Heritage Broadcasting Service is a subscription-based video-on-demand platform that allows its users to stream a wide range of video content based on topics of history, culture, and society, created/documented by storytellers, documentarians, visual anthropologists, archaeologists, and experts from across the globe. It was developed by the Archeological Legacy Institute based out of Oregon, USA. The catalog of this streaming platform is home to a number of titles for infotainment enthusiasts who love to absorb knowledge and seek the thrill of exploration.

How does it look?

The website’s theme is dark for its interface which makes it easy on the eyes while at the same time, the white text gets registered by senses without effort. Once logged in, it offers three fundamental options of browsing through its catalogs, reaching the dashboard for the user profile and billing details, and finally, a sign-out option. The Browse option can be utilized to access the full catalog as well as the monthly spotlight. The full catalog is compartmentalized into location-specific content sections such as Central Asia, Central America, Ancient Egypt, to name a few, as well as discipline-specific content sections such as Pre-history, Paleoanthropology, etc., in addition to the sections of Series, New Titles and Continue Watching. This equips the website with an efficient content management system, enabling users to navigate easily through the interface. Primarily, users can access titles according to the culture and/or history of the places that interest them the most. Every title is complemented by a short synopsis in the text to enable viewers into making a choice.

What makes it different?

While the autonomy of choice is critical to one’s individuality, an overflow of information, infographics, and suggestions leads to the paradox of choice. This has been one of the major drawbacks of streaming giants. The provision of options meant to provide “choice” to consumers ends up eroding their autonomy, quite ironically, by exposing them to multiple choices of equivalent merit. Like any other streaming giant, Heritage Broadcasting is challenged by the same problem to a degree. However, what’s worth noticing is the platform’s awareness of the phenomenon and its active effort in mitigating the adverse effects of the same. Therefore, while it serves location-specific or discipline-specific categories, it also repeats its titles under different categories to help users know that the categories converge in terms of many titles. It also provides a wide thumbnail that is not overly dominated by the representational posters in the title cards. One thing that I would appreciate about the streaming service is its choice to show the runtime on the title card without the need of having to open it. On a majority of streaming sites, the runtime becomes visible only when the user clicks on the title card to open it. I have personally found myself annoyed by this mandate, as it is quite often that my choice to watch something at a certain hour also takes into consideration its runtime. Heritage Broadcasting Service becomes efficient in the way it saves users’ time in browsing.

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High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

What does it need?

But while a number of major features are user-friendly as aforementioned, it also lacks a direct voice command feature in the search option preventing the users to search for a certain title without text. There will be challenges for people with disabilities such as those without vision to access the streaming site in the absence of voice command.

What are its essential features?

Moving on from imperfection to assess the merit of the site, one finds the complete range of customization features that allow users an enhanced and accessible experience. The website is thankfully equipped with playback speed control, subtitle/audio language change option, floating window, global content, and a range of resolution options. The website doesn’t have a data usage settings window for those who wish to save data. That will only be possible via resolution changes.

The streaming window on the site ensures basic options of rewind, forward, sound adjustment, and chrome casting. The compatibility of a streaming giant with devices has an important role to play in the user experience. While it is compatible with laptops and smartphones, it can also be chrome cast on Android televisions.

To note down another set of positive aspects for the streaming service, it is equipped with a filter option that enables sorting of content according to the category, author, runtime, and language preferences. This is an essential feature of the streaming platform’s content management system, rendering it with a more user-friendly interface.

What does it do?

One of the most important things for a curious individual is the pursuit of knowledge. To know about human societies, their evolution, the evolution of various societal features and events, and cultural inquiry are a few of the things that warrant interest. Heritage Broadcasting enables the user to access the same content and provide food to their soul. However, there are a few features that will enhance the user experience and make the streaming more inclusive. I feel that the streaming service must provide warning for people with photosensitivity if any of their content has flashing lights and stimulating vibrance, in addition to the voice command feature as previously mentioned.

Why is it recommended?

Heritage Broadcasting Service has built itself into a wonderful and easy-to-use streaming platform. With the kind of content it is offering, it will manage to garner a niche audience base that will depend on it for its regular dose of infotainment. It also has the potential to be an important archive for researchers, students, and people from academia from a number of disciplines. Personally, I feel so overwhelmed by the diversity of Heritage Broadcasting Service’s catalog that it earns my recommendation.

What to watch?

The streaming platform is no short of lucrative content to serve a range of audiences with varied interests. For someone invested in the pursuit of art, I found myself fascinated by two documentaries on music namely The Origin of Music and Of Love and Artistry. For those who yearn for poetry, the documentary Hafez and Goethe offer a rich exploration of the former’s influence on the latter and how Goethe’s work blends the western and eastern heritage. Additionally, considering how Stonehenge has been a mystery for quite a while, Heritage Broadcasting Service brings to us two films namely The Builders of Stonehenge and Standing With Stones: A Journey Through Megalithic Britain.

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