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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

More access to foreign shows

ViewQwest's new media player streams content from overseas sources straight to subscribers' TVs. DERRICK HO reports
The Straits Times - June 6, 2013
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More access to foreign shows

Singapore fibre broadband service provider ViewQwest has unveiled a new media player that will offer movie and TV drama buffs an expanded menu of overseas shows that can be streamed to their TV sets.

Called ViewQwest TV, the Apple TV look-alike will give users access to a library of films and TV series from China's PPTV, BBC, Hong Kong's TVB as well as Hulu and Netflix.

Local content from MediaCorp's Toggle will also be available.

The new box runs on the Android 4.11 operating system and comes installed with apps from the video services mentioned above.

More apps from the Singapore Google Play Store can be added.

ViewQwest's latest box will work only for subscribers of its broadband and Freedom VPN (virtual private network) services. This allows viewers to bypass the geographical restrictions set by content providers.

Previously, customers were given an Apple TV or a Western Digital media player to stream shows, which limited them to content from Apple, Hulu and Netflix.

"The challenge that we had is that we couldn't take all the apps out there to a single platform for people to access content. Now we can," said Mr Vignesa Moothy, ViewQwest's chief executive.

The company upgraded its VPN service three weeks ago. Users now no longer have to manually switch to a separate network to access overseas content.

Its VPN service will automatically detect that you are trying to go to the website overseas, so there is no need to change network and it supports all the geographical regions at the same time, said Mr Moothy.

This is done using Domain Name System (DNS) redirection, where users essentially tap ViewQwest servers located in different countries to fetch the content, bypassing the geographical curbs.

Viewers must subscribe and pay separately for Hulu Plus and Netflix, and they need a United States credit card and address for that. Other services, such as PPTV and TVB, are free.

New customers will be provided with ViewQwest TV boxes. Existing customers can buy them for $99 each.

The box has one HDMI port, two USB ports, a network port and an SD card slot. It comes with a wireless mouse, unlike many media players that use remote controls or wands.

The box, available from next Tuesday, will come preloaded with several games, including Angry Birds.

derrickh@sph.com.sg

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