- Both Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV are offering STBs at a discounted rate right now
- The multi-TV policy of Tata Sky was in controversy before because of its exorbitant prices
With the extremely competitive environment in the DTH industry after the arrival of the new regulatory framework from Trai, the consumers are shifting their preferences. With new services, new offers and new attractions it is obvious that subscribers now want to have the best deal amongst all the DTH services. For the convenience of these subscribers, we decided to compile a comparison between the top DTH operators of the country which include Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV & D2h. There are a lot of parameters to judge between these service providers like Multi-TV, long-term channel packs and general service quality. So, read ahead to know which one is the best DTH operator to choose at this time.
Airtel Digital TV
Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing also boasts of an impressive subscriber base of more than 15 million in the country. The operator, after the Trai mandate, introduced many channel packs for its subscribers. To ease up the process in a better way, Airtel Digital TV also made it possible for the subscribers to select their new channels via the Set-Top Box only. The operator also launched lots of regional channel packs, but as of late Trai has put Airtel Digital TV in crosshair after some subscribers of Airtel Digital lodged their grievance about missing channels and black screens although the problem was quickly resolved soon after. While Airtel Digital TV subscribers has the freedom to choose a lot of channel packs, they are often facing issues related to billing and some are even terming Airtel Digital TV’s billing system is completely broken. Airtel Digital TV also slashed prices of its set-top boxes and the Multi TV policy has NCF charges of Rs 80 unlike Tata Sky.
Notably, D2h was the first operator to respond after the Trai mandate came out back in October. The operator was also quick to start the migration process ahead of others and hoped for subscriber addition to its existing base in the interim. Later the operator introduced many combo plans and topped them up with add-on packs in SD and HD and many packs in regional languages as well. Recently, D2h has also put out information about additional connections as well, noting that subscribers can avail them by only paying Rs 50 as flat NCF.
However, D2h subscribers have faced and are still facing a lot of issues related to various channels. In fact, most of the consumers are still not able to reach the company’s toll-free number for clarifying their doubts.
Previously, Tata Sky had removed its Multi-TV policy which had led to a lot of people ditching the service because of the high costs involved with taking a secondary connection for their home. However, now the company has introduced a new Room TV service which allows Tata Sky subscribers to choose the channels on their secondary connection, instead of going for mirroring of channels as it is on their primary connection. Using the Room TV service and by logging in on the Tata Sky website or app, the subscribers will also be able to save some money.
Not only this, when it came to long-term plans also Tata Sky’s Annual Flexi plan wasn’t considered all that attractive because it used to offer the benefit to the subscribers towards the end of the year. However, in a new change, the company is now offering the extra month of credit benefit within 48 hours of signing up for the service. This change also makes the Tata Sky subscription more attractive for subscribers who are looking ahead to signing up for the entire year and they want to enjoy one month of extra service on their subscription.
Dish TV is also offering similar combo packs to the consumers since it’s the one who operates D2h. Earlier, Trai has issued a notice to Dish TV and D2h for not following the guidelines implemented by the regulator, but Dish TV has come past all of those issues and is now battling with other operators in the country.
Sun Direct is a prominent DTH provider in the south, and it is safe to say that although the provider does not boast of a widespread network in the North, it has established a solid stronghold in South India. Further, the move of completely doing away with additional slab NCF charges made Sun Direct an attractive choice for a lot of subscribers. Following in the lines of other DTH providers, Sun Direct has launched new channel packs, regional channel and add-on packs in HD, SD. Also, it’s possibly the only operator to offer a wide-range of channel packs for longer durations. For example, Sun Direct has nearly three DPO packs in every language and it’s offering them for a period of up to 12 months.
After weeks of noticing the happenings in the DTH industry, we have noted that in terms of the number of channels and number of channel packs, ease of migration and customer service Tata Sky is the DTH provider which has managed to satisfy the subscribers to a large extent. The provider had also launched a similar offer as Sun Direct and Dish TV by doing away with NCF on select channels. The tariff migration is almost completed, but there are still some subscribers who’re facing issues in terms of billing, channel packs and much more. Tata Sky is charging Rs 153 NCF charges for every secondary connection which might keep some users away from it.
So if Multi TV is your choice, then you should choose either Airtel Digital TV or Dish TV or D2h. In every other aspect, Tata Sky is the best DTH service provider in the country right now.
Do let us know what you experienced with your DTH provider in the comments section below.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.