Indian Streaming Services! Which Ones Should You Be On, Which Ones Should You Avoid?

This is such a silly post topic. It’s not analytical or original or anything, it’s just useful. BORING!

I’m going to list out all the streaming services that matter for Indian film with whether you should be on them or not and why. And then you all can add information in the comments if you want.

Netflix: The best. Everything has subtitles, everything plays on every device, and they have a growing library of Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. They even have some Pakistani stuff! The only downside is selection, they are missing certain major classics of Indian film (like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, for instance). And while their southern selection is growing, it is still only a handful of films. Definitely get a subscription and start here, but be prepared to discover the exact thing you want isn’t available. https://www.netflix.com/browse

Amazon Prime: The Worst. Amazon Prime has two categories of films available, the ones that went directly to Prime without stopping anywhere else first and the ones that are part of the Eros Now channel. Eros Now was the first international streaming service, but they haven’t really updated since then. The subtitles work or don’t work at seeming random. It’s hard to figure out which movies are available, which are Prime, which are available but you have to pay extra, the search feature lists them all and you can’t tell until you click on them. The only upside is, most of the Prime movies (especially the Yash Raj Films, the most important ones) are available both on Prime and for cheap one time rentals on youtube and googleplay. Most important tip with Prime, watch on a laptop or desktop computer if possible. For some reason the subtitles are more likely to play there than on a phone, a tablet, or a smart TV. If you have Prime anyway for the shipping advantages and the non-Indian content (which I do, Murder She Wrote!!!), you can always try to get the Indian stuff to play, but be prepared to have to pay for it elsewhere. If you have Prime only for the Indian content, cancel your subscription. https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Video/b/ref=sv_atv_logo?node=2858778011&ie=UTF8

Hotstar: The one to get if you are serious about Indian film. Hotstar is the streaming channel of Star TV. Star TV is one of the major TV companies in India. They have separate channels for each language in India, multiple separate channels, and are starved for content. Over the years, to fill up those channels, they purchased the rights to thousands and thousands of films. And then neatly transferred those satellite rights into streaming rights. They have over 800 Malayalam films. 400 Hindi. Tamil and Telugu are weaker (I’ll get into that in a moment), but growing. Not everything has subtitles, it is true, but most things do. And you can see in the description whether they do or not (unlike Prime where you just have to press play and cross your fingers). Most importantly, Hotstar buys exclusive rights. And they know the market. Every hot film from the Malayalam industry, or sleeper hit from Hindi, or crossover hit from Tamil or Telugu, they snap it up while Prime and Netflix are still wandering around going “wait, are you telling me that Badhai Ho was a big hit? Maybe we should find out who has the rights to that?” Hotstar had some issues with their apps and functionality right after they launched in the US, but it’s much much better now. I never get buffering delays, I can play on any device, and I can search by actor and director as well as title. The only downside is that they still try to sell you on their own content. You have to dig through tons and tons of soap operas before you can find the movies you want. It’s not great for browsing. But if all you watch is Indian stuff and all you care about is Indian stuff, cancel everything else and get Hotstar. If you like Indian stuff but still like seeing Hollywood sometimes, Hotstar and Netflix. https://us.hotstar.com/

Einthusan.com: The illegal one. Here’s the thing with Einthusan, they are streaming DVDs that are illegally file shared. But a lot of those DVDs are out of print or just plain unavailable internationally. So there’s no other way to watch these films. And no one really cares. The producers of the movie don’t care, they are just happy people are seeing their films. The rights holders don’t care, they don’t have the money to make DVDs and no one wants to buy their streaming rights so it’s not like this is digging into their profits in anyway. Even the DVD store owners don’t care, I’ve had them hand me a piece of paper with “einthusan” written on it and advise to go there instead of trying to find a DVD. The only one who cares is Hotstar (unfortunately). So you may find a fair number of movies that are available on Hotstar are not available anywhere else, even einthusan. The other downside is that the buffering takes forever, and it is very hard to stop play in the middle and pick it up again. And the ads make it even worse. I recommend paying the $25 to get an account so you don’t have to deal with the ads. And then downloading the film and watching it that way instead of live streaming so you don’t have to worry about buffering. https://einthusan.tv/intro/

