One of the ways to unwind for most employees, besides populating restaurants or heading to the gym, is watching movies (which is so easy nowadays as we can purchase tickets online even while in the office). Apart from watching movies at the local cinemas and at home, we can also watch movies online and offline, almost anywhere, anytime. In my case, my family choose to watch movies online and offline on iflix.
For most of us in Malaysia, the usual choices are Astro, iflix and Netflix.
Granted, Astro, iflix and Netflix are not the same, so it’s not quite fair to compare them. Astro is a cable tv provider whereas Netflix and iflix are on-demand entertainment streaming provider. They serve us in different ways but their purposes are almost the same.
WHY NOT ASTRO?
1. Hefty Fees
Like most Malaysians, we subscribe to Astro. However, when Astro fees began escalating rapidly as though it’s participating in The Amazing Race – we began to weigh our options. Plus, it’s really frustrating when we find some of our favourite channels which was previously included in our subscription package became unavailable unless we pay additional fees.
2. Actual Viewing Time
Our monthly Astro bill cost more than RM90 per month which was quite hefty considering our actual viewing time. The fact is, we were only able to watch Astro for a few hours per day during the weekdays – mostly in the evenings. And then, somehow, when we were in the house, weekend shows were not that interesting. We have sports channels too, but hubby could only watch them occasionally – usually games involving Man Utd.
And we had to skip the Malaysian reality programmes (usually aired on Sunday nights) because we prefer to wake up fresh for Monday.
3. Bundled Packages
There are so many channels on Astro that I never watch. Wouldn’t it be nice if Astro allows its customers to pay according to channels instead of by bundled packages? You know, like the A La Carte tv where we can choose and pay for individual channels?
4. Better Offers Elsewhere
Since there is a free 1 year subscription to iflix for streamyx subscribers, we decided to give it a try. We tried it on our devices – iphone, android, tablet and laptop (up to 5 devices can view simultaneously). In my experience, with streamyx, it works best on android.
With unifi, it would probably work well on everything.
STREAM & DOWNLOAD iflix
What is iflix? iflix is a Malaysia-based internet video streaming company which targets the billions of people who have smartphones (like most of us). Hence, the download features for smartphones, which to me, is really fantastic!
With the download feature, I can download up to 10 programmes into my device and watch them offline. Being the kids’ chauffeur, I always have time to kill, mostly while waiting for the kids at their school. Hence, most of the time, I would watch (or listen to) a show and take out my crafting thingy and will knit, crochet or cross stitch. In this sense, iflix would also be good for those who commute daily.
Like they say it on iflix :
….watch it whenever you want, wherever you want, 24/7 on your phone, laptop, tablet and TV.
And iflix was the first in Malaysia to offer viewers that option.
What about Netflix? What’s the difference with iflix?
According to Mark Britt, co-founder and CEO of iflix Group, “Netflix has just become the first global television network, they’re the biggest creator of original programming in the world…. iflix is at the other end of the spectrum, so we don’t think about big global domination, we think about emerging markets.”
Being the biggest creator of original programming, understandably, Netflix fees is higher than iflix. How much higher?
Well, right now as streamyx subscriber, we don’t pay a dime for iflix until August 2017. Non-subscribers could register and get 1 month free subscription. Once the free subscription ends, the iflix fees is only RM96 per year (as of 2016). Imagine the savings – more than RM1k saved annually when compared to Astro!
We considered Netflix too, because although the charges are higher (RM33) than iflix (RM8), the number of shows are substantially higher. However, when I was pondering between iflix and Netflix last August, everything on Netflix must be viewed online, so that was out for me. But since end of last year, some shows on Netflix can be downloaded and viewed offline. Still, how many shows can we watch a month?
There are still many enjoyable shows on iflix that we haven’t watched, and the number is rising weekly as iflix also update their programmes weekly, as far as I know.
Here’s a simple comparison between Astro, Netflix and iflix (as at December 2016):
BYE BYE ASTRO?
Not necessarily, as we haven’t cancelled our subscription, yet. Merely put it on hold. We are hopeful that Astro would revamp itself and be more in line with the preference of its subscribers. (Btw, I heard on the radio today that you can downloads programs & watch them offline via Astro on the Go)
If we were to resume our Astro account, it would be for the live sports telecast. But that won’t be in the near future because Hubby enjoys catching the matches live with his friends at local eateries. Frankly speaking, I am not interested at the moment because I want to be able to play, pause, rewind, etc, at my convenience, everywhere, anytime. And I definitely don’t want to pay for channels that I don’t watch at all!