[Review] Which DTH Service Provides Maximum HD Channels in India?

UPDATED on Aug 14, 2017: Addition of Travel XP HD and FYI TV18 HD channels on Sun Direct.

Ever since we posted our exclusive reviews and comparisons between India's major DTH (Direct-To-Home) services and also shared secret tricks to access hidden service menus in their set top boxes, various readers have asked us about the availability of HD (High Definition) channels on different DTH platforms.

People regularly send us emails asking whether a particular HD channel is available on their desired DTH platform or not. So today we decided to post another exclusive review and comparison list of all HD channels available on all Indian DTH platforms.

In this topic we'll tell you how many HD TV channels are available in India and which DTH service provides the maximum number of HD channels to its subscribers. It'll help you in deciding which DTH service provider is best for you.

We have 7 DTH service providers in India:

  • Tata Sky
  • Dish TV
  • Airtel Digital TV (ADTV)
  • Videocon D2H
  • Reliance Digital TV (RDTV)
  • Sun Direct
  • DD Direct+ (now renamed to "DD Free Dish")

DD Direct+ aka Free Dish is a free-to-air satellite service in India, actually its the only FTA satellite service in India. It doesn't provide any HD channel.

Following is the exclusive list of all HD channels available in India along with their availability on above mentioned DTH platforms:

NOTE: We are counting only true HD channels here. Dish TV claims to have maximum HD channels but some of them are upscaled HD channels not true HD channels. Upscaled HD channels are modified versions of SD channels with a little higher bitrate but you'll not notice much difference between SD and upscaled HD channels. Upscaled HD channels will never provide high picture quality as true HD channels do.

NOTE: The plus sign '+' indicates availability of Dolby Digital (DD) Surround Sound.

HD Channel Name

Tata Sky

Dish TV

Airtel Digital TV

Videocon D2H

Reliance Digital TV

Sun Direct

Hindi GEC
Star Plus HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Sony HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Zee TV HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Colors HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Life OK HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

&TV HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Sony SAB HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

-

Epic HD

Y+

-

-

-

-

-

Hindi Movies
Star Gold HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

-

Zee Cinema HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

&Pictures HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Sony Max HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

-

Star Gold Select HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

-

Cineplex HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Miniplex HD

-

-

Y

-

-

-

English GEC
Star World HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Star World Premiere HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

AXN HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Comedy Central HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Y+

Colors Infinity HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Zee Cafe HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

English Movies
Sony Pix HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Sony Le Plex HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

Y+

Star Movies HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Star Movies Select HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

HBO HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Y+

Zee Studio HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Movies NOW HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

Y+

MNX (Movies NOW 2) HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

Y+

MN+ (Movies NOW+) HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Romedy NOW HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Y+

Infotainment
Discovery HD World

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

TLC HD World

Y+

Y

Y+

Y

-

Y+

Animal Planet HD World

Y+

Y

Y+

Y

-

Y+

National Geographic HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Nat Geo Wild HD

Y+

Y+

-

Y

-

-

Nat Geo People HD

Y

Y

-

-

-

-

History TV18 HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y

-

Y+

Sony BBC Earth HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Y+

FOX Life/Traveller HD

Y

Y+

Y+

Y

-

-

Travel XP HD

Y

Y

-

Y

-

Y

FYI TV18 HD

-

-

-

-

-

Y

Sports
Star Sports 1 HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Star Sports 2 HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Star Sports 1 Hindi HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

-

Star Sports Select 1 HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Star Sports Select 2 HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

Y

Y+

Sony Ten 1 HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Sony Ten 2 HD

Y+

-

Y

-

-

-

Sony Ten 3 HD

Y+

-

Y

-

-

-

Sony Ten Golf HD

Y

Y

-

-

-

-

Sony Six HD

Y+

Y+

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Sony ESPN HD

Y+

Y

Y+

-

-

Y+

D Sport HD

Y

-

-

Y

-

-

Music
MTV Beats HD

Y+

Y

-

-

Y

-

MTV HD+

Y+

-

-

-

-

-

Sony ROX HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

Y+

Nat Geo Music HD

Y

Y

-

-

-

-

VH1 HD

Y

-

-

-

-

Y

English News
CNBC TV18 Prime HD

Y

Y

-

Y

-

-

News X HD

Y

-

-

-

-

-

Times NOW HD

Y

-

Y

-

-

-

Kids Entertainment
Baby TV HD

Y

Y

-

-

-

-

Nick HD+

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

-

Tamil
Sun TV HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Sun Music HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

