As reported by us last year, TataSky has launched a Netflix like streaming service in India which offers paid Video on Demand delivered to your TV over broadband for the first time in India. TataSky has been testing the service by offering free Video on Demand to all its HD+ users for the past few weeks. With a recent software update to its HD+ set top box, TataSky has introduced paid premium content available through this service.
To enjoy the service, users must have a TataSky HD+ connection and connect their set top box to a broadband connection through the ethernet port at the back of the box (no WiFi or other connectivity options are available yet). Once connected, users can browse the VoD collection on their TV by going to the Showcase section of the guide. The content is fetched in real time using the broadband connection, so the user always sees the latest available titles provided the box is connected to an active internet connection.
Currently, the service offers paid popular content from genres like Hollywood, Bollywood, Regional India, Concerts & TV shows. In addition to paid content, users can catch up on the TV shows they might have missed in the last 7 days for a few channels which are participating in the program with TataSky. I believe as the service becomes popular, more channels will join the program. However, offering catch up TV on a DVR box sounds useless as users can always record their favorite shows from anywhere in the world. TataSky HD box (without DVR) has 2 USB ports at the back. TataSky should offer USB based WiFi adapters to enable HD set top boxes to connect to the internet and leverage this service. They will, however, also have to enable users to plug in their USB HDDs in order for the box to store the downloaded content locally. I am hoping that they are working on this and also on enabling recording on the HD STB just like Dish has done.
Though the overall service looks promising, lack of HD content is disappointing. In a time when all operators are milking the HD revolution, offering just SD content on such a platform will just make the service redundant for the youth which are catching up with the HD fever in India.
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