Tata Sky DTH has some great news for their customers. The company has decided to replace all MPEG2 STBs in use by their customers with MPEG4 capable units.
This has been made necessary because the company has run out of space to add new channels and they need all their customers to move to the MPEG4 STBs to benefit from different transponders.
The company said that they are hoping to replace 4-5 million STBs in the next 12 month or so. This would cost the company around Rs. 1000 crores.
The problem for the company is that ISRO has still not delivered to them the transponders they ordered. Which is forcing them to take the expensive route.
Tata Sky recently became the first DTH service provider in the country to offer VoD service powered by internet.
The set top box connects to the internet and the movies are downloaded on the STB for viewing.
Tata Sky has now announced a deal with YOU Broadband and the two companies are offering exclusive broadband plans for the users of VoD service on Tata Sky.
Two plans are available:
60 GB FUP
3 months validity
1 mbps post FUP speeds
20 GB FUP
1 month validity
1 mbps post FUP speeds
These plans are pretty incredible as you can essentially get 1mbps unlimited for as little as Rs. 650.
Tata Sky set to launch Netflix like service on their DTH platform
Tata Sky is soon going to officially launch a new service that would deliver movies and other media content to user through the internet.
The service would require the user to have a separate internet connection that would power this new service.
It would require one of the higher end Set Top Box from the company that has Ethernet connectivity.
Users would be able to order and download movies through the internet. These movies would be stored on the STB’s hard disk and can be watched at leisure.
Tata Sky is not likely to charge anything extra for this added functionality as they would generate revenues through renting or sale of movies and possibly television shows.
Users would be paying for the data transfer on their regular internet plans.
Tata Sky DTH has for unknown reasons discontinued connection transfer services.
This means that you can no longer transfer a connection to a friend or relative.
Tata Sky does not give a reason for the change in policy. Their website states:
Effective 30 December, 2010 the Transfer of Ownership facility has been withdrawn. In case of discontinuation of services on subscriber’s request, the subscriber will not be allowed to transfer the digicomp/connection to anybody else. The subscriber’s account will stand cancelled. Remaining account balance, if any, shall stand forfeited.
Tata Sky Plus HD launched for just Rs. 4000
Tata Sky has launched their high definition PVR service and they have priced it rather competitively.
Tata Sky Plus HD DTH connection is available for just Rs. 4000. The company has equipped the STB with a 500GB hard disk which is capable of storing 625 hours of SD programming.
The company said that the device is capable of streaming hi-definition content in 1080i resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
It also supports 7.1 channel audio output with Dolby Digital Plus if you have the compatible hardware!
This is a great timing for this launch by the company as the ICC World Cup 2011 is just days away.
Tata Sky DTH now offering all channels on a la carte!
Tata Sky DTH has launched their Make My Pack service. This is something that is highly desirable by the end user in the Indian DTH market.
Customers can now pick individual channels for their own connection. There are a couple of limitations like the channels would have to be subscribed for a minimum period of three months and you cannot make a package that costs less than Rs. 150.
But still, this is much better than paying for bundles of channels for a single channel you watch.
It is not clear whether this approach would become popular with their customers and whether rival services would also offer it in the coming times.
Tata Sky DTH launches HD STB for just Rs. 2599
Tata Sky DTH has announced the launch of their HD capable set top box.
It has been priced competitively at just Rs. 2599.
Tata Sky said that they are going to offer their HD service around the country.
The STB is capable of delivering 1080i picture quality, 16:9 aspect ratio and 5.1 surround sound.
Some of the HD channels to be on offer include:
National Geographic HD
Star Plus HD
Star Movies HD
Tata Sky is also planning to showcase movies on demand in HD quality.
Kites is going to be the first movie to be broadcast in HD on Tata Sky HD platform.
The company is offering a special deal to their existing customers. They can upgrade to the HD service and get the HD Gold Pack for an entire year for free.
Aamir Khan to advertise for Etisalat in India
UAE based telecom giant Etisalat has signed up Aamir Khan for their marketing campaign in India.
The deal signed between Etisalat and Aamir Khan is said to be worth around Rs 30-35 crore for three years.
This is said to be one of the largest advertising deal of its kind in the country.
Etisalat stated that they signed up Aamir before the success of his latest flick Three Idiots which has broken all records in the history of Indian movies.
Aamir Khan is also connected to some other brands including Parle, Coca-Cola, Tata Sky and Samsung.
Tata Sky is pretty happy with their brand ambassador. The company said: “The association with Aamir has done wonders for us; he strives for perfection and he’s a complete brand fit that goes beyond being just another celebrity endorsement association.”
Tata Sky: Airtel Digital TV making false claims in their ads
Tata Sky DTH has asked the Advertising Standards Council of India to verify the claims made by Airtel in their DTH service advertisements.
Airtel Digital TV ads claim that their service is based on MPEG 4 DVB-S2 technology which has a better picture quality compared to other service providers.
Tata Sky said: “MPEG-4 and DVB S2 are compression standards and have no impact on video picture quality. We want to correct the myth in the minds of the consumers that MPEG-4 DVB S2 provides better picture quality than other technologies used to provide digital signals.”
Airtel on their part have said: “We have sent our reply to ACI. Our claim is that our technology is superior to ordinary technology, which includes analogue cable.”
Indian DTH service providers use several technologies based on two compression standards MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.
Tata Sky DTH is now offering MPEG4 STB to new customers
Online sources suggest that Tata Sky DTH is now providing a new Set Top Box to the customers.
This new STB is compatible with MPEG4 technology though the current feed remains in MPEG2.
Tata Sky Plus DTH is already MPEG4 compatible.
The company cannot shift to MPEG4 broadcast just like that because millions of their existing customers are still using the older generation STB model which does not support this standard.
Tata Sky is probably hoping that in a year or two, most of their existing customers would upgrade to this new set top box enabling them to switch to the more efficient broadcasting standard.