Posts Tagged ‘Airtel’

Airtel Digital TV Review [Updated]

June 29th, 2016

A few nice FM Radio images I found:

Airtel Digital TV Review [Updated]
FM Radio
Image by code_martial
Airtel announced the launch of its DTH Service, named "Airtel Digital TV" today. I’ve had the privilege of using their service through an employee-only beta since August. Overall, I love it.

The set top box is a piece of beauty in black and red with glowy red controls that lie flush with the box’s surfaces. It would be a perfect complement for your LG Scarlet TV, if you have one.

The universal remote control is a very thoughtful piece of equipment. It can be programmed to learn some of your TV’s critical functions like volume control, muting, etc. and you can switch on/off the TV as well as the set top box with the same remote.

Video quality is definitely not DVD-like. That’s a big hogwash that all DTH providers indulge in. If your TV screen is bigger than 25", expect pixellation and noise reduction artifacts to be visible. Unfortunately, none of the other DTH providers can claim any improvement on this front. They’re all sub-par compared to progressive DVD video. That said, Airtel Digital TV’s video quality is comparable to Tata Sky and definitely better than Dish TV’s.

Audio quality is pretty good and full stereo. I usually hook it up to my hi-fi (Sony DHC-AZ2D, now discontinued) and the quality doesn’t disappoint me.

Airtel’s other USP is the ability to continue working when the skies are overcast. That’s critical for places like Bangalore and Mumbai where it rains too often. I think I’ve seen it not work only once, briefly, when the skies were hopelessly dark.

One more thing I’m really excited about is the inclusion of WorldSpace Satellite Radio in Airtel’s DTH package. I didn’t get to try it with the pre-release but given the really sad state of FM radio in Bangalore, this is a godsend. AFAIK, WorldSpace Radio subscription charges would be additional.

In terms of customer service, expect the kind of service you’ve been getting from Airtel Broadband, which is good. I’ve only had one issue with them wherein ESPN Star Sports’ channels weren’t available due to some "technical fault" for at least two weeks. I’m not at home until end of this month to verify, but I hope they’d have fixed this before launch. Update: It was indeed fixed before launch. Update 2: After going through various issues with Airtel Digital TV, I have to say with regrets that their customer service simply SUCKS! Good luck to you if you manage to get through a call in under 45 minutes without call drops and such. The customer care people are totally lame when it comes to troubleshooting. FWIW, even their website is badly broken. I’ve been trying to register on the website for the last hour but it’s just broken (date of birth dropdown shows no dates, ever!).

All in all, I’m glad that we finally get some class in the DTH provider market. No more Tata Sky-Dish TV duopoly, especially with further launches from Sun and Reliance (who tried to steal Airtel launch’s thunder with a very confusing series of ads).

Radio | Posted by Fabrice Dollmach
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