PLDT recently invested heavily into iFLIX which is an online TV/Movie streaming service similar to Netflix.
You pay a monthly fee and get LEGAL access to a large number of movies and TV shows to stream over your internet connection.
If you’re a PLDT customer, it’s just 99 peso a month or free on some of their higher packages like Fiber. If you use another ISP then it will cost you 129 peso a month. At that price you’ll think twice about torrenting or buying a dodgy DVD of your favourite movie. Well that’s the idea if they manage to get more content on there.
It’s a direct competitor to the recently launched HOOQ (Globe) which costs P199 a month.
You can get a 14 day free trial of iFlix without giving up anything more than your cell phone number and email address. If you signup as a paying customer, you can cancel at any time, no long lock-in period!
The site is very easy to use and very reminiscent of Netflix. At the time of shooting this video, there’s a total of 368 movies and 238 TV shows. They’re generally older movies and the TV series seem to be 1 or 2 seasons behind. For some content you’ll find they have every season, for some they only have a couple of seasons available.
They have parental controls to limit what your kids can watch and even a dedicated kids section.
it’s not going to replace other media services but for 99 peso a month it’s provides a pretty reasonable catalog for when you just can’t find something you want to watch.
A traceroute of the host serving the content goes back to edgesuite / akamai and ultimately Vimond.
iFlix has both an HTML5 player and Silverlight player. You’d think the HTML5 player would be the default since it’s more modern, lighter and has better compatibility, but unfortunately most platforms are served with the Silverlight plugin.
You’ll see the HTML5 player served to Mac users viewing iflix in chrome. Using browser plugins, you can also force iflix to serve the HTML5 player on other devices, instead of Silverlight.
Both the HTML5 (Vimond UniPlayer) & Silverlight players use Microsoft PlayReady and make use of the Unified Streaming (USP/Code-Shop) platform.
iflix does not currently support streaming in HD. The HTMlL5 player doesn’t have quality control settings but the Silverlight player does.
The HTML5 player uses the MPEG DASH streaming protocol. The content is transmitted in tiny chunks, similar to YouKu in China.
There are no adverts and you can have up to five devices registered, although only two can stream at the same time.
A couple of small issues I noticed is that sometimes the faint black page overlay doesn’t disappear after closing a video. The sound volume on most of the media seems far too low and I have to max out my speakers. Films like Rush Hour should have subtitles for some non-english spoken parts but they’re missing. Subtitles are available for some movies.
Overall its a very smooth and enjoyable experience and I hope they continue to add fresh content!
If you enjoyed this iflix review, signup for a free trial and test it out yourself.