HOTSTAR - A new app from Star TV network - A review

Star TV, a popular television network in India has recently launched a new mobile application - HOTSTAR. The app promises to assist in watching all your favourite Star Network shows on the go. Does it really fulfil its promise? Let us try to find out.


The new app from Star India offers you an opportunity to watch live TV, full length movies and a wide variety of Star network shows across a multitude of languages and genres - free of cost. No sign up or registration is required to use the app. Star TV network has assured of non stop access to the shows including live TV and sporting action.

Salient features

  • Excellent video quality even on 2G.
  • Option to download the videos for offline viewing. This is extremely helpful with the disastrous network speed in India.
  • Free streaming of a wide range of shows across a multitude of genres and languages.
  • You can rate the TV shows via the app.

Look and Feel/ User Interface

The app is currently in beta, but is quite user-friendly. The tiled layout is good enough to find the videos of your choice. Though the design is not something extraordinary, it does ensure great usability. There are tabs for separate categories like Featured, Sports and Movies among others.
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Inspite of being a free app, it does not have any ads or banners (although, there is a 1-minute promo video that plays at the beginning of every video). I could observe a smooth transition between the tabs thus helping you choose your favourite videos effortlessly. It also has a search icon to find specific video you are looking for. The app also contains the Like, Download & Share buttons. One can safely say the app is promising from design point of view.

Contents and Library

The app provides a wide range of shows without sign in across channels like Star Plus, Life OK, Asianet, Suvarna and Star World among others in the Star TV bouquet. The library is quite impressive given the fact that the app is still in beta and launched very recently. Star has promised that more videos will be added on weekly basis.
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You have access to a large number of language options including Hindi, English, Marathi and Kannada. Since Star India owns a host of television channels across different languages and genres, besides major sporting properties like Cricket World cup, EPL and ISL, there should be no dearth for content. You also have access to older shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Mahabharat, Saarabhai vs. Saarabhai etc. A few of the shows have more than 1500 episodes. The app says the movies are not available for download as it will infringe copyrights. I found out that some of the newer shows too were not available for download. Same goes for live sporting action as well.
The app seems to have limited library when it comes to International shows and movies.


The app needs a few performance tweaks. There is no option to select the video quality. The app itself adjusts the quality of the video depending on the connection speed. There is a one minute ad that plays before every video and you can not skip it. The playback is quite good on a slower network. The major issue lies in handling interruptions. If you get a call or text while playing the video and come back to the app after finishing it, you are taken back to the app homescreen! The video does not resume from where you left it before interruption.

Another frequent bug found was the spinner icon which does not go away sometimes even after the video has started playing. You are forced to shut the app down to get rid of it. Some videos downloaded do not appear in the Downloads section. You are not allowed to download it again as the option stays greyed out.

Parting Words

The app is quite impressive for the beta version. It is a nice addition to your smartphone if you watch content produced/released by Star TV. The biggest plus point for the app is that it is absolutely free. I just hope that the resume function after an interruption and the other issues above are sorted out in future updates.

Read The launch of Airtel Pocket TV app for Android devices

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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Author: Amit28 Feb 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Good honest review. It looks like you've used this app personally and have shared the issues you faced. I hope the developers take note of them and iron out the bugs soon. Great app, great review!

Author: Timmappa Kamat28 Feb 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

First of all, thank you for those motivating words. It always feels great to see your work appreciated. Coming to your observations, yes- I use this app quite often. It is really quite good for a beta stage. Hope the developers will fix some of the issues that have been reported.

Author: Timmappa Kamat19 Mar 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

The app has received an update today. A few issues have been fixed. This shows that the developers are paying attention to user reviews.
Crashes that were experienced in the movie genre have been fixed in this update. Also major issues with downloads have been resolved.

Guest Author: deeksha06 Sep 2015

How do I download a video on hotstar? Can anybody help me please?

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