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SonyLIV (IN)

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sonyliv.com

No place else in the world is currently undergoing a TV streaming revolution quite like India has been over the last few years. In fact, I have been impressed on an almost daily basis by the abundance of new Indian TV and movie streaming sites that I have been learning about. It seems like I am discovering a new one all the time. And the best part? … The majority of these new Indian TV streaming sites is actually really good!

Some of these TV and movie streaming sites are slightly older than others – I am only just now hearing about them because, well, I don’t live in India. Still, though, it is beginning to seem as if India has been gunning for the number one spot, lots of their sites lately are good enough to easily compete with the likes of Netflix or Hulu in order to be crowned the best streaming site on the web.

Although some of these TV streaming sites are just a handful of years old, many of them are merely new iterations, new attempts at creating streaming services, from companies and brands that we are all familiar and comfortable with at this point (this, I’m sure, helps the viability of some of these streaming services). This is certainly the case with a TV streaming site like Sony Liv.

We all know and love Sony, the tech giants who have been here seemingly since the beginning of mass market tech. I don’t know about you, but I remember developing a relationship with Sony products all the way back when I was a teenager. The Sony Walkman was my prized possession back in the day. Of course, Sony is responsible for countless other incredible products (as well as entertainment, thanks to its Sony Pictures production imprint). When I first heard about Sony Liv, I was surprised that this was the first Sony backed endeavor into the world of the TV and movie streaming industry (at least that I have heard of).

If you have ever seen Sony Liv before, then you already know that it is easily one of the best TV streaming sites on the market. Thanks to an intuitive and user-friendly site design, tons of exceptionally high quality TV series and movies, and a convenient freemium model, Sony Liv definitely deserves to be included in the discussion of the best TV streaming sites of all time.

But is Sony Liv the right streaming site for you? Well, that depends on a number of factors. Firstly, what kind of content do you prefer to watch? Sony Liv offers a wide array of genres – from action to drama to comedy and everything in between – both in TV and movies. Furthermore, Sony Liv provides its premium users with 2 ways to watch: live or on-demand. This alone is a main selling point for many Sony Liv subscribers.

Another component of Sony Liv that separates it from the competition is the fact that it has become one of the best Indian streaming sites for sports. Ever since Sony Liv featured the FIFA World Cup in 2018, hundreds of thousands of football lovers have depended heavily on Sony Liv for sports coverage. Sony Liv also provides live and on-demand streams of cricket.

Even if sports are not your thing, though, there is no doubt that Sony Liv will have something for you, thanks to its versatile selection of Indian and international TV series and movies. Enjoy content in Hindi, Tamil, and English (to name a few). So, having established all of this, if you are still reading, I can only assume that there is a good chance that Sony Liv could have what it takes to be the best TV streaming site for you. So, let’s not waste any more time … let us dive right in and see everything that Sony Liv has to offer!

History

Sony Liv is far from the newest Indian streaming service. It is also not the oldest, though. Having first launched on 23 January 2013, as of the time of this writing we are approaching the TV and movie streaming site’s 8th birthday. Nevertheless, in just under a decade, Sony Liv has had plenty of time to perfect its services.

Sony Liv, it turns out, is but one of a collection of television channels owned by Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Alongside Sony Liv are a few other popular channels that you might recognize: Sony TV, Sony SAB, Sony Ten, Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Pix, and Sony Yay (formerly known as Animax Asia). Given the depth of the Sony catalog, Sony Liv has access to a rich catalog spanning 18 years of Sony Pictures content. To translate this into more concrete terms, that means that Sony Liv provides roughly 700+ movies and over 40,000 hours of TV coverage (these numbers, keep in mind, are always increasing also).

Today, Sony Liv has expanded out from India. It is now available in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. As a result of this remarkable expansion over the last few years, Sony Liv has become one of the biggest TV streaming sites in both Asia and the Middle East. The service, too, is available in the United States, by the way, but only via a Sling TV add-on.

Design

Sony Liv offers a fairly typical streaming site design. It is familiar, sure, but it is equally effective. The moment you land on Sony Liv’s home page, then, it should offer an intuitive user experience to anybody who has any experience whatsoever with premium TV and movie streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu.

At the very top of the page, just below the site menu bar, you will find an extra-large banner. Here, a few featured titles will alternate, giving you some suggestions of what to watch in case you are visiting without a clear plan in mind. Below this, as you continue to scroll down the page, you will encounter a series of smaller, horizontal collections of content which are separated by genre or category type. For instance, you will find a few of the latest cricket divisions, followed by some of the usual distinctions: Latest Episodes, New to Sony Liv, Watch Tonight, Premium Episodes Free, etc. (we’ll get to the distinction between free and premium content a little later on).

Overall, I would say that the design of Sony Liv is effective and pleasant, even if it is familiar.

Content and Features

Where Sony Liv truly shines, however, is in its content. If you asked me to show you a TV streaming site with more content, more raw hours of streaming than Sony Liv, I would be hard pressed to come up with an answer. The ability to stream both on-demand and live is incredible – this is a rare and always welcomed feature. But the sheer versatility in content offered by Sony Liv is also exceptional.

Sony Liv has its own original programming, including hits like Scam 1992, JL50, Avrodh, and Undekhi. But it also offers an incredible selection of syndicated Indian and American TV shows as well (both available live and on-demand). Enjoy popular series such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, United We Fall, Indian Idol, and Uncommon Sense.

A lot of people turn to Sony Liv, though, for its impressive sports coverage. Watch live cricket matches, UFC fights, WWE programming, football tournaments, and more. Whether you want to watch live matches or you want to catch up with the classics, Sony Liv will be perfect for you.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Sony Liv is highly mobile friendly. Enjoy the service with its dedicated Android or iOS apps. The streamer, though, is also available on the KaiOS for JioPhone (a rare availability for a streaming site like this), OS X, Windows, and Windows Phone. No matter your device, no matter where you are, you’ll have no problem enjoying Sony Liv.

Pricings and Plans

I had to give a double-take when I first saw how affordable Sony Liv’s premium packages were. For everything that this service has to offer, it is almost unimaginable that it would be so cheap. Here is how it breaks down:

-1 Month: INR99

-3 Months: INR149

-1 Year: INR499

-Super Sports 6 months (add-on): INR199

Or, if you are in the States and you want to access the Sling TV add-on for Sony Liv, you are looking at only $6/month.

Likes & Hates:
Huge selection of content, great versatility
On-demand and live TV streaming
User-friendly site and app design
Very affordable
Sports coverage, series, and movies
Freemium model
Movie selection could be better
No smart TV apps (unless through Sling)