There are more options these days for watching television in Thailand. Gone are the days that TrueVisions dominated the market. Thanks to the speeding up of the Internet and online streaming, we no longer need to buy a satellite dish or subscribe to cable television to watch what we want. Online TV, or IPTV, is the future of our entertainment whether it be live TV stations from around the world or Video on Demand (VOD) streaming. The latest service I am going to review today is ILikeHD.
There are a number of different packages you can buy. These range in length from only two hours up to one month. The more packages you buy in one go, the bigger the discount you get. What I’m going to do today is to give you a “first look” review of the service. Basically telling you what you get and what to expect to pay. For the purpose of this review I bought all three packages. Video on Demand movies for 200 Baht, Thai Language Live TV for 250 Baht and English Language Live TV for 350 Baht. By buying all three at once I only had to pay 550 Baht which gives me one month to test everything fully. But, so far I am impressed with the speed and the interface.
On the home screen, you get to see a button for all of the Thai channels and another for the English channels. There are then various categories. Such as sport, children, documentary, news, music, variety and entertainment. There is also a button for current popular channels. At the moment the top 5 channels are Fox Movies Premium HD, Fox Sports HD, Fox Action Movies HD, HBO HD and Ch. 3. In the screenshot above, I clicked on “children”. As you can see, the first two are Disney XD and Disney XD (UK). This basically means that the first one is in Thai and the second in English. If you only subscribed to the English package you wouldn’t get to see the Thai version and vice versa.
The list of channels available is very extensive. There are a lot of movie channels like HBO and SKY. There are also news channels like CNN and BBC. And then the documentary channels like Discovery Channel and National Geographic. For children there is Disney Channel, Discovery Kids and Nickelodeon. What many people would be interested in are the many sports channels. Like CTH Stadium, Fox Sports, Sky Sports and BT Sports. I think nearly every sport should be represented. If you are a soccer fan then you should be well covered here. However, unlike ThaiExpatTV and 365Sport, you don’t get on demand TV. Which means you have to watch all the games live.
In addition to the two Live TV packages that I bought, I also got Video on Demand for 200 Baht. I basically have one month to watch about 1,500 movies in their catalogue. They also have TV Series. This is a new feature and so they only have about 100 titles and mainly season 1 for now. However, they plan to add many more soon. They also have about 150 adult movies in HD and 300 in SD. They say they usually update VOD once a week on Mondays. Usually about 40-60 movies a month. I should have mentioned before that these screenshots are from my Android box. There are two different “iLikeHD” apps you can download in the Play Store. Their icons are at the top of this page. One is for Live TV and the other for VOD. At the end of March 2015 they plan to launch a brand new app with new features that will combine all their packages in one. They also have movie players you can download for Mac OSX and Windows. For iPad they suggest using the Safari browser. However, they hope to launch an iOS app later.
In the Video on Demand app, the first screen gives you front cover shots of the latest movies. You also get a chance to sort them by popular this week, all-time favourites and various categories. The categories include: Action/adventure, comedy, drama/romance, children/family, sci-fi/fantasy etc. There is also a category for Thai movies. Not that many, but good to see that some have English subtitles. When you click on the movie that you want, you get another screen with a synopsis and a trailer for you to watch. You can also choose to use an external movie player and also the quality of the video. This is useful if you are playing on a mobile device or if your internet is a bit slow. All of this can be set as defaults in your setting.
Like I said, I’ve only been using it for a couple of days now and so will do a more thorough review a month or so later. However, I am impressed with the speed and quality so far. When I opened the Live TV app and clicked on different channels, it was amazing how quickly they started playing. Even the HD channels. It was almost like watching cable TV. There were a few channels that didn’t seem to work but the majority were reliable. It is also nice to have all the Thai TV stations including the new digital ones. If you are British you will like that it has all the BBC and ITV channels as well as Sky TV and a lot more. In fact, the English language package apparently has 331 channels and the Thai package has 348 channels. Though one thing I miss is TV catch-up. It is not easy to watch live TV when UK prime time TV is when we are sleeping. But, apparently they have plans for a 3-day catch-up service for some of their channels soon.
There doesn’t seem to be a free trial. But you can get a 2 hour pass for only 30 Baht. With that you get to see all 679 channels. (Please note some channels are the same but there will be a Thai audio version and an original soundtrack version). There is also a 3 hour pass for 40 Baht and a 5 hour pass for 50 Baht. Not bad if you want to test it out. Click here to sign up for free. Then buy “points” with either True money at 7-Eleven, Paypal, credit card or bank deposit. I used paypal and got my credit straight away. Next you buy the packages you want with your credit. Like I said before, the more you buy the more discounts you get. I think I have covered everything for now. If you already have iLikeHD then please post your experience in the comments below. In the next few days I will be doing a “first look” blog of the MrSkyTV box which is similar but has catch up TV.