Tata Sky, the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) operator in India slashed the price of its Tata Sky+ HD Set-Top Box (STB) to Rs 4999 on Thursday, July 2, 2020. The Tata Sky+ HD STB enables users to record three shows or programmes simultaneously along with offering users to pause or rewind live TV. The DTH operator had earlier priced the Tata Sky+ HD STB at Rs 9300. According to ReportLinker, a technology company engaged in offering industry data for analysts, the global STB market is expected to hit USD 341.1 million by 2027. The company said that the demand for STBs is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% between 2020 to 2027. ReportLinker said that the demand for STBs have increased in the recent years due to “due to improved television experience, such as digital video recording, storage options, as well as enhanced sound and picture quality.”
DVR in the Era of Online Consumption
However, ReportLinker said that “increasing adoption of the hybrid and Android STBs owing to the rising popularity” of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms anticipated to drive the overall STB market.
“OTT tends to offer attractive and engaging content leading to an enhanced user experience,” ReportLinker said in its report in May. “OTT STBs are gaining prominence across Pay TV broadcasting arena in emerging markets where abundant free video content is available, and service providers are looking to bundle live streaming video with their broadband offerings.”
In India, the DTH operators including Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV currently offer dedicated STBs that enable users to record, store live shows or programme through a built-in hard disk. However, several users have said that Airtel no longer offers its Digital TV Recorder to new users. While other DTH operators including Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV offer regular STB with recording facility through external memory drives, Tata Sky offers its Tata Sky+ HD solution with built-in hard disk.
According to Tata Sky, the Tata Sky+ HD STB features support up to 1080i resolution along with support for Dolby Digital Surround sound and Dolby Digital Plus Surround sound. The Tata Sky+ HD STB is also said to aid users in recording shows through its mobile app along with an option to enable series recording on particular shows or programmes.
Unlike most other STBs in the market, the Tata Sky+ HD STB users can record live shows or events in one channel while watching shows or events in a different channel.
The Tata Sky+ HD STB is said to be ideal for those users who are keen on watching the TV shows or live programmes in their free time. The DTH operator said that its Tata Sky+ HD STB with recording facility will “fit right into” the users' busy lifestyle.
Tata Sky Binge+ STB Provides Access to Several OTT Apps
The surge in OTT apps have resulted in the DTH operators in India to push the hybrid and Android STBs with operators including Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV launching their own versions.
The Tata Sky Binge+ STB features support for 4K content along with built-in Google Voice Assistant and Chromecast. The Android 9 STB enables users to watch OTT content and live channels on one device without the need for switching multiple HDMI ports. The DTH operator offers six month complimentary access to Tata Sky Binge section that enables users to view content from popular OTT apps like Disney+ Hotstar, SunNXT, HungamaPlay, ShemarooMe, ErosNow and Zee5. The users can continue to access the Tata Sky Binge section beyond the six month period for an additional charge of Rs 249 per month. However, apps like Netflix are said to be currently not available for Tata Sky+ Binge STB. While Tata Sky Binge+ also offers Catch Up TV support, the feature is enabled for past seven days content with support reduced to Tata Sky curated content.
The Tata Sky Binge+ STB is priced at Rs 3999 with the DTH operator also offering three month complimentary access to Amazon Prime Video services for new users. Similar to the Tata Sky Binge section, the new users can continue to watch Amazon Prime Video on the Tata Sky Binge+ STB beyond the trial period for an additional cost of Rs 129 per month. The Tata Sky Binge+ STB is also said to support HDMI 2.0 along with support for Dolby Digital Surround and Dobly Digital Plus Surround. With more users said to be cutting the cord in favor of streaming apps, the Tata Sky Binge+ STB enables users to access several OTT apps and live TV on one device. However, the users are required to pay additional costs for the access to streaming apps on Tata Sky Binge+ STB.