A great video content streaming app is like a great television – or at least its the best replacement for a television. It lets you watch all of your favourite video content on the go, updates you about the latest in music, news and all other things you find interest in, and has easy links for social media sharing. I can’t afford apple TV nor do I have a secure connection for Netflix or Hululu bypasses , but luckily there are alternative apps that make accessing your online video content a lot more affordable: some of the best options for iPhone can be had for under R99, and those on Android (free) only lead to dead-ends with no video content.
We’ve tested them all to find out which one most successfully tiptoes the line between essential functionality and a massive feature list that will have you scratching your head. One app that stood out for us is local initiative Tuluntulu from Pierre van der Hoven. The app was rated as one of South Africa’s top 10 start-up companies this year with ten unique channels that are available 24/7. The content ranges from international news, African documentaries to fashion and music channels.
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For years, companies have been trying to bring rich, video content into the palm of your hand, onto the smallest and sometimes least best screen in your disposal — the cell phone. As internet video (and sites built around it like YouTube) have grown in prominence, that push has only increased, with video streaming apps like YouTube, Roku and Hululu’s efforts, as well as Google’s G+ and hangouts offerings, trying to easily bring internet video to your mobile. It’s a problem that a new company, led by Pierre, is attempting to solve with Tuluntulu: a software that’s meant to bring a more lean-back, TV-style streaming and watching experience to internet video which has been specifically designed to minimize data costs, and to operate within the limitations of Africa’s under-developed telecommunications infrastructure.
The main navigational element for Tuluntulu is an almost any OS (we tried the app out on Android and iOS). From here, you can see individual video channels in any chosen queue and move back and forth to find or save specific channels that catch your eye. Tuluntulu is also designed with sharing in mind — you can tweet your friends or channel administrators, see their tweets to you, share a queue with a friend, and subscribe to other people’s channels. It’s all the same kind of things you can do on YouTube.
The real challenge for Tuluntulu will be justifying its picture quality — the free app download price for a streaming service and the estimated running cost of R5.00 per hour of streamed content is much, much cheaper than YouTube but the functionality will be fairly limited in comparison. The company is hoping to mitigate that in the coming months by adding support for developer services. That said, Tuluntulu already plans on adding more features and channels — though in a crowded video marketplace, it might take it some time to find some traction.
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