HOOQ: Transforming the Way We Stream Online Video Content
It has been over month since my friends and I went to celebrate the Cebu Blogging Community’s momentous 1st year anniversary.
Being part of this premier community has its share of remarkable perks–I have a new set of friends who share my passion in blogging while I get to network with some of our amazing commercial sponsors.
Hooq was one of our major sponsors who partied with us that evening. They gave each one of us a 30-day free trial for us to test their service.
For the uninitiated, Hooq Philippines is Asia’s brave answer to the growing demand for online video streaming service with more than 10,000 titles of foreign and local movies and TV shows in its repository.
Hooq, in partnership with Globe Telecom, is an esteemed brainchild that sprouted from the startup partnership between Singtel, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television.
Hooq users can enjoy unlimited video streaming service both online and offline (you can download their content for offline viewing) across different smart devices like smartphones, tablets and computers.
If you’ve ever heard about Netflix, it works just the same but the only thing is that the latter is not available in the Philippines or the most part of Asia.
But don’t you worry, Hooq will be more than enough to satisfy our need to consume TV and movie content while on the go.
My First Access to Hooq
Luigi from Hooq sent me an email a few days later with a special access code so I can access Hooq for free.
I’ve noticed as I was in the process of installing my Hooq profile, that it did take a while for it to install due to some issues with technical specs. Nonetheless, everything went on seamlessly.
It will require you to add Microsoft Silverlight, a free web browser plugin that allows you to easily enjoy interactive media on the Internet.
Having breezed through the entire registration and installation process, I’m now finally on its main dashboard.
Everything seems well in place with thumbnails of the movie or TV shows plastered on its main feed, neatly organized in different genres like Horror, Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction, Local TV shows, etc.
Its interface is easy to navigate around with a convenient access to search box found on top to easily search for different titles.
You can also sort out your search by choosing either “All movies” or “all TV” or check certain genres to be able to pull out possible titles based on your search keywords. That’s no-brainer, right? I thought so, too.
Watching a Movie on Hooq
One of the first movies I’ve watched on Hooq was Due Date. It’s a funny movie starring Robert Downey , Jr. (Ironman) and Zach Galifianakis (Hangover). I’m not going to discuss what the movie is about so you won’t accuse me of being a spoiler, if you haven’t watched it yet.
Pros and Cons of Using Hooq
My entire viewing experience with Hooq was generally smooth but to give you balanced review about Hooq, here’s my list of the pros and cons.
- Registration and installation is generally fast and easy to set up.
- Its user interface is mobile responsive so you don’t have to zoom in and out on the screen. It will display the content according to the size of the device used.
- Navigating around the site is very intuitive.
- The search box is a nifty little tool that will make it easy to search for titles of movies and TV series.
- If you’re not sure what videos to watch next, it has a smart suggestion feature where it suggests similar content based on the current genre you’ve watched or the kind of content you usually watch.
- It displays a short description that you can read before viewing the content.
- All important buttons like Start/Pause, Volume, Video Quality and Screen Display is all within reach below the video.
- I had no major issues with the audio quality.
- Sometimes, it tends to pixelate some scenes.
- There are times when it logs you out if you’re watching for say about 40 minutes. I’m not sure what’s the science behind this but I hope they will fix this bug soon because it is really annoying.
- Their movie library is fairly limited. Some of the popular movies I like to watch is not available. My guess is that for users on free service, the choices would not be that wide. I might try to upgrade to their premium service one of these days to prove if this is true or not.
- Since Hooq is in partnership with Globe, you can’t really view as much as you want to since there is a data cap imposed by Globe. When I used my Tattoo 3G USB stick, I was only able to watch one movie before Globe sent me, what seems like a death sentence, stating that they are reducing my Internet speed because of my bandwidth consumption.
It’s interesting to know how far technology has brought us and I wouldn’t have imagined before that I will be viewing my favorite TV shows online anytime, anywhere. It’s great to have Hooq and other similar video-on-demand service because they made our lives far easier.
No more waiting for TV show schedules or lining up at movie theatres. Rest assured, online video streaming has transformed the way we view and consume content and it will be here in the long haul whether we are ready or not.
If you wish to know more about their service, click right here.
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