Thursday, August 8, 2013

4 Live TV apps to liven up your smartphone

If you are a TV buff then you don’t have to worry about missing out on your daily dose of entertainment anymore, all thanks to the many services that allow you to stream live TV channels.
4 Live TV apps to liven up your smartphone
If you are a TV buff then you don’t have to worry about missing out on your daily dose of entertainment anymore, all thanks to the many services that allow you to stream live TV channels. For a small fee, you can access almost all the leading TV channels and watch them on your smartphone. Just like you would pick a plan for your DTH, here you can opt for a daily, weekly or monthly subscription. Additionally, some of them also allow you the option to request an episode of a daily soap that you may have missed. Besides this, they also provide access to varied content from movies to sports to even events, astrology and more. These TV streaming apps support all the major mobile platforms. The only thing to keep in mind apart from the subscription costs are the data charges. Featured here are some of the popular services - let’s take a look at what they have to offer. 

The launch of Ditto TV marked India’s first and only OTT (Over-the-top) TV distribution platform. It has made live TV and on-demand-video content available on computing devices be it phones, Tablets, desktops, etc. You can choose from subscription plans that start from as low as Rs 49. For Rs 49 a month you can choose between three plans. You can either opt for all TV serials from select channels plus a video pack, a 30 movies pack or you can choose a pack that allows you to view three channels of your choice. Next for Rs 99 a month you have the option to select seven channels of your choice. And lastly there is Mega Ditto for Rs 129 that will allow you to access all channels in their bouquet. It currently offers 57 live channels that include popular channels like Colors, Sony, Sab TV, Zee, Zee Cafe, MTv, CNBC TV 18 and a host of other channels. You can check the complete list here. They also have a movies bouquet that includes regional, Bollywood and Hollywood movies. You will have to opt for the separate movies pack, as currently Ditto TV doesn’t offer them as a part of any package. Ditto TV also provides video-on-demand, so in case you missed an episode of your favourite serial you can still catch it on Ditto at your convenience. However, even if you have subscribed to a pack and want to avail the video-on-demand facility, you will have to pay a minimal charge. In terms of streaming, Ditto uses adaptive streaming where it will adjust the video quality depending on the Internet connectivity. We used it on Wi-Fi and it worked flawlessly. Even then you can choose the video quality. They also have a Ditto Lite for those using GPRS and EDGE-enabled mobile devices.    

It offers operator based subscription plans
It offers operator-based subscription plans
Launched last year, nexGTv is another platform that offers live TV streaming on the mobile devices. It offers over hundred live TV channels such as Star, Sony, Life Ok, Colors, Aaj Tak, Times Now, Cartoon Network, CNBC Awaaz, BBC World, History Channel, Raj TV, Asianet, Maa Gold, TV9, ETV Gujarat, etc. They have an operator-based subscription model and you will have to select a plan that is being offered by your operator. For instance, Vodafone offers a weekly package for Rs 28, while Airtel customers can avail a monthly package for Rs 75. nexGTv has three offerings - live channels, replay TV and video-on-demand. When you opt for a subscription plan you will have access to all their content, without having to pay anything extra. This is applicable even if you choose to watch a movie from BigFlix, which is available under their video-on-demand section. Other offerings under video-on-demand include content on Astrology, Comedy, Bollywood Masala, Movie Previews, Food Zone, etc. However, we checked the BigFlix content and you will have access only to select movies and not their entire catalogue. Under Replay TV you will have access to the last seven episodes of shows airing on few channels like Star Plus, Life Ok, Channel V, Colors, MTv and a few others. Their player is pretty basic, you can choose between standard or high quality video depending on your Internet connectivity.    

my plex now
You can subscribe to individual channels

myplex now TV app by Apalya technologies, presents another good option. It offers almost all the popular TV channels. Its subscription packs are pretty straight forward too. You can opt for the Gold pack that will provide you access to all the 81 channels on the platform, as well as live events. You can opt for a daily, weekly or monthly subscription for Rs10, Rs 50 and Rs 100 respectively. Apart from the Gold pack, it offers individual channel packs, which is quite handy. You can choose the channel you wish to subscribe to for Rs 10 that will be valid for thirty days. The list of channels include Sony, Star Plus, Colors, Life OK, National Geographic, Channel V, Cartoon Network, IBN7, NDTV India, CNN, NDTV 24X7, NDTV Good Times, UTV Bindass, UTV Movies, to name a few. Besides this, it also provides a wide range of videos on diverse topics like sports, entertainment, humour, travel, music, cartoon, Bollywood, devotional, etc. These videos are mostly free. The experience of using the player on Wi-Fi was seamless and the player interface is pretty standard.

Mundu TV
Custom create your own package

Another platform that offers live streaming of TV channels on your mobile is Mundu TV. However, they have very limited channels on offer; these include channels like Colors, UTV Movies, MTv, CNN-IBN, and NDTV Good Times.  In terms of packages, you can opt for a custom package, by selecting the individually priced channels. You can opt for a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription. Alternatively, you can select one of the plans that start from as low as Rs 34 per month. There are four packages you can choose from - Indiacast, UTV Pack, UTV Stars and Travel XP. With Indiacast, for Rs 127, a month you can enjoy ten channels, which consists of mostly the news channels. The UTV Pack for Rs 46 a month will provide you access to UTV Stars and UTV Movies channels only, while the UTV Stars as the name suggest is only one channel that you can opt for Rs 34. Lastly, you have the travel pack that at Rs 34 per month offers you subscription to travelxp HD that claims to be India’s first HD travel channel. Unlike other platforms, Mundu TV doesn’t provide you with a video-on-demand option. The cost isn’t justified, considering the limited channels on offer.

Apart from these there are several other apps that allow you to stream live TV channels for free, but you won’t find the popular channels like Sony, Zee, Star, Colors, etc. in the list. ZengaTv offers a wide range of Indian channels to choose from, including Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Sahara One, NDTV Good Times, Pogo, Cartoon Network, 9xm, amongst others. It also has movies, video-on-demand and events to choose from. Other apps are ShowTuner and HD Live TV.   

While all of them offer the same bouquet of channels and provide a similar streaming experience, the difference lies in the additional content and features provided by them. If we were to choose between the platforms mentioned here, then Ditto Tv and nexGTv would be our picks. Ditto TV has reasonably priced packages and additionally if you have missed an episode of your favourite serial then you can request for the same. On the other hand any of nexGTv’s subscription plans will provide you with access to all its content, which also includes access to movies on BigFlix and Replay TV that stores last seven episodes from serials aired on select channels. And if you don’t really want to watch many channels, then myplex now allows you to subscribe to just one channel at a nominal cost. 

Do you use any of these services? Let us know in the comments section below.

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