KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Astro’s streaming service Sooka now has its own self-branded hardware in the form of the Sooka TV Stick. Before this, the streaming service was accessible through web browsers, and mobile apps as well as selected Android TV/Google TV devices and Smart TV models.

Sooka TV Stick pricing, availabilityCurrently available only through Sooka’s official website, the stand-alone device costs RM349 each. It comes with complimentary access to the Sooka Premium plan for 1 month alongside 3 months of access to the Disney+ Hotstar Premium plan.Alternatively, the Sooka TV Stick can also be obtained by purchasing the 12-month Sooka Premium plan at RM597.40 inclusive of 8% tax. Under this bundle plan, customers essentially receive the new streaming device for free and they will also get 3 months of access to the Disney+ Hotstar Premium plan.

The remote control for Sooka TV Stick.
The remote control for Sooka TV Stick.

For Maybank customers out there, you can opt for the 12-month Sooka Premium bundle through the EPP monthly instalment scheme. Under Maybank’s EPP, customers can choose to get the bundle with a monthly instalment of RM50 for 12 months or RM100 for 6 months.

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Meanwhile, the Group CEO of Astro, Euan Smith and the Director of Sooka & Njoi, Chu Young Lee have confirmed that the streaming device will be made available through retailers such as electrical stores soon.

What is the Sooka TV Stick?

Group CEO of Astro, Euan Smith.
Group CEO of Astro, Euan Smith.

The new Sooka TV Stick is essentially an Android TV device with a custom Sooka launcher. It is meant to turn a normal TV or monitor into an Android TV although the user interface has been customized for Sooka content.

In other words, you don’t need the Sooka TV Stick if you are already able to watch Sooka through your Android TV/Google TV devices or Smart TV. This is because you can download the Sooka app through Google Play or your Smart TV’s app marketplace.

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The home screen of Sooka TV Stick.
The home screen of Sooka TV Stick.

Just like the majority of Android TV devices out there, the Sooka TV Stick also provides access to Google Play which allows owners to download apps including other streaming services such as Disney+ Hotstar, viu, and YouTube. However, the new device does not support Netflix at the moment although Euan said that the limitation is purely technical and it will be rectified in the near future.

Even though Sooka’s contents are currently limited to Full HD resolution, the Sooka TV Stick supports a TV resolution of up to 4K. Comes with a 1-year warranty, the streaming device also supports HDR HLG and HDR10 standards as well as Dolby Atmos content.

Are there any benefits to getting the Sooka TV Stick?

From what we’ve learned about the device so far, there are two main advantages to the Sooka TV Stick. That is aside from the ability to transform your non-smart TV or display into an Android TV.

One of them is the savings that you would get through the 12-month Sooka Premium bundle which costs RM597.40 as mentioned earlier. Normally, the Premium plan costs RM50.90 per month which means that the total subscription costs for 1 year would be around RM610.80.

Sooka plans, as of 11 June 2024.
Sooka plans, as of 11 June 2024.

So, you are looking at a savings of RM13.40 from the bundle pricing alone. Once you consider the price of a standalone Sooka TV Stick (RM349) and Disney+ Hotstar 3-month plan (RM79.90), the total savings would be around RM442.

The second benefit would be access to free content. There is a section inside Sooka called Free Now which allows users to check out selected channels, contents, and live sports for free without the need for any paid plan although you still need to register for a Sooka account for this.

At this moment, the Free Now section can only be accessed through the Sooka TV Stick, web browser, and mobile app. For other Android TV/Google TV devices and supported Smart TV models, you have to subscribe to Premium or Entertainment+ plans in order to watch Sooka content on the TV screen. — SoyaCincau