Date: Sep 2, 2014
PPTV ceased their TV App on Aug 29
On Aus 29, when you run the PPTV App on your Xiaomi Box or any TV set top Box, it will automatically download a new version 3.4.4.
As usual, it will asked you “politely” whether you want to upgrade to 3.4.4 without giving you any other options. You can choose not to update but every time when you run PPTV App, you will come back to the download and update screen. You can’t go to the screen to choose and play movie.
So, after you update to version 3.4.4, and when you run it. It will gives you this screen, and you can’t do anything any more.
However, you can still use their IOS/Android mobile phone Apps or their PC portal. All the movies and TV shows are still there. They simply ceased to provide a TV version of the App.
Tencent ceased their TV App on Aug 27
中国好声音 (The China Voice) is only exclusively available on Tencent.
Unfortunately, back in Aug 27, Tencent also pull out their TV App.
Again, you can use their IOS / Android Mobile Phone App, or PC Portal to access these videos.
The TV Media Act
In China, the regulators agrees for Media Content Provider to come up with PC portal or mobile phone Apps to access to their rich TV or Movies contents.
However, if you come up with an App that can be installed on a TV set top box or even install inside the TV (Television), and you play these movies from the TV set top box and display it on TV directly, it is consider “illegal” and you need to apply for a “special TV Media license” in order to do so. The reason is simple, as long as you are showing the contents on the TV, it will falls under the jurisdiction of our equivalent MDA. The Apps on Mobile Phones are considered as Internet Apps and it falls under our equivalent IDA. So, MDA requested all these App to be run on TV or TV set top box must have a sort of TV license and comply to all the rules and regulations set by the government.
More to Come
On July 9, the government noted the popularity of installing Internet TV or IP TV Apps on TV Set top Box or TV. The government start to sent out notice that, it is not right to install these App on TV. They are not happy with Xiaomi come up with the Xiao Mi TV. Because Xiao Mi TV run a special XiaoMi UI on the TV screen. They also noted LeTV has their LeTV TV (a TV that runs the LeTV UI/OS). The regulators has stated clearly that TV can only install TVOS only.
On Aug 21, the regulators has told the media that they are going to do something about it. They pointed out a few culprit who does thing the wrong way. XiaoMi TV, LeTV TV, as well as those set top box, Yun OS, etc.
The regulators even speak to iCNTV, CCTV, Wasu TV and so on to ask them not to “partner” with all these Internet Portal if they come to know of they going to install it on TV set top box.
So, the last few days, the whole industry of TV Set Top Box & Apps are in pain in China. Most of the contents are pulled out. For example, if you go to Xiao Mi TV Set top Box App, all the US TV shows are no longer available, Japanese shows are left only less than 10 shows.
So, when the government are watching, all the big players are cleaning up their back yard.
What Does It Mean to Us?
Lesser new shows will no longer be available on TV. As those that does not have copy right, will need to pull of their portal.
Geo-lock will be enforced as copy-righted shows cannot be shown outside of China. Luckily ViewQwest still has some VPN capability to break this Geo-lock.
Most of the TV App will have “broken” links as most of the provider are now scare of providing the shows to these App.
Even they can show it on TV, they will show only SD version most of the time. Watching SD on a big screen TV will be sucks.
It will be very very hard to get Super HD shows.
Luckily there are a few geo-locked provider such as Youku, Sohu, Tudou, Qiyi etc still have legitimate license to have TV portal at the moment. But after they got vet by the regulations, who knows, may be they have to make changes too.
How Can I Watch PPTV Again on TV?
1. Delete the PPTV 3.4.4 App.
2. Download the following PPTV 3.4.3 with “No Force Upgrade” version.
(The above link is for education purpose to show how innovative these hackers did, modifying the App so that it think the App is version 9.9.9 and the server will stop asking or forcing the App to upgrade)
3. Install the App on your Xiaomi Box, or YunOS Box or Minix Box, and so on.
4. Use as per normal. The App is exactly like version 3.4.3 and get the streaming resources from the PPTV portal.
Of course, there are other methods
A. You can install the Mobile App APK for PPTV on to your Set Top box. But because of resolution is written for mobile phone, it will show very ugly on your TV. And some App will need to use “Mobile Data” and refuse to see that it can use “WiFi Data” to stream the movie. I am guessing, the equivalent IDA allowed TV Apps to stream on Mobile Data instead of Wifi At home.
B. There are some App, that has Web Browser capability which you can install on the TV Set Top Box. And it will search the video and stream it on your set top box. But it is very hard to navigate. And I think the regulators are happy with this as it is non-intuitive, and non-easy to navigate on the TV.
How do I Watch 中国好声音 (The China Voice)
There are still many smaller player who has TV App. However, most of them carry 中国好声音 (The China Voice) in the SD format or very crappy quality. I found that only 布丁电视 App carries a Super HD format. So, I am using Pudding TV (布丁电视) at the moment for watching this show.
Feel so sad, feel so low, feel so lousy.
But I strongly believe few things…
The Chinese will prevail. They will come up with something better again. Just have to wait.