Getting access to legal international television content has always been a big problem. One has to jump through hoops of downloading illegal torrents and even then never being sure of the quality of the print. Add to it the wait and there is always the delay between when the show airs and when you get to watch it. Chances are that you’d already know what happened before you even get to sit down and watch it. Other options include buying season packs from iTunes by opening a paid US account or subscribing to services like Netflix, again with a US account, and having a VPN in place in order to mask your location. Both of these options not only turn out to be expensive but also very inconvenient. I have been beta testing a service that can change viewing of international TV shows in India forever. Also Read - Pirate Bay’s iconic .se domain name is back up and running
Ogle is an upcoming service that promises to bring the latest as well as older international television shows, Hollywood and Bollywood movies, as well as music. The beauty of the service is it promises to bring international television shows within 24 hours of them being aired in the US. Also Read - 5 Sony Pictures movie screeners appear on torrent websites after last week’s hacking
Backed by Pritish Nandy Communications’ digital arm, PNC Digital, Ogle aims to bring content to viewers irrespective of the device they want to get it on – televisions, PCs, tablets, smartphones – if there is a screen on which you can watch content and has Internet access, chances are Ogle is already on it or will be on it.
When it launches on September 22, Ogle will offer multiple plans to subscribers. The basic plan that offers unlimited access to Ogle’s services on five pre-registered devices, is priced at Rs 500 per month (taxes additional). The company has tied up with a large Indian telecom company and a Rs 1,000 per month (taxes additional) will provide free unlimited access to stream content from Ogle at over 1,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots plus a dongle optimised for access to Ogle wherever you may be in India at no further charge. The best out of the lot, however, is a Rs 1,500 per month plan that also offers a 2Mbps broadband connection without any FUP limit in addition to the benefits of the Rs 1,000 per month plan.
Ogle is also planning to launch set top boxes that will provide access to its network on televisions. However, unlike DTH services that require every television to have its own set top box, Ogle lets users use just one box for up to five screens at home (as long as the screen can access Wi-Fi).
I have been using Ogle for over two months now and surprisingly it has become a part of my lifestyle. With all the travel I do, I have never been a big television watcher. Heck, I don’t even own a television of my own. With no other means to follow television shows (I refuse to view pirated content), Ogle has served me well.
Streaming content on Ogle’s network has been a great experience so far with no significant stutters or buffering. You can switch on the fly from 1080p down to support even 64Kbps speeds, depending on your Internet connection. You can even scrub through and reach the desired point in the content being played without any significant delay. It is fast.
Of course, being one of the select few people to access the service, I don’t know how well Ogle will be able to scale up once it is available to public at large. Harsh Sabale, the developer of Ogle & CEO of PNC Digital, is confident that they are prepared.
The only shortcoming I can see at the moment is the lack of an option to watch the content offline, which would have come very handy during long flights and commutes. Sabale says being online-only is a necessary requirement at the moment to tackle piracy.
At launch, Ogle promises to carry over 150 international television shows (all seasons) that are absolutely current with their original telecast as well as over 500 English movies. It has already lined up Indian content as well as a large library of music from India and across the world to add in the coming months after launch.
Ogle is the best thing to happen to Indian viewers after cable television. The company plans to add more genres including concerts, sporting events and probably also become a distribution channel for content that regular distributors are not interested to distribute.
Pre-registrations for the service have commenced and you can sign up at ogleit.in.