If you think Netflix’s current collection is still too small — or you’re too cool to jump on the bandwagon — hit play on four locally available video streaming channels and find out what makes them special
Video streaming has made the jump from being a myth to a household staple. By the end of 2015, more than 120 million homes are expected to use paid subscription services just to get their dose of instant entertainment. While Netflix is still fresh in the Asian market, four local streaming sites continue to vie for the Filipino people’s attention (and money).
Stream now: Over 300 movies and 200 hours of TV
Cost: P99 for new movies; P60 for old titles; P250 for Unlimited TV streaming
Features: Blink (blink-now.com) offers only a limited number of films and an outdated selection of past TV shows. Signing up is only done through the Blink app and their website looks and feels like an old, unresponsive WordPress site. Unlike unlimited streaming channels, you have to shell out up to P99 pesos to rent the latest film for a maximum of 48 hours viewing time. Blink’s partnership with Solar Entertainment allows subscribers to live stream shows from ETC, 2nd Avenue, Basketball TV, and the Home Shopping Network.
Stream now: More than 30,000 hours of television and films
Cost: P149 for 30-day access
Features: The sheer amount of content found in the Hooq (hooq.tv) collection is immense. Fans of Star Cinema, Viva Entertainment, and shows from GMA 7 will revel in HOOQ’s frequently updated library. The lack of curated lists makes their website tougher to navigate and their film content is composed of your run-of-the-mill Hollywood blockbusters mixed with a baffling number of Bollywood features. Also, the ability to download movies onto your devices makes offline streaming possible.
Stream now: More than 11,000 hours of television and films
Cost: P129 for 30-day access; P99 for Smart and PLDT Subscribers
Features: Perhaps the closest thing to Netflix, iFlix (iflix.com) is open for everyone, offering a lower price point for those tied to PLDT and Smart. While their collection is not as big as HOOQ, iFlix takes pride in quality over quantity, offering exclusives such as Mr. Robot and Fargo. iFlix caters to the younger set, offering playlists that are fun to browse. They also offer shows from Comedy Central, MTV, and a few teleseryes and Koreanovelas. They also recently offered offline streaming so you can download your favorites and watch them uninterrupted.
Stream now: Everything ABS-CBN
Cost: P650 monthly for unlimited content
Features: TFC TV (tfc.tv) only serves one dish: ABS-CBN. Though that may sound like a downside, consider this: ABS-CBN is one of the biggest production companies in the Philippines. This means the app lets you in on popular shows such as On the Wings of Love or even old school greats such as Palibhasa Lalake. Their movie collection is also something to be excited about: from romcoms such as Got 2 Believe to classics like Anak and P.S. I Love You, TFC.TV can keep you locked in your house for days.
This article first appeared in Rogue’s 2015 Cinema Issue.