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I’m one of those angry Astro subscribers who are forced to use their service knowing it screens repeats and prices are really high. But do we have a choice? Nope! In Malaysia Astro has monopolized the Satellite TV service since there is no other legal competitors. One of the good things about Astro is that “Astro Go”, their web based / mobile app based service which comes ‘free’ with the package I have subscribed. Even that service is protected so badly that their service quality is extremely poor.

In this post I am mainly going to touch their web-based service for watching the Astro channels under Astro Go service, but is that going to stop me from talking about their mobile app? Nope! Their mobile application delivers (Especially for those devices that has Widevine L1 / Silverlight DRM installed) with its amazing quality. But what is with the 4 devices logging in limitations? And also only 4-5 switches per year per ID? That is ridiculous. Now let’s continue with their Web based services for watching Astro Go.

Firstly to watch Astro Go via their website or on your PC, you will need Windows / Mac based system ( Linux is not supported, I wonder if Astro team even knows what Linux is? ). You will also need to install the Silverlight codec/plugin to watch it via Internet Explorer or Chrome browser. Yes, I said it right. Internet explorer is one of the browsers supported by Astro Go and the latest browser by Microsoft which is Edge is not supported. Funny eh? I am sure most of the viewers would be using Chrome with their browser plugin installed. Oh wait, we still need their own Chrome extension which works worst than garbage. I don’t understand why so many requirements just to watch their channels? Well simple, ‘protection’. With all these installed you are not able to mirror your content from PC to your TV (When I tried to use the HDMI port of my laptop connected to my TV, it didn’t work) and this is mainly to avoid people from capturing their contents out, but I assume they have never heard about the “Screen Capture” technology? ๐Ÿ™‚

After installing the required plugin and extension, I only got the streaming to work once. If i am logged out, I have to reinstall the plugin and extension to get it working again. Sucks eh? Wait, did i tell that their Chrome Extension is one of the lowest rated extension in Chrome Store with almost all negative reviews? Do they care to fix their problem? Nope, protection seems to be their main goal.

So how come I didn’t mentioned Firefox? Being one of the mostly used browsers in the world (I use it.) it is not supported by Astro Go. Great eh? Wait, there is more! Firefox is supported but you have to install a previous version of it to watch. Such a big a company with a wonderful service but requesting it users to use backwards technology to use their service. How horrible is their support? You decide. Again this is to protect their contents.

With all this requirements and limitations Astro Go feels they have got their protection to the maximum, but what they don’t know is that it had made their service poor. With all those negative reviews it is simply tarnishing their own name.

Now lets make a comparison to Netflix, a giant in media streaming service which has got their contents protected really well but still able to provide the best option one will need which is Chromecast support. Take note that Astro Go promised Chromecast support with their update in March 2017 and till now there is no such option as they want to protect their contents.

If there are any representative from Astro reading this, come on for once listen to your customers and provide at least Chromecast support. We are already paying such a big amount of charges money for your horrible service. At least try to make us happy yeh? If protection is what you guys think is important, well sorry to say your protection is easily bypassed by those with the knowledge to do so. So stop with all this importance to protection and also hard to setup service and at the end providing very poor service!

Posted at 7:24 pm on March 22nd, 2019 in Tech Talk with 7,234 views

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