Updated 22 May, 2013, 2:00 pm IST
Can you do away with DTH or cable?
| by Priyanka Tilve
Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate managed to create quite a stir as it touched upon the sensitive subjects that mattered and jolted the conscience of the common people as well as the authorities. And to further strengthen the impact, Star India leveraged the digital medium where people could watch the show, provide solutions, donate or even share their stories. Needless to say, the digital initiative garnered a lot of response. On the other hand, with the latest instalment of the popular reality show Bigg Boss, Colors decided to launch an app to provide live 24x7 feed from inside the house. Again, the app was a huge success. Another popular entertainment channel Sony recently launched Sony LIV, a digital platform to connect with its audience.
These aren’t isolated initiatives, but point towards an emerging trend. In fact, UTV Bindass, a popular youth oriented channel was amongst the first ones to have adopted the digital path. It, however, went a step ahead by creating content exclusively for the web. These web series have a substantial fan following. The fact is that the good old idiot box is broadening its horizons beyond your living room. In step with the digital era, it has set its foot firmly on the online platform. And this is different from the third-party services that provide TV streaming on-the-go. These are the initiatives taken by the channels to establish their presence on the digital platform by making their content available for consumption online.
Colors offers live streaming
Colors is one such leading entertainment channels in India that has established its presence online. Explaining the rationale of adopting the digital medium, Vivek Srivastava – Head Digital, Colors, said, “People today are using multiple screens – laptops, smartphones, tablets etc and multiple platforms – the video sites, the social networks, Apps, Games etc to access content. Although the numbers are small especially when compared to the reach TV as a medium provides, the growth and engagement the medium provides is phenomenal. Viewers are viewing sharing, blogging tweeting TV content. Consumers are willing rather eager to engage with their favorite shows & characters outside of the silver screen. We realize this need, these serve as great conversation starters and opinion builders. It’s important that we are present wherever our consumers are seeking us, and wherever possible, channelise conversations to positively impact the brands.”
Even Star India – having launched the Star Player and Star Sports, its online platform – is quite bullish about the future of the digital medium and its focus is on deepening the level of engagement. A spokesperson from Star India, says, “The consumers for these offerings are of broadly 2 types – (a) those who are using digital screens as their preferred screen because of time/ location constraints and are unable to watch linear TV (b) our existing consumers who happen to miss their favourite show(s) and watch to catch up. It provides them with the opportunity to engage deeply with their favourite shows; watch, rate, comment and discuss about the content and also share something that they like. For instance, in the case of sports, users can view a video timeline with key moments tagged which allows them to go back to a specific moment in the match and watch it again.We intend to build audiences across medium and increase affinity for our content amongst the connected consumers, offer opportunities to our consumers to engage with our content.”
Now you can stay tuned with all the sporting action
Apart from Colors and Star, all the other major entertainment channels in India have made their content available online. We discovered that almost all of the popular channels have their content available online, though it isn’t live streaming and you will have to be content with watching your favourite soap opera a day after it has been broadcast. This isn’t too huge a price to pay, especially when you consider the benefits. First of all, you won’t have to pay a single penny to avail these services (of course, if you have a limited data plan, then you will have reasons to worry) and secondly, you can get rid of the annoying ads. And lastly, you have the option to watch it at your own convenience. So, could this mean that we can enjoy free television without having to bother about cable or even DTH? Here’s a breakdown of what the major players have to offer.
The popular channel offers its content online via Star Player. Head to StarTV.in and you can select the channel you wish to watch. While it lists all its channels, up-to-date and full content is available only for some of them. Basically, you can watch all the episodes of your regional daily soap opera and the saas-bahu saga, if that’s what interests you. However, though the list of channels also includes Star World, Star Movies, Channel V, the content here is limited; in fact, next to nothing. Again, on Star World, you can catch the latest episodes of Indian series, but international shows are limited to archives for older shows and some promos and clips from the currently running ones. So, if you watch a lot of international series, then Star Player won’t be of any use to you. It also has apps for iPhone and iPad.
Here you can catch all the latest action from Star
Recently, it also launched StarSports online platform to coincide with the Pakistan cricket team’s tour of India. It provides viewers with high definition video streaming of live cricket matches. Additionally, you have the option to follow-up the match via video scorecard and a video timeline that marks the key moments of the game. You can view the crucial moments of the match via the video timeline, even during a live match. Apart from the commentary, it also brings you the conversations from social media. However, still in the beta stage, this service will be available for free only for a limited duration. Apart from cricket, for other sports the site directs you to Fox Sports Asia site.
Sony Entertainment Television
Want to watch "Bade Acche Lagte Hain" on your PC? Head to Sony’s digital entertainment platform Sony LIV. Like Star, this is a dedicated player where you can catch the latest TV shows. It’s currently available for Android and iOS. Users can catch all the latest episodes of its popular shows from all its channels; besides this, it even includes videos of its popular classic serials. Additionally, it will also feature events and movies. Users have the option to queue their videos and even have videos suggested via the mood wheel. They even plan to have deeper user connect via the platform by offering loyalty reward points, sharing, interacting, gift hampers and even on-set visits.
The app hopes to engage viewers on more than one levels
Apart from Sony LIV, you could catch all the serials from your favourite channels from their respective YouTube channels. There is a dedicated YouTube account for each of its channels, namely Sony, Sab TV, Sony Max, Sony Pix and more. The latest episodes are uploaded on YouTube a day after they are broadcast. It also includes Sony Six, its dedicated sports channel that brings you action from all the latest regional sporting events. Apart from this, the Sony Max channel will bring you live streaming of IPL.
Tags: Watch TV online for free , watch Indian television serials online , free TV , Colors online , watch Bigg Boss online , watch IPL online , Sony Max online , Bollywood movies online , Sony LIV , Star Player , UTV Bindass , DTH , Cable TV , Online TV , Cable TV Online , IPTV
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