Now, uninterrupted videos even on basic mobiles
With an estimated 90 percent of Indian mobile subscribers using feature phones, this translates into a potential audience of over 500 million in the Indian sub-continent alone," said Ray Newal, chief executive of Jigsee Inc.
"These mobile subscribers have so far been unable to access video streaming services such as YouTube, which traditionally caters primarily to users of advanced smart-phones with access to high speed broadband connections," Newal told IANS on phone from Canada.
The technology start-up's unique platform can be downloaded from the website m.jigsee.com or app stores such as Getjar, Ovi and Tata Docomo for free.
"Typically most mobile online video content is offered in the form of very short clips and the segment of the market we are targeting don't have alternatives. They don't have broadband but they are much more interested in watching longer form content," said Newal.
The Jigsee platform offers features like auto-bookmarking. If one is cut off mid-stream while watching a video due to a drop in network signal or if the battery dies, Jigsee automatically remembers where the stream stopped and provides a simple option to resume watching the next time the application is opened.
Another feature is the magic queue which allows every video to continue into subsequent videos that Jigsee plays. Jigsee has tied up with content providers like UTV, Spice Digital, Mukta Arts and currently has a library of over 200,000 minutes of videos.
So how does Jigsee enable smooth streaming even when the wireless internet on offer is slow?
Explains Newal: "The average GPRS landscape in India, the average data rate is about 60 kb per second. In some places it could be as high as 130 kb per second, while in some cases it can drop to a sluggish 5-10 kb per second."
"It is difficult for anyone to play a video under a certain bandwidth. Our minimum threshold is about 40 kb per second and at that speed we can get a stream playing continuously. The platform on the phone tells our servers gives feedback on the kind of data rate and accordingly we keep adjusting the quality of the video in real-time."
But that trade-off is not so bad, when one considers the small screen of basic phones.