Netflix Versus Hotstar


Hotstar is a digital and mobile entertainment platform, owned by Star India and Netflix is an American entertainment company which specializes in and provides streaming media and video-on-demand online. Here we are just having a comparison of these VOD services the basis of certain parameters. So let’s have a check:


In Netflix, the top featured image is an announcement with a call to action. It helps to give you an idea of which new shows have been added to its catalog. It has ‘Continue Watching’ which lets us resume watching the shows from our last played locations and Categories like Recently Added, Trending Now, Watch It Again, New Releases, Popular On Netflix. From User to User, Netflix keeps shuffling these categories which help in keeping the categories dynamic. Moreover, it also helps with the easy discovery of some interesting content.

Hotstar features a dynamic image at the top which basically presents free to stream movies or TV shows as well as Premium content – each having a call to action. It has multiple-scroll list of categories with Popular Movies and Popular shows up top. It also consists of the latest trending live TV content, Premium content, Must Watch Clips, popular Premium content and so on. Hotstar is having varieties of TV channels. The categorizations on the Homepage are much more dynamic than Netflix, with playlists not just across genres, but also based on TV shows. We can get a lot more information than just a TV show or movie poster compared to Netflix, there are tabs such as Home, TV, Movies, Sports at the base of the app and which makes navigation easier.

Offline viewing and download features

Hotstar started the offline viewing feature earlier, which was followed by Netflix India. Watching a video offline on Netflix is quite easy. We could set the app to download only on Wi-Fi connection, keep the video quality as Standard or Higher. We also have an option to ‘Delete All Downloads’ in case you don’t want to go through selecting an individual show and deleting it from the My Downloads segment. Hotstar offers a download only on select content, for instance, Premium content does not have the download button. Hotstar gives you the exact resolution and files with Download button, this feature is not on Netflix. Even though the experience of finding download worthy content on Hotstar is a Herculean compared to Netflix.

Video Quality

Netflix can give us high-quality videos at lower internet speeds which are a huge for the Indian viewers. Hotstar faces the video quality issue on its platform. The playback screen on Netflix shows subtitle menu, a list of episodes.There is no option to change the streaming quality on the fly in Netflix simply because the resolution of streaming will depend on the plan you have taken.The playback screen on Hotstar only has Closed Captions, Settings and display size resizing options on the top right-hand corner. The Settings menu lets you select video quality on the fly, between Auto, Low (180p), Medium (360p) and High (720p). In Hotstar Closed captions are available in English only.

Platform availability

Netflix plans start from Rs 500 onwards and with the basic plan you can watch on 1 screen. With a standard plan that goes to two screens and with premium, you can take that to four screens. As part of smart TVsHotstar offers free streaming for TV content; But charge a premium of Rs 190 for international TV shows and movies or latest Hindi movies. You can only play one premium video from one subscriber account at a time. You can stream free content on multiple devices, as that does not really require a login.

Content Availability

Netflix content catalog has a heavy bias towards English language content, but it also has a lot of Hindi movies onboard. Regional movies are quite less. Hotstar became famous as an alternative to watching TV especially as it has the entire Star channels on board. It covers Hindi, English, Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati languages. Each one shows how many movies and TV shows are available. This is one of the best categorizations for regional content.

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