comscore Airtel Internet TV Review: Smart set-top boxes are here
Review

Airtel Internet TV Review: Smart set-top boxes are here

DTH players are ensuring you don’t need to sacrifice your traditional TV set-top-boxes for your binge watching spree.

airtel-internet-tv

Airtel Internet TV 4 5
BGR Rating :
4/5

India is on the cusp of the second connectivity revolution. This time, it s being driven by data. Numerous studies show that online video consumption is growing in India. While a lot of consumption is happening on the mobile platform, traditional TVs are arguably becoming quite redundant. The transition is certainly a great news for services like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video, which have grown immensely popular. But this also creates a vacuum for DTH players who can no longer rely on the conventional media for an all-around growth. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy M42 5G India launch on April 28: Specs, Amazon availability, expected price

Also Read - Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) with improved ANC launched at a fairly cheap price

DTH players like Airtel perhaps have foreseen the imminent redundancy of the traditional TVs in your living room. Hence, a product such as the Airtel Internet TV is born. A new breed of set-top-boxes that not only provide you SD and HD channels but becomes a universal platform for your internet-based consumption as well. In much simpler words, the set-top-box lets you watch TV channels as well as Netflix and Hotstar along with access to a bunch of Android apps. Moreover, it comes with built-in Chromecast support, so you can mirror contents from your mobile phone as well. Also Read - OnePlus 9R sale begins for everyone in India today: Where to buy, top features, and launch offers

Of course, concept-wise the Airtel Internet TV sounds very cool. But do you really need it? Is it better than buying a standalone Chromecast? Or should you go for Amazon s Fire TV stick? Well, I have been using Airtel s Internet TV for quite a few weeks. Here are my key takeaways.

Price

The Airtel Internet TV is available at a starting price of Rs 4,999, which is inclusive of three months of access to all SD and HD channels, a month of free Netflix, three months of Eros Now subscription and Airtel broadband benefits. Under the Rs 7,999 plan, you get the same benefits except for a year’s worth of access to all SD and HD channels.

Setting up

The process is similar to setting up any new DTH connection. While the Airtel engineers do that for you, you’ll need to connect your set-top box to your Wi-Fi connection to access OTT content. Since it runs on Android TV, you can also sign in with your Google ID to access the Android apps.

The box and remote

The Airtel Internet TV appears to be larger than usual set-top-boxes. It s larger than my current Tata Sky HD set-top-box for sure. I had to move the now pretty much useless Sony DVD player to make space for the Internet TV. There s a SIM-card-like tray sticking out from the box, and that s the way it will be.

On the front, you have an SD card slot, USB 2.0 port and a bunch of LED lights for network indication and power indication among others along with a power button. On the rear are ports for power, antenna in, video out, audio out (L/R), HDMI out, USB port 3.0 and ethernet. There s a microSD slot on the side as well. ALSO READ: India loves binge watching the most, and Netflix is taking note

Airtel internet tv remote

The remote looks very much similar to traditional TV remotes, but with a few handy upgrades. One of the most remarkable additions is the trackpad, which as you might have guess lets you navigate by just scrolling your fingers on the pad. The remote also comes with voice support for accessing content. You can also make it your universal remote and access your TV functionality such as switching on and off or just switching the HDMI inputs.

User interface and features

Once set up done, you re treated with Android boot when starting. The home page is quite cluttered if you ask me. It covers up the screen with a tad wider side panel that has features while the right-hand sub menu shows you recent channels and other content like live TV and related content. TV Guide shows you categories like sports, news, music, and kids, which is quite self-explanatory.

You can also directly access Airtel Movies and Netflix. You can also look up apps from the side panel. Android Home is more of a home screen for your apps downloaded. As far as Settings go, you can customize or rework the setup among other functionalities. Android s familiarity does come into play here. In terms of just sheer navigation, it works quite fluidly. Of course, it takes a bit of time to familiarize, but after a while, you are a Pro.

Voice search is pretty decent as it shows content like TV channels. However, it comes in handy while surfing YouTube. I personally dislike using the TV remote as a keyboard. YouTube s native voice recognition does save a lot of time. You can also download a bunch of apps, though the app store furnishes apps that are compatible with Android TV.

Do note that the device comes with 8GB of internal storage, and additional 128GB via microSD. For recording, users will require an additional USB drive with minimum capacity of 4GB and maximum capacity of 2TB.

Besides conventional TV viewing experience, the streaming experience is pretty fluid on the Airtel Internet TV. I have a 16Mbps Airtel broadband connection. So in my case, the experience was pretty much fluid. Do note that having an Airtel broadband connection also becomes an advantage as the company is offering 10GB of additional data for users having broadband plans under Rs 999. For higher priced plans, Airtel is offering 25GB additional broadband data every month. If you aren t an Airtel broadband user, you’re going to miss out on these benefits.

Verdict

The Airtel Internet TV is pretty good at what it is supposed to do, complete with Android and apps. But then it comes down to your use case. I already own a Tata Sky HD connection (for TV channels), a Chromecast (for streaming content from the phone) as well as an Amazon Fire TV stick (which is an all-rounder). This is where the limitation of the Airtel Internet TV cannot be ignored – it doesn t make sense for a user like me to also sign up for an Airtel DTH subscription. Chances are, if you also have a Chromecast or a Fire TV stick, it’ll be the same for you too. However, if you are looking for a brand new DTH connection or upgrading to a new one, the Internet TV package is what you must buy.

Since it’s Chromecast enabled, you really don t need an additional device to mirror content from your phone. Only apprehension I have about the Airtel Internet TV is the dependence on Airtel recharges. If you miss recharging your Airtel account, you d lose access to the internet content as well. In my opinion, Airtel should have a fix for this. Other than this, I think the Airtel Internet TV is a pretty cool device, and perhaps will usher in new era of smarter TV set-top-boxes.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: July 3, 2017 3:19 PM IST
  • Updated Date: July 3, 2017 3:53 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

10,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Best Sellers