Selecting Direct-to-Home (DTH) service provider among Airtel DTH, Tata Sky DTH and Dish DTH in India

Among all other problems I faced in India, selecting DTH provider in India is also a tremendous headache. My requirements were straightforward; I needed HD set-top box with DVR functionalities and wanted to subscribe all the available channels including HD channels.

Local cable provider does not even provide set-top box for digital channels yet so only choice I had was to select from airtel DTH, Tata Sky DTH and Dish DTH service providers. There are other DTH service providers, but I wanted to select only from most common DTH service providers in Indore.

DISH DTH does not offer DVR yet, so DISH DTH was not an option. Also, be aware that DISH advertises to have 30 HD channels but in reality, most of them are standard definition channels up converted to HD.

Upcoming Tata Sky HD DVR is very promising but it will not available till a couple of months in Indore, so only choice I had was to get the airtel DTH service.

But when the airtel installer brought the DVR I noticed that it was not HD DVR. According to the airtel DTH customer service terms, since the set-top box has a HDMI output, it is a HD set-top box. Later I found out they do not have HD DVR either. They either have HD set-top box without DVR or standard definition DVR. Anyway instead of explaining HD technology to them, I cancelled airtel DTH installation and ordered the Tata Sky DTH service.
So in the end, I did not get HD DVR. But I got the channels I wanted, because only the Tata Sky DTH mega-lite-pack package made sense to me among all three DTH service providers. Now I cannot wait for their HD DVR. If you do not care for DTH service provider, I think the Videocon DTH service provider has HD DVR.

Update 6/18:

I recently found out that DISH and Videocon set-top boxes have 60hz output. This means HDTV from USA will work without any NTSC to PAL scan converter. Also DISH DTH set-top box does not support latest mpeg-4 format.

I am seriously thinking of the Videocon DTH now, but I recently spent around 15,000 Rs. on the Tata Sky DTH. If you have Videocon DTH, I will appreciate if you can comment on Videocon DTH service.



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13 Responses to Selecting Direct-to-Home (DTH) service provider among Airtel DTH, Tata Sky DTH and Dish DTH in India

  1. ashish says:

    and the person who came see that peroblem they tret us as like f***ing shit i have to tell u aqll people that if u & ur famely want to see this peroblem than do the same what i did . buy the tatasky and face the prooblem

  2. ashish says:

    pls my req is that find the all peroblem

  3. ashish says:

    very big peroblem dont buy tatasky dth they r asking for money for services for what we had not done

  4. ashish says:

    i want to see the head of person in tatasky

  5. rony says:

    my need tatasky simple software

  6. mahi says:

    my dth peroblem pls salve

  7. Imam Zaman says:

    I use TataSky HD with the Grand Sports Package only since two months but I have been a Tatasky SD subscriber for almost like six years. I must say I am very happy with the service. Well the DTH customer care has always been a pain with any DTH provider in India. However if you can setup and manage your dish and decoder all by yourself, which is not so difficult then life is good. Tatasky has fantastic add free seven or eight Asli HD channels they call and those include a prime sports channel, Star Movies, Star World, Star Plus, Star Gold, NatGeo and Discovery. I watch on a 40″ Sony Bravia LED TV and I tell you the experience of HD channels are breathtaking. So without any doubt to my judgement TataskyHD is the best so far. I would love to have more HD channels specially HBO-HD which I’m eagerly waiting. By the way I also have a box each from DishHD, SunHD and Airtel.

  8. Ranga says:

    Hi Sudershan,

    My name is Ranga, I moved from US to India recently.

    I brought samsung lcd 46″ tv with me. Today i tried to setup up Dish STB HD to my TV but I am getting “mode not supported message”, the dish tech support guy tried for some time and he left. he was asking me to use PAL to NTSC converter.
    Later i was going thru your blog and i saw that 120 hz setting thing and i changed the setting in my TV to 60hz.

    now my question is
    Will this really works? Did it worrked for you?

    If you can confirm me, I can ask the DISH setup guy and ask him to try again.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks a lot

    • sudershan says:

      I have 55″ Samsung 3D HDTV, which accept 50hz input via component cable. What I read so far online that only DISH and VideoCon DTH set-top box output to 60hz. What it means is you don’t have to change any setting in your HDTV. As far as 120hz, 240hz etc. don’t change that setting. As long as you give 1080P/1080i/720P 60hz input to USA HDTV, you don’t need any PAL to NTSC converter whatsoever.

      Now to work with DISH, connect your HDTV composite input (yellow, red and black cable). You will see black and white because of PAL signal, but that’s OK. Now go to your set-top box settings and change the signal output to 60hz. Now connect your HDTV via HDMI and you should be fine.

      Please post your comment about your experience here, so other can benefit from it.

  9. Hi,

    I am one of the Co-founders of Bhumi, one of India’s largest youth volunteer Non-Profit Organisations working for supplementary education of under-privileged children and protecting the environment in Chennai, Trichy, Bengaluru, Chandigarh & Harayana.

    I would like to get in touch with you, please email me with your contact details.

    Vande Mataram!

    Dr Prahalathan KK

  10. rohit says:

    hi sudershan, I have a samsung led tv from US, its 720p and supports 60 hz I guess. I am trying to fix this ntsc problem since months,I also bought a converter but it works hopeless, please email me your contact no or something so that I can have a detail talk with you on how get this to work…please I would appreciate your help a email is,


    • sudershan says:

      We have had Tata Sky till Aug. connected to TV directly via component cable. It worked perfectly until Tata Sky decided they can’t send HD signal over component. Anyway now we are using Videocon and it’s working fine without any converter. Remember you need to change 50Hz to 60 Hz in Videocon box settings.

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