Thanks to exclusive shows like Game of Thrones and exclusive rights to cricket tournaments and other sporting events, Indian streaming service Hotstar is having a good run. Although the company has done a great job in terms of content, its applications have disappointed even as the streaming landscape became so much more competitive with the entry of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
However, sources are now telling Gadgets 360 that Hotstar is making some changes that should address at least some of these issues. Perhaps most exciting about this is the fact that the company is trying to make it possible for people to download shows such as Game of Thrones within the Hotstar app.
Hotstar already allows users to download videos within its Android and iOS apps, much like the other streaming services. However, downloading and watching movies on Hotstar has some limitations. For one, it's only possible on the apps - but not on the PC, for example - and far more importantly, downloading is only available on a limited selection of content.
Hotstar Premium content, which includes its shows from HBO, movies from Disney and Marvel, is not available for download. This is because of the kind of licensing agreements in place, but given how unreliable connections can be in India, it's a desirable feature to have.
According to one source in Hotstar, talks are currently underway with "HBO and other premium content providers" to secure the download rights for these shows. However, our source added, "this is a long-term conversation, and it's not going to be resolved immediately. It could take months to happen, but we're definitely very keen to do this for our users."
A second source in the company also affirmed that Hotstar is working on this, along with another feature that a lot of people have been asking for. While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video support streaming some titles in up to 4K resolution, Hotstar has been limited to a resolution of 720p, that is not even full-HD resolution.
A source has told Gadgets 360 that this is something that should be resolved in the near future, adding, "we're trying to get it done in a month or so." We cross-checked this with the second source as well, who said full-HD is coming, and soon.
We discussed Game of Throne season 7 and what lies beyond on Transition, our weekly gaming and pop culture podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.