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Bollywood Movies on your IPhone with Netflix

Bollywood Movies on your IPhone with Netflix

Technology has moved ahead significantly in the few years since Netflix started delivering DVDs through the mail. A few years ago they introduced the streaming service allowing users to see videos on their computers. Over time, the on-demand library has not only grown significantly but is also available on numerous devices such as the PS3, Wii and Blu-Ray DVD players. Now comes the latest device to support the streaming...the iPhone.

When the service was announced for the iPhone, I was very thrilled because it meant I could watch a movie any time, any place. This comes in useful on trips when I am sitting at the airport or for my son when we are driving. The streaming service works over 3G or Wi-Fi. I have tried it over both and the quality (depending on your 3G Service) is excellent.

The application itself is still version one and needs improvement (especially in Genres Navigation) but it still provides a lot of good functionality such as

  • Ability to view/add to your existing On-Demand Queue
  • Ability to pause and resume your movie.
  • Given the small resolution of the screen, the quality of the picture is very clear.
  • The search function is good if you know what you want but if you are browsing then its a little difficult to find something.

Regarding the Bollywood collection, while its still small (about 75 movies), they have many of the latest movies showing up within a few weeks of the official releases. Some of the popular Bollywood films available are Dostana, Rajneeti, Kaminey, Chak De India, Swades etc.

Netflix Hindi/NetFlix Bollywood Movies

Netflix Hindi/NetFlix Bollywood Movies 

An update to my posts on Netflix vs Blockbuster. I have switched back to Netflix as I considered the service to be far better. The main reasons were

  • The queues were virtually never back-logged. Especially with new movies, they are always available unlike what I saw in Blockbuster
  • Netflix has a distribution center in Santa Ana which is very close to where I live and so I always got movies very quickly.
  • Netflix also has a good selection of Hindi movies or Bollywood movies which I watch very often. The movies take a little bit of time to show up on Netflix (maybe 2-4 weeks) but the choice is good. The only thing
  • I do not like about the Netflix Indian movie section is that one cannot sort by release date making if difficult to find the latest movies.
  • The new user interface in Netflix where the description of the movies shows up in a pop-up is very good.

Aug 2010 Update -

Its been a while since I wrote this article and things have drastically changed since then. Netflix has clearly dominated the battle. Its stock price is soaring and Blockbuster is facing bankruptcy and has started shutting down many of its stores. Here are some key changes

- Netflix's Streaming service has also improved significantly during the time. They have a lot more to offer through their streaming service. They also offering the streaming service on numerous devices that include not in the Roku Box but also many Blu-Ray DVD players, the PS3, Wii and now also on the iPhone.

- Their selection of Bollywood movies through the streaming service is also pretty good. I have seen many new movies such as Kaminey, Dostana and Rajneeti within a few weeks of theatrical release.

- Their searching and sorting features have also become better.

- RedBox which offers DVD for $1 at your local grocery store, 7-11 etc is planning on offering a streaming service. Lets see how that works out.


How to get the Howard Stern Show on your iPhone

How to get the Howard Stern Show on your iPhone

Hey Now!! If you have an iPhone and are a fan of Howard Stern then you like me, would want to listen to Howard Stern on the iPhone. For quite a while that was rather difficult to do because Sirius did not have an iPhone app and when they did introduce it, they did not offer the Howard Stern Channels on the iPhone app. Now (as of Jan 2010), you have two options to get Howard Stern on your

  • iPhone Pocket Tunes Radio Application
  • iPhone Skydock for XM Radio

December  2010 Update - Stern re-signed for another 5 year deal at Sirius and he has said that Howard 100 and 101 will be part of the lineup on the iPhone/iPod.

