StarHub Go Streaming Box – The future of cable TV
StarHub launched the StarHub Go Streaming Box last month, and it hinted a possible new direction for what’s to come for its entertainment content.
Though StarHub shared that the streaming box is meant to complement existing set-top boxes, after using the streaming box ourselves, we believe that we are seeing the future of StarHub Cable TV.
The StarHub Go Streaming Box is about two times smaller, in length and height than the current set-top boxes. When we saw it the first time, we knew that it’s going to fit well in all types of settings or theme of any homes.
What comes with the streaming box is a power adapter, an HDMI cable, an Ethernet cable, minimalistic-style remote control with the Google Assistant function and two AAA batteries.
If your house has a good WiFi signal or you intend to locate your streaming box in a WiFi-rich room, then you will not need the yellow Ethernet cable.
Setting up the StarHub Go Streaming Box
Unlike the StarHub Set-Top box, the streaming box needs some configuration before you can start binge-watching your subscribed programmes.
You will be asked to log into your Hub ID, which is the gateway to your subscribed channels, and follow the instructions displayed on your television through the Android-powered streaming box.
The configuration took me between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. What took the longest was the typing of my Hub ID and the password. The process could have been faster if the remote works like the LG’s Magic Remote or have a T9 layout for easy typing.
Once you get past the configuration, you will be greeted with the channels and programmes that you have subscribed. Of course, with the streaming service, you can also subscribe to new Go packages whenever you want through the box or your app.
StarHub Go Packs
Currently, when you signed up for the StarHub Go Streaming Box, you will receive a complimentary six-month Go Family package, which includes over 50 Live TV and Catch-up channels. Also, for a limited period, StarHub is also offering a six-month free Go Select package for new sign-ups.
The Go packs range from the cheapest, $4.90 per month to $19.90 per month. So take your pick.
Parental Control and R21 Pin
One of the common concerns that people, especially parents, might have is whether they will be able to restrict the types of programmes that their children can watch.
Long story short, the answer is yes.
Under your account, there are two options for you to do that. One is the Parental Control, which:
- restricts the channels that you want to block your children from accessing;
- prevents accidental purchase/subscription; and
- blocks content based on the rating level using a 6-digit pin that you set.
The other option is the R21 pin.
Many people might have forgotten that back in 2013, StarHub had started offering R21 movies on its On-Demand platform. Hence, the R21 pin is to help you restrict access specifically to such rating level. According to StarHub, if you have set the pin on your StarHub Go app, then you do not have to set another for your streaming box.
During my test, I did not encounter any lags in streaming my content. It did take around 10 seconds for the resolution to buffer before displaying the show in HD, but it’s normal even for Netflix. Speaking of streaming resolution, the streaming box does support Ultra HD 4K content – though they currently do not have any programmes broadcasting in 4K – and HDR10.
Running on Android TV Oreo
Since the StarHub Go Streaming Box is running on the Operator Tier version of Android TV Oreo, you will see Google applications like Google Movies, Google Play Games, YouTube, and the Google Play Store loaded in the box as well.
And it’s also because the box is powered by Android that we have the luxury of using Google Assistant to search for shows on the streaming box. A press on the button with the microphone icon will allow you to use the voice search feature to find the show of your choice.
While it’s the most useful and convenient way for you to hunt down your show, Google is a little bias with its search results by prioritising Google Movies as the top option for you to play the show (if it has), followed by StarHub.
It’s not annoying. You just need to be aware of it before clicking on it and having to backtrack to get to your StarHub Go content.
Now, onto the golden question – Would we recommend the StarHub Go Streaming Box?
Frankly, we do not see any reason not to recommend the streaming box. Yes, the search for shows may be a little tardy if you compare it with Netflix. However, it does not affect the experience of watching your drama or movies, which is the primary reason for subscribing to StarHub cable TV services in the first place.
I do look forward to having a cleaner interface though where Google does not interfere with StarHub’s effort to make it easier for customers to access their content.
For more information on the StarHub Go Streaming Box, visit http://www.starhub.com/personal/for-your-home/tv/starhub-go-streaming-box.html.