TataSky is testing a Netflix like IP based service in India which will enable its HD+ subscribers to watch previously broadcasted TV shows and new content on demand using their broadband connection. This feature will be available only to the HD+ subscribers as those are the only set top boxes having an ethernet port to hook up to your broadband router. Also, in order to offer a jerk free playback, the system might buffer the content on the hard disk in the HD+ set top box (as most broadband connections in India aren’t fast enough to stream lag free SD or HD content).
This is going to be a big leap in home entertainment in India. It is possible that TataSky is doing this to mitigate the risks it foresees due to unavailability of transponder space for HD channels. However, if they are able to implement this effectively, this could pave the way to “real” video on demand (VoD) services in India.
Hindustan Times reported this in July and select users are getting calls from TataSky offering them to be part of the free trial of the service. The minimum broadband connection requirement is, apparently, 256Kbps promising DVD quality shows to be available on demand.
The primary concern that users will have with this approach is that this service will potentially eat up all the FUP quota of their broadband connection. TataSky will have to work with the ISPs in India to work out a deal to avert this. However, it might be difficult for them to cut a good deal, as the major ISPs in India (Airtel, BSNL, Reliance) are their direct competitors in the DTH space.
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