Saturday, April 21, 2012

YouTube Movies (India)

There is no easily available source to watch or download films and TV shows legally in India. There are workarounds, alternates, and hacks to plug-in to a US-based source and satisfy our video demands. However, none of that can fulfil us like the real thing. In case you keep complaining about the state of affairs in India, and feel that you have to resort to piracy to get your dose of online films and TV shows, The Indian Geek would like to point out two websites that seem to have a good sprinkling of films and TV shows put together.

YouTube has had the new Films and Shows section for the better part of a year. You just need to head over to www.youtube.com/movies and you’re all set. Most of the films are age-old films that many may not care about; but you still get a good number of recent (read: released in the past ten years) films. With a film selection that’s laughable, YouTube interested us more with the TV Shows that they have to offer. Hit soaps like Sasuraal Genda Phool do not have the complete episodes online, but equally popular shows like Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah and Balika Vadhu seem to have full episodes online. We’re sure that the selection of films and TV shows here will not completely satisfy a TV-starved Indian, but it’s a start.

If YouTube has a relatively decent selection of TV Shows, BigFlix impressed us with their films available for online streaming. Many recent films are present, with separate sections for upcoming trailers and music videos. The playback, streaming and ease-of-use of the BigFlix website are all highlights. A major pain point for us was the unavailability (simply, the inexplicable absence) of the promised BigFlix+ service with higher-quality video. Clicking on the Ad banner for the BigFlix+ service takes us back to the main website, with only free streaming options listed. That’s a minor problem though, considering the fact that many recent films are available for free streaming here. Of course, when we say “many”, it’s a word relative to the availability of legal, free, streaming options for films in India. Considering the hundreds of films that Bollywood releases every year, the selection available at BigFlix is but a drop in the ocean. Still, it’s a hugely positive “drop” and we like it.

If you know of any other legal, free/paid, streaming/download options for viewing films and TV shows in India, do sound off in the comments below. Let’s leave the pirated, unethical options out, shall we?

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