With the launch of d2h Stream, the top three pay DTH operators in India- Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV now have an Android TV Set-Top Box on offer to the new and existing subscribers. Airtel Digital TV was the first DTH operator in India to come with a hybrid Set-Top Box based on Android TV platform back in 2017. In 2019, the company refreshed the lineup and introduced Airtel Xstream Box with latest Android TV 9.0 Pie onboard. Soon, Dish TV came up with its Android TV box called Dish SMRT Hub, which was again followed by Tata Sky with Tata Sky Binge+. Yesterday, D2h, which is also part of Dish TV, has introduced d2h Stream at a price of Rs 3,999 for new users and Rs 2,499 for existing D2h customers. The big question is which one to Android TV STB should you choose? Let's find out.
There's no doubt that all the Android TV hybrid STBs from DTH operators offer similar features. For example, they come preinstalled with apps like Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5, Hotstar and so on, and they even run on the latest Android TV 9.0 Pie platform. It also boils down to the pricing and the unique offers in place before choosing an Android TV STB from a DTH operator.
Tata Sky Binge+: Pricing and Launch Offers Detailed
The Tata Sky Binge+ was launched earlier this year at Rs 5,999 and it comes bundled with one-month of Tata Sky Binge subscription at no extra cost. Tata Sky is providing Rs 1,000 cashback on Binge+ for existing customers who upgrade the Set-Top Box. Being a premium DTH operator, the Binge+ is priced on the higher side when compared to others. Nevertheless, Tata Sky should have at least provided six months of Tata Sky Binge subscription to beat the rivals and justify the asking price.
Tata Sky is also bundling its content aggregator app inside Binge+ which even allows users to watch Live TV channels via the web through Catch-Up TV service. As we already know, Tata Sky is amongst the best when it comes to the standard channel packs.
Dish SMRT Hub and d2h Stream: Pricing and Launch Offers Detailed
Moving on, we have Dish TV and D2h both falling under one brand. Dish TV has its Android TV-based Set-Top Box called Dish SMRT Hub, while D2h just launched d2h Stream. Since they come from the same brand, we are expecting the user interface and other features to be very identical. Both the STBs offer features like Google Assistant, Chromecast or Miracast, OTT content via popular apps, seamless switching between OTT apps and DTH connection and Google Play Store access.
The pricing of both Dish SMRT Hub and d2h Stream is Rs 3,999 for new subscribers, but the existing users of the company can avail it for only Rs 2,499. Customers will have to choose separate packages to access OTT or DTH channel packs. Dish TV and D2h are also known as cheapest DTH operators in the industry, but they were always plagued with poor quality issues. Hopefully, Android TV STBs will solve this issue for the customers.
Airtel Xstream Box at Rs 2,249 for Existing Users: Is It a Good Option?
Lastly, we have Airtel Digital TV with Airtel Xtsream Box priced at Rs 3,999 for new users and Rs 2,249 for existing subscribers. Airtel Xstream Box comes bundled with Airtel TV app that allows users to watch Catch Up TV. Alternatively, users can always choose a DTH package to watch Live TV. The STB runs Android TV platform and comes with all the popular OTT apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5, Hotstar and so on. Yes, Airtel Xstream Box even comes preloaded with Netflix and there's quick shortcut key on the remote as well. Other Android TV STBs from DTH operators lack the Netflix app, so it is a bonus for Airtel Digital TV. The Xstream Box is available just Rs 2,249 for Airtel Thanks customers. To be an Airtel Thanks member, you can choose any prepaid plan priced above Rs 129 and postpaid plan priced above Rs 499.
As you can see, Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV and D2h are currently having the cheapest Android TV STBs, whereas Tata Sky Binge+ is priced on the steeper side at Rs 5,999 for new customers. We would suggest you choose the Airtel Xstream Box and if you are an Airtel Thanks member, the price will come down by almost half.