Zee5: Zee is the other major satellite TV company, like Hotstar they have lots of rights to lots of films exclusively. They are planning to launch in America soon, which means right now the American market has the worst of all worlds. In preparation, Zee has pulled all their content from other services, and even started badgering einthusan. But they still haven’t launched, which means those films aren’t available at all anywhere right now in the US. Also, I have heard from the DCIBers who are in countries where Zee5 is already launched, that it isn’t that great. They don’t have subtitles for most content and they don’t seem interested in getting subtitles. I’m on the list to be notified as soon as they are available in America, I encourage you all to get on that list too and then set up a trial account, but be ready for it to be horrible. https://comingsoon.zee5.com/comingsoon/index.php

Tentkotta/SunNXT: This is where all the Tamil/Telugu movies live. And it’s not great. Very hard to search, most of them don’t have subtitles, very hard to cancel your subscription. I wouldn’t recommend it. But it does answer the question of “why are there so few Tamil/Telugu films on Hotstar compared to Malayalam?” It’s because they already sold their streaming rights here. https://www.tentkotta.com/

Spuul: Don’t even bother. At some point in the past, this was a decent streaming option. And as you search the internet for “good Indian film streaming services”, you will run into a bunch of old comments suggesting it. I never bothered with it myself, because at the time it was useful DVDs were still easy to find for sale or rent. And by the time DVDs were no longer readily available, Amazon and Googleplay and all the others were getting bigger and better. And einthusan of course is the same thing, but better. https://spuul.com/

Hoopla: Hoopla hoopla! They are great. It’s the streaming service that libraries use, you probably have access to it through your library. They have a weird random collection of Indian films, but definitely worth checking out. https://www.hoopladigital.com/

Youtube/GooglePlay: In case you haven’t noticed, these are the same thing. Different platforms, but exact same content. And they are really great. Good subtitles, easy to search, accurate descriptions, platforms that work on any device, I love them!!!! The most expensive rental option is $3.99, which isn’t bad, and the cheapest is 99 cents. Most of the stuff that is also on Prime is 99 cents, and I would far rather pay a dollar and just watch the thing than struggle with Prime. If it’s on googleplay/youtube, and it’s less than $2, I usually just buy it there rather than bothering to find it on Hotstar or Prime or even Netflix, because the platform and subtitles and everything are just better. https://play.google.com/store/movies?hl=en_US

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41 thoughts on “Indian Streaming Services! Which Ones Should You Be On, Which Ones Should You Avoid?

  1. Okay. Sold. was just getting ready to add a streaming service to supplement Netflix. I’ll stay with Amazon as I don’t pay anything for it, but based on the above excellent and not at all boring post, I’m giving Hotstar another try. They had turned me off with their vague advert and vaguer still answers to my questions. But they did at least answer, which is a plus. Here I go!

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  2. Hi, Margaret,

    Feel free to tell me to mind my own business. But I don’t think it serves you, the blog, or us, your readers, commenters, and supporters, well to trash talk your own posts. The joy of this being your blog is that you can write about whatever the heck you want! And we wouldn’t be here reading if we didn’t enjoy you writing whatever the heck you want! If you say bad stuff about yourself and your work, some people will start believing you. This is also a gendered thing–women talk smack about themselves much more than men do.

    Ok, now I’ll actually read the post, but that first line got to me. Thanks for considering! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • My mother says this to me ALL THE TIME!!!! And i am sure you say it to your daughter, especially as she gets older. Also, my mother says don’t apologize all the time for things that you shouldn’t apologize for (“I am so sorry I got sick and have to take a day off work”).

