Tata Sky planning to launch HD channels in India this year


With Sun Direct DTH already offering Discovery & National Geographic channels in HD quality in India, other operators are also exploring the High Definition space. Since the commonwealth games 2010 in India are planned to be transmitted in HD, Tata Sky has revealed its plan to gear up to provide HD transmissions in India ahead of the games.

"Every DTH operator today is offering almost the same channels at competitive pricing. It will be the interactive services and the additional features that would help differentiate between the operators," Tata Sky Chief Marketing Officer Vikram Mehra told PTI.

Tata Sky is placed third after Dish TV and Sun Direct out of the seven DTH operators in India.

HD ready & Full HD LCD TVs are already gaining popularity in India thanks to stiff competition among the major players like LG, Samsung & Sony.

HD transmissions offer 5 times more pixels than SD transmission. HD ready transmission at 720p or 1080i are substantially superior to their SD counterparts as they offer much better picture quality & Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.


Notably, Tata Sky+, company’s premium PVR offering already has the hardware capabilities and required interfaces (ports) to handle HD content.

As the DTH market has become saturated with seven players offering almost the same stuff at the same price, it is imperative that companies will look for technical advancements in order to lure more customers. It will be interesting to see the HD revolution in India.

[via Economic Times]

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21 Responses to this post

  1. Shantanu gupta says:

    this is gr8 will be quiet interesting to check who gonna be 1st to get all channels hd wit gud rates and high technical advancement!

  2. atul says:

    I've been using Tatasky+ since its 1st day of launch & have not seem HDMI out on it. How come Setu talks about the set top box having HD ports already built in.

    All that TATAsky+ box has is 480p component out, no 1080p or 720p HDMI out as yet.

    It does have an empty expansion bay in front that I've no idea what it is for.

    Hoping to get HD soon even if it means upgrading yet again 🙂

    • Setu says:

      I never said that it has HDMI port.

      Component ports are perfectly capable of carrying HD signals. In addition, it also has S-video out which can also be used to carry HD signals.

      For audio, it has optical and coaxial out ports which are capable of carrying 5.1 or Dolby Digital or DTS signals.

      Limits on the output capabilities of these ports (if any) will be firmware based and can be removed with an update, which, in all likelihood, will be needed to receive & decode HD content.

      • atul says:

        Hey Setu,

        So you are saying that that component & S-video are HD signal ports !

        Sorry, I think you are wrong. How can a analog port like component & S-video do digital quality 1080p. Even if some exotic flavor of hardware, which is most unlikely, does this then I don't know of a single LCD/Plasma that can read a 1080p signal through component. Hell, so much of information will be lost to interference on analog connection !

        Where as HDMI being digital carries a pure digital stream with resolution information for TV's to read. Components went out with their 480p limit, I guess.

        I'm rather certain that for TATAsky+ to have a 720p HD we would need a HDMI out either through the expansion slot in front or through a hardware update.

        You said – "Limits on the output capabilities of these ports (if any) will be firmware based and can be removed with an update…" this I'm dead certain will not work !

        • Setu says:


          Whatever I have written is true. And I am not "thinking" or "guessing" anything here :).

          If you are not sure about something, and do not believe me, I would request you to search on the internet and read from sources which you might believe in. Ever heard of wikipedia? You might want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_video#Anal

          • atul says:

            Hey Setu don't blow your top !

            GIMF & I did not just wiki the topic but tested it as well on the combination of my BD player with LCD & Plasma, both showed component to be streaming in at 480p but same source with HDMI showed 1080p.

            My intention was not to prove you wrong but just to bring up the point that though component may be capable of doing 1080p as analog but not suitable for it.

            Like last mile copper can do 20mbps but not suitable to do so.

            So no hard feelings just stating a point.

          • Bandan says:

            I think what Atul said is partially correct. You cannot transmit digital content(HD or not does not matter) over component cables.There has to be a Digital to Analog converter at the sending end and a (ADC) at the receiving end. All HD devices that provide component interfaces have the necessary circuitry and so it's transparent to the user.

        • Setu says:

          Atul –

          There is something wrong with your setup. What is the make and model of your player and TV?

          I have used my Xbox 360 to trasmit 1080p content to my LCD. So even if we are talking emperically, it's possible.

          Bandan –

          Agreed. Component is indeed analog. And you need DAC and ADC at source and destination respectively. But it can still carry HD signals. And that's the point of this rather worthless discussion.

          • Aniket says:


            I agree with you.Even I've used my component HD av cables to transmit from my xbox 360 to samsung LCD tv…and the quality is indeed great.