KTV HD

Y

Y

-

Y

-

Y

Star Vijay HD

Y+

-

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Marathi
Colors Marathi HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y

-

-

Zee Marathi HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

-

Zee Talkies HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

-

Star Pravah HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

-

Telugu
Gemini TV HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Gemini Movies HD

Y

-

-

-

-

Y+

Gemini Music HD

-

-

-

-

-

Y+

Maa TV HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Maa Movies HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

-

ETV HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

Y

Bengali
Star Jalsha HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

-

Jalsha Movies HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

-

Colors Bangla HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

-

Zee Bangla HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

-

Malayalam
Asianet HD

Y+

Y

Y+

Y+

-

Y+

Mazhavil Manorama HD

Y

-

Y

Y

-

Y

Surya TV HD

Y+

-

-

Y+

-

Y+

Kannada
Colors Kannada HD

Y

Y

Y

Y

-

Y

Udaya TV HD

Y+

-

-

Y+

-

Y+

Star Suvarna HD

Y+

-

Y+

-

-

-

Total HD Channels = 88

85

66

69

59

12

55

 

So if we look at the number, Tata Sky provides the maximum number of HD channels. Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Videocon D2H and Sun Direct are close to it. Do we need to say anything about Reliance Digital TV?

So the list of winners based on maximum number of HD channels is as following:

1st - Tata Sky (85)
2nd - Airtel Digital TV (69)
3rd - Dish TV (66)
4th - Videocon D2H (59)
5th - Sun Direct (55)
6th - Reliance Digital TV (12)
7th - DD Free Dish or DD Direct+ (0)

NOTE: Reliance Digital TV doesn't provide DD sound on any HD channel. DishTV provides DD sound on very less number of HD channels (only 23 channels). On the other hand, Tata Sky (63), Airtel (56), Videocon (40) and Sun Direct (47) provide DD sound on almost all available HD channels.

Exclusive HD Services List:

  • Tata Sky has launched exclusive "The QYOU HD" channel available free of cost to all subscribers. It offers 24x7 curated short form videos from the Internet (Youtube, Vimeo, etc) for television.
  • Tata Sky has launched exclusive "Tata Sky Experience HD" channel available free of cost to all subscribers. It offers 24x7 HD content, through high quality HD content snippets across key genres such as Hindi entertainment, English entertainment, Hindi movies, knowledge, lifestyle, kinds and sports.
  • Tata Sky has launched exclusive "Tata Sky Bollywood Premiere HD" channel which showcases one Hindi movie premiere every week, along with some premium movies.
  • Tata Sky has launched exclusive "Tata Sky Kids Cinema HD" channel available free of cost to all subscribers. Its a special movie service which telecasts Indian and international kids specific movies break free.
  • Tata Sky has launched exclusive HD+1 channels for Colors, Sony, Zee TV, Star Plus, Star Gold, Zee Cinema and Sony Max which broadcast TV shows and movies with 1 hour delay of the same respective HD channels. It'll provide an opportunity to viewers to watch their favorite shows and movies twice or immediately if they missed it by an hour.
  • Videocon has started 2 new VOD (Video-On-Demand) HD channels "D2H Cinema HD" and "D2H Hollywood HD" which telecast latest Bollywood and Hollywood movies in HD. But they don't provide DD Sound.
  • Tata Sky has launched 5 Showcase HD channels which are PPV (Pay-Per-View) channels and telecast latest Hollywood and Bollywood movies in HD but without DD sound.
  • Tata Sky has also launched 3 Star Sports Add On Service HD channels which are event-based channels and telecast live Football matches.
  • Airtel has launched 2 Airtel Movies HD channels which are PPV (Pay-Per-View) channels and telecast blockbuster movies in HD but without DD sound.
  • Dish TV has launched Dish Buzz HD channel which telecasts Dish TV offers, advertisements and promotions.