      Liked by 1 person

      • On top of that, your “silly boring post” comment makes no sense. For a site that reviews both past and present films and encourages readers to watch the movie before you post the review so that the comments section can be one of active engagement, the information you’ve posted here is actually a quite vital and necessary primer. In fact, I’d suggest that this post deserves it’s own direct link somewhere in your menuing system 🙂

        Procras, maybe instead of self minimization, Margaret was going after the “humble brag”? That would be gendered as male behavior, but maybe our interpretation of her behavior is itself gendered? 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • Actually it wad going for “minimizing the content so i don’t get sued by Amazon”. In a gendered way, using my persona as a sweet harmless little girl so they don’t see me as a threat.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I probably will have to say it more as she gets older. Grrr.

        Re: over-apologizing, I was really helped by an older woman at my propane company job, just after college, who had a “swear jar” for me. Every time I said “sorry” for no reason, I had to put a buck in. We ate a few lunches on that money that summer, lol. But it trained me out of the habit. Sometimes I find myself relapsing, but I fight it! And I’m almost 50!

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        • Doesn’t SRK say that you have to *believe* you are the best to be the best? That being said, being overly self-deprecating is totally a girl thing. Guys promote their accomplishments, women tend to downplay theirs.

          My oldest daughter is one of those who flies under the radar: tiny, acts a bit ditsy, definitely a bit klutzy, very motherly … and then she kicks your ass and kills the curve in law school.
          My youngest *literally thinks and acts like a guy.* She kicks ass and makes damn sure you know it. Frequently. Loudly. All 4’10 of her. She will undermine your self-resolve and crush your dreams before you even try. F’reals. She’s the kind of person who is either going to donate large sums of moneyed and have a building at her alma mater named for her, or, should they piss her off, will burn everything to the ground and make sure no student ever willingly crosses the threshold again. She will shut you down.
          I am currently trying to convince her to get a degree so she can make movies instead of becoming an attorney. She’ll probably do both.
          She scares me.
          You should hang out and learn from her Margaret!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know about Hoopla. Cool! I found that Netflix has better subtitles on JHMS and Zero than Google did. Not sure about other movies. Maybe I’ll ask for Hotstar for my birthday or something.

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    • I think I would say, if all these services have the exact same film available, Netflix first. Then googleplay. then Hotstar. But if I am searching for a rare film, I would expect it on googleplay before Netflix, and Hotstar before googleplay. Which makes sense I guess. Netflix has a limited library so they can work to make sure each film is the best possible version, while googleplay and Hotstar just have an overwhelming amount of content and can’t possibly police it all.

      I wish I could give you the prices for all of these, but Hotstar just radically changed their structure and I still haven’t figured it out. They went from one yearly fee to monthly, with a premium and regular option. And maybe now they are back to yearly? Anyway, it’s still in the same range as Netflix and the others for the cost, I just can’t figure out what it is exactly. They really should be giving me kickbacks at this point (but they aren’t! I swear!), because I am telling everyone that they are worth the money, and in fact you just can’t survive without them. They have so much stuff, you can download movies for no extra cost, it plays on your TV, your tablet, your phone, and your computer, and they take the time for interesting stuff too. Plus, Koffee with Karan with subtitles legally right after it airs!

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:03 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t had any problems with Amazon or Einthuan, either free or member. I use Roku as my command central, perhaps that’s why? Nowadays new Hindi movies are all subtitled on einthusan amazon and netflix. Make sure to click on “subtitles” in the menu above the movie poster and choose English (or your language of choice” because the default setting is Subtitles Off at first until amazon retains your settings. I have a flat screen tv with hdmi inputs, one is for roku, another is for chromecast, which i recently added so that i could cast einthusan to my tv and YouTube and Photos from my Android smartphone to my tv. Really i should just get a smart tv.

    Which are the best indian OTT platforms for original steaming content? I’ve watched a few original shows on ALTBalaji, a Google search tells me that Criminal Justice (Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi, Jackie Shroff) is on Hotstar, and Smoke (Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Tom Alter) is on ErosNow.

