My recent experiences with DTH providers

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onewhoknows

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All right guys, long story short.I live in the US and planning to come back to India next year. I visited India last month on a fact finding mission and as part of the mission checked out the two big DTH providers (Dish and Tata Sky) and here is what I learnt.1) Visited both the retailers where they showed off their channels in Chennai. I closely inspected the so called STB (set top box). To my horror and dismay it only had the basic RCA connectors! No Component video/Not even Svideo out/leave alone HDMI output. My questioning on these points got no response from them. I believe they hardly understood what those connectors meant, honestly!2) The channels looked ok on small televisions but on 40 and above (widescrreen) it looked horrible. This may be because of the STB as they had only basic connectors. I explained to him that back in the US i have a Panasonic 52 inch wide screen and a basic set top box which had s video out (no hdmi output) and the same channels (Zee, Sony looked awesome. SUN tv was superb. If it was the STB i asked him if i could bring the STB from the US to India and activate it here by paying all the necessary fees. He had no answer to this. 3) I strongly feel that these guys are taking advantage of ignorant customers in India and passing off old, outdated. used STB boxes as new as they think they can get away with anything as there is no regulatory body checking these guys. 4) Seeing is believing. Try using the Svideo/Component video cables and you would notice a drastic increase in quality.5) No one asking for HDMI channels here as i understand DTH is still in its infancy stage in india but the STB need to be brought up to an reasonable level.6) Next I called the customer service at both Tata Sky and Dish and I was given the runaround. They kept on transferring me from one person to another and none of them understood a thing. Customer service literally sucks, these guys treat customers like dirt(if this happens to new customers, I dread to imagine what would happen to existing customers) My emails as usually evoked no response. Honestly, it will take these guys light years to catch up with the Western world. Even our neighbours are getting ahead of us in these matters. ( Just visit China and notice the difference).I hope folks from Dish and Tata Sky read these postings so they know how terribly outdated they are. Sorry this turned out to be a long post but i felt i should at least post the whole story.
 
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~Hami~

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India is always India :rofl::rofl:
 
SVK

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Unfortunately you are right on most of points you have mentioned, Welcome to India (and IBF)But you should also know some thing like1. Advanced STB will cost more and still people who compare TV services with (Analog) cable (wala), they feel it is huge investment (for simple TV viewing)2. In India, we are still getting introduced to Digital TV and as times passes & with awareness in people we will certainly have more quality options in STB like SCART, HDMI, S-Video, etc (just like mobile phone revolution)3. Channel quality appear low, because it low at source itself, still the producers are using low resolution production units4. And CC... No Comments (I really wonder how we Indians are leading in CallCentre jobs looking at service provided in our country or there are no guidelines set yet for Indian customers like UK/US customers)Regards,One-who-also-knows!
 
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tech_enthu

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In dollar terms Indians are paying less than 10 $ as monthly subscription compared to about $50 in USA. The DTH companies have to make investment in $ terms (high) and recover revenue per customer in rupees (low). In addition they have to compete against entrenched cable operators who operate in an unorganized environment with indifferent charging (from rs. 100 to 450). Once DTH picks up (it already is biting into the cable) the operators will have to offer better stbs, value added services and value for money. In addition the DTH must fine tune its financial model to earn revenue from other sources as well.It is said that per minute tel call rates and per channel tv rates are the cheapest in the world; In the present economic scenario it is difficult to fool the public. Next year it is bound to improve a lot.
 
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gregory house

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After having access to DTH services in countries like US and UK, you are bound to be disappointed when you see the state of affairs in India. We are going back in time as far as DTH is concerned - Darwin's theory of evolution in reverse.Seriously, a few things have to be considered here, some of which have already been pointed out by kedarisv and tech_enthu:1. The STBs currently available are low cost made-for-india ones. Advanced ones (with support for HD, for example) will cost 5-10 times more.2. There is a serious transponder shortage in the market and it is more or less artificial (have mentioned it a zillion times by now). So, channels have to be beamed at lower quality to make up the numbers.3. Customer service is non existent coz there is no recourse to legal methods of enforcement of basic consumer rights. The easiest way currently is to go and thrash the person in question. But law abiding people don't do such things.4. Most consumers who watch tv are satisfied with what is available. Those who can afford it have access to dvds etc. It is a very small minority which lies in between which makes demands like quality programming, quality transmission etc. And since the numbers are too small to matter, and they can't do anything about it anyway, why care?This is how things are at present in India.
 
