Hotstar — Star India’s video streaming service that debuted in early 2015 has now introduced paid subscriptions on the service for watching “Premium” content. Called Hotstar Premium and available for ₹199 per month, it gets you access to a host of new “premium” movies and TV shows, including a bunch of HBO Originals such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep & True Detective as well as movies such as X-Men: Days of the Future Past and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The subscription gives you access to not just the premium content available today, but also the new content that Hotstar will add in the future. You can access this either via the website or via the Android and iOS app. Non-Premium content on Hotstar will continue to be available for Free. The Premium service is only available in India right now and you can only sign up using your Credit Card. There’s a 30-Day trial to get your started, and the company puts a ₹5 authorization charge to verify your card details, which it says will be refunded to you. Hotstar does not currently offer support for Chromecast or AirPlay, so you can’t actually watch any content on your big screen TV. Video quality is decent and you can manually select up to 720p.
Let’s face it, the only real reason you’d consider signing up for Hotstar Premium is because you get access to Game of Thrones and other HBO shows. Not only can you start watching the episode as soon as it airs in the US, but you also get to watch is completely uncensored. That’s right, you get to watch Game of Thrones exactly how David Benioff & D. B. Weiss want you to watch it. Most other content is either already available on other streaming services or is old enough that you’ve seen it already.
I just finished watching the latest episodes of the Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley on the service and am fairly content with the experience. Am I going to continue my subscription beyond the trial? I’m not sure yet.