Airtel DTH Digital TV Installation and experience along with pictures of new STB

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jpskalsi

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Hi friends,

I just got ADTV installed on 08Sep09 and am now a very happy ATDV user. I had been researching for quite long about which DTH service to buy. Here is my little story:

Cablewalla:
My initial search started with my local cablewalla who is providing service through Incable. He kept telling me that CAS STB is going to be changed and hence he was not selling STBs. Then after few months after a lot of pestering he agreed to give a demo last month and one fine day the Incable guy turned up at my residence and gave me a demo. The picture quality was good and I was impressed but I noticed that the STB was not able to show many of the channels (error no signal). He explained to me that the main reason for this is that I had two TVs through one connection and also the signal which I was getting was low on quality. So he asked me to first get in touch with the local cablewalla and rectify this problem and also install a cable splitter (for 2 tvs). I rang up the cablewalla many times and asked him to rectify the same but he just turned up once and said he would do it but till date nothing has been done. Hence got frustrated and decided to dump him and move to DTH.

In the meanwhile I had done quite a lot of reading about various DTH providers. I mainly needed punjabi channels and the other main-main channels.

DishTV:
This was my initial choice earlier (coz 7 punjabi channels) but I was surprised when I enquired about the multi-room connection. They are charging 155 for the second connection and were giving around 150 channels in child pack instead of 185.(Today the website is updated and shows 170 channels for child but still many important channels e.g. star plus and news etc. are missing). All other DTH providers are giving the full parent package in the multi-room connection. Call centre fella told me that in case I needed all the channels I would have to take two connections. That would take my monthly bill to around 600. No way!! Hence dropped from list.

Tata Sky:
Has good list of channels but ETC Punjabi missing plus topups Lifestyle gold and sports make it expensive. Also was not satisfied with the picture quality. Main reason for dropping was missing ETC punjabi. Saw their new PVR advt for 5000 but in my opinion it is still damn expensive and there is nothing much I need to record anyways. Why spend a bomb for something you are gonna use once in a while?

Big TV:
Dad said strictly no for reliance- chor company. Although I liked their STB's component out option as it would have given me good quality picture on my Sony LCD. Good channel list but now I see that their cost for Max pack is 385 instead of earlier 300. (plus missing PTC News channel). Dropped from list.

Sun:
Has too many south channels which I dont need. All important SABTV missing.

Airtel:
Had a look at their new packs and Mega pack looked promising. Has all the channels I need. Plus recently they added 14 channels which brought in the earlier missing ETC punjabi channel. So that took count of punjabi channels to 6 (good!!). Ultra pack seems to be expensive but the good thing is that the difference between ultra and mega is only the sports channels, which I can skip easily. The three channels ESPN, Star and DD Sports would make up for the other missing sports channels. Plus easy options to topup sports channels gives me the flexibility to add and remove at any time. Hence 2200 offer with three months mega pack attracted me. 20% larger dish is an advantage over others. Software interface also looks very good. Plus had also heard about their professional way of installation. So had a final discussion with my parents and decided on 7th evening to go for Airtel. While coming home from office dropped by in Croma at R City mall and bought multiroom connection for 2 tvs at 1800hrs. By 1845 I got sms saying that my installation was scheduled at 1000hrs next day. Wow!!! Fast work.

The installation:
Airtel engineer called up at 0900hrs and said that he would come by 1100. I agreed. I had taken leave from my office for full day since I personally wanted to supervise the installation. True to his word he was at my residence at around 1110. He was dressed in the trademark red T shirt and black dangri (I dont know what you guys call that but this is what we used to call in our engg college while doing our workshop). They had two STB boxes and one very large backpack which I asssume contained the dish. They started work immediately by surveying the site. I was planning to install the dish on my window grill so that the society members would not object to using the terrace. Airtel engineer said that I can get a clear line of sight from my window and their would be no problems installing the dish. He however toldme that I would have to pay 100 extra for the window grill sandwich mount. He then showed me the sandwich mount which was essentially two rectangular metal plates with many holes for nut-bolts and one of them had a L shaped pipe welded to it for attaching the dish. Build quality was very solid and so decided to go for it. There is some construction work+painting going on in my building so decided that they would hang it from the terrace and then mount the dish assembly.

He then asked me whether I wanted the white cable or the black one. I selected the white one since it would look better on my walls. They started the work and installed the dish and cables etc. One of the STBs was switched on and signal strength was shown as zero. They then started adjusting the dish to get better signal. But hard luck. Max signal strength they got was 142. The presence of bamboos was creating some problems. Tried adjusting many times but same result. So finally engineer suggested that we move the dish to outside the kitchen window grill to get better reception. Again they had to remove all the assembly and fit it again. Here the signal was slightly better but did not go more that 185. Airtel engineer told me that 200 is needed for good reception. After adjusting umpteen times and still no luck with signal strength, I finally decided that we had no choice but to install it on the terrace. So me and the airtel engineer hunted for a good spot on the terrace and finally managed to install the dish out there. After some 10 mins of adjustments the signal became constant at 247 (what an amazing jump from 142:cheers:). Locked at this strength and came down for the other remaining activities. By this time it
was 1700hrs.