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    • I have had a horrible time with Amazon subtitles on my Roku. They will play on my laptop, but not on my TV and sometimes not on my phone. It’s the ones that don’t have the option of adding subtitles, they just play with subtitles (on my laptop), but on my Roku I cannot get them to come up. I’ve seen the same thing at a friends house with a different platform, and I’ve contacted Amazon and been told “have you tried turning it on and off again?” (no really). This is on my new Roku that I bought 6 months ago, and my old one. I’m sure it’s all a combination of what TV I have and everything, but I have never had this problem with Netflix or the other platforms, it’s Amazon specific. And worst of all, they have no interest in fixing it. I do think it is an ErosNow thing, Amazon doesn’t have control over that content so it doesn’t work right. But then they shouldn’t have signed a contract with ErosNow!!!!!

      I have had good luck with Einthusan in general, but I have poor internet (well, poor for supposedly high speed American internet). It’s clearly the fault of that more than the website itself, it works really good on my phone when I use my data. And I’ve also had good luck with using chrome cast with it. But again, I have the same poor internet speed with Netflix and Hotstar, and they adjust (usually just make the picture blurry but keep streaming).

      I think ALTBalaji is still the best for original content, but I don’t know how fast that will change. Netflix and Prime are both jumping on it, and Hotstar is running behind them. I wouldn’t be surprised if ALTBalaji ends up being purchased by Hotstar or Zee in the near future. They are both eager for high quality content to get people to subscribe to their platforms, and the Balaji stuff is high quality but doesn’t yet have much of a penetration. Hungama is trying to start a platform too, I think there are a few, but I suspect they will all go for a little bit and then get bought by Zee or Hotstar or Prime or Netflix. Might not be worth it getting an extra subscription, especially with all the new content Prime and Netflix and Hotstar and rushing out. Star TV recently shut down their satellite service overseas, they want all the overseas market on Hotstar now. And the best way to get the overseas market to convert is to give them high quality Indian miniseries, just like you could find on any other streaming service but in Hindi. And Zee5 (if they ever open up in America) is going to be making the same push.

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Amazon and youtube both seem to have that problem with the subtitles, they are somehow a separate file floating on top and they get out of synch or disappear, or flash by to fast, or you just can’t access them to get them to play. Rajshri is the channel I like best on youtube because they use prints with the subtitles embedded.

          What I can’t understand is that youtube and googleplay are using the same rights to the same film, and yet on one the subtitles are perfect and on the other they aren’t. It must be something technical about how the files are loaded between the two systems. Even more mysterious with Prime, I can tell that the subtitles I use for other non-Indian content (because I am an old lady and I use subtitles for absolutely everything I watch) are built differently and play differently than the Indian content subtitles. That’s what makes me think it is really an ErosNow problem, not a Prime problem.

          On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 3:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I’ve been haranguing Amazon about Aurangzeb’s subs. They’re the subs for Ek Tha Tiger. Amazon hasn’t changed them yet but they did make Aurangzeb unavailable for now. I’ve run into wonky subs on Amazon before. Plus, a film might be listed as subtitled when it isn’t, or you click on a certain film and find out it isn’t available “in your area”. Aside from that, there’s quite a list. And I like the Cast Info feature.

    Had Eros Now for a while. Glitchy, useless, unresponsive navigation. Don’t want it anymore.

    My streaming platform is roku w/o a smart TV. Don’t exactly know what Chromecast is, but I can see my photos as well as play any video I download to my laptop or Android on TV. Ten year old grandson hooked me up.

    And now…tah-dah! I’m an official Hotstar subscriber. Have already added half a dozen films to my Must Watch list. Please God I live that long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chromecast lets you cast the image you see on your phone or laptop through google Chrome onto your TV screen. It works best with Netflix, youtube, and googleplay. But if you have Roku, you already have that option.

      What you are missing is the ability to cast Einthusan to your television. But that’s something that works when it works, and doesn’t work at all when it doesn’t. So probably not worth getting Chromecast just for that. You can watch Einthusan on a computer.