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Neo001

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I agree with all the comments mentioned above, and just to tell you the cost of HDMI STB are Rs.15000/- to Rs.30000/- and more depends upon technology and s/w they provide.........and in fact 90% of indian are not able to afford this ....even they are not able to pay Rs.300 as monthly charges how will you aspect this.....so indians always go for that alternative which are more economical with quality (May be a bit less)....jsu for an example......NASA spends billions of dollars for inventing a pen which is workingin space/ moon ....and they able to write the things there..........and Indian solution to this is...........Just....PENCIL....WHICH COSTS Rs.1 only... so there is no point of comparision between US/UK and dth service here.
 


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ItsMe

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Maybe you can expect something when Bharthi/Reliance start their service early next year. There should be some attractive stuff, else they cant sustain the competition since they are late entrants in the market. I assume that reliance will compete with Sun DTH on price tag and Bharthi will compete with TS/DTV on quality. At that time they have to come up with something innovative, like HD channels to conquer the market.
 
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Sher

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ah huh, Beggars cannot be choosers. It happens only in india.
 
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Vaibhav20

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It's nice to know about that .....keep writing:thumb:
 
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tech_enthu

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ah huh, Beggars cannot be choosers. It happens only in india.

Not right. We have a wide choice in the selection of service providers and equipment; take your pick in the following fields:

1. Mobiles.
2. TV - various brands, prices from 4000 to 90000; 150 + channels in all languages
3. White goods, consumer electronics
4. Computers from 13000 +
5. 2 wheelers - nowhere in the world you will find so many brands parked side by side.
6. Restaurants for tastes.
7. Now cheap air travel.
Youngsters in the 20000+ salary bracket will have a whale of time because of availability of easy finance.
 
Sushubh

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we have lots of cheap stuff which u can't find in advanced countries. cheap living for example!
 
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Sachcrazy

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Mr. Onewhoknows, these are not the things that one expects in India. There are lot of factors like cost which is to be kept in mind before launch of product and technology comes with price. But there are lot many things that are better off in India than in western world. Thats why you must be coming back and I appreciate that. If you compare only technology, you are better off staying abroad.
 
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disher

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I think advanced STB will cost more than basic STB. So they only provide basic STB's.:whistle:
 
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pnandy

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Could someone please clarify my points?I live in US and have a 42" plasma TV (Integrated HD Tuner). Planing to go for good to India early 2008. I need to decide ASAP on whether to Ship my TV to India. But i have few concerns. 1. My TV does not have PAL tuner, it has only NTSC/ATSC tuner. Will this TV works in India? ofcurse with any SetTopBox. 2. Does NSTC/PAL matter to HDMI output? Do I need to have additional video converter, to convert from PAL to NTSC? 3. My TV has HDMI input, S-Video input and ofcourse Component. Is it a good idea to carry this TV to India? 4. Can we buy a set top box in US and activate it in India? Could you suggest some good STB with HDMI output. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.Thanks
 
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VRamkumar

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Hello Nandy.. Here's my suggestion to some of your questions.1. My TV does not have PAL tuner, it has only NTSC/ATSC tuner. Will this TV works in India? ofcurse with any SetTopBox. A) If you are looking at the STB (SetTopBox), there are 2 choices - going Satellite way / Cable Way. Both of them have only "Composite" not even Component. So forget about HDMI in one of your later questions. Since STB is the choice you are looking for, NTSC / PAL should not matter as this signal does not even go thro to the Tuner on your TV.2. Does NSTC/PAL matter to HDMI output? Do I need to have additional video converter, to convert from PAL to NTSC? I dont think it should matter. Moreover if you are looking for HDMI input, the only thing you can get is probably a DVD Player. as i said in Question 1, The STBs here are very primitive3. My TV has HDMI input, S-Video input and ofcourse Component. Is it a good idea to carry this TV to India? Not sure how the outputs your TV provides should matter for your decision to move your TV. if ur question is about whether we get such TVs here in India or not, then dont bother. Most Plasma and LCD TVs here in India from Samsung, Sony, LG etc provide these outputs anyway.4. Can we buy a set top box in US and activate it in India? Could you suggest some good STB with HDMI output. I'm not sure of that. May be you can mail a customer service query to DishTV India / Tata Sky. They may be better at this.Hope this helps