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

Tag: india dth

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.