      You can get Hotstar on your Roku too (that’s how I watch it), that was the first big advantage for me over the other funky Indian streaming services. And then they’ve improved and improved over the years and now there are lots of advantages. And now you should watch Ranam!!!!! I think you will really like it. That, or Premam. Or Ohm Shanti Oshaana. Those would be my picks for your first Hotstar film to celebrate.

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 12:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried Hotstar but couldn’t get it to play but that was a while ago so I should try it again. I paid for the Einthusan sub, absolutely worth the money to get old films that are impossible to find elsewhere. I do not use Einthusan for recent releases except in cases (Badhai Ho, ahem) where it’s only available on a platform I don’t have access to. Otherwise, I pay for legal content when that option is available to me.

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    • I’ve reached the point where I am more willing to use einthusan for Amazon content (Hasee to Phasee, for instance) than Hotstar. If it’s on Hotstar, they make sure I can actually watch it, it doesn’t suddenly become unavailable or have subtitles that never appear. Hotstar made Badhai Ho available, with good subtitles, streaming on all platforms correctly, and easy to find on their home page, about two weeks after it left theaters. Amazon (or their partners, which ultimately still means Amazon since they are signing those contracts) just doesn’t seem to care.

      Anyway, yes! Get Hotstar. Boy, if I were getting a commission, I would just be raking in the money today. I should contact them and ask for a kickback 🙂

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I think this is a very interesting topic.

    I use Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar now in that order for my movie consumption, I used to use Einthusan & Youtube previously, but stopped Einthusan fully when the ads became unbearable. I consume mostly Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil content in that order again. I don’t need subtitles for any of them, but my wife prefers watching with subtitles so some reason.

    So with that background, my two cents about these streaming services are. I think Amazon Prime has the best selection, I only watch the movies that show “prime” in the image, so I don’t pay Eros or anyone else, just the prime subscription that I am already paying for. Its not a big selection, but personally I think there is regular addition of content or good movies, whoever is buying it has a good taste especially for Malayalam movies. Do check out “ente ummante peru” (Tovino) and “Nonsense”. I did not know these movies even existed, but it was in prime and it was great. Very poor search tools, I must agree.

    Netflix has some, but I am not impressed, they have some originals with no name actors, and since there is minimal ways to know if them content is good (as they don’t have reviews..) I am vary of wasting time on their cookie cutter content. That’s what I think about their English originals, they look like they have been inspired by a statistician who thinks 80% of our viewers would like a Sci-Fi plot that include XYZ elements and has these kinds of actors etc. End product has great initial appeal, but never fully satisfactory.

    Now coming to Hotstar, I only have it because I can watch the cricket matches, In the last 5 months, I have literally seen only about 10 movies that I would like to watch added in the 3 languages. I am always like, why is the content not getting updated. Also their search feature needs a look into, maybe beause they have so much regional language content, the search is not great, but maybe they need a filter for language on top. Maybe for someone into watching serials this is a great choice, but that is just not me. I still think it was worth it for the cricket and election coverage.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In Italy, the situation is very different. Hotstar is not available, and it’s the worst thing. We have Zee5 but who needs it? Really I want this platform to just die and disappear, I hate it so much.

    I was nagging my husband to have Netflix for weeks, because I was sure it’ll be amazing, and it was one big disappointment. Very few Indian movies, southern films absent (at the moment I subscribed, now we have maybe 5 Tamil movies and it’s only Mersal, Spyder, Petta and something else, in few words exactly the type of movies I avoid). They add Indian content very rarely and only “gems” like Baazar or Thackeray.

    Prime – I used to complain about it, but now after seeing what Netflix offers I absolutely love it. New movies in different languages added frequently. A lot of funky bengali and marathi movies nobody remembers. At least one telugu new movie a month (except Jersey 😦 I was 100% sure it will be on Prime like the last 2 Nani films , but I just read it will be on Zee5 from tomorrow)

    Einthusan – it worked terribly on Firefox. I have no problems when I use Chrome.

