DTH (Direct To Home) is the transmission mode by which satellite TV programming can be received at home. Currently there are six main DTH providers in India, namely Dish TV, TataSky, Big TV, Airtel Digital, Sun Direct and Videocon D2H.
Direct To Home (DTH) is the primary alternative if you don’t want to depend on local cable operators. We frequently face Cable TV outages and breakdowns and in most cases the service is not dependable. Since DTH signals come directly from the broadcast satellite to the consumer’s dish, it can even reach remote places without any cable running through the streets and highways. With the widespread implementation of Conditional Access System (CAS) throughout India, DTH is a good alternative.
Having many service providers makes it difficult to choose from. To select a DTH provider, we have to consider various factors such as picture quality, transmission during rough weather, suitability of the plans / packages, package pricing, and other value added services. The DTH service quality depends on the signal strength, so it is always better to check for excellent reception in your area.
DTH services offer MPEG4 quality or DVD quality or MPEG4 with DVB-S2 digital transmission. MPEG4 with DVB-S2 (Digital Video Broadcasting) has provision for HD quality, but not implemented yet. It also allows for enhanced interactive services with access to the Internet. Airtel and Videocon offer MPEG4 with DVB-S2.
Almost each DTH provider has special packs for the southern region that has packs specifically designed to include regional language channels. Many providers provide a Jumbo package or Mega Package or Titanium package, which includes all channels for an amount. On an average, the monthly charges for such a mega pack comes to about Rs 300 to Rs 350, which many include a few value added services and pay per view channel.
If you don’t want all channels, you can make a list of the channels you want, and go ahead with the service or package that gives you most of them for the least amount. Getting the desired combination of channels is more important than the number of channels in a pack.
DTH provides Movie On Demand, in which there will be specific channels where movies play at scheduled start times. These can be accessed through the service interface or DTH website or SMS. Check for the availability of the latest movies in Pay Per View (Movie n Demand) when making a decision.
All providers, except Sun Direct, provide Interactive services to interact with the TV.
Some DTH providers such as Dish TV source content from online sources like matrimonial or job services. Others like Airtel allow you to set up widgets that give information and news snippets, weather, stock updates, breaking news on the press of a button without moving from the main screen.
TataSky is the most popular DTH Service. TataSky provides 24×7 customer support in 11 Indian languages. Packages are expensive than others. TataSky provide the maximum number of interactive services.
Airtel Digital also provides a lot of innovative interactive services. Airtel provides some exclusive features such as a Univeral remote. The iNet feature provides customer with latest news, stocks from your portfolio, Bollywood gossip and the latest weather with widgets. Airtel Digital has partnered with NDTV for News widget and CNBC for stocks.
Dish TV who was awarded India’s first DTH license in 2003 and began operations in 2004. With Dish TV you can access content from Shaadi.com and search for potential partners through the Shaadi Active service. The content is not live but is updated every week. Similarly you can access content from monster.com and ICICI Bank.
BIG TV provides better picture quality using the MPEG4 technology. BIG provides better pay-perview movies options. They provide better package pricing.
Sun Direct has a strong presence in South India, with their south centric plans. Sun Direct packages are regions and languages specific, allowing you to select channels of your preferred lanugages.
Videocon D2H combined its electronics and consumer goods background to bundle LCD TVs and DVD players with in built DTH receivers, including a DVD players that have in built DTH receiver. it provides a 12 picture in picture mosaic to browse channels. It also has tickers for stock, cricket and news updates that form an overlay over the programming being viewed. Videocon d2h also has packs for every region.
|Tata Sky||Dish TV||BIG TV||Airtel Digital||Sun Direct||Videocon d2h|
|Interactive Service||Actve Topper||Gaming||iStock||iNet||NA||Active Darshan|
|Actve Learning||News Active||iCricket||iLearn||Active Cooking|
|Actve Stories||Bhakti Active||iAstro||iNews||Active Travel|
|Actve Mall||Astro Active||icooking||iMatinee||Active Health &Fitness|
|Actve English||ICICI Active||iCare||iTravel|
|Actve Wizkids||Sports Active||iGame||iAstro|
|Actve Games||Multilingual Service||iNews||iSports|
|Actve Darshan||Shaadi Active|
|Actve Cooking||Jobs Active|
|Actve Astrology||Travel Active|
|Package Model||Base pack+Add on
Pack + Few alacarte
|Base Pack + Alacarte||Base Package+Add on
Packs + regional Packs
|Base Package + Adding
next Package or Topups
|Base Pack + Add on +
|BasePack + Add on|
|Movies on Demand Channels||7||6||21||6||4||Coming soon|
|Favorite Channels list||1 with 20 channel||8 with Unlimited||8 with Unlimited||4 with 15 channel||No||4 lists with 20 channels each|
|Top 10 list||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Parental control with rating||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Language for interface||Single||Single||Single||Single||Single||2 Language out of 9 available|
|DTH||PACKAGE||NO OF CHANNELS||COST PER MONTH|
|Dish TV||Titanium pack||193||332.5|
|Platinum||Shine Pack+1 free top up190||312|
|BIG TV||Value pack||81||90+ Taxes|
|Bronze pack||111||135+ Taxes|
|TATA SKY||Super Hit pack||63||160|
|Super Value pack||103||200|
|Super Value Kids pack||104||225|
|Super Saver pack||124||275|
|SUN DIRECT||Shine Pack+1free top up||130||120|
|North Jumbo pack||30||300|