Live and on-demand TV with Tribe

The Tribe app, as tested on MyPhone my81.

Initally connected to Globe Telecom, targets K-pop and Anime niche

At first, I think of the recently-launched Tribe as something catered to the Hallyu audience, but when Anime Pilipinas [APN] reported that it has Aniplus content, I didn’t take a second guess and got the app instantly.

Aside from Aniplus, they have Korean brands tvN, KBS World, Kix and E-sports channel EGG. Tribe was launch last November 30, and they had their launch party last December 2 which features a live viewing MNET Asian Music Awards (and they even got Glaiza de Castro and the Gosiengfiao sisters Alodia and Ashley as guests). Tribe is based in Malaysia, and is brought by pay-TV provider Astro.

Signing up

Tribe has its complimentary 30-day access for new signups — afterwards, users will have to pay Php30 (7-day access) or Php69 (30-day access) by texting TRIBE30 or TRIBE69 to 7227. We’re expecting to have these rolled out by next year — as you can see, my Sun mobile number is not recognized, therefore I am asked to skip it for the meantime. They may have more updates for non-Globe subscribers soon. Tribe is initially available in Indonesia and the Philippines.

On-demand Streaming

The APN report states that more than 30 anime titles from Aniplus’ lineup are available for streaming, including the ones aired this year such as HaruChika, Kiznaiver, Erased, and Knights of Sidonia. Too bad I didn’t see Puchimas!. (I told you the last time that I counted exactly 30, but apparently some titles have two seasons in it — thanks JM [APN Editor] for the tip)

Screencap of the latest episode of SCHOOL-LIVE!.

[Left] Episode page, [Center] the Episode itself and [Right] the Error prompt.

The on-demand streaming’s so-so — but I guess it could get better on a decent connection. It starts form when you stopped, it informs you if something’s amiss, so on and so forth. The flip side is that it appears my phone can’t handle the streaming well, as errors pop up from time to time. Maybe it’s the connection or the way the app streams content.

Another gaffe I saw is the episode navigation — as I enter the series page, it shows a play button that will actually lead to the latest episode (not the first one, as with what I’ve experience with its competitor iflix). I don’t see any settings to have this changed as well, so I’ll have to scroll down and look for the first episode.

Comparing my experience with iflix, if I am to be asked my two cents, I can safely say the Tribe will eat a chunk of iflix’s (and probably HOOQ’s) anime fanbase. The reason why I am attracted to iflix is that it has Aniplus (same with another competitor HOOQ but I am not a Globe subscriber so I haven’t tried that fully yet). If Tribe has a better lineup plus live streaming, then I’m going to stay there. (Though I promised that I will pay for even a short iflix subscription though it didn’t really happened, darn me.)

Live Streaming

This takes my cake, no questions asked. Tribe’s Live Streaming function features the five channels, has a program guide, and can be viewed in two ways. The gaffe for this one is the way it streams — most of the time, the frame freezes as I test on my phone. (Let me be clear: results may vary, as the phone I tested Tribe with just costs around Php2,000 or so.) Overall, it’s ok for me.

That’s my initial review of the Tribe app — by chance, I’ll update this post before my trial period expires. I’m always looking forward to these developments. Once again, to be clear: I did an initial review of the app without anything in mind but to watch anime and nothing else.