One more thing to add! Videocon D2H and Airtel Digital TV provide 24x7 3D channels "D2H 3D Channel HD" and "Airtel Movies" respectively which show programs and movies in 3D format. Tata Sky has also started showing 3D blockbusters on its event-based channel "Showcase 3D" but its not a permanent channel.

We'll update this list whenever new HD channels become available on any DTH platform, so keep checking this page regularly...

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Comments

  • VG

    Older comments removed from the topic!

  • Hi there;

    VG - Congrats on providing useful Tips to quickly know whats the best DTH HD ..

    We need a Connection in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

    Do you think TATA SKY would be BEST deal , I decide so based on your reviews.

    Ppl do revert if you feel TATA SKY is not good in these areas, cos i recently heard some connect issues. I need your tips as you all seem genuine users. MOST reviews are by PAID TROLLS..!

    Thanks once again to ALL & VG.

    Much Regards

    AJ

  • VG

    ^^ Tata Sky service is quite good. Check the plans and channels in all DTH and go with the one which fits best for your requirements.

  • Hi VG,
    Thanks a lot for this comprehensive list. You have covered every aspect of the DTH quality and based on this sheet I opted for Tata Sky HD.

    I must say that i am extremely pleased with this connection. I have opted for the Grand Sports Pack and i get 39 HD channels including Star Premiere HD. The only ones missing now are the HBO Premium Channels (hits & Defined) and they are available for 99/month.

    It's a treat to come back home and watch movies or programs via the HD channels provided by Tata Sky. I just wish more HD channels become available in the near future.

    Thanks again for your hard work.

    Cheers,
    John

  • Hey VG, Thanks! Your review really helped me a lot as i was well confused between airteldth, dishtv & tatasky, will go with tatasky for now.

  • Thank you for this informative comparison article. This is a really handy piece of information for making a better, informed choice. Once i look at this I can confirm that Tata Sky is my DTH of choice . Saved more than an hour of my time!

  • DishTV HD quality is the worst among all. Star Sports Select HD1 added today but quality seems to be like SD channel. Also when I replaced Videocon D2H with DishTV, initially I thought it was my mistake to observe the low picture quality of DishTV HD channels. But again I recharged Videocon just to check. HD quality is uncomparable for these two. Videocon HD is way better, cleaner and sharper.

  • Hi,

    Which service provider broadcasts in true HD (1080P)? or are all service providers giving upscaled SD (1080i)? I live in Bangalore and considering Tatasky, Dish or Airtel. Whats your recommendation?

  • @Shaf,

    You can go for either TATA Sky or Airtel. DishTV is having the worst pic quality. They say 1080i, but the pic quality is not even like 720p. If you want more HD channels opting TATA Sky will be wise decision.

  • Airtel has recently launched the best HD offer
    (Unlike Tata Sky HD and Videocon D2h in which you can only see those HD channels whose sd channels are subscribed and to pay additional Rs.175 in tata sky to watch those HDs so to see almost all hd channels you have to pay almost RS.600-700 along with the sd channels which anyone would not watch after subscribing the same channel in hd)
    Airtel launched myhdplan in which you can choose the HD channel you want
    Like in Rs.225 plan you can chose any 51 hd channels of your choice
    with a base pack in my case its Base-99 myhdplan- 225(51hd channels)
    so in total Rs.324 i can watch almost all hd channels if I exclude the south indian channels
    i would get around 10 more hd channels to add so can also add the upcoming hd channels in future

  • D Sports showing on the Tata Sky ( Channel#495) doesn't carry 'HD' on its logo. Is it actually a Real HD channel or just an Upscaled SD Version ?!?! Moreover Cineplex HD has been removed , so does FTV India. TS might have informed its viewers over some non descript , lowest circulation regional newspaper but it would have done no harm to its profile if it could be done over alerts or SMS or E-mails to its subscribers . Can the TS subscribers expect a bit more transparancy ?!?

  • VG

    ^^ D Sport only provides HD feed. Other DTH companies are downscaling it and providing SD feed. Tata Sky is providing original HD feed.

