Although Netflix hasn’t officially arrived in Thailand, there are now at least four companies vying for the crown of being the best at supplying Video on Demand (VOD) to Thai consumers. I have previously taken a look at Hollywood HDTV. The other legal suppliers of movies on demand are Doonung and DooDee which I will be reviewing later. The latest VOD operator to launch is PrimeTime Entertainment. Kasidit Kolasastraseni is the CEO and he describes it as an online TV service operating at a premium level. “Our goal is to deliver video content to consumers quickly and on the connected device of their choice.” They are offering over 1,000 blockbusters and 2,000 TV episodes per year from copyright holders such as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures. The picture quality is Full HD and the audio is dts Surround 5.1. With HeadphoneX you will also get surround sound in your own headphones.
PrimeTime is offering three different packages. The first one is “premier movies” which you have to pay 100 Baht per movie to watch. Once the movie starts you have to finish watching within 48 hours. The movies above are a sample of these movies. They seem to be a mixture of movies from last year and older. Some of the movies coming in the next update include Big Hero 6, Boyhood, Despicable Me 2 and The Bourne Legacy. When you subscribe to the other packages you get some “free” movie tickets to use.
The second package is “movie buffet”. This is basically the main movie library. These are not new movies but there are popular movies from the past. You can see examples in the screenshot above. I have probably seen them all but it is nice to watch again on a rainy day. This package is 199 Baht per month or 2,388 Baht per year and you can watch the movies as many times as you like while your subscription lasts. During the first few months they will be adding new movies every week. Once the movie library has reached full capacity, some movies will be taken off at the end of each month. They also have a combo package of new rental movies plus movie buffet for 299 Baht per month. For this you get two tickets to watch two premier movies. A combo package for a year costs 3,588 Baht and you get 24 tickets.
The third package is “series”. If you sign up for this one you get to watch complete seasons of a variety of programs such as Homeland, Person of Interest and Arrow. Not many yet and only one or two seasons of each. However, more will be added next month. Coming soon include Criminal Minds, Castle, Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Graceland and Resurrection amongst others. This package is 299 Baht per month or 3,588 Baht per year. There is also a combo package that includes both the “movie buffet” and “series”. This costs 549 Baht per month (you get two tickets to watch two premier movies) or 4,788 Baht for one year (you get 24 tickets).
There are different options on how to watch. You can use smartphones, tablets, PC or an Android box. I’ve been using it for about a month now and I haven’t had any problems. Everything has been set up for both Thai and English speakers as you can easily switch between languages. The picture quality is excellent and there has been no buffering. You get to choose the audio track (Thai/English) or the subtitles (Thai/English). With the player you can pause, fast forward and rewind. On my iPad, though not the PC, I have the option to add movies to my “watch later” list. There is also an option to see the movies I have started to watch but haven’t finished yet. I can then continue at my leisure. To make it easier to choose the movie, you can browse them by different categories.
Overall, I have been impressed with the picture quality of the videos though I would like to see more of a variety of movies on offer to watch. I know it is only their first month, but I don’t think there is enough there for you to get your money’s worth. Certainly in the “series” package there isn’t much on offer. However, it is worth keeping an eye on them. My subscription finishes soon but I will be back in a month or two to see what changes have been made. For more information, you can visit the PrimeTime website.