- Hotstar now allows paid users watch live TV channels on the app
- The content is the same as what youll see on cable or DTH
- Its only available for Android and iOS app users for now
While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video might be more popular the world over, Hotstar is the leading streaming service in India. The service's success is largely down to its competitive pricing and extensive catalogue of India-friendly content, including movies and TV shows in various Indian languages, live sports, and popular global TV shows. Hotstar has now expanded its offerings, to include various live TV channels available on the Star network. Some of these channels are Star Plus, Star Jalsa, Star Vijay, Asianet, Star Sports 1, and Star Sports 1 Hindi.
Gadgets 360 can confirm that select Star channels are now available live on both Android and iOS app of Hotstar. Live TV channels can be accessed through the Hotstar app by tapping on the TV section, and then selecting Popular Channels. The list of channels that are streaming live include Star Plus, Star Jalsha, Star Vijay, Star Bharat, Asianet, Star Maa, Star Pravah, Asianet Plus, Star Suvarna, Maa Gold, Star Utsav, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Hindi 1, and Star Spots Select 2 HD. You will needa subscription to Hotstar Premium or Hotstar VIP paid plans to access the live TV service. The Premium plan is priced at Rs. 299 per month or a heavily discounted price of Rs. 999 per year, while the VIP plan is priced at Rs. 365 per year, with access to only Star network content.
The live channels stream exactly as what you'll see if you're subscribed to these channels on a cable or DTH TV connection. This is good for users who don't want to select what to watch and prefer to watch what is programmed. Additionally, the availability of sports channels means that users will now be able to stream sports that may not have been separately available on the Hotstar service directly.
Notably, the Star channels aren't the first TV channels to be offered live by Hotstar, the service also allows its users to check out news channels like India Today, Republic TV, Sky News, Fox News, Fox Business, Aaj Tak, ABP News, News Nation, TV9 Bharatvarash, Asianet news, and more. In fact, the news channels can be watched on the Web version of Hotstar as well, something that is not available for the Star channels right now.
Meanwhile, Disney+ is also getting ready to bring its content to Hotstar on March 29, although there is no word on whether it will impact the Hotstar pricing. The service's name will, however, be changed to Disney+ Hotstar.