  • Thanks VG for the information on Only HD Feed of DSport. Why Miniplex HD and FTV was removed by Tata Sky is not known or TS is not bothered to inform it's subscribers

  • Star is rejigging the channels and dropping the HD and SD Channels. On eve of the Champions Trophy ,Star Sports Tamil 1 has replaced Star Sports 4 while Star Sports Select 1 has replaced Star Sports HD 4. Both Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 4 has been discontinued from 28 May.

    Star Sports Select 2 will replace FX, which is being discontinued from 15 June, along with FX HD and Star Movies Action. So, 1 SD Channel in place of 1HD and 2 SD channels

    Star Sports Tamil and Star Sports Select 1 has been launched on 28 May while Star Sports Select 2 will launch on 15 June. The Tamil channel will also be home to the Tamil Nadu Premier League, which aired on Star’s second Tamil GEC Vijay Super last year.

    As per the new tariff regime, Star Sports Select HD 1 and HD 2 are priced Rs 12 each, which is lower than other Star Sports HD channels, which are priced Rs 19 each.

    The new tariff comes into force from 1 September subject to Madras High Court order on whether the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has the jurisdiction to frame tariff for TV channels.

    Star Sports network will now comprise five SD channels including two regional and five HD channels. Earlier there were 6 HD and 4 SD Channels.

    In the Age of HD viewing the decision to drop 2 HD channels and replace them with SD channels is baffling as Star has the telecasting rights of international and local events like the International Cricket Council (ICC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC); Pro Kabaddi; Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL); the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Premier League, Bundesliga; Badminton World Federation (BWF) events, Premier Badminton League (PBL); Hockey India League (HIL); Formula 1; Wimbledon, The French Open and International Premier Tennis League.

  • Any idea when would Cartoon Network HD would be launched in India? I believe, they have the necessary approvals. We have very low animation content available in HD.

  • VG

    ^^ Currently there are no news about CN HD channel.

  • FX HD is still on air / has not been shut down as yet , was supposed to from June 15th when the SD feed went off the air or showing recycled programme ?!?

  • VG

    ^^ It'll be discontinued on July 20.

  • any update on jiodth

  • Tata Sky is showing QYou in both HD and SD feeds on Channel # 200 & 201 . Is it for promos for specific time period then to become PPV or a regular Ebtertain channel ?

  • VG

    ^^ No. Its not a PPV channel.

  • Is it confirmed that the Sony Ten 2 HD & Sony Ten 3 HD channels are being launched on 18th July Tuesday... Will the Ten 1, Ten 2 SD channels would be rebranded as well ?

  • VG

    ^^ According to my sources, Sony prefix will be added to the Ten channels.

  • Any update on addition of Sony Ten 2 HD and Sony Ten 3 HD on Tata sky?

  • Checked with Tata Sky ....on Sony Ten 2 HD and Sony Ten 3 HD .No information with them either !!

  • First they said check Ch# 473 & 475 then they said they are looking into

  • VG Tata sky added Ten 2 HD LCN 473 and Ten 3 HD LCN 475

  • Tata Sky Finally added SONY TEN 2 HD & SONY TEN 3 HD on Ch# 473 & 475 respectively in the evening

  • VG

    OK. I have tried to remove off-topic comments from this topic and I request all readers to post comments regarding HD channels and DTH only in this topic. :)

  • ^^Much appreciated! And I'm honestly saying so because you could grasp and acknowledge our rationale, regardless of it looked "cynical" to others or not [even though you removed traces of all of my comments and conversations*].

    Hope you'll religiously follow this norm (read duty) from this now onwards.

    *This is not a 'crypt-complaint' or display of displeasure, as long as you carry on what I just said in last para[graph]. I only did this to denote the fact and above all, give all such readers/visitors a 'cautionary-tale' about not going off-topic because they couldn't find any other better place to seek help or discuss, there has to be a very good reason.

  • Hi,

    Can anyone tell when is Star Bharat HD launching?

  • VG

    ^^ Most probably 28 August 6PM.

  • Is Star Bharat HD 'Launching ' or Life OK HD being rebranded as Star Bharat HD ?

    Is FYI18 True HD Channel or Upscaled ? Will it be launched in Tata Sky soon ?

  • VG

    ^^ Its still unconfirmed whether Life OK HD will be converted into Star Bharat HD or not.

    FYI TV18 HD is true HD channel and will be available on Tata Sky soon.

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