[Tata Sky and Dish TV Review] Comparison Between Two Major DTH Services in India
If you are living in India, you might be aware of the fact that Tata Sky and Dish TV are the best and most popular DTH (Direct-To-Home) television service providers in India. There are a few other DTH services in India such as Airtel Digital TV, Videocon D2H, Reliance Big TV, Sun Direct, etc but Tata Sky and Dish TV are at the top of the list.
My work doesn't allow me to stay in India but due to my health problems which I mentioned earlier, currently I'm staying in India. Some of you might be knowing that I have Tata Sky DTH connection at my home as I have posted about my interesting service menu discovery in Tata Sky STB. I have an HD+ set top box of Tata Sky which allows me to watch HD channels as well as record them. Recently I posted about hidden secret service menu present in Dish TV which I found while checking a new Dish TV connection purchased by my cousin sister. It was also an HD+ connection.
It helped me in comparing both Tata Sky and Dish TV quality and performance. I found many differences between both the services. In some areas Tata Sky is the best but there are some features which are exclusive to Dish TV.
Today I thought about sharing my experience with Tata Sky and Dish TV with you all. I hope it'll help many Indian readers in choosing between Tata Sky or Dish TV DTH services.
I'll try my best to cover all possible points in this small review. Feel free to share your experience and thoughts in your comments.
So without wasting time lets start the review and comparison between Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH services:
Point 1: Hardware and Look
First impression is the last impression and Tata Sky clearly wins in this area. Tata Sky set top box (STB) looks better than Dish TV set top box. The front of Tata Sky STB is sleek, it shines and looks like a branded product. One the other hand, Dish TV STB looks basic. It looks like a local brand FM purchased from a local market. Some people might like Dish TV set top box more as its very small in size compared to Tata Sky set top box.
Dish TV STB gets hot very soon but Tata Sky STB doesn't get hot so much as it contains a fan inside the box.
Tata Sky STB comes with a 500GB internal Hard Disk to store program recording which is a huge amount of space to record your favorite TV shows, movies, etc. On the other hand, Dish TV STB doesn't contain any internal hard disk. Although Dish TV provides a 4GB USB pen drive to attach into Dish TV STB but its very small in size. You can attach other USB drives if the existing USB drive runs out of space.
Tata Sky STB contains 3 extra light indicators to show recording progress, new messages and remote activities. Dish TV STB doesn't contain any such extra indicators.
So in hardware and look area Tata Sky is the clear winner.
Point 2: Number of Channels and Picture Quality
If we talk about HD channels count, Tata Sky beats Dish TV. Tata Sky provides maximum 80 HD channels, on the other hand Dish TV provides 68 HD channels.
NOTE: Since all DTH companies regularly add new channels, it would be better to visit following topic to know the current status of HD channels availability on various DTH services:
If we talk about SD channels, both Tata Sky and Dish TV provide almost equal number of SD channels.
One more thing to mention! Dish TV is also showing an adult only PPV (Pay-Per-View) channel "Fresh! TV" which broadcasts adult TV shows and movies from 11:00 PM to 2:30 AM every night. But most of the adult content are removed from programs as per government guidelines. Dish TV is the only DTH service provider in India having such kind of TV channel.
There is also one French GEC TV channel "TV5 Monde Asie" which broadcasts uncut and uncensored French movies. Since movies are telecasted uncensored, you may see a few adult nude scenes (such as topless scenes) in some movies.
UPDATE: TV5 Monde Asie is no longer available on Dish TV but Tata Sky has added TV5 Monde Asie channel on May 05, 2016.
Regarding picture quality, Dish TV is better than Tata Sky. One can easily find the difference between picture quality of both services. Channels on Dish TV look very sharp and clean. On the other hand Tata Sky channels look a little bit blurred. It seems Tata Sky is trying to compress channels too much to be able to get space to add new channels.
Point 3: Channel Recording and Series Recording
No doubt, Tata Sky is far better than Dish TV in channel recording feature. Never ever go with Dish TV if you are planning to record your favorite programs or movies. Why? First of all Dish TV doesn't come with hard disk as we mentioned in the beginning, so you can't record as many TV shows or movies as you can record in Tata Sky which comes with huge 500GB hard disk.
Second thing! Dish TV doesn't provide series recording feature which is present in Tata Sky STB. Series recording feature is an excellent and very useful feature which allows you to set recording of any TV show only once and it'll automatically record all future episodes of the program. You can use this feature to record episodes of your favorite daily soap or favorite Discovery channel program. This feature is present in almost all channel shows whether its a cartoon channel, sports channel or infotainment channel such as Discovery, National Geographic or History TV.
Since Dish TV doesn't provide series recording feature, you have to manually set recording of each and every episode of your favorite TV show on daily basis. On the other hand, Tata Sky requires you to set the recording only once.
Another big disadvantage in Dish TV is that you can't watch a different channel if you are recording current channel. You'll have to watch the same channel which is being recorded then what's the point of recording if we have to watch the same channel? On the other hand, Tata Sky allows you to watch a different channel and record a different channel. Or you can record 2 channels simultaneously in Tata Sky. Dish TV allows only 1 channel recording at a time.
I also found that Dish TV failed to record complete movie. I tried 2 times to record an English movie but both times Dish TV recorded only 70 or 75 minutes of the movie. On the other hand, Tata Sky records everything perfectly without any problem.
Also finding and watching recorded TV shows in Dish TV is difficult compared to Tata Sky.
So Tata Sky wins in channel recording feature without any doubt.
Point 4: User Interface
Again Tata Sky beats Dish TV in user interface area. Tata Sky STB user interface looks stylish and its very easy to operate. On the other hand Dish TV user interface looks childish. The fonts used in Dish TV user interface remind me of Windows 95 or 98 UI where as Tata Sky UI fonts are very nice and look clear on TV screen.
Using Tata Sky menus and options are easier than Dish TV. Menus in Tata Sky are well organized and easy to find but Dish TV is a little bit difficult to operate.
Point 5: Channel Packages and Prices
If we talk about price, both Tata Sky and Dish TV are almost same. There is not much difference between channel prices but Tata Sky has a great package plan which is not present in Dish TV.
Tata Sky provides Annual Mega Plan which can be subscribed for a whole year and the beauty of this plan is that you get access to all present channels. Also any new channel which is added by Tata Sky in your subscription year, will be automatically added to your plan without any extra cost. Dish TV doesn't provide any such plan.
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Phew!!! That's the difference which I was able to find between Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH services. My personal opinion is that if you don't need recording feature, go with Dish TV as it provides more channels compared to Tata Sky and also the picture quality of Dish TV is better than Tata Sky. But if you want recording feature, go with Tata Sky without any doubt.
I hope people, who are planning to purchase a new DTH connection, will find this review useful...
Posted in: Gadgets & Internet
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