Over the past one year, LED HD TVs and Smart TVs have become cheaper. You can now buy a Smart TV for under Rs 15,000. And with HD TVs now available on budget, the DTH operators have also started giving discounts on set-top-boxes. You can choose between Tata Sky, D2h, Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV. We compared the set-top-box prices and starter pack benefits offered by DTH operators. Here is how they compete.
Tata Sky set-top-box price, starter pack details
Tata Sky offers four set-top-boxes to choose from. The basic one “Tata Sky SD” is available for Rs 1,399. It offers DVD quality picture, and CD quality audio. Next, you have the “Tata Sky HD” which is available for Rs 1,499. It offers 1080i video quality, 16:9 aspect ratio, along with Dolby Digital Surround Sound. With a lot of people having flat panel TV, going for an HD set-top-box will be recommended. Go for the SD one only if you have a CRT TV.
For those who want even higher quality can go for “Tata Sky 4K” set-top-box for Rs 6,400. It offers full HD resolution and 4K UHD resolution to enjoy content on your 4K TV. But with the lack of 4K content, it doesn’t make sense to go for this one. The last one “Tata Sky+ HD” is a little expensive and available for Rs 9,300. It offers 1080i resolution picture quality and Dolby Digital Surround Sound experience. The set-top-box is 3D Ready and comes with 500GB hard disk which let you record live TV and watch it later at your convenience.
Choosing any of the set-top-box, you also get a range of Tata Sky services such as “Learn” where you can learn how to dance, cook, speak English, and more. There is Tata Sky spiritual service where you get live telecast from Siddhivinayak, Omkareshwar, Somnath and other temples, allowing you to catch the aarti live.
With every new connection, you also get one-month free subscription giving you a saving of Rs 301. You are free to choose the packs that you want from the available options.
D2h set-top-box details, starter pack
D2h has one HD RF set-top-box available for Rs 1,799. You also get free one-month subscription of Platinum HD Combo plan. This plan usually costs Rs 616 per month. It offers 117 TV channels in total including a number of SD and HD channels from across the genre. This includes entertainment, movies, music, sports, news, infotainment, and kids channels.
The set-top-box allows you to pause live TV, rewind and forward. You can also set a time and title to record at that particular time. What’s more, the recording limit is unlimited as per the company website. But D2h has not mentioned the storage capacity like Tata Sky.
Dish TV set-top-box details, starter pack
Dish TV has two set-top-boxes. The basic one “DishNXT” is available for Rs 1,490, and the higher model “DishNXT HD” is available for Rs 1,590. It makes sense to pay Rs 100 extra and get the HD set-top-box because it offers better quality audio and video. You also get English and Hindi language support in the menu too.
The DTH operator is also offering 1-month free subscription and coupons worth Rs 2,000 from Coupon Duniya for free. Dish TV also lets you connect your external USB drive to the set-top-box and record TV shows and movies. The service is available at a special price of Rs 169 (+GST) for 12 months.
Airtel Digital TV set-top-box details, starter pack
The Airtel Digital TV set-top-box is generally available for Rs 1,953, but after the Rs 500 price cut, you can now get it for Rs 1,453. Airtel is further offering Rs 1,000 benefit to the users. The set-top-box can now be availed for Rs 769, which also includes 150 channel bundle.
The usual cost of this channel pack is Rs 452 a month, and you can even select channel packs as per your requirement. It is worth noting that the Rs 769 price does not include NCF (Network Capacity Fee), installation and activation charges, something that you need to pay additionally. If you already have an SD set-top box and want to upgrade to HD, you can do so by paying Rs 699 (set-top box) and Rs 150 (engineer visit charges).