Back in 2017, Airtel Digital TV was the first DTH operator to launch a hybrid Set-Top Box offering both Satellite TV and OTT apps. In September this year, Airtel Digital TV announced Airtel Xstream Box which is a more refined version of Airtel Internet TV the company launched in 2017. Airtel Xstream Box runs on Android TV platform and it comes pre-installed with apps like Airtel Xstream, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, among others. Airtel Digital TV has two traditional Set-Top Boxes- Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD), but Xstream Box offers 4K support and much more features. Should you pay Rs 3,999 and get the Airtel Xstream Box or choose the basic Set-Top Boxes from the operator? Well, let's find out.
What are the Basic Differences?
There is hardly anyone who would be unfamiliar with a standard HD set-top box, but what’s new in the market these days is a hybrid set-top box. Now, unlike a standard set-top box which connects to a dish and simply does the job of providing satellite channels to your TV, a hybrid set-top box is something that combines satellite channels and as well as over-the-top (OTT) content and applications. So, with a hybrid set-top box, you are not only going to get satellite channels but also you will be able to access the internet, use apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5, Google Assistant and more on your TV. So, as by now you would have figured out, Airtel’s Xstream Box lands in the category of a hybrid set-top box.
Which One to Get For Your Connection?
Being a hybrid set-top box, it is obvious that the Airtel Xstream Box is the pricier version. Currently, the Airtel Xstream Box will set you back by Rs 3,999 if you are a new customer, but if you are an existing Airtel Digital TV user, then you will only have to pay Rs 2,249. As opposed to that, the HD set-top box by Airtel Digital TV would set you back by around Rs 1,500. The next question that comes up is what are the reasons that you should look at to choose between the two.
Firstly, the question that you would need to ask yourself before going for anyone of the connections is how important is OTT content and other video-on-demand apps are for you. In case you are a Netflix junkie, and you would like to have to upgrade from watching shows and movies on your phone or laptop to watching them in bigger screens, then the Airtel Xstream Box would make sense. However, if you barely binge watch things online and TV is what makes up for most of your entertainment, then the HD set-top box from Airtel Digital TV would be the most economical option.
Also, it’s not to be forgotten, that when you get an Airtel Xstream Box, you will have to ensure a proper internet connection at your home which gets you enough speed to stream content without interruption. In case you don’t have a broadband connection at home yet, then when you get the Airtel Xstream Box, that will be an added cost which you will have to consider.
Airtel Digital TV vs Airtel Xstream Box: Verdict
Airtel Digital TV is a tailor-made option for users who strictly watch Satellite TV. Also, for customers without a high-speed broadband connection, the Airtel Xstream Box does not make any sense to purchase. Additionally, Airtel Xstream Box allows users to watch Live TV from the Xstream alp through the internet, which is an added advantage when your Satellite TV stops working. But again, Airtel Digital TV is a go-to option for many, but investing a bit more can provide the user Xstream Box that offers versatility.