If you are Myanmar national or if you happen to live in Myanmar, you have probably heard of MRTV4. Maha Bawdi or Channel 7.
These are Forever Group free-to-air channels, a media company specialized in media production, broadcasting and advertising. MRTV4 is probably one of the biggest and popular TV channel in Myanmar. The Myanmar group also have a Pay TV offer with more than 80 channels available (some in HD) for 8,100 Ks per month.
Forever Group broadcasts its channels through DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial) and DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcasting — Satellite).
In September, the group launched its online platform allowing people in Myanmar and overseas to access VOD and Live content on their mobile.
Pyone Play, watch Myanmar TV everywhere
Note that Pyone Play has already been downloaded more than 50,000 times on the Play Store. This is an excellent start for an app in local language.
Our team tested the streaming service and was overall impressed by the performance.
Indeed, Live and On Demand videos stream seamlessly. The bit-rate is low but totally acceptable for a phone. We would not recommend broadcasting the service to a big TV screen though.
As for the Android app, it is truly responsive, easy to use and simple. You can choose between four categories: Replay, Live TV, TV Guide and FAQ.
Jump to Live TV and enjoy a smooth live stream from MRTV4. Maha Bawdi and Channel 7.
Then on TV Guide, review the TV program of the day and the day after for MRTV4 and Channel7.
A solid content distribution infrastructure
As we said lately, streaming on Pyone Play is extremely responsive. Looking at the source code, we managed to get more information about the broadcasting technology provider (Ooyala). Then, we ran a ping to their player address which resolve into an Akamai IP.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.
It appears that Pyone Play is taking advantage of Akamai infrastructure to distribute its content as close as possible to the end viewer. This definitely helps with the app responsiveness and streaming quality.
Forever Group really got it right. It could have been really tempting to mainly focus on the look and feel. That is the easiest part. There are thousands of companies out there capable of building the dream app. But the challenge is not there.
The design can always be improved. But if your content delivery infrastructure is not well thought and scalable, there is not much you can do about it.
One of the group core business is broadcasting, and they have been smart enough to remember that and pay a strong attention to the streaming experience. The outcome is really great even if the bit rate could have been better. However, we totally understand that this is adapted to the average broadband speed available in the country. And as Internet speeds increase, we are convinced that Forever Group will provide high quality bit rates.
Room for improvement
In conclusion, Pyone Play is definitely a great app but there is still a lot to do to turn it into a “must-have” app.
Among the improvements we would like to see:
• Better integration with social networks: give the opportunity for viewers to comment the videos on the app with their Facebook account
• Capability to access the content offline
• Availability of exclusive contents (only on Pyone Play)
• Availability of English contents as Pyone Play could be a great window to Myanmar culture for people abroad
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.