Hey there visitors, SaveOnDish.com’s moderator and top contributor Mr. Roh_Style has posted a comprehensive comparison of all the existing DTH services in the market today. We at SaveOnDish hope that this official SaveOnDish comparison of DTH services will help you decide which DTH service to go for.
This review contains the advantages and disadvantages of each of the DTH services, point by point, and enables you to minutely observe the good and bad so that you may see through everything before actually taking the decision of buying a DTH system. So here goes!:
DD DIRECT PLUS :
(1) DD Direct Plus is India’s first and only DTH service that offers its services absolutely free of cost. No monthly subscriptons to be paid when you are with DD Direct Plus.
(2) Small one-time initial investment on STB and Dish and you can use it life-long.
(3) Apart from all DD chs, DD Direct Plus offers several popular private FTA (Free-To-Air) chs.
(4) As a bonus, DD Direct Plus also offers additional chs, from Dish TV’s satellite which are FTA from time to time.
(1) DD Direct Plus does not offer any EPG (Electronic Program Guide) facility, which all other DTH operator provides. Due to this, users are not able to check schedules on channels before-hand.
(2) New channel addition process is very slow. Several ch wait for approval from Prasar Bharati (DD Direct Plus), but its sloggish attitude makes the addition of new chs too late.
(3) DD Direct Plus revises and hikes its carriage fees all of a sudden due to which some channels tend to quit the platform.
(1) The biggest advantage of Dish TV is its cost. (For old or existing customers at this point). It offers most of the popular chs at low cost. The highest pack costs Rs.325 per month, after which only 1 or 2 add-on packs are required to all almost all chs, unlike other DTH where you need several Add-on packs even after subscribing to the highest pack.
(2) Dish TV’s satellite being located very near to DD Direct Plus’s satellite, all Dish TV users enjoy the complete ch offering of DD Direct Plus as well. So any new ch added in DD Direct Plus automatically gets added to Dish TV channel offering.
(3) The software of Dish TV STBs are stable at the moment. This makes the switching speed between chs pretty fast. Also very less hang-ups of STBs reported till now. Thanks to Dish TV STBs’ great software.
(4) Only Dish TV gives its users access to exclusive never-before seen international channels which are not available even in cable till now. The platter includes MGM, TCM and Boomerang. Airtel Digital TV provides MGM India unlike Dish TV which still carries the direct international feed of MGM.
(5) Several new channels added recently are provided at no extra cost for the highest pack users, except for a few chs. (Currently only for existing or old customers). Whereas other DTH operators, have added the new launches in seperate Add-on Packs.
(6) Dish TV has a good no of Transponders to offer more chs to its users, including the recently contracted Protostar which means more chs for its customers.
(1) One of the biggest problems of Dish TV is its Customer Care and Customer Service which is definately not upto the mark. The CC executives lack professionalism in their attitude and after-sales support in certain areas are allegedly poor.
(2) Another serious issue is its audio and video quality. Quality on several (but not all) channels on Dish is not upto the mark. Too much of pixelation is seen on some chs and the audio standard is of course not of true CD quality.
(3) Dish TV misses out on few important ch packages which includes the Neo bouquet and the UTV group of chs. Due to this exclusive cricket matches and world TV premier of latest movies on these chs are missed by the Dish TV users.
(4) New ch addition process is extremely slow when it comes to Dish TV. It takes a huge amount of time for Dish TV to enhance its bouquet offerings.
(5) The time taken for activation of packages after renewal is too long sometimes. Users had to wait for as long as 5-6 days for activation even after making payments on time.
(6) Official website is not updated regularly. Official weblog which was meant for the interaction of Dish TV users, too does not work till date.
(1) India’s first and only DTH service to have made a joint venture with a reputed international DTH brand, Sky, which is famous for its exquisite technology.
(2) The audio and video quality of TataSky stands up to the expectations of its users. Customers have reported about TataSky’s true DVD quality picture and CD quality sound.
