DTH (Direct To Home) TV in India, Features and Price Comparison

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.

DTH TV Feature Comparison

Tata Sky Dish TV BIG TV Airtel Digital Sun Direct Videocon d2h
Quality- MPEG4 DVD DVD Yes Yes Yes Yes
DVB -S2 No No No Yes No Yes
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 +
Alacarte
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
Naming Favourites No No Yes Yes No Yes
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
Customizable hud No No No No No Yes
Ticker/Widgets No No No Yes No Yes

DTH TV Price in India

DTH PACKAGE NO OF CHANNELS COST PER MONTH
Dish TV Titanium pack 193 332.5
Child pack 190 165
Platinum Shine Pack+1 free top up190 312
Gold 165 210
Silver 145 125
South platinum 190 312
South Gold 155 190
South Silver 145 125
D2h Gold pack 125 150
Diamond pack 165 275
Airtel Super value 110 127
New value 118 160
Economy 155 221
Mega 177 304
Ultra 184 364
BIG TV Value pack 81 90+ Taxes
Bronze pack 111 135+ Taxes
Silver pack 123 180+Taxes
Gold pack 138 225+Taxes
Diamond pack 152 270+Taxes
Platinum pack 156 315+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
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