NKorea rolls out on-demand TV service


SEOUL: North Korea is rolling out an on-demand TV catch-up service, allowing people with some sort of internet access to enjoy the highly-propagandized output of its four state-run TV channels at their leisure. The system, which goes by the name “Manbang” (“Everywhere”), functions like a sharply pared-down Netflix with an on-demand service menu that divides programming by channel and genre. Viewers can scroll through the day’s programs — usually aired during a 3:00pm-11:00pm window — and select a particular TV show to watch at their leisure. A program introducing the service that aired on Korean Central Television (KCTV) last week said it was available to any institute, company or household that subscribes to North Korea’s state-operated intranet. The number of intranet subscribers in North Korea is unknown, but KCTV said “hundreds” of people had signed up to the Manbang service in Sinuiju — one of three cities where the system is being rolled out. Set up in 2000, the intranet only allows access to selected, government-approved websites and mostly functions as a communication platform between government agencies, universities, industry and commerce.



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