Problem at hand
In this age of instant gratification, we have ceased to have needs or wants that have long term impacts. We have become rather impulsive in our demands, and as such it is not too uncommon to see people suddenly wish a most random stuff at any point of time. He may wish to watch a TV show while sitting in a Gondola in Venice, he may want to know where the nearest plumber is while trekking in the Alps, or he may even want to learn how to make a thermite launcher while sitting at the backyard of his home. Thanks to the advent of technology, most of this is possible. The internet can help you find the closest plumber, and provide you with a step by step guide to making a thermite launcher as well. However, what about watching a TV show while on the go? Is it possible? What if we told you that it is indeed possible, all you need is a smartphone, internet access and the right app that suits your taste. We would be discussing about 3 apps in this regard today, Hotstar, TV Portal and Showbox.
Let’s start with the basics
TV Streaming apps is the new hype in the digital world that gives you the power to see any of your favourite show any time as you may wish, and has its content redirected from multiple servers placed all over the world for a smooth experience. The streaming quality more often than not depends on the bandwidth, and sometimes on the network of the servers or the apps used in the first place.
How is it different from YouTube?
It is a streaming service, and the quality depends on the bandwidth. Does remind you of YouTube, right? However, there is a slight difference. YouTube can only show videos uploaded by other users, even the YouTube specific episodes are visible only because the user chose to upload it. Thus, if a new show or movie has copyrights, there is no way to legally watch it on YouTube. In the case of these TV Streaming apps, there is no scenario of anyone having to upload anything. Videos are made available by the service provider themselves, and more often than not, shows are added nearly as soon as it is aired. Movies are made available in the same fashion, but it depends from app to app, as to how many days they may need to make a movie available.
How is it different from Netflix?
If you talk about online watching of TV Shows and Movies, the one service provider that comes to mind is Netflix. But there is a massive difference. The change in the services being the factor of payment that creeps up in case of Netflix, but is predominantly missing in the TV Streaming Apps.
You have heard enough about these type of apps, you now know the basic differences between them and the already present services, the advantages it has over them and so on and so forth. But you want to know more each of the apps now, the good, the bad and the ugly, right? Let’s dive into it then. We would take up one app at a time and discuss the pros and cons of each one of them.
Hotstar is the new comer in this group of apps that allow you to stream video content for free, like the shows and movies. And as a greenhorn, it has plenty up its sleeves. Which consists of shows that exclusively produced for the app, rights to broadcast live telecast of sports matches, film star tie ups and so on. The quality of the show is basically good, but is dependent on the bandwidth being used, and allows for the download of a few of the videos.The movies that are available are the ones that have been released quite a while back, so expect no recent banners in the app. The developers have stated that new content would be added every week, so that should help build the content for this app, which is otherwise a pretty good app with a rather modern look and feel to it. The main drawback of this app is its regional availability. Hotstar at present is active only in India, but you can use it in any country by changing the location settings of your device. The app can expect more developments, and has quite a lot of bugs in it now.
Akin to the above contender, TV Portal also helps you stream many shows and movies as and when you may please, however, this app is a kind of a demo which gives you access to stream unlimited videos for two days, and then it allows streaming only after 6 hours of waiting in the free version of the app. Also the library is in a list view, and isn’t really user-friendly in that manner. The quality is good enough for mobile viewing, however offline viewing is supported only for a few videos. Bandwidth affects the performance heavily.
The last, but definitely not the least entry in the list is Showbox, which is seemingly a hybrid of the above mentioned apps. It has a nice modern tiled interface that’s easy to use, and has a library that is updated daily. Yes, daily. The latest movies and shows are available in high quality for either online viewing, or to be downloaded directly to the local storage. It uses the data from VK.com, a site mainly used in Russia, where the people sometimes upload copyrighted materials which sometimes escape the eyes of the moderators, and thus remain there for a few days before being taken down, and this act is considered an act of piracy by Google Play, resulting in the app not being listed in the Play store. The iOS version is called Movie Box, and is used by many app and video enthusiasts. It is completely free, and is hosted on AWS servers. The stream may keep changing the source multiple times during viewing, however that is not a cause of worry to the consumers as the performance doesn’t go down while the data is skipped from server to server.
There are a bevy of choices to choose from, what matters is what you want. And depending on that very person, he may choose any the above mentioned apps. Showbox for us is the best app in this context.