Pocket Tunes Radio iPhone Application

Pocket Tunes Radio is an application available in the App Store ($6.99) that streams a large number of online stations. The application can also stream the content from the online Sirius feed which includes the Stern channels. In order to make this work, you will need to buy this application (one time 6.99 cost) and  also have the online streaming ($2.99/month) and you are all set. The pro's of this method of listening to Stern are that you can virtually get access to the channels anywhere you are as long as you have Wifi or good data speeds. Also, the price is only 2.99/month or lower if you have annual subscriptions etc. The downside is that if you are in the car, you may get spotty signal and also crackling sound on your stereo.

iPhone Skydock for XM Radio

The iPhone Skydock is a new adapter that can be attached to a car (uses the standard charger output) and converts your iPhone into a Satellite radio. Unlike the Rocket Tunes option, the signal comes from the  satellites so you are guaranteed of a better reception and signal. The problem with this is that the product comes from XM (not Sirius) so you have to subscribe to XM (for full price) and then get the Best of Sirius package. The total cost will work out to around $17/month. Also the Skydock works only in the car and costs about $120. 

The Skydock communicates with your stereo over FM and in crowded markets such as NY, LA or Dallas, its tough to find a good frequency as well. The Skydock also plays your iPod as well.  The Skydock does have an auxillary out so if your car  stereo supports that you are in luck.

These are the two ways you can get Stern on your iPhone. Given my listening pattern (I spend about 40 mins in the car everyday) and also listen at work, I prefer option 1. I also have a Skydock that I uses mainly as an FM transmitter and have not activated my radio as yet. Maybe if Stern renews, I may consider doing that.

There are rumors that they will introduce new products at the CES and new options may show u or maybe Stern will allow them to broadcast on the Sirius application. Until then, seems like this is what we can do.

Bollywood Twitter - What the stars are tweeting about?

Bollywood Twitter - What the stars are tweeting about?

With the Twitter craze hitting the world for the last few months, I thought I would dig in to see what the Bollywood stars are tweeting about and who the popular Bollywood Twits (is that what they are called in Twiterminology ;-)). To begin with all of Bollywood is not yet on Twitter though it has its fair share of celebrities on it. After some digging around and following their tweets, here is my opinion of the popular Bollywood stars on Twitter as of Aug 2009.

Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) - By far the most popular Bollywood celebrity on Twitter (no surprises there), Priyanka has about 38K followers and growing rapidly. She is a frequent tweeter, posting multiple tweets during the day. She keeps a good mix of personal opinions and about her ongoing projects and appearances. When she finds time, she does respond to her fans. I like how she manages herself on Twitter. Quite the role model I would say. Hum bhi Priyanka ke Bhakt hai.

Karan Johar (@kjohar25) - With about 11K followers, Karan Johar would come a distant second. Karan too is a regular poster and also keeps a good mix about his personal opinion and his work. You can see that he is tweeting himself. He just kicked off a project with SRK and Kajol.

Aamir Khan (@Aamir_khan) - For some reason, he does not have a great following on Twitter. Given his personal situation with the wife having a miscarriage, he is not very active on Twitter.

Riteishd (@Riteishd) - New to Twitter, Riteish (at school I was taught, i before an e, except after c..never mind) is getting a good following.  Riteish too provides a regular update and replies to his fans. Generally funny too. 

Genelia D'Souza - Probably the worst from the Bollywood list, she barely has any posts and anything that I have seen seems like it was to promote her appearance and not done by her.

Others who are regular are Lara Dutta, Dino Morea, Uday Chopra, Ram Gopal Varma, Ayesha Takia.

Notably missing from the Twiiter world are the Bachchan's (Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya), the King (SRK).

Find their Twitter pages in our Bollywood Twitter Directory.

Read more: Bollywood Twitter - What the stars are tweeting about?

Outsourcing Manhole Covers

 Image Everyone has probably heard of IT and Call Center  operations being outsourced to India, but did you know that a large number of manhole covers in the United States actually get manufactured in India. A few weeks ago, I was walking in Los Angeles and saw a drain cover manufactured in India.

Apparently over 600,000 manhole covers in the city of New York are manufactured in India, specially from West Bengal. This practice is not new but has been in existence for over 4 decades. Also, it looks like India is the world leader in manhole cover manufacturing, a little known fact. So the next time you walk over a drain cover in the US, it may have come from India.