(3) Only TataSky gives its users an exclusive access to some authentic international channels which includes BBC Entertainment and Ceebebies.
(4) TataSky offers uniform volume level across all channels, unlike other DTH services where the volume level keep varying with each ch.
(5) The STB of TataSky is stable enough. There has been very less or no reports of TataSky STB bugs or issues till date.
(6) TataSky users argue that its Customer Service is satisfactory. Issues are addressed on time and the after-sales support is great.
(1) TataSky has too many Add-on packs. Several add-on packs need to be subscribed to for enjoying all the chs, even after going with the highest pack. This makes the over-all package too costly.
(2) The channel strength of TataSky is less compared to other DTH operators. This is because of the less no of Transponders purchased by them.
Reliance Big TV :
(1) Big TV is has incorporated MPEG-4 technology unlike other DTH who are still on MPEG-2. The most basic difference between the two is that MPEG-4 is capable of carrying more chs in its offerings which means more chs can be added within a short span of time. After Dish TV, Big TV offers the highest no of chs.
(2) Another merit of Big TV is its awesome picture and audio quality which are much better than any other existing DTH. For the first time, a DTH that lives up to the expectations for a true digital quality experience.
(3) Big TV is perhaps the only DTH that offers several chs in its base pack. In fact, Big TV’s package and pricing is absolutely tailor-made to suit the exact needs of the customers. With this advantage, customer get more chs by paying less.
(4) The Active or rather “Select” services on Big TV allows users to watch 12 chs at a time on a single screen unlike other DTH where you can watch a max of 6 – 8 chs.
(5) Rain-fade is an issue that is common for all DTH. But its Big TV, so you can enjoy your favourite programs even when it rains. Big TV’s advanced technology lets you watch chs even when it rains heavily. Chs may blak-out for just about 5-6 seconds whereas in other DTHs, ch black-out lasts the entire length of the rain.
(1) The biggest problem of Big TV is its STB software which is still now not stable. Customers across India have reported about STB hanging problems innumerable no of times. STB gets over-heated, hangs several times, slow channel navigation, does not work after a manual update are some of the many issues that keep occcuring to the Big TV STBs.
(2) Another demerit of Big TV is its Customer Care and Customer Service. The CC Executives lack professionalism in their behaviour. The after-sales support is too not good.
(3) Incorrect package activations have happened with several users at times where the customer was wanting one pack and some other pack was activated instead.
(4) The Big TV logo placed on the top left corner of screens is quite big and not transparent which is irritating. Whereas the logos of other DTH services are relatively smaller and of watermark type.
Airtel Digital TV :
(1) Airtel Digital TV offers true DVD quality picture and CD quality sound which are absolutely flawless. So its customers can be assured of its crystal-clear video and stereophonic sound.
(2) The external appreacnce of Digital TV STB is sleek and stylish unlike the STB of other DTH operators which are huge and bulky. Digital TV’s STB proves to be a fantastic eye-candy.
(3) For the first time, Digital TV is a DTH that offers universal remotes for its users. So no more hassle of using two remotes at a time. (One for TV, the other for STB). Digital TV’s STB remotes (after programming) will work with both your TV as well with the STB.
(4) Only Digital TV exclusively offers 10 popular and premium World-Space satellite radio chs to its subscribers. There is so much to hear, when you have World Space Radio with you, another first from Digital TV.
(5) The Dish antenna of Digital TV is considerably bigger than other DTH dishes. This makes sure that you dont loose connectivity even when it rains wild. The bigger dish has been brought up keeping this aspect in mind.
(1) The only disadvantage of Digital TV is its price which is comparetively higher than any other DTH. The highest pack goes up to Rs.424 per month which comes out to be too costly keeping in mind the present cut-throat competition in the DTH market.
Special thanks to Mr. Roh_Style for writing up such a brilliant comparison document.