Mobile TV apps revolutionise digital entertainment
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Telecom industry has revolutionised the daily life of the general public in a number of ways. This holds especially true for people working round the clock, who are nevertheless connected to the latest news and entertainment through their favourite TV programmes. The majority of those working in offices and out on the field often face difficulties when they require immediate access to live television. However, the popular answer to almost everything these days is, “there is an app for that”.
Mobile TV applications offer solutions that meet the needs of such employees and students, allowing for a readily available and portable television set in the form of their smartphones and tablet devices. These apps are now widely used during lunch breaks and shorter breaks at the work place as well as numerous educational institutions across the country. One need not rush home or any other place with a TV to catch up with a favourite programme or sports match.
Mr Zeeshan Ali of NUML for instance, claims that he had a wonderful experience enjoying the Pakistan Super league on his mobile phone through the popular Smart TV App. By streaming a live feed of the ongoing matches right on his mobile device, he was able to keep up with the league while travelling or just sitting with his friends over a cup of tea at a roadside cafe. In this post 3G/4G era, a large number of people are using mobile broadband for streaming live content on their handheld devices. Since its advent, numerous internet and cellular service providers have launched their own versions of online TV apps aiming to capitalise on this trend.
PTCL was the first to introduce such a service through its SmartTV app. Later, other telecom firms followed suit with companies such as Mobilink, Nayatel and WiTribe aiming to cash in on the growing market for digital entertainment. Humayun, an employee of a private IT firm, believes that mobile TV apps are a good contribution towards the broader digital eco-system. “Whereas services such as these have existed for quite some time on the internet, the ease of accessibility provided by a smartphone or tablet has dramatically changed the scenario,” he said.
Most of these apps feature subscriptions to entire satellite television networks from across the globe. PTCL for instance has made available more than 150 channels through its SmartTV platform. More recent entrants such as Winet (by Wi-tribe) features over 130 channels, while Mobilink and Nayatel too are fast expanding their reach across a wide range of satellite and digital television networks. A notable feature of this technology over traditional television set top boxes is the ability to pause and rewind at one’s own convenience. Asma, who regularly uses the mobile TV app, said, “I prefer the app because of the ability to pause and rewind my favourite shows.”
Adding greater choice and convenience, it is truly a wonder to see how the growing popularity of mobile television is changing the attitudes of everyday Pakistanis towards digital entertainment in general. With the demands and rigors of today’s fast paced lifestyle making it harder for people to take out enough time and unwind, it is once again technology that offers solutions to fill such gaps.