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  9. I am a charter subscriber to Einthusan. They were there for me when no one else was!! I don’t generally rewatch on that platform but they do have films no one else does. I watch Netflix and prime equally. And see this topic isn’t boring. Everyone had something to say!

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  10. So far I’ve had no issues casting einthusan from my smart phone to my chromecast. No buffering, no commercials. The only glitch is if you pause a movie for too long (let’s say 15 min), then try to resume, it just ends up restarting the whole movie. That’s with or without chromecast though.

    Chromecast also allows you to cast from apps that play well in the Google space but won’t play nice with Roku. DailyMotion and Google Photos are two examples.

    DailyMotion is great during KwK season because people always post the episodes there, whereas YouTube gets more closely monitored.

    The YouTube search mechanism and UI on roku really sucks, so at home I just prefer to search on my smart phone YouTube app then cast to my chromecast.

    Stateside, AltBalaji is available via their website, their smartphone app, and their Roku channel. It’s really easy to subscribe and unsubscribe and resubscribe.

    Hotstar – re cricket, does it carry both IPL and international? I pay for Willow TV right now for our cricket because my family is only into international (not ipl). Good to know that they have a roku channel 🙂

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    • I think Hotstar has international cricket? At least, my Hotstar homepage is awash with ICCC content right now. They also offer a trial period, so you can always sign up and make sure they have what you want before you commit.

      With Einthusan, I’ve run into both pausing and then having to go back to the beginning, and not being able to pause, it just keeps playing no matter what I do. Neither of which are major issues, just a little irritating and reasons I would still prefer another service if possible.

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 4:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. So, I’ve complained about Zee5 before, with respect to dubbing movies rather than having subtitles, but my main problem is they do not allow mirroring, and it’s not really worth it to me to watch on my little tablet or phone. I’ve written to them to confirm this, but one of the other annoying things about them is that if you send a comment it takes them literally months to reply, and then they spam you with emails that say “REPLY IMMEDIATELY OR WE WILL CLOSE THIS TICKET!” and then they do in about 48 hours. So, eagerly watching my email to see if they answer.

    Anyway, my point: Zee5 will work with Chromecast, but I’ve heard Chromecast doesn’t work with subtitles. But apparently you’ve been using it with subtitled movies? If it works with Chromecast it might be worth getting, for a while at least.

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    • I haven’t had any problem with Chromecast and subtitles, but it probably depends on what platform you are using. Youtube subs, and einthusan, have both been good for me. Netflix too.

      On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 6:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. Let me add to the chorus that you should not apologize at the beginning of this post. This is a topic very much of interest to your readers.

    I’d also like to add a plug for my friend Kathy Gibson’s site: https://accessbollywood.net/

    She keeps up to date on new offerings of Indian content on Amazon Prime and Netflix. And tells you which films will be leaving, which is also important! I subscribe for email alerts just for this.

    Amazon’s search is so incredibly wonky and difficult. I frequently check her list first for a film before I attempt to search on Amazon.

    I’m headed off for a trip, and I love being able to load up my iPad with films from Netflix, Prime and Hotstar. I used to have ErosNow, but I’m glad I switched to Hotstar. Biggest perk for me is being able to watch Koffee with Karan with subtitles right after it airs.

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  13. I don’t know about Amazon Prime in the US but here in India all the movies have subtitles. Also, they pick up almost every new release here, barring a few which go to hotstar and Netflix.
    I prefer Netflix the least because I don’t watch any of their originals and the movies are all really old( except the odd Andhadhun or Sairat). I prefer Prime.

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    • This is so interesting, you are the second person to say something similar. I can see your reasoning, they do get rights to most of the new major releases. But I think for me and a lot of my readers, new releases are not the primary reason we are looking at streaming sites.

