Better than cable, PirateBay, fake DVDs.

A Globe and HOOQ partnership can grant any Internet-connected device access to HOOQ’s 10,000-strong video library.

At P199.00 per month, this plan-based video-on-demand service may curb the Filipino habit of buying fake DVDs, of keeping their PCs on all night to download videos, and of waiting for cable channels to run the videos they want.

HOOQ, Peter Bithos, Video on Demand

HOOQ, Asia’s first video-on-demand service, will have Globe as its first distribution partner. So Globe subscribers get first dibs on HOOQ’s 10,000-strong video library with titles from Sony, Warner Bros., ABS-CBN, GMA, Regal Films, and Viva. According to Peter Bithos, CEO of newly-minted company, HOOQ, “The service is set to be launch in two to three weeks.” Until recently, Bithos was the Chief Operating Advisor of Globe Telecom.

HOOQ, Peter Bithos, Video on Demand, Globe

HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos walks the audience through HOOQ’s video selection screen before demo’ing how to choose a video to stream on his iPad.

[ Update March 12, 2015: You can now download the HOOQ app for IOS and Android. ]

Here’s what we know:

At launch, the 10,000-strong library consists of movies, TV shows, and TV episodes – this means Hollywood films such as Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Inception, and TV series like Gossip Girl, Friends, and Smallvile. Local TV and film content include local high-grossing films like Metro Manila, A Secret Affair, Shake Rattle and Rool, Ang Taning Ina, and classics like Dyesebel, Bagets, and Bituin Walang Ningning; high-rated TV shows like My Husband’s Lover, Mulawin, Tayong Dalawa, and Mara Clara are also included.

When subscribed, you can stream any video from said library from any Internet connected device.

At P199.00 per month, there’s no limit to the number of videos you can watch. This amount far outweighs the cost of buying a single movie ticket, or even 5 fake DVDs, or the number of hours spent waiting for torrent’d videos to download.

For offline viewing, you can download any 5 movies to a single device and change them anytime, but only up to five. The movies can stay in your device indefinitely. You can watch them anytime you like. There’s no watch-until deadline.

When launched, HOOQ will be offered as a plan-based service. It will also be offered as a bundled service with Globe’s GoSURF and Tattoo broadband services.

The quality of streamed movies are based on an adaptive bit rate. Movies start streaming a bit pixelated at first and then the service adjusts based on the quality of your network. This minimizes buffering.

HOOQ, Peter Bithos, Video on Demand, Globe

Above is a screenshot of the video UI of HOOQ when a video is loaded. Note the green light on the upper left corner indicating that network bandwidth is good.

HOOQ, Peter Bithos, Video on Demand, Globe

A start-up joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, HOOQ is set to change the way people in emerging markets consume and enjoy videos. Above, Left to Right: Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Vice President for Business Strategy Anuraj Shavantha Goonetilleke, HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos, Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Dan Horan and Sony Pictures Executive Vice President for Networks George Chung-Chi Chien.

HOOQ’s video-on-demand service with Globe as first distributor launches this February.


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