Over the past few years, Astro has transformed itself from being just a satellite TV operator into a content aggregator by establishing partnerships with several global and regional streaming services. Part of this strategy led to the deployment of native streaming apps on Astro’s connected boxes.
Earlier this week, three new apps have been rolled out to Astro Ultra Box including beIN Sports Connect, iQIYI, and TVBAnywhere+. While the app themselves might be new to the connected TV box, all three companies were long-time partners of Astro and have provided the company with dedicated channels for its satellite TV service such as beIN Sports 2, 3, & HD, iQIYI HD, and TVB Jade, Entertainment News HD, & Xing He HD as well as Astro-TVB collaborative channel, Astro AOD.
As you may expect, there are indeed some requirements that customers need to meet before they can utilise these streaming apps. For beIN Sports Connect, it is available for customers with a Sports subscription while the access to TVBAnywhere+ app comes with Dynasty Pack customers or those who added Chinese Favourites selection into their subscription.
On the other hand, iQIYI is a true standalone service as it is not attached to any Astro package. That being said, Astro customers are able to subscribe to the service with a discounted monthly fee of RM8.90 for the Standard VIP subscription while the Premium VIP subscription costs RM12.90 for them.
As a comparison, the iQIYI Standard VIP subscription usually costs RM11.90 per month and the Premium VIP subscription goes for RM17.90. Regardless of their choice, the monthly fee is being billed directly into their Astro account and in conjunction with the release of the iQIYI app for the Astro Ultra Box, Astro customers can enjoy the service for just RM4.90 in the first month.
If you are using Astro Ulti Box in your home, you will still see the icons for all three apps on the home screen. However, none of these three apps are actually accessible there and weird enough, you will be shown a notice that says “Soon you can stream more apps on your Astro Box” while pitching the Disney+ Hotstar app at the same time if you try to run any of the three apps on the box.
Nevertheless, it is rather obvious that Astro is planning to roll out the beIN Sports Connect, iQIYI, and TVBAnywhere+ apps to Astro Ulti Box too. Unfortunately, the announcement earlier this week solely focus on Astro Ultra Box and the company did not reveal any plan or timeline to bring these new apps to its other connected TV box.
Meanwhile, you can head to Astro’s official website right here if you want to learn more on how to activate the new streaming apps on Astro Ultra Box.