Android TV Set-Top Boxes have become a trend in the Indian DTH sector right now. Airtel Digital TV introduced Android TV-based Set-Top Box in 2017 itself, but back then, other DTH operators ignored the launch of Airtel Internet TV. However, after the new Trai tariff regime became fully effective, TV viewers are inclined towards watching Live TV from OTT apps itself. To catch up the tread, Airtel Digital TV introduced an updated Android TV STB called Airtel Xstream Box. Very soon, Dish TV followed the footsteps of Airtel Digital TV and came up with Dish SMRT Hub which also runs Android TV. And more recently, Tata Sky joined the train by launching Tata Sky Binge+ Set-Top Box. The top three DTH operators are now offering an Android TV-based linear Set-Top Box to the users.
Tata Sky Binge+ vs Airtel Xstream Box vs Dish SMRT Hub: Prices Compared
Starting with the prices, the Tata Sky Binge+ is the premium Set-Top Box of the three. Tata Sky is charging Rs 5,999 for new customers who are purchasing the Binge+ STB, and the DTH operator did not even launch any upgrade offers for SD and HD STB users of Tata Sky. As for the launch offers, it comes with one month of free Tata Sky Binge subscription with access to premium OTT apps like Hotstar, ZEE5, Eros Now, Hungama Play and so on.
Moving onto Airtel Xstream Box, it is still available at the launch price of Rs 3,999. As part of its limited period offer, Airtel is selling it for Rs 2,249 for Airtel Thanks members. The Xstream Box comes with seven-day Mega HD Trial Pack as well. Airtel Digital TV HD and SD Box users can upgrade to Airtel Xstream Box at the same Rs 2,249 price.
Lastly, we have Dish TV which is selling the Dish SMRT Hub at Rs 3,999. Existing Dish TV users can upgrade to Dish SMRT Hub at Rs 2,499. There are no offers running on Dish SMRT Hub right now.
Tata Sky Binge+ vs Airtel Xstream Box vs Dish SMRT Hub: Features Compared
First and foremost, all the three Set-Top Boxes run Android TV 9.0 Pie software and comes preinstalled with various OTT apps like YouTube, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and so on. If not, users can download more than 5000 apps and games from the Google Play Store. All three STBs offer voice-enabled remote and lacks Netflix support out of the box. In India, Netflix requires manufacturers to add a dedicated button on the remote, so that they can bundle it out of the box.
As you might already be aware of, the Tata Sky Binge+ or Airtel Xstream Box or Dish SMRT Hub allows users to watch both Satellite TV and OTT content. The hardware on all the three boxes is also pretty much similar.
The biggest differentiator is the software modifications and OTT content offered by DTH operators. The Tata Sky Binge+ STB comes with a custom launcher which has an option called ‘Binge.’ This Binge allows users to watch Catch Up TV and also Video-on-Demand (VoD) content. On the other hand, Airtel Xstream Box also comes preloaded with Airtel Xstream app which allows users to watch the same Catch Up TV and OTT content from various services. Dish TV is now offering Watcho app content for free to the Dish SMRT Hub users.
Overall, Tata Sky Binge+ has better content compared to the other DTH operators in India right now. But Airtel Xstream content is also on the decent side. Overall, Airtel Xstream Box wins the Android TV Set-Top Box race right now as the Tata Sky Binge+ is priced on the higher side at Rs 5,999.