If you are TV viewer, then the chances are that you are also abreast with the latest happenings in the DTH and broadcasting industry. As of late, the DTH operators in India have been focusing on different areas by which they can keep their subscribers intact and glued to their screens. In a scenario where the viewers want to watch content streamed over the internet, the only solution that remains in the hands of these operators is to facilitate OTT content streaming besides the satellite TV channels. Dish TV and D2h, although both are siblings and under the same banner, have been known to ship similar offerings when it comes to their services. This is also true for the OTT streaming dongle based service which is the DishSMRT Stick for Dish TV subscribers and D2h Magic Stick for D2h subscribers. The question now is, which one of the two is the better one?
The Obvious Difference in Pricing
The first thing to note between the two products is that there is a Rs 200 price difference between them both. The DishSMRT Stick retails for Rs 599 for the Dish TV subscribers, whereas, the D2h Magic Stick is available with a price tag of Rs 399 for the subscribers of D2h. Although the prices of these devices differ, they are very identical to each other. Now, this is not the first time that we are seeing some uncanny similarity between the services of the D2h and Dish TV. If the subscribers were to look at the long-term plans of the two DTH service providers, then there is a similarity in that too. Albeit, D2h offers some longer options like even for more than a year. The reputation of D2h has been that of an affordable DTH operator, and that legacy continues with the D2h Magic Stick and DishSMRT Stick.
D2h Magic Stick and DishSMRT Stick: Working and Apps
When it comes to hardware, both the sticks will look the same, and they will work on the same pattern too. The subscribers who get their hands on any of the two devices wouldn't be able to differentiate between the other unless it was for the branding. The dongle will be plugged into the respective Set-Top Boxes of Dish TV or D2h, and then the subscribers will have to move to the app zone from the on-screen menu to connect to a Wi-Fi network. This how the dongle will establish connectivity with the internet to stream OTT content on your TV screen. Both the sticks will offer the same set of apps to the customers, which will include ALTBalaji, ZEE5, Hungama Play, SonyLIV and Watcho, which is Dish TV’s own content streaming app. But, currently, there is no news about the availability of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video on any of the two.
Where Exactly Do the Two Products Differ?
Now coming to the main question, it is crucial to note that while the D2h Magic Stick costs Rs 399 up-front, it comes with a Rs 25 monthly cost after a three-month introductory period. Whereas, the DishSMRT Stick is available with an upfront cost of Rs 599 with no monthly recurring charges. This means that for subscribers who would like to try out OTT services, the D2h Magic Stick could be an economical buy, whereas, for the others who would like to access OTT apps on their Dish TV connection for longer, the DishSMRT Stick would be a good choice. There is also the Set-Top Box cost to consider. The DishSMRT Stick only works with the Dish NXT HD Set-Top Box which costs Rs 1,590 and the D2h Magic Stick is compatible only with the HD RF Set-Top Box which costs Rs 1,799.
There is a Catch You Must Know Of
With all this being said, on buying the D2h Magic Stick, the subscribers will spend Rs 200 less as compared to the DishSMRT Stick which is available for Rs 599. For three months, they won’t have to shell out any monthly costs as well. Given this, the D2h Magic Stick is the better choice of course, since the apps are the same on both the devices. This is before the company increases the prices of these sticks to Rs 999, which seems to be the actual price of these devices. If that happens, then considering the monthly costs and the higher Set-Top Box price, the DishSMRT Stick would prove to be the better choice.