Currently Tinkering: HOOQ (Updated April 21, 2015)

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Update: HOOQ has replied directly in regards to my review. I have listed the items they are currently working on below. I do look forward to the future of HOOQ. We can’t wait to watch more new and old shows and movies. We have not updated our review since the current state of HOOQ is still the same. But we will update the review once we get more updates. Thanks.

I subscribed to HOOQ recently, because I really want to see TV and movies on demand locally in the Philippines. I have a feeling that the Philippine market is desperate for this type of service, if not, I am.

My initial impressions were, that signing up was pretty easy enough. But you do have to have a Globe number, preferably postpaid, but I think prepaid should work just fine too. You’ll need to subscribe through your Globe mobile number. You should get an email confirmation and a text verification code. Once you get that, you should be able to get in quickly. I just had problems with the site a bit, since it was using Silverlight (some kind of Flash counterpart made by Microsoft). I had to use IE to get it working properly.

I was excited to see that once you are logged it, you are immediately greeted with a bunch of shows. What I noticed is that the selection was very limited. Rather than me getting excited to see the shows, I got disappointed. This is not On-Demand TV, but an archive of semi-old shows, and some of them are not even updated.

hooq2 First, I tried to look for shows that started at least a year ago, like Marvel Agents of SHIELD. That didn’t show up. I look up some more. Okay, why not a movie, why not Hunger Games, that was a little more older. That didn’t show up either. I check out Chuck, it did show up, but 2 seasons only? The show lasted for 5.

Okay, I realized the site is not for the currently updated. Okay, I consider watching some older stuff. Why not the classic Alf, nope. Fringe? 2 seasons only out of 5. Rescue 911? nope, not available too. They do have Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 2, but the other Harry Potter movies are not available.

While looking through the movie list, I was surprised to see local movies. Why should I be surprised? I have no idea, I just have very little interest with local movies I suppose. But what bothered me is that the movies and TV  shows are mostly made by GMA Network, a rival of ABS-CBN. Because of that, HOOQ is showing that it seems like a one sided beast, just as the TV network rivalry that we have have locally. (ABS-CBN vs GMA, or Kapamiliya vs Kapuso). I really hate that. I hate network rivalries and actors exclusive to a specific network. So, if you are interested in watching movies or TV shows from the other network, HOOQ is not for you.

Another thing I noticed was, there were a number of Bollywood movies, Korean and Japanese movies. I think there are some Chinese movies too. I find that interesting, but I want to filter them out. Apparently, there is a terrible filter system. There were very few options. To really discover what you want, you really have to use search bar and hope you get the movie you search for.

In regards to video playback, okay, I tried watching something. I loaded up Ghostbusters. The video is okay,  in general, Remember, this is streaming video. It starts up pretty quick, but the video quality is so much worse than watching a video in YouTube. it seems like the video is designed for old crt TV sets. So, on a computer monitor or an HD ready TV, it’s a pain to watch the video, but if you just want to watch something on your spare time, it’s fine. But if you are looking for a great movie or TV experience, this is not it. They do have options for Closed Caption (subtitles), but I have not seen any of their English videos use this feature.

So, international movies and TV shows, the list is fine, not outstanding. There are some old, some new. But that’s the problem, “some”. I was disappointed because regardless of how old or new I was looking for, most of what I wanted to watch is not there. I was actually fine with the idea of this being an archive of old shows, but even that was a disappointment.

There is supposed to be a mobile app to watch HOOQ other than using a web browser. But I did have problems downloading the iPad app since my account is US based, and the app only can be downloaded if you are using an Asian account. Why am I using a US account? Because I can’t find a way to buy apps using an Asian account, while it’s easier for me to get an US iTunes prepaid card.

The website feels like a trap, because you really have no way to see if HOOQ’s web service will offer you TV or movie shows that you want when you first sign up in which you have to pay. It’s only when you sign up you discover if this service is something that you want to pay for. Considering it’s about PhP200 a month, There is no free trial period too. I presume a service like will at least offer a 30 day free trial service before you even pay anything. I don’t think it’s worth it at this time. I do hope that they improve their service soon, but without current shows or even classic ones that I am interested in, this is not their time.

Update: Peter from HOOQ sent me a reply in regards to things that they are working on.

  • On silver light, yes, we are aware of this. It’s a real pain right now and we are working to make it better
  • ABS v GMA: Actually, we are proud partners of both ABS and GMA. We are always looking to improve our catalog from both, so we note your feedback
  • WRT hollywood movies and TV, we have put a lot of time and energy into building a catalog for people who love stories and great content. We already have the largest catalog of any premium service in Asia. Having said that, we are not finished yet (in fact we are just getting started!). So, stay tuned for some exciting additions in the coming weeks and months ahead. In fact, you will get new stuff every month and we look forward to telling you about it.

Thanks Peter, now I do look forward for the future of HOOQ.

You can check out their site here.

TV Rumor: Thea Queen may turn out to be Artemis

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This is currently a rumor, that in the TV show Arrow (based on the DC Comic’s Green Arrow), the character Thea Queen (Played by Willa Holland), the sister of Oliver Queen (Green Arrow played by Amell) may turn out to be Artemis.

Fascinating news, I like the idea. 3 seasons in the series and episodes has been just getting better and better.

Currently Watching: Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (Episode 1)

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I’ve been curious to see this TV series for a while now. I’ve been hearing about it since it’s a bit similar to the classic Thunderbirds since the show is also made by Gerry Anderson, It’s a show fully made out of marionette puppets. It’s very rare to see a film like this, the only recent one I’ve seen is Team America, which is actually inspired from Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, although Team America is purely a comedy. This TV series didn’t last too long though, it only lasted up to 32 episodes. I know there was an updated version of this show in full CG that was shown in 2005, but it’s just not the same. Somehow marionettes has that unique factor.

I just started the first episode. I haven’t seen the rest of the series though, but I do find it fascinating. Thunderbirds is all about saving the world, but in this show, it was the “earthlings” (in other words, us) who started making the trouble and made enemies to the supposed to be peaceful alien race of Mysterons.

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Here’s how the first episode story goes. On the planet Mars, the Mysterons were at first trying to contact the humans, since they saw that they people are curious with the mysteries of the universe, they tried contacting us. Captain Black, the team leader who was doing a small expedition on Mars presumed the communication devices of the Mysterons were weapons, and blew the entire city of the Mysterons into dust. I wonder how dumb the captain was when I saw that.

Of course the Mysterons were pretty angry, who would not be, especially you were just trying to start a good friendly conversation and you were just punched before you can even talk. I’d be angry too. The Mysterons are now out to eliminate the entire human race. That’s basically the theme of the show.

Captain Scarlet, the main lead character is actually was possessed by the Mysterons in most of the first episode, but he was almost got killed, or whatever possessed him got killed at the end. From what I understand, he was killed by the Mysterons, and was reanimated to work as their servant, but got killed again. But somehow he healed up and now retains his human memories while retaining his reanimated body.

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I find the episode interesting, since it does have a darker theme than watching Thunderbirds. You do get to see a few deaths (or near deaths) in the episode, a suicide bomber, and the idea that humans are the cause of the alien invasion is fascinating. And the main character stars out as the villain in the entire episode which also turns out to be some form of zombie. I enjoyed watching it regardless that the series was done in 1967. I am curious to watch more on my free time.

TV News: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Midseason trailer

I can’t wait. Looking forward to see Skye use her Inhuman abilities.