      If I am excited about a new release, I see it in theaters. If I am not excited, I won’t want to see it even when it hits streaming. The rare times I miss a film in theaters and want to see it later, I don’t mind hunting it out and paying the google rental for it rather than struggling with Prime. What I want from Prime is access to the older films, and their library isn’t the greatest for that, Hotstar is leaps and bounds ahead of them. And the older and less popular a film is, the less likely it is to have decent subtitles. Even if it is listed with subtitles, they just have more issues than the other services (10 second delays, suddenly disappearing for a scene and then coming back, not playing on all devices, etc.).

      On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 12:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I get it. I don’t get the time to catch every film in the theatre, and the over priced tickets also deter me from going to theatres. Hence I prefer Prime. But you’re right, Prime doesn’t have great South Indian films. Hotstar has more diverse content.

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  14. What an interesting discussion thread!
    I read all of it and finally got Hotstar, a cinch to do on my roku. Then I sat down ready to watch Ranam but decided to just sneak a little peek at Coffee With Karan first. Well, three hours later, I was still peeking. Damn show is addictive. Watched Prabhas/Rana/SS Rajamouli first, of course. Moved on to Saifeena, Harshvardan with his boring, motormouth sisters, all the Arjun Kapoor slots (saving the SRK ones for later) and finally had to go to bed in the middle of Ishaan Khatter/Shahid Kapoor.
    Prepping today for big Father’s Day/hubby birthday bash tomorrow. But come Monday morning, look out KJo. Here I come!

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    • The SRK Koffee episodes are amazing, he is so witty and funny and comfortable on them, some of his best interviews. He doesn’t go deep usually (it’s not that kind of show), but he let’s his humor go without worrying about offending people or being too quick. The only downside is, he keeps dropping into super fast Hindi, especially in the earlier episodes. If Hotstar subtitled those, I will be forever grateful.

      On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 7:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  15. The ones I watched were mostly later seasons. But I believe one of the Arjuns (Epi 2 or 3) was subbed.

    Question: I just dipped into the John Abraham one, didn’t watch all the way thru. But there was some talk about him being the “darling of gays everywhere”, (or words to that effect). Karan brought it up in a kind of carom shot but John said, “We won’t go there”, and KJo agreed not to.
    Is John gay? Is he publicly anti-gay? What’s the deal with not going there?

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    • Have you seen Dostana yet? It’s a Karan produced movie where John and Abhishek pretend to be a couple in order to rent an apartment. Lot’s of humor poking fun at assumptions and kind of teasing the audience with an against the grain reading. Part of which was seriously objectifying John.

      John’s always been really cool with be made into a sex object, and I am sure he must have known even in his modeling days that that kind of visual sexual excitement appeals more to men than women in general. I think him shutting Karan down on that path wasn’t about “I don’t want to talk about gay stuff” but more “I don’t want to talk about the jokey sexy stuff, I want to talk about more serious things that I am promoting now.” He really has fun usually playing with his gay fans (or female fans who enjoy thinking about two men together). For example, to promote a buddy cop comedy he did with Varun Dhawan, they posted this photo during the promotional tour. Which was basically saying “hey, faithful queer audience for John Abraham! I love you all, come see this movie because we will give you lots of fun things to enjoy!”

      I really love John (as do a lot of us). He’s Malayali, so from the most progressive feminist educated state in India. He started out as pure eye candy and owns that, no apologies or embarrassment. And he is quietly a very interesting producer, his first movie as a producer was Vicky Donor which was a sleeper hit and brought the topic of artificial insemination and fertility issues to the forefront of Indian society. And introduced Ayushmann Khurrana and made him a star. He produces interesting off-beat stories with interesting casts, and to pay the bills he stars in silly movies where he takes his shirt off a lot. And he doesn’t apologize for either side of himself. He was dating Bipasha Basu for years and years, they broke up, and he ended up married to a high powered Indian-American financial woman. She lives in America, he works in India, and he flies back and forth all the time to be with her. Can you imagine? Being just a regular American woman who secretly has this smoking hot husband that is a movie star but no one in America knows it? Not to mention a man who supports his wife’s career to the point of living a life on two continents, and isn’t pushing her for kids, and isn’t using her as publicity or anything for his movies?

