Premium entertainment streaming service
Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming platform and provides users with access to sporting events, TV shows, and movies. Viewers can watch several forms of entertainment from their smart devices. The application comes from Star Network, one of the largest cable networks worldwide.
Quality viewing on the go
There is a large selection of content available from the app, with over 100,000 hours of viewing material. There are more than 17 languages to access the content in, which means there should be a little something for everyone. You can select the quality of the video; 1080p HD quality is the best available.
You can pick from one of two packages from Hotstar. The VIP package or the Premium package, each come with a subscription. The VIP plan gives you access to many exciting sporting events, including IPL matches, other cricket tournaments, kabaddi, and watersports. You can upgrade from VIP to Premium to get all the sporting features plus several extras.
The Premium package will suit sports fans that also want some other forms of entertainment. You can get access to the latest tv shows and movies to stream on your Android device. You’ll get top Indian TV shows as well as access to channels like National Geographic. There are also fantastic Bollywood movies and hot Hollywood blockbusters to view.
The app is well put together, it looks nice from the home page, through to other menus you might open when looking for content. The tile format makes it easy to glimpse what is one offer without too much scrolling. The categories are straightforward, and there is a search function if you have something specific in mind that you want to watch.
Discover and play
Hotstar TV Movies Live Cricket also produces original content, too. The programs are known as Hotstar Specials; popular shows to have come from the platform include Hostages and Criminal Justice. You can switch between browsing the featured list, sports, movies, and TV shows. Most movies have trailers for you to get an idea of what is on offer.
Like many other streaming platforms, this one collects data on what you have watched and what you like in order to make recommendations. This makes discovering new TV series and movies to watch a pleasant and simple process. You can create a wishlist, which will give you content to watch later but will also update you when new episodes are available.
The controls for your movies or the program are easy to use. You can skip the introduction to a TV show, move forward and backward through the content, as well as pausing a video. As you are signed in to the app, you can pick up your viewing of on-demand content from where you left off.
Interact and get social
The content available differs based on your location. Users in Canada might have access to some shows, whereas the choice in the US might be more restricted, or users in India might have even more choice due to competitors in the US market. The app can only be operated in that location with its specific content.
For major tournaments or Indian Premier League cricket matches the app introduced a fun interactive and social element. Users that weren’t watching on full screen could chat with their friends during a match. There was also an option to predict the outcome from the next ball, with points being awarded for correct guesses.
There is an option to watch some content offline. Users can download programs, which are then available for watching offline. The application is best used on WiFi. It does work over 4G and 3G, but requires a large amount of data and can result in buffering issues.
What else is there?
A free trial with Hotstar will help you to work out if it suits your needs. There are more OTT or over the top streaming choices than ever before, which means if this app isn’t for you, there are plenty of other options to try. Here are some potential alternatives that offer something different.
One of the biggest providers in the market is Netflix. They don’t offer sports, which could be a deal-breaker, but they have an incredibly large library of tv shows, documentaries, movies, and some very good original content. Playback is typically very smooth. The content is regularly updated, which means it shouldn’t be hard to find something to watch.
Another popular rival service is Amazon Prime. As with other services, the content varies by region, and this is often based on the competitors in that area. This service works through a subscription, but also has premium content available for rent. There are sports available on this platform, as well as thousands of other entertainment choices.
If the special access to Indian shows on Hotstar isn’t what you are looking for, then you can opt for something with predominantly US content. Sling TV acts as a TV guide, showing you a huge array of channels. You can top up your subscription in a pay-per-view style to gain access to different parts of the service.
Variety and fun in a neat package
Hotstar is a good rival to the streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It offers content for fans of Indian TV and Bollywood that you can’t find elsewhere. However, due to the competitors in the US, the content isn’t quite as eye-catching as it is for Indian audiences who get more sports and the biggest TV shows around. Using the app is an enjoyable experience, although some buffering issues make watching on cellular data less appealing.
The latest update provided the ability to download premium videos, rather than just the regional and older content. There has also been a change to the support for aspect ratios. Viewers can now watch content in 18:9 for an improved viewing experience.