App

Singtel Cast: Streaming your favourite K-drama with data bonus

Singtel Cast is free but to watch these content packs - Viu Premium, Kids, Asian Hits and Hallyu - you need a subscription.
Singtel Cast is free but to watch these content packs - Viu Premium, Kids, Asian Hits and Hallyu - you need a subscription. PHOTO: SINGTEL

The Singtel Cast is Singapore's first over-the-top (OTT) video portal app, according to Singtel.

OTT refers to the delivery of media content over the Internet without the need to subscribe to a traditional TV or cable service.

Launched last month and available only to Singtel Mobile post-paid customers, the Cast is free.

But it offers four content packs - Viu Premium, Kids, Asian Hits and Hallyu - that you need a subscription to watch.

The Viu Premium offers a wide range of the latest Korean drama and variety shows, such as Uncontrollably Fond and Running Man, as well as the latest Japanese dramas like Love Song. But you need to install the Viu app separately in order to watch the content. You can also download some of these shows and watch them later.

The Kids pack includes live streaming of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels, along with other popular kid programmes such as Dora The Explorer, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

  • 7/10 RATING

  • PRICE: $4.90 per month (with one-year contract) or $6.90 per month (without contract) for each content pack

    PLATFORM: Android and iOS

The user interface of the app follows the Netflix style, allowing you to browse through content easily.

The Asian Hits pack claims to feature up to 1,000 hours of popular hit movies, entertainment and drama series from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. These include The Voice Of Taiwan, Chef Nic and Once Upon A Song.

While the Hallyu pack might seem similar to the Viu Premium pack, it offers live streaming of popular Korean channels like ONE, Oh!K and KBS World.

But it offers fewer Korean drama series that you can watch anytime.

The user interface of the app follows the Netflix style, allowing you to browse through content easily. It is also broken up into several categories, such as Most Watched Series, Latest at Viu and The Guest Zone.

The Guest Zone is for those who have not subscribed to any content packs, so they can have a taste of what the app has to offer.

There is a search box at the top right corner of the app. For example, if I want to find IU, my favourite Korean singer and actress, I just need to type IU there to bring up the shows that she has starred in.

The app also allows you to switch off mobile data, if you want to use only Wi-Fi for streaming.

The biggest downer, though, is that you can have only one active stream in one device, as the Cast app is tied to your mobile number. So, if your kid wants to watch The Fairly OddParents on Cast, you cannot watch Running Man on another device with the app.

However, the Cast app does come with a great data bonus. Each content pack can be bundled with 1GB of mobile data for just an additional $3 a month, whether you sign a contract for the pack.

Normally, an additional 1GB of mobile data will cost a Singtel subscriber $8.56 per month (without promotion). And since each pack is priced at $4.90 per month on a one-year contract, you actually pay less at $7.90 for 1GB of mobile data with a content pack.

So you can get 4GB of extra mobile data for your line if you get all four content packs.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: For those who do not subscribe to cable TV, the Singtel Cast app offers an affordable way to quench their thirst for Korean dramas. It is also a good way to up your mobile data limit.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Singtel Cast: Streaming your favourite K-drama with data bonus'. Print Edition | Subscribe