By John Reczon Calay
It’s amazing how a tiny device can stream more than a hundred free channels and millions of videos on a TV screen. But that’s what the Roku-powered Globe Streamwatch does when it is plugged in to a HDMI-ready TV.
Globe and Roku partnered in October last year for the launch of the first Roku-powered streaming device in the Philippines — including the use of its operating system, streaming players, and channel stores.
The Globe Streamwatch device, which is powered by a quad-core processor, performs best when connected with Globe’s At Home postpaid plan.
To get the device, a monthly fee of P50 (for 24 months) or one-time cash out of P900 will be added to the customer’s subscription.
Upon purchase of the device, an additional three-month subscription on Netflix, Disney Channel, Hooq, and Fox+ will be included in the customer’s plan.
The Globe Streamwatch app can be freely downloaded in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. The app also serves as a remote control.
Globe stayed true to its “Watch Like A Boss” campaign for the Streamwatch device as the user can conveniently control his television viewing experience.
Streaming made simple: Plug, connect, stream
Out of the package, a reader-friendly manual is included to serve as guide to the user when setting up the device.
Also inside the box is a non-infrared-sensor wireless remote and a micro-USB cable and 1A wall adapter for powering the device. The remote has that Roku’s notable purple cloth with a “Roku-powered” print design.
There are two options in powering the device: the USB port in your TV or through the power adapter included in the device package.
The Streamwatch features Globe’s major content partners: Netflix, YouTube, Disney Channel and Hooq. Icon buttons of these channels are both present in the Streamwatch remote and app for easy access.
TV channels provided by Roku’s database are included in the channel list, all falling under certain categories.
Linking streaming accounts to the device is easy. QR code scanning in the TV is required to connect your Hooq account to the Globe Streamwatch. The user should be logged in his Netflix mobile app then link it to the device.
YouTube videos can also be streamed using your smartphone. You can cast and link your YouTube account to the Streamwatch-plugged TV and search videos through smartphone and watch it in your TV.
Some suggested improvements
It’s good to include volume controls in the device’s remote as the user can only control the sound by adjusting the TV’s main volume.
If possible, a volume control should be included in the Globe Streamwatch app’s next update. Volume controls in your smartphone can only be used when streaming YouTube videos, though.
Video quality is also not controllable since there is no option in the remote or in the app. Depending on the home’s Internet usage, the maximum streaming output is around 720p to 1080p HD.
Interestingly, the viewer will not see a circling icon overlaying a paused video during streaming when it is buffering or downloading its content.
Conclusion: Real boss
Overall, the Globe Streamwatch delivers fast. The design of the device and the user interface are simple, yet the streaming experience is very satisfactory. The Roku-powered Globe Streamwatch offers a good viewing experience to users, especially to families at home.