      On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 8:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  16. I subscribe to Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Netflix, Einthusan and Acorn (mostly British stuff but once in a while something good pops up.) I really like Einthusan’s search protocol. Since I tend to obsess over different actors periodically, Einthusan makes it so easy – simply indicate the ‘language’, ‘movies’, ‘cast’ then ‘Top actors’/’actresses’ and ‘search’. I also like that the movies are then listed in order of release, from newest to oldest. Easy way to track an actor’s progress.
    One movie I have been looking for is Karan Arjun. Okay, I have the dvd but why pop it into my dvd player when I can search for the movie online and cuss when no on has it? Anyway, it is on Einthusan. I was able to watch it with no problems other than repeatedly pausing it to take the dog out, get the cat off my keyboard, take the dog out (again) and pull the other cat off of the curtains. (And give my flying squirrel a slice of avocado – but that’s another story.)
    Bottom line? Einthusan has become my go-to for Indian films, especially if I’m searching non-Hindi..

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    • Yeah, I know Einthusan is illegal, but their site is actually better than the legal sites! Easier to search, better subtitles, all of that. Hotstar is getting better and better, almost day by day. Seems like every time I login they have a cool new search feature available. But they still don’t have the library einthusan does, hampered as they are by actually wanting to buy rights for things instead of just throwing up everything they can find on DVD.

      Also, if it frustrated you to look for Karan Arjun, can you imagine how frustrated Shahrukh must feel? He’s trying to buy up the rights to every single film and those few he is missing must be driving him crazy! The Dharma and YRF stuff, that he must know he will never get, but Karan Arjun? Someone somewhere has the rights to it, he just has to track down that person and sit outside his door until he gives in and sells them.

      Do you think it is like landrights? When a developer has bought up all but one parcel of land and that one owner suddenly drives up his price knowing the value he holds? Maybe the few rights holders for the films Shahrukh doesn’t yet have are sitting there demanding crores and crores because they know how desperate he is to complete his collection.

      On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 11:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Maybe nobody has the rights, because the people and companies no longer exist. Or maybe it’s a quarrelsome group, like six people share the rights and they don’t get along. Maybe it’s one widow who doesn’t believe in newfangled technology and thinks movies should only be seen in theaters. So many possibilities.

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        • My personal rights mystery is Gautham Menon movies. He is a brilliant brilliant director, and one of the most successful directors in the Tamil industry. And his most recent film, starring one of the top actors in the Tamil industry, is completed and yet can’t seem to find a distributor? Almost all of his previous movies are impossible to get, even on Einthusan. It’s crazy! These aren’t obscure movies, they were hits, and yet they have disappeared as though they never existed. Gautham is also rumored to be a bit difficult to work with, there must have been some sort of weird pushback from the industry that is keeping his movies locked up. Or maybe he is keeping them locked up because he doesn’t think they are good enough to be seen? I don’t know, it’s weird!

          On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 10:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  17. Very informative, Margaret. I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon. Their fast forwarding feature, at least on my television, is terrible. My second issue with Amazon is that if it bought Eros, then why are some movies available on Eros that are not on Amazon (e.g., Manmaarziyaan was – and still might be – availale on Eros but isn’t available on Amazon). On the other hand, I love that they have old Indian movies that are hard to find and at many times of better quality than on YouTube. I have watched so many more Dharmendra or Sashi movies because of Amazon.

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    • Yes the fast forward! I wish they had a “plus 15 seconds” option, instead of their confusing jumping system that ends up making me lose my place. And the subtitles, and the confusing searching, there’s a lot not to love.

      What I noticed is that they have a good library, but it tends to be stuff I personally already have on DVD. Probably because they have a YRF deal, so those same movies were made available through the YRF DVD branch ten years ago and I snapped them up. While Hotstar and even Netflix is more like to have things that never made it to DVD, old and new Hindi and southern stuff.

      On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 11:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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