Video Streaming – The New Kid On The Block
Ever since the release of Hotstar in 2015, video streaming service has been doing well with a bevvy of new international players like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix joining the race in 2016. The viewers have a lot of choices as there are now numerous other free and premium video streaming services offering content in English and regional languages as well. While content is the major selection criteria, viewers must also be aware of other aspects like the picture, sound quality, price, equipment required for each service so you can make a wise decision. Content is mostly around movies, TV shows, documentaries, sports among others. It is a great entertainment choice for all when compared to video games.
Different Video Streaming Services Popular In India
Some of the best video streaming services in India are Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play Movies. Each streaming service offers a different subscription and pricing model. Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Netflix are based on subscription service while Apple TV and Google Play Movies offer movie titles for purchase or rent. While most of the services offer content in English and regional language, some services also offer original content created exclusively for the audiences of the streaming service. Netflix is the most expensive streaming service in India. The prices range from Rs199 to Rs 799. It starts with a mobile-only plan and offers a single screen standard definition, two-screen Full HD plan and four-screen HDR and ultra HD streaming. This plan will be more viable if you have a high end 4K TV. The cheapest plan will work only on smartphones and tablets.
Amazon Prime Video is a best in value service in India that is available in a subscription model for Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 per year. The subscription also includes benefits such as free shipping of products you purchased from Amazon, access to deals, Prime Reading eBooks and Prime Music. There are no tier subscriptions based on feature and quality. Disney+ Hotstar is an affordable video streaming option available in India. It has a tiered plan with different subsets of content. The VIP plan is available for Rs 399 per year and the premium plan is for Rs 299 per month or Rs 1499 per year.
Google Play Movies is the same as YouTube movies or TV show rentals. You can either rent or purchase different shows or movies and synchronize between the service and watch it on any device you use. It is not a subscription model and you will have to either rent or purchase a movie you want to view. Rentals will cost as low as Rs 25 and a purchase will cost Rs 500 and above. Apple TV or Apple TV+ is similar to Google Play Movies where titles are available for purchase or rent. It has a library of content with new, popular movies and classics. Apple TV+ is a subscription model service within Apple TV that costs Rs 99 per month.
Streaming Features That Matter
There are other differences in features amongst the different streaming services. When it comes to different devices and app support. Hotstar and Netflix are platform-neutral services that are supported by most devices and operating systems. It provides a uniform experience and service across all. Amazon Prime Video also offers neutral service across all major platforms but provides the best user experience with Amazon’s Fire TV devices like the Fire TV Stick 4k. Google Play Movies is at it’s best on Android TV. An app is available for use in iOS devices. On any other platform, you can access it through YouTube. Apple TV is available for Apple devices and the service is available in Amazon Fire TV devices.
Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Apple TV offer ultra HD content of the highest resolution. Google Play Movies and Disney+ Hotstar offer full HD for India while offering 4K streaming services in other countries. Apple TV and Netflix offer Dolby vision standards in India. Amazon Prime Video offers HDR10 encoding. These technologies are also available for supporting mobile devices. Some of these services offer additional features if you have a decent home theatre and audio system. Picture and sound quality is largely dependent on the hardware used for viewing. Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have good abs stable sound and picture quality. It works well even on a slow internet speed. Google Play Movies and Hotstar don’t have the same standards when compared to other streaming services. When it comes to technical prowess, Apple TV and Netflix are clear winners with their best sound and picture quality. All the services offer diverse content with a huge library of exclusive and original content in English and regional languages.