Online video streaming platforms bring movies and TV shows from all over the world right to wherever we are. These platforms, like Netflix and Kodi, have redefine entertainment and the way we watch movies, sporting events, TV shows and more.
One such popular streaming platform is Hotstar. Mostly popular in India, it offers 50,000 hours of TV content and movies spread across eight languages found on the subcontinent.
Other features include a highly evolved streaming technology that provides a great video experience for users, attention to quality, smart search and a user-friendly interface.
While all this sure sounds exciting, the downside is Hotstar places geographic restrictions. This means that if you’re not in India, you won’t have access to all this content.
In this article we’re going to show you how to watch Hotstar from anywhere; no matter if you’re an Mumbai expat in California or you’re a European who likes Indian movies, you won’t have to go without your entertainment of choice.
How to Watch Hotstar on TV
Currently, Hotstar is not supported on Chromecast yet (unlike Netflix), so it’s hard to say if it will work with your TV or not. It depends on your TV’s configuration and your location.
The good news is that Hotstar is working on an app that’ll make it compatible with smart TVs, so hope remains alive on that score.
To try it out, you can sideload the Hotstar app on your TV, though this may require you to get an .apk installer via your phone.There’s no guarantee that the app will work, but it’s worth a shot. An added advantage is that these apps will be updated as soon as they’re available on Google Play Store.
If you own an Android TV, here’s how you can sideload the Hotstar app.
- Open ES File Explorer on Google Play, as this is the primary tool that’ll allow you to send .apk files to your device
- Click on “install” and choose your device
- Click “install” again
- Make sure your Android TV is turned on and connected to the Internet. ES File Explorer will be downloaded and installed automatically on your TV
- Next, open Google Play and look for the “sideload launcher for Android TV.” If nothing shows up, navigate to “settings,” then “Apps and you should find it there
- Again, click on “install, then “choose your device and “install” again
Now you’re ready to install the Hotstar app.
- Before you install Hotstar, go to “settings,” “personal” and then “security and restrictions.” Make sure you turn on “unknown sources” to permit apps from all sources to be downloaded
- Return to the home screen and navigate to “sideload launcher app” on your TV
- This will bring up a window with all installed apps. From this, choose ES File Explorer
- From here, navigate to “network” on your left-hand pane and choose “remote manager”
- Then, turn on the status and you’ll get a ftp address that’ll be something like “ftp://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx”
- Now, go to your desktop PC’s “my computer” menu and type the ftp address in the address bar at the top
- This should connect you to the Android TV and you should see the file contents on your TV now
- Copy the .apk files to this directory on your computer
- Next, go to Android TV and turn off network sharing
- Choose “download” in the downloads folder and you can see the .apk files you copied to your device
- Select Hotstar from this list and install it. Accept the permissions and you’re all set to watch Hotstar
Just remember, sideloading is a little tricky as some apps may not work, regardless of how closely you followed the instructions. However, this process should work in most cases.
How to Watch Hotstar in the US and UK
Hotstar has geo-restrictions, so you can watch it only in India and a few other neighboring countries. To watch it in the U.S., UK, SIngapore or any other geoblocked countries, use a VPN. Any of our best VPNs should work here, as Hotstar doesn’t block these services like Netflix does (check out our article on best VPN for Netflix to find out what will work).
Here’s how you can use a VPN to watch Hotstar content.
- Go to Google Play Store or your VPN’s website and download the VPN app
- Click “install” to download this app to your phone
- Open the app and login using your credentials
- Go to the server selection menu and choose India
- Close Google Play Store and ensure it’s not running in the background
- Open Google Play again and search for Hotstar. You should see it in the results
- Download and install it
Once you install it, you can watch Hotstar in the U.S. or anywhere else.
The same instructions apply for the iPad as well. Though Hotstar has native apps available for all iOS devices, they’re geoblocked. So, if you live outside India, you’ll have to use a VPN to download and install Hotstar on your device.
How to Install Hotstar in Kodi
Hotstar addon is available for Kodi, but again the geo-restrictions apply. So, you’ll have to use a VPN to unblock the Kodi add-on outside India.
Follow these instructions to install Hotstar on Kodi; you need to have Fusion installed to do so.
- Open Kodi and go to “system,” then go to “file manager”
- Click “add source”
- Select “none” and type “http://fusion.tvaddons.ag“
- Click “done” and scroll to the empty bar and enter “fusion”
- Select “OK”
- Go back to your Kodi homescreen and select “system,” “add-ons,” “install from zip file”
- Next, choose “Fusion,” “Kodi repos,” “international” and “indian.repository.yocoldrain-1.0.zip”
- Select from “install from repository” the option “YoColdRain’s Repository,” then go to “video add-ons” > “Hotstar” > “install”
- Wait as it will take some time to enable the add-on
- Go back to the home screen and select “videos” and “add-ons”
- Choose Hotstar
That’s it. You’re good to watch Hotstar on Kodi.
How to Use Hotstar App
Now that you’ve installed the Hotstar app, let’s take a quick look at how to use it.
The Hotstar app is fairly simple and self-explanatory. As soon as you open the app, you’ll see a few tabs such as “home,” “TV,” “movies,” “sports” and “channels.” Navigate through these tabs to find the content you want. It’s really that simple.
Watching Hotstar from anywhere is as simple as getting a VPN service subscription (which you should do anyway unless you like ISPs or security services spying on you) and navigating to the Hotstar app.
Unlike Netflix and its VPN ban, Hotstar seems to be happy to have other people access it, so why should you deny yourself the pleasure? Enjoy your content and please share your feedback in the comments section. Thank you for reading.