The next thing of focus in the DTH and the broadcasting industry has little to do with DTH itself. Instead, the entire industry is embracing the consumers’ shift towards the OTT applications and the video-on-demand content which is pushing the DTH operators and other related platforms to bring solutions which the consumers can use to access OTT apps and content on their TV screens. We have already seen a major DTH service provider Airtel Digital TV introduce a Hybrid Set-Top Box for its subscribers so that they can access OTT applications along with their DTH subscription. However, another major DTH operator of the country, Dish TV has also introduced a similar product, the Dish SMRT Kit, which will allow the customers to do the same thing. But, the question is how does the Hybrid Set-Top Box from Dish TV map up to the Airtel Xstream Box or other competing devices in the market.
Dish SMRT Hub Features and Pricing
The first thing to note about the Dish SMRT Hub Hybrid Set-Top Box is that it comes fully packed with Android TV support which means that the subscribers of Dish TV would be able to use Google apps on their TV. They will also have the Google Play Store access, in case they would like to download more apps to their TV. Not only this, but the Set-Top Box would come preinstalled with many applications like Google Assistant, YouTube, Watcho, Amazon Prime Video, VOOT, ZEE5 and Alt Balaji. By now, you must be wondering whether or not Netflix comes on the Dish SMRT Set-Top Box. But, the subscribers won’t have to worry since the Dish SMRT Hub is based on Android TV and they would be able to sideload the app on the platform, in case they want to enjoy Netflix.
The SMRT Hub also comes with in-built Chromecast support, also has a remote with a dedicated Google Assistant button and Dolby Audio support. To recall, Dish TV was also shipping the Dish SMRT Stick to its subscribers for Rs 699 which allowed the subscribers to access some OTT apps but was far more restricted as compared to Hybrid Set-Top Box.
Dish SMRT Hub Compared With Airtel Xstream Box
When it comes to competition, currently, the Dish SMRT Hub will be competing with the likes of Airtel Xstream Box which also retails for Rs 3,999 and the Jio 4K Set-Top Box which the JioFiber subscribers get for free as part of the JioFiber Welcome Offer. When it is between Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV, both the DTH operators are offering almost the same features in their Hybrid Set-Top Boxes, and hence the consumers would be able to access OTT apps in the same way. What’s more, is that the pricing of the Set-Top Box is also the same for both of these DTH platforms.
There is also the thing to consider that when the subscribers buy the Hybrid Set-Top Box, they would also be getting the respective DTH connection as well. This is where Dish TV could better compete with Airtel Digital TV as it comes with better long-term plan options on which the subscribers can get free service days. Not only this, but Dish TV is also offering channels at old prices under a new festive offer, thus making its DTH connection more attractive for the interested subscribers.
Other Competitions for Dish SMRT Hub
The thing with Reliance Jio’s 4K Set-Top Box is that the subscribers would have to get a cable TV connection separately with it, which makes it a little inconvenient for the subscribers as DTH operators have been known to provide better services. Lastly, since Tata Sky has a different approach to OTT content and it provides that with the help of Tata Sky Binge, the DTH operator remains in different strata for us to draw a comparison, maybe later.