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BigFlix Relaunches Movie Download Service; Issues


Reliance Entertainment owned video streaming service BigFlix.com has re-introduced a download manager, which allows BigFlix subscribers to download movies from the service and watch them offline.

BigFlix previously offered a download manager in its physical distribution and movie rental avatar. BigFlix business head Shreyash Sigtia told Medianama that this feature was however discontinued when the company switched to subscription based streaming service in November 2011, since they felt the download process was very cumbersome and the Internet connection speed of users was quite poor. But, over the past few months, they started noticing that a majority of its audience were from metro cities with high speed Internet connections, due to which they rebuilt the whole service and introduced it few weeks back.

The company claims to have more than 100,000 subscribers at present and offers premium subscriptions starting at Rs 99.

Download Manager: At the time of writing this article, the download manager seems to be available for desktops only and is based on Microsoft Silverlight. One can install the download manager, head over to BigFlix website and download any movie of their preference by clicking on the download button on the respective movie listing page. The company claims that this feature is available across its entire catalogue comprising over 2000 movie titles.

After 20% of the movie has been downloaded, one can double click on it, enter their BigFlix credentials for authentication and then start watching the movie. The company told Medianama that this authorization is valid for three days, following which users will have to re-authenticate themselves and start watching the movie. Note that these downloaded movies are however DRM locked and hence cannot be copied to other machines. There also seems to be a fair usage limit of 20 movie downloads per month.

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Issues: We tried it on Windows 7 based desktop and noticed the manager was quite buggy at times. When we tried to download few movies from the website, it prompted us to install the download manager, in spite of having installed it. We also faced authorization issues with the app prompting an error message that it cannot authenticate us at the moment and asked us to try again later. We were however able to complete the authentication after multiple attempts.

BigFlix competes with other online video streaming services like Eros International’s Eros Now, Times Internet’s BoxTVHungama Movies, Singapore-based Spuul, and Google’s YouTube.

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