Popcorn Time started the free TV and movie streaming revolution, but a new software called Zona continues the way, adding television, sports, and radio – all for free. Introducing the new Russian hit that conquers the world of piracy
If you thought that Popcorn Time, the world’s Netflix for pirated content, was able to truely revolutionize the consumption of pirated content for free, meet the next post revolutionary service called Zona. From the creator of the biggest social network in Russia – Vkontakte, Zona does all that the developers were able to do to with Popcorn Time and adds new services including movies, series, live TV channels from around the world, music, live radio, live sports and games – all through one application.
Movies, series, tv channels, sports programming, music
Zona is available for download, as of now, on at least two platforms: Windows and Android. While Zona’s Android app is available in Russian only, the main application for Windows is available in three languages: Russian, Ukrainian and English. Zona’s installation process is fairly simple. After installation you will need to confirm some criteria, such as the transfer of software through your firewall, operating system, etc., but once you start the software itself, you encounter a huge amount of features which have not been offered by similar platforms.
The main screen of Zona will lead you to the film section – like Popcorn Time, you will find the latest movies on the network alongside titles from around the world – after a brief investigation I was even able to find ‘The Lemon Popsicle’ alongside other Israeli films. You then have two options – downloading a movie or ‘Watch it’. Another click on a different area of the cover film will lead you to the information of the film itself. Each film will be added to your favorites by clicking on the small icon on the lower right side of the film, and you can watch them later through the favorites screen.
Another section is for series – here you can subscribe to various TV series – and you have an option to receive a notification when a new episode runs in a series you follow.
Browsing to the details of any movie or series will show you the name of the film or series, the plot details, the actors, the rating of the movie from IMDB and all versions, spin-offs and remakes of the film, which you can also watch. Next to the watch and the download buttons for the film, you will see the quality and various sources for the movie. One special feature that is quite interesting is the replacement of the movie language tracks, that can be found for a film that is originally featured with an English language track, but has a different language track, for example in Russian – there, you can replace it and watch in your preferred language (The feature is currently limited to Russian, Ukrainian and English).
Thinks that’s all? Clicking TV Channels will lead you to an endless list of TV stations, and if that is not enough, the screen will also give you information on what’s on now, and what will be broadcast in the coming hours. Alongside a range of channels in Russian, you will also find international channels such as Eurosport, CNN, CBS, Fox and premium channels such as British Sky Sports. But perhaps the biggest news coming toward sports enthusiasts is the transition tab in the Sports section that will bring you to the list of sports broadcasts and future broadcasts through the platform. Among other things, you can find games in the Champions League for football (today and tomorrow night), NBA basketball, along with other sports broadcasts such as Russian hockey or any other sporting event that you have not yet started to watch, and get a reminder when the broadcast begins.
Furthermore, you can listen to different radio stations around the world. Again, most of the content you find here is in Russian, but with some browsing you can reach other radio stations. One of the biggest bonuses with Zona comes from the music app. If you have a Vkontakte account (if not, sign up now) you can access millions of songs, similar to Spotify, Rdio, etc., directly from the Zona app. Signing up with Vkontakte can be done individually, and can be done quickly through Facebook Sign-Up.
Zona’s settings screen is very diverse. You can set the name of your favorite theme and choose from blue, white and brown. Unlike with Popcorn Time, Zona software updates can be done right from the settings and by checking for a new version. You can also set a favorite torrent client, although it is better to stay still with the uTorrent client or your normal torrents. One of the coolest features is the option to stream the content downloaded to the DLNA server, despite the time I’ve spent playing with the software, I could not find how to turn on this feature yet.
Language issues aside, Zona is undoubtedly the most advanced app to date for streaming movies and series. It incorporates many of the elements we have seen before in Popcorn Time – simple navigation, selecting the desired video and streaming is very fast. During the day, the number of users who are on the service range from 200 thousand to 500 thousand, so the chance you’ll be able to watch your favorite content, especially if it is new and popular material, is very high. Without a doubt, until there’s a new version of Popcorn Time (and one is on the way), Zona is a big winner in streaming TV and movies, and now it only remains to be seen when it will add additional languages and subtitles, and of course, support for more operating systems alongside Windows and Android.
Note: As befits a software pirate, the issue of safety, privacy and ethics are also relevant here. Be sure to be careful.
More articles Popcorn Time series:
- Free movie service Popcorn Time is available for download again
- Stream movies from Popcorn Time on Chromecast
- Not only free movies: Popcorn Time adds TV Series