            @Atul probably ur component av cable isn't hd enabled or of lower quality.Otherwise check out the quality on Xbox 360 component cable and decide for yourself.

  3. atul says:

    Setu –

    The model of my BD Player is Pioneer BDP-HD1 & LCD is Philips Cineos LCD TV 42PFL9703 & Plasma is Panasonic VIERA TH-P42G10D

    Lets RIP this "worthless discussion" as you said but point remains that though component analog would carry HD signal but would it be fit/suitable for HD ?

    Whats the point of taking a digital signal and converting/seeing it analog, beats me !

    Sorry to note though that the writer of a post claiming comments to be "worthless discussion"

    • Setu says:

      Atul –

      Per the Blu-ray FAQs (http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#bluray_analog_output), when component video is used, the highest output that is allowed is 1080i, if the image constraint token (ICT) is not enabled. However, if the ICT is enabled, the video is down converted to 540p.

      It looks like ICT is enabled in the Blu Ray discs you have. This is all part of AACS and HDCP to prevent piracy and in turn harass customers. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_Constraint_Tok

      • atul says:


        As I said earlier friend GIMF as well, so no need to refine your Google search/research & take it further.

        I rest my case, its not about whether component can or not, its about whether or not it should be used for HD.

        If you ever get time try playing 1080p/i over component and then over HDMI 1.3 you'll know what I'm talking about.

        So let it RIP; this, your aptly termed, “worthless discussion” 🙂

        Adios Amigo

  4. Subir says:

    I have taken the SUNHD DTH connection. It is now showing Nat Geo, Discovery, IPL cricket & Sun TV south channels in full HD and Colors in HD.

    The picture and sound quality is like normal Blue Ray. Problem is you will not be able to sit and watch the other Stand Def channels any more, they will look to you so awful, which were just ok for me till last week.

    • Adthya says:

      I know, I am enjoying it, Sundirect rocks, with HD Content, 5.1 dolby channel, and everything else make my Samsung LCD TV Series 7 look so real.

  5. paul says:


    i was just reading these comments

    but i think setu is rite…component can give u hd pic but only 710p or 1080i same thing and i think rite now hd chanels are only 720p…

    ya but hdmi can give u 1080p full hd…

    we r using component cabels in are stores in canada and we are getting hd and its depend on ur component cabels quality so use good quality cabels


  6. tracksis says:

    nice clarity while watching discovery on HD. Hope that most channels will come in HD soon

  7. Amandeep says:

    Guys pls dont mix s-video with hdmi, its nowhere similar or comparable

    when i say true HD, i expect 1080p nothing less

  8. Deepak says:

    interesting discussion. my two cents:

    1] what sun and big tv are broadcasting as hd seems to be 1080i, not 1080p. afaik, we are still far off from getting 1080p.

    2] if you use highly quality circuitry and cables, 1080i output over component and hdmi look the same. i have tested this using my denon 4810, two xboxes, a ps3 and a popcornhour c200 media streamer. you really have to strain your eyes to pick up the difference.

    3] 1080p is a different ballgame. hdmi 1.3a will clearly be better for it than component. and even mentioning svideo for HD is a big joke!

    4] while it is not a replacement for true HD signals, an upscaler can narrow the gap. previously i was using a dvdo vp20, and now the denon 4810 which upscales tatasky's 576i to 1080p. result is good, though you getting the occasional artifacts and blurs.

    now to the questions – has anyone compared the big tv offering to the sun direct hd? i am trying to figure out which one to switch to. looks like sun has nat geo and discovery in hd, whereas big tv only has nat geo. but big tv is also cheaper by 2k.

    • Setu says:

      Thanks for the comments.

      And to answer your question, I would strongly recommend waiting for a few months if you can. Big TV HD DVR is not only cheaper than Sun, but also has the recording feature. Let other players enter this segment and then decide.

      • Deepak says:

        Setu, you have a valid point. As more players enter the HD fray, it will only drive down prices.

        One feature that is important for me is HDMI connectivity. I like the fact that it is a 'clean' solution – just one cable for both audio and video. with component, you need five connectors! (RGB + LR).

        Both Sun and Big TV HD boxes have HDMI, whereas Tatasky+ does not. Hopefully Tatasky will offer an upgraded box when they launch HD.

        Also, in a few years we all might need to upgrade yet again, when HDMI 1.4 and 3D broadcasts become popular and eventually reach Indian shores! Imagine watching NatGeo in HD+3D!

  9. Nice discussion on HD. Can any one compare thd HD providers dishtv hd, bigtv hd, sundirect hd, airtel hd etc ?

    price, quality , no of channels etc.

    If i have a hd monitor can i use it as hd tv ?

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