Digital streaming service Hooq arrives in India

Backed by Hollywood biggies, Hooq promises streaming access to movies and television serials at a tempting price

Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Singtel tie up to bring their massive library of content to Indian viewers at just 199 a month.

DVDs are passé and piracy just ain’t cool. So what’s the Indian movie lover or TV fan to do when they want to watch something that’s not playing on their satellite connection? Till recently, not much. Sure, you’ll find a few streaming services around, but they’ve never really taken off. Hang on though, it seems video streaming service Hooq thinks it can shake things up with its library and pricing.


Hooq’s library contains over 15,000 titles

So what is Hooq? In a nutshell, Netflix for Indian viewers. But to simply describe it as a clone of the streaming service our pals over in London keep raving about, would be injustice. Why’s that, you might ask. Well, pal, Hooq might like to call itself a ‘startup’, but it’s backed by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros. What that means is we get access to plenty, and we mean plenty, of titles from their worldwide catalogue. That’s not it, though. Hooq’s also got plenty of Indian content in its collection, from new blockbusters to old classics, and even famous telly serials from the years gone by. In all, their library contains over 15,000 titles – in English, Hindi and many other Indian languages.   Yeah, Hollywood, Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood... they’re all taken care of.

You can watch movies on Hooq via your tablet, phone, or browser

But a great content library’s just one part of the streaming experience. What about the app? You get Android and iOS apps, with a browser player. There’s no Smart TV app yet, but Hooq’s working on that, and they say they hope to have the biggest Smart TV platforms covered soon. Of course, if you've got an Android TV, you’re covered. They’re also working on a prototype set-top box for the Thai market. No word on whether that’ll make it to India, but we sure hope it does.

Travelling? Offline viewing has got you covered

We’ve saved the tastier bits for later. Some of the features Hooq includes are advanced searching and filtering, multiple language subtitles and audio streams, and quality options for the bandwidth-challenged. But there’s something else that we think should be a hit – offline viewing. You get to download five movies or episodes for offline viewing at any given time. Long flight? Train ride? Off camping? Download what you want to watch before heading out. Subscribers also get to sign in from 5 devices at once, and can view two streams simultaneously – that should take care of that sibling who you know will be pestering you for your login!

Hooq’s still in beta, with a final launch happening soon, but with their comprehensive library, offline features and a surprisingly neat price of 199, we reckon it stands a good chance of making it in India.