DishWorld streams TV with a difference

ebruscreenAfter I wrote about DishWorld last week, I knew I needed to give it a try so I could let you know what it’s like. It turns out that DishWorld offers some interesting wrinkles on how to stream TV over the internet.

DishWorld offers TV programming packages in 15 non-English languages. All of them include a bonus set of international English channels, and some also include a few English sports channels. I chose the Mandarin package, which includes 22 Chinese channels plus the English and sports sets for $14.99 per month. Other languages are more expensive. For example, Filipino provides just two native channels plus English and sports for $19.99, and Hindi provides almost as many channels as Mandarin but for $44.99. Since I don’t get any special discounts for being a Dish shareholder, and since I can’t speak any of the 15 available languages yet, the cheapest package works best for me.

In addition to all that programming, there are plenty of on-demand movies available on DishWorld. A few dozen Bollywood movies are free on demand, and hundreds of US-made new releases and older films are available to rent, most for $3 or $4.

The English-language bonus pack includes:

  • ND 24×7 – News channel from India.
  • Fashion TV – My old favorite former-FTA channel featuring people who dress skimpy and walk funny.
  • France 24 – News channel from France.
  • Ebru TV – US-based general entertainment channel majority-owned by Samanyolu Broadcasting Company.
  • BabyTV – International channel for babies and toddlers. Not to be confused with Baby First TV.
  • Blue Ocean Network – News channel from China.
  • Eurochannel – European culture and lifestyle movies and shows.
  • Euronews – News channel from Europe, of course.
  • Trace Urban – International urban music channel.
  • Luxe.TV – Luxembourg-based channel “dedicated to the world of luxury and art of living”.
  • RT – Formerly Russia Today, news channel from Russia.
  • Zoom – Bollywood channel from India, of course.
  • Bloomberg – US-based business news channel.

And the four or five sports channels include:

  • One World Sports – International sports offshoot of the America One over-the-air network.
  • Nautical Channel – Covers boating and board sports.
  • Universal Sports – Former over-the-air digital sub-channel concentrating on Olympic sports.
  • BeIN Sport – Qatar-based channel with lots of soccer.
  • BeIN Sport 2 – Bonus soccer that wouldn’t fit on BeIN. Off the air otherwise.

That’s an interesting set of channels for $15/month, not to mention the bewildering (to me) variety of Mandarin channels I can watch. It’s all available to stream on PC and Mac, Android devices, and particularly Roku. DishWorld offers a free Roku LT or half off a Roku 3 for prepaying the first four months of service. (I picked the Roku 3, which is very interesting in its own way. More about that Roku 3 in a future post.)

Unlike nimbleTV, FilmOn, and Aereo, DishWorld doesn’t offer a cloud-based DVR, but it provides an interesting alternative. DishWorld’s guide shows the last eight days of programming on each channel, and every show from that period is available on demand. When I first activated my subscription, I was able to watch an episode of Doctor Who that had aired a week earlier on Ebru. When I change channels in the middle of a program, DishWorld asks whether I want to watch it live or from its beginning. It’s like having the PrimeTime Anytime feature from Dish Network’s Hopper, except all day for all channels, but without automatically skipping commercials. This week-back feature is so cool, I almost don’t miss being able to record. Almost.

For some channels that are hard to find anywhere else, $15/month is okay. For plenty of entertainment in your non-English native language, it’s probably worth whatever your package costs. For a glimpse of how all TV might be delivered 10 years from now, DishWorld is priceless.