played consistently in HD picture quality. Despite our modest connection speed (30 Mbps), we purposely performed heavy torrent downloads, and yet, DAZN delivered its streams quite well. This further proves that a broadcaster’s capability to distribute the streams to its customers is the key to smooth streaming. In fact, you can stream DAZN on multiple devices “simultaneously” so this should satisfy any household with more than one sports fan. The only negative we observed was video buffering due to a really slow Internet connection. Otherwise, DAZN worked flawlessly when the Intenet speed was healthy.

If you are a fan of soccer, football, baseball, tennis, golf or cricket, you owe it to yourself to test out DAZN’s free trial. An annual subscription can save you 37.5% ($90) per year over its monthly plan ($12.50 vs. $20 per month). Based on this review, $12.50 is worth it if you enjoy watching live sports games offered by DAZN.

Finally, just a quick heads up, make sure your Internet package has adequate bandwidth allowance because you will stream aplenty once you decide to switch to or add DAZN into your digital life. Happy streaming!

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this review. If you find it helpful, please share it with your friends and family. Thank you!

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Review Summary

PROS

  • Good price and value (based on annual subscription).
  • Free one-month trial.
  • Sign up is simple (an email, password, a payment method is all you need).
  • HD picture quality.
  • Great video quality when the Internet speed is fast.
  • NFL, MLB, MLS, European soccer, PGA Tour, tennis, cricket and more.
  • Streaming on multiple devices simultaneously is no problem.
  • DAZN streaming app is available for all devices.
  • DAZN app on a mobile device allows you to set reminder/notifications for upcoming games.
  • Instant replay of a game regardless of its progress is available.
  • Some streams offer full game, highlight and condensed game viewing options.
  • Schedules of upcoming games are available up to 14 days in advance.
  • Streams are available anywhere in Canada as long as you have Wi-Fi or mobile data.

 

CONS

  • Monthly subscription cost is not such a good deal (it’s a clear attempt to push new subscribers to pay for an annual subscription).
  • NHL, NBA games are not available.
  • Limited 24/7 sports channels.
  • Live streams include commercials (however, it feels more like watching regular cable TV this way).
  • Streams need a few seconds to adjust to HD picture quality.
  • Buffering was detected with a very slow Internet connection speed.
  • A streaming player or casting device is required so you can watch DAZN on a TV. You need to buy one if don’t own one already.
  • DAZN streams are prohibited outside of Canada.
  • If you like DAZN, you need to account for the additional streaming you will be doing. This may mean you need to upgrade your Internet plan thus paying more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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