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Area 51 is an economical IPTV provider. They provide a solid product for straight forward IPTV viewing. They don’t have different packages or options other than adding connections. The standard features like android app, well laid-out EPG and 24/7 channels will satisfy most viewer’s needs.
They offer one package that can be purchased in 1, 3, 6 or 12-month agreements. All four have the same $5 a month (30 day) price and have the same channel lineup and features.
This simple approach to providing IPTV doesn’t mean you miss out on much. You get roughly the same channels as a provider costing 4 times as much. Most of the channels are in HD. You get a good-looking EPG with a live preview window. The EPG actually mirrors the one you’d see from a much higher priced provider. And, you get a good selection of 24/7 channels for your binge-watching pleasure.
The channel list is comparable to other providers. We even found a few channels that the more popular providers don’t carry. You get your standard USA/Canada/UK channels for English language viewers and many international channels.
Area 51 doesn’t skimp on sports either. You get Premium NFL, MLB, NHL, UK sports, Canada sports and even some live events. Of course, you get sports from the major networks and their subchannels as well as ESPN and regional sports.
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They have music and live radio channels as well as religious channels. And for the youngsters, there’s an entire section just for kids.
Their android app groups the channels in a logical manner with the English language channels at the top so you don’t have to scroll to the bottom to get to the USA/UK channels. They have a very nice EPG that has the same look and feel of other higher-priced providers. There are two different ways to view the EPG and both have a live stream view.
While Area 51’s price is a plus, they do not offer a movie VoD or a catch-up section which some may find a minus. However, they do have a generous offering of 24/7 channels for TV titles and a few movies similar to other providers. Granted there are plenty of sites like GOMovies that offer first-run movies that can satisfy that movie-jones you may have, but the lack of a movie VoD section is still something to consider. This is Area 51’s only real weakness.
Quality & Reliability
Quality and reliability are very good. Area 51 doesn’t over-sell their servers which means they maintain a low lag rate. Every IPTV provider will have some buffering and some channels will be slow to load from time to time. This is just the nature of the IPTV landscape. On average, Area 51 has no more buffering than you’d find on other IPTV providers. In fact, we found it to be a solid performer…especially for the price.
Balancing user count with server capacity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, existing users get the best possible viewing experience. But, this can also result in short stretches of ‘lack of inventory’ for new users (though the wait is usually only a few days). Overall, it’s always best to see a provider choose quality over capacity.
Area 51’s compatibility is similar to other providers. Android STBs, as well as Fire TV and Kodi, can use the provided Android app with all the features. The app works well with Bluestacks and we tested the M3U with a Plex IPTV plugin and it works there too.
Just remember that your ISP speed plays a major factor in your viewing experience. Some VPNs may also drag a little but not enough to risk watching without one. Also, as with any IPTV service, you might see a difference between a wired and wireless connection to your router. Wired is always best but sometimes is not practical.
Area 51 is generally easy to get up and running after registration is complete. Veterans and newbies alike should have no problem getting Area 51 up and running in just a few minutes.