The rest was pretty easy going and the two STBs were updated and activated by them in no time and I was given a demo. Picture quality is simply amazing on my 21" Sony wega. In the second connection on my Sony Bravia 32" LCD also the picture quality is very good. Universal remotes were paired easily with the two sony remotes and I was told to tuck away those TV remotes (after removing their batteries).

Airtel engineer was very patient during all this time and together they did a step by step professional job of installation. All cables were neatly tied up with cable ties and extra edges snipped off. Cable was installed using clips on the wall which looks very neat (while color also helps). Overall am extremely satisfying job. They left at 1800hrs. I must say that this must have been their longest installation till date but they left behind a very satisfied customer.

Yesterday the clouds cleared up and now my signal strength shows 252. New model STB is very good and I have no problems. Remote works properly with them and no hanging problems reported till now. STB manufacturer is Joint Technology Electronic Co Ltd. , China for Kaonmedia Co Ltd, Korea. Here are some pics of the STB:

The STB Box:


STB Front View:


STB Back View:


The Universal Remote:


I have been going through all the menu options. Tried some of the games but seems kinda silly to play these games as compared to my PS3. iTV takes some time to load. At one point when I was checking out the restaurants in Mumbai section neither the back key or the exit key seems to work. Finally had to press the channel change button to come out.

Thanks to all the reviews and info from you existing guys which helped me to take a decision. I have one doubt. How do I see the 7 day electronic program guide in the guide? I can see +12hrs -12hrs but never managed to see 7 days. Any ideas?
 
U

urpradhan

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same thread on multiple forums. I doubt you as a ADTV emp or dealer :notallowed:
 
kooldude

kooldude

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Reviews from airtel reps does make a difference.Can you see any negative points in that review?To my knowledge airtel digital tv has the worst customer care out there.
 
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jpskalsi

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same thread on multiple forums. I doubt you as a ADTV emp or dealer :notallowed:

Well I am a member of both forums and hence decided to post on both sites.
And no I am not a Airtel rep or dealer. I just thought I would share this information.

Reviews from airtel reps does make a difference.
Can you see any negative points in that review?

One negative point I can see is that the new STB does not have any option for component out video. This would have definitely improved the picture quality on LCDs above 32".

To my knowledge airtel digital tv has the worst customer care out there.
Yet to experience customer care so cant say much about that.


I'm still keen to measure the performance of this STB versus the old Airtel STB. Is this STB faster and more responsive? I found the old STB to be rather slow in changing channels. It was consistently taking over 2 seconds to change channels (using Ch+ and Ch- keys). I observed this in 3-4 shops.
I haven't measured but it does take around 1-2 secs for channel changing.
Also iTV interactive services takes some time to load.
 
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Mamoo

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I have ADTV for over 8 months. Installation and quality is very good.This is compensated in customer service.The answer emails after 3 weeks with only 'sorry' & 'promise'..........If you call, you will be on hold for at least 15/20 min and you can not chose any topup easily. There are restrictions wrt base package. Even single channel topups are not allowed.In case of shift they charge 600 and dont allow your own shift. So use as long as no problem is faced/customer support is needed. Then better to through it away than call them. :pleasehelp:
 


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vIjAy_kHaSa

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airtel customer care is best i get reply from email within 24 hrs and wait time varies I mostly get connected in 4-7 minutes
 
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urpradhan

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The boot time for the STB after the new theme change is approx 180-200 seconds :notallowed: wtf :( and the channel change time is 3-4 seconds !!! Can you believe it.
 
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jpskalsi

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The boot time for the STB after the new theme change is approx 180-200 seconds :notallowed: wtf :( and the channel change time is 3-4 seconds !!! Can you believe it.
Is there a new software update with new theme change? Coz I switched on the STB at 8 this morning and my boot time is around 5-10secs. It did not download any software so I assume I must be having the latest software.
 
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HHH

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guyz don't waste your time reading this thread. This thread was surely started by airtel [email protected] please delete this airtel "ad" on the forum.
 
Sushubh

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it's a user's point of view. i have similar opinion about airtel iptv. that does not make me an airtel representative...if you disagree with his 'experiences' this thread is open for discussions.
 
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sg3707

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I got Airtel STB for free (Ok had to pay 700Rs as some charges) on buying a Samsung 40" LCD.Frankly I am not all impressed by there plans, service, flexibility and most importantly QUALITY.1) There are not many HD channels to brag about.2) There customer service is bad. They take along time to respond.3) The Packages are very costly and even the add on channels are costly.4) I have connected both the local cabel and DTH cable(through HDMI) and the quality of Local cabel seems far better. I could,nt belive myself but after browisng through all the channels the fact is Local cable picture quality is better. The difference is not much though but when you are paying a premium over local cabel we expect the premium in quality also.5) The channel change time sucks. Yak. You have to wait like 2-3 seconds to browse through each channel and for a guy using local cabel since forever it is very irritating.\If people planning to buy DTH for their LCD's I suggest get a settop box and see the quality first. Moreover you will be getting most of the channels and need not spend money on extra packages etc..
 
Sushubh

Sushubh

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you might want to check out what videocon has to offer. they are pretty close to launching their own d2h hd service.