It seems like Reliance Jio has finally started providing its 4K Set-Top Box to the paid JioFiber users. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio announced Triple Play broadband plans in September this year and also said the trial run of JioFiber has ended. All the existing JioFiber Preview customers will be migrated to paid plans which start at Rs 699. While the company announced JioFiber plans, there was a lot of confusion over the entire internet on how the company will provide Set-Top Box and Cable TV service. As we have reported earlier, JioFiber customers will get a free Set-Top Box with every broadband plan, but to watch TV, they will have to get a separate Cable TV connection from the LCO. This news sparked a lot of confusion as Jio was initially said to provide IPTV service. JioFiber customers who received the all-new Set-Top Box now state that there's indeed IPTV service offered by the company, but the channel count is pretty much limited to just over 150.
JioFiber Set-Top Box Said to Be Offering IPTV Service
JioFiber customers who migrated to paid plans are now receiving Set-Top Box from the company. According to a JioFiber user Arpit Agarwal, the company is providing more than 150 TV channels via IPTV. Additionally, we managed to grab some interface screenshots from one of our reader Syed Sadid Ali of the JioFiber Set-Top Box, which clearly shows the absence of JioTV app. Earlier, it was expected that the STB from JioFiber would come preinstalled with JioTV app and gives access to over 650 TV channels. But that isn't the case now.
The JioFiber Set-Top Box has an app called 'JioTV+' which is a platform that combines all the content from OTT apps. Right now, it's said that the TV section will also be present inside the JioTV+ app itself. It seems like Reliance Jio will provide access to TV channels through the OTT services. For example, if the company partners with Hotstar, then all the TV channels from Star India will be present inside the JioTV+ app. As you can clearly see in the image, Star India channels like Star Maa TV, Star Maa Movies, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports and so on are being provided by JioFiber already.
According to our sources, the JioTV+ will only offer TV channels from the OTT services which are allowing users to watch TV on their respective app or website. Initially, it looks like we will get to see popular Sony, Free-to-Air and Star India channels on JioTV+ app. Right now, JioFiber STB does not offer any ZEE Entertainment Limited channels. Maybe the company is still in the process of establishing partnerships with OTT service providers.
Basically, JioTV+ will be a content aggregator service similar to PatchWall UI (exclusive to Xiaomi Smart TVs in India) and Oxygen Play (content aggregator in OnePlus TV) which bring content services together. While PatchWall and Oxygen Play does not offer TV content yet, JioFiber will allow users to watch their favourite channels through the internet.
Furthermore, these are the OTT app subscriptions which Mukesh Ambani spoke about at the commercial launch of JioFiber on September 5. For the unaware, JioFiber broadband plans above Rs 849 come with at least three months of OTT apps subscription and the complete details will be out very soon. However, with Jio now shipping STB to the customers, we can get a general understanding of how the OTT apps subscription will work.
Separate Cable TV Subscription Still Required to Watch Full-Fledged TV Channels
If you're among the users who barely watch TV channels, then the JioFiber's IPTV service with a limited number of channels will be enough. The final channel list is yet to come out as Jio is still in the process of finalising partnerships with OTT content providers. But if you're someone who watches a lot of TV channels, then you should definitely get a separate Cable TV subscription. Hathway, Den Networks are other Cable TV operators are ready to provide Cable TV service via Jio 4K Set-Top Box.
Also, JioFiber's FUP limit on broadband plans means you'll end up getting a separate Cable TV connection as the IPTV channels will be streamed via the broadband connection only.