A fortnight ago, I walked through the doors of a startup company with an ambitious vision forward, currently set up in a nondescript neighborhood at the heart of the Bangalore. Lukup media may not be a familiar name yet but the company has launched India’s first on-demand TV. The young company wants to change the way we consume digital content and our viewing habits when it comes to television to suit our changing fast-paced lifestyle.
At the heart of the Lukup Media is the Lukup player, which is the consumer product that will bring the company’s service to the living room. I was told the company designs, develops, manufactures the player at their own facility in India even before the #MakeInIndia buzz was on air.
Imagine Lukup media as something of Roku and Netflix put together not in the scale yet but at the core idea, atleast that is my early assessment.
The hardware set up has two components – a dock that connects to your existing set-top box and another, Lukup player which is the user interface to communicate with the network. The company says they are working on a simple chromecast-like plugin product that would be unveiled in few months.
Available in eye-candy colors, the dock looks like a colorful laminated blocks put together.
The Lukup media player is a touch-screen remote interface that can interact both with the Lukup media content as well as the existing set-top box. Unlike the regular IR remote, this player connects to the dock via bluetooth and so doesn’t require to be uni-directionally pointed towards the dock.
The good part of the Lukup player is it is not restricted to one screen, the users can stream content to more than one screen or device be it TV (the second TV should have Wi-Fi connectivity), tablets, mobile phones and also to wireless speakers. It can connect to two screens and one wireless speaker at the same time.
A user has to buy a Lukup player and then choose the pay-per-view content. Talking about the content, Lukup has a repository of high-quality digital contents spanning various categories including movies, sports, news, travel, fashion, food and edutainment. A consumer can subscribe to a particular content or subscribe for monthly package for on-demand channels.
There is also a 500GB cloud storage where you can record the content and store it. The player allows you to search content from your existing set-top box channels, video on-demand channels, interactive content and the contents you have recorded on cloud.
It also acts as the interface to all your connected devices and you can stream the contend to the connected devices. In tune with the trend for social sharing, you can also share the content with your friends on social network or privately with your family.
In paper all sounds fair and good but I am yet to see how it works on real-time usage. Unfortunately when I visited the company, for some external reasons which was beyond the Lukup team’s ambit, I was not able to experience how the player works. So I can’t comment on the quality of the player and their service. It also talks about the bigger roadblock ahead, the Lukup player solely relies on a good internet connectivity at the consumers end, with a decent and high-speed broadband connectivity still a larger issue even in parts of bigger cities, Lukup has a long road ahead.