27 July 2013

M1 MiBox comes with fresh look but lacks international contents

 M1 today introduces their IPTV offering with the new MiBox. Being the third telco in the market, timing is very important. These days most contents are stream through the internet. With higher speed fibre broadband, HD streaming is no longer an issue.

 In fact, M1 had a first try known as 1box. It didn’t work out too well at that time.  This time round, they use the technology from vodoke. The MiBox hopes to change it by emphasising on three aspects , that is Education, Entertainment on demand and More than TV.

Education offers a collection of education content designed for preschool to secondary which is definitely a plus for students.
Entertainment on demand is more on the video contents. So far, the on demand channels include ‘iConcerts Unlimited Pass’ at S$5/mth. There are 40 over Mandarin channels provided by KyLinTV. Most of it are Mainland China programmes ranging from news to variety and drama. A number of the are delivered in High Definition.
M1 MiBox
For Korean pop culture buffs, there is KMTV channel and it provided as a free service to all MiBox users.
Another is ‘Exploring China’ which prevents hi definition documentaries of the rich historical periods of China.
For Anime viewers, there is Viki for watching Anime. SPEDA (Singapore Polytechnic Emerging Digital Artists) showcases emerging digital artist  talents from the School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology is also free for MiBox users.

For paid channels at S$9.90/mth, there are over 45+ channels on KyLinTV. KyLinTV is a world leading IPTV service provider dedicated to servicing the overseas  Chinese communities. As the first platform that offers Chinese HD content and the largest selection of content in more than 100 popular TV channels and 30,000 hours of  VOD content from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan through multiple devices, KyLinTV currently provides 45+ of the most popular Chinese channels, including CCTV4 Asia,

 Dragon TV HD, ZTV International HD, CCTV Entertainment and Hunan TV HD, in Singapore.
The MiBox is in fact an android device and it enables you to run games, YouTube, Facebook on the large TV screen. Read ebooks and Skype with friends is all possible. You can surf the web for the latest breaking news like BBC or CNN just like what you usually do on the PC.

It is to my surprised that M1 isn’t carrying the linear channels from local broadcaster e.g. 5,8,U, SURIA, Vasantham and HD5 (HD) over the network. Other than KMTV, the other channels offered are subscription based. With MDA’s cross carriage agreement, M1 should be able to cross carry those non exclusive contents like National Geographic, Star channels but they didn’t. To me it is like an upgraded version of the 1box.

So, will M1 be able to leverage on the Chinese contents or should they follow the trend like two other smaller players of enabling users to subscribing to US, UK or HK programmes without IP restrictions ?

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