Tata Sky+ Next Gen DTH services in India

The TATA Group in a joint venture with STAR launched the Tata Sky DTH services in India on 8th August, 2006. Taking a majority of market share from DishTV, they have more of less monopolized the market until a few days back. With the launch of Reliance’s Big TV and Airtel’s Digital TV (and all the hype created with the ad campaign wars), Tata Sky might loose a chunk of its market share to these guys.

In an effort to stay ahead in the race, the Tata’s are gonna launch the Tata Sky+ DTH service in India soon. This will be a DVR based service offering MPEG4 compression wherein the user can record, pause and rewind live TV.

How does Tata Sky+ work?

  1. Tata Sky uplinks all channels from broadcasters to its satellite (INSAT 4A).
  2. The satellite sends these channels in digital format to the minidish fixed outside your home.
  3. The minidish relays the channels to the digicomp which decodes the channels and sends them to your television, giving you an unparalleled television viewing experience with DVD quality picture and CD quality sound. What’s more Tata Sky+ gives you the power to plan and control your TV viewing with features such as record live TV, play back a recorded programme and pause & rewind live TV.

How is Tata Sky+ service different from Tata Sky service?

Tata Sky+ has MPEG4 technology, and an in-built personal video recorder that enables you to record live TV, play back a recorded programme and pause & rewind live TV. These features are not available on Tata Sky service.

Tata Sky+ Features:

  1. record your favorite programme/movie
  2. watch one programme while you record another
  3. set your favorite daily soap for recording only once and it will get recorded automatically everyday
  4. pause live TV
  5. rewind live TV
  6. all the current Tata Sky packages will be available on Tata Sky+ as well.

Recording Functionality:

You can record up to 45 hours of live TV with Tata Sky+. At the press of a button, you have the flexibility to:

  1. record one channel while you watch another channel
  2. record two channels simultaneously while you watch one of the channels being recorded
  3. record two channels simultaneously while you watch a previously recorded programme
  4. record a TV series automatically

You can playback the recorded programme at any time convenient to you.

If you want to record all episodes of a programme back-to-back, you don’t need to set individual recordings for each episode. Just set a ‘series link’ for the programme after you set the programme for recording. This will ensure that all episodes of the programme get automatically recorded. You can now play back all the episodes at a time to convenient to you.

The hard disk capacity is 160 GB. There are 3 modes to manage the disk space – Automatic, Warning and Manual.


The price of the digicomp (hardware) is INR 8999. Installation charges INR 1000 are extra. In addition to the standard package mothly fee for the standard Tata Sky service, one has to pay a monthly charge of INR 50 for the Tata Sky+ service. However, the launch offer will include lifetime waiver of this fee.

This is very good news for Indian customers. With major players getting into a war on this front, we can expect better services and hope that some day, we will get HD broadcasts and other services similar to TiVO etc. in the US. The price might be a little high right now, but with the competition pumping up and players like Reliance and Airtel in the field, it is bound to go down.

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9 Responses to this post

  1. Abhijit says:

    How does this compare with the Tivo that is popular in the western countries? I believe DishTV too had launched a similar device and then later pulled it out. Any idea what happened? Tivo has been hacked to add disk space – anyone tried this with the sky+ box?

  2. Setu says:

    @Abhijit –

    TataSky+ is pretty much similar to Tivo with one big difference. There are no HD channels in India yet. Apart from that, most basic features are similar. Also, I think the new Tivo provides movie rentals via HD video streaming off the internet. Such features aren't available in India.

    The reason why DishTV might have pulled it back is because this type of service has a very small niche market. Also, owing to the high entry cost, many people might not have been interested. DishTV is anyways loosing most of its customers to the biggies. They probably didn't have the money to hire Aamir Khan to advertise the device.

    Regarding the hacks, I am sure once this becomes popular, there will be lots of shops in Palika offering hard disk upgrade services :).

  3. mridula says:

    tatasky plus is finally out and doing good. it has managed to satisfy the audience in terms of its tech quallity. people are willing to shell out a little extra in return of good quality and advanced technology. Overall its a very good product and definitely worth it.

  4. amit says:

    Well, what they have to offer is relatively new to the mass and their advertisements have put across all its features very well. Fights over Tv, phone calls during imp scenes is something that evryone faces almost everyday. Evrthing is well done right from the promotion to the service offered to their customers.

  5. Varun says:

    It might take a while before we get HD channels in India. Till then Tata plus has done an excellent job of adding pvr, the quality offered being excellent as well.

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