Video on Demand (VoD) platforms are the next big thing. The penetration of 4G services in India will lead to people consuming videos on an even larger scale and VoD services are expected to be the big gainers.
Netflix, hotstar, YuppTv and the like are now like carrying a mini TV in your pocket. So which one of these VoD platforms is best suited for you? Will they work on slow network connections, what kind of shows are available; and of course, are the subscriptions really worth giving a shot? We’ve used the apps, and here’s what we think:
First Things First
Netflix is a different from hotstar, YuppTV, nextGTv and Voot in terms of content. The latter are mostly about replicating the content that we already have on TV, which includes links to live feed.
Netflix, on the other hand, has original content, which includes popular names like ‘House of Cards’, Orange in the New Black, Firefly, Arrested Development (Season 4), etc although fans have complained the library is not as extensive as the one in the US. The one Indian platform that is doing original content is Voot, even if the content is now limited.
Hotstar now also has an option of Premium subscription, which starts at Rs 199 per month. The USP of this premium subscription is the Game of Thrones series, which can be watched minutes after it is aired in the US. This is the first time GoT is available within minutes of its international broadcast on HBO. Hotstar gives users access to the uncensored version of exclusive shows like The Newsroom, True Detective, Silicon Valley.
Netflix, when launched in India, was accompanied by a smaller catalogue of shows, which disappointed a lot of people. It has a number of original shows like House of Cards, Daredevil, Orange is the New Black, Narcos, etc. Netflix offers users have an option to set data limit on their mobile connection. If you are a fan of English TV shows, Netflix appears to be the best choice out there.
Netflix, however, might, not appeal to people looking for vernacular content. Out here, YuppTV has the edge, with over 200 Indian TV shows in regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada apart from Hindi and English. It has curated content from popular TV channels like Colors, Sab TV,Gemini TV, Jaya TV, Aajtak, NDTV India and Zoom.
So, if you are away from home and missing regional TV channel, YuppTV makes for a good option. YuppTV has a wide variety of content, ranging from TV shows to live feeds and movies; in vernacular languages too.
Hotstar comes closest to YuppTV in terms of regional content with over 300 TV shows in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and English.
nextGTV also offers regional language content, but has a smaller catalogue as compared to YuppTV.
Streaming content on 3G is not really a problem with any of these services. I could easily watch shows without any lag using my mobile Internet connection.
When it comes to UI, hotstar and Netflix take the cake, where the content is neatly segregated under labels such as Movies, TV shows, etc. The UI of nextGTV is a bit cluttered and confusing with channel icons being placed vertically on the right side, which I didn’t appreciate.
In my opinion, I’d say the hotstar is really convenient to use, followed by Netflix, and YuppTV.
Which one should you go for
Coming to the subscription, the basic plan for Netflix starts at Rs 500, and hotstar Premium is priced at Rs 199 per month. YuppTV is offering 200 plus live channels, 100 plus TV shows and 5,000 plus movies and no ads at Rs 99 per month.
While, most of the content on nextGTV is free, users will have to pay Rs 125 per month for content under video on demand category.
Well, if you ask us, every app comes with its own benefits and shortcomings. For example, if you watch a lot of Star shows, hotstar can be a great option for you. But if you are sick of the shows on Star, there’s nothing better than Netflix. YuppTV, however scores high in the vernacular content offering.
What it really boils down to is this: what kind of video content gets you interested. Personally I’d say if you are one of those who didn’t bother to buy a TV, these apps are more than equipped to satisfy your ‘TV needs.’