Bye bye cable, going Tatasky

I have been sitting on the fence regarding ditching cable for DTH. But just last week, I came to know of this multiroom scheme Tatasky has. That just assures me that these guys understand multi-TV homes. Moreover, the picture quality is really good.

Now, DishTV doesn’t seem to have any multi-room offer. Their subscription schemes are confusing and expensive for multilingual homes like mine. And it seems Tatasky has much better customer service compared to DishTV. (Disclaimer – Internet hearsay and based on what what few friends tell me). Some folks say Tatasky picture quality is better than DishTV, but I don’t trust that.

Anyways. So, I have taken the plunge. Just placed an order for 2 Tatasky boxes, and I hope to have them installed this weekend. Can’t wait for this upgrade to DVD quality video and CD quality sound. And no blackouts during bandhs and through the power-cuts. Hope it will all be as they promise!

One interesting thing. I asked the Tatasky rep if they provide DVR (think Tivo types) set-top boxes as well. DishTV offers DVR box, why would Tatasky not do it? The rep told me that their boxes are DVR ready, and they will be launching a service (via a software upgrade) sometime soon. DVR ready, what does that mean!? Do these boxes (digicomps) have hard-drives inside them? I don’t buy that, but will inspect the boxes when they arrive.

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20 Responses

  1. Hi. I have had my Tatasky connection since the past month or two and I must say I’m damn happy with the service. I had a harrowing time during the beginning with a couple of problems, even an adaptor that went bust but man, their service personnel really rock..prompt and professional! Ask for Mr. Shivkumar, their service co-ordinator, should you have a problem! Thanks to you, I’m now reading about their multiroom service…boy, this is welcome news! Thanks, Ravi ( also of blr metblogs!)

  2. This is good. I was talking to one of their dealers, and he did not have knowledge about the multi-room capabolity. This is great. I am more inclined to take the plunge.

  3. Ravi – good to get one more confirmation!

    Ashish – Yep. Rs 200 per month for the 1st box. And then Rs 100 per every additional boxes. Better than paying Rs 350 x no_of_TVs with DishTV.

    Ordered placed on Friday. Boxes are still not here. But a local dealer did call twice to apologize for the delay. Hopefuly tomorrow.

  4. SB,

    Will wait for your comments before i take the plunge. Did you check the digital cable (or something of its kind) option with your local cabblewallah? Anyway, keep us posted !

  5. silkboard,
    Can we connect this tata sky into a computer and watch it on TV too? [ have a TV tuner card which works with cable] just checking before buying it pls.
    thanks,
    mohan!

  6. Got the boxes today, installation will happen in a day or two.

    Mohan – your TV tuner card wont work with DTH, as your analog tuner card wont know how to tune/decrypt DTH channels. You will have to buy a box from them. You can put video-out of the DTH box to video-in of your computer. Your TV tuner card should have a video-in (S-Video or AV), basically use that to watch TV on your computer-display.

  7. We have DishTV at home. And believe me when I say that the customer service of DishTV is abysmal. I hope TataSky will soar in India when it comes to DTH. Even the interface of Tatasky is better than DishTV. Glad to hear about multiroom option on tatasky. But they are charging Rs.100/- more on the usual subscription rate. Even then it’s a viable option.

    Read my story here:
    http://saawan.wordpress.com/2006/08/21/indias-3rd-dth-service-launched/

  8. So I am on Tatasky, finally! Conclusions:

    Good
    – Customer service, excellent, at least throughout the installation process
    – Quality, wonderful. Diff is more apparent on larger TVs. I am kicking myself for not bringing back a big LCD TV from US when I moved. In built TV tuner is anyway irrelevant now.
    – Biggest improvement, more than the picture, is sound. Not sure yet if the sound is indeed stereo (not many broadcasts are stereo I think), but those ads sounds so rich and good now.
    – System isn’t that daunting to use. My mom was comfortable with it in 2 days.

    Bad
    – Multiroom installation is bit of a pain. I had assumed that one cable from Dish to the cable point outside my house would be sufficient. But no. they have to run a separate cable each right from the dish to your TV. So there is drilling and re-wiring involved. No such pain for single TV homes though.
    – Some channels missing. No Sun TV channels. And no Rajdeep Sardesai as they don’t carry CNN-IBN yet.
    – Too few options for pay-per-view movies. Ordering not as easy as few clicks on the remote. You got to call them to schedule a movie.

  9. You seem to have summed it up very well. tatasky service is very professional. their support is excellent but the drawback is that they don’t seem to be adding any new channels yet and their packages has still not been announced. I hope we don’t get a shock of our lives when they finally announce them after they have locked up enough customers who can’t switch over anymore.

  10. I’m pretty sure the Tatasky boxes don’t contain a hard drive and therefore converting them to DVRs will require more than a software upgrade (shock, the salesperson lied to you). I’ve looked at the set top boxes and they are really crappy (as as Dish-TV’s). The connection to the TV is via AV cables – not bad if you have an older TV. If you have a newer LCD you would have liked an HDMI connector, no such option.
    As to the availability of DVRs I also asked them and the answer was “sometime in the future”.

  11. The digicomps that TATASKY is using are indeed DVR upgradable and no hardware is required! I have used them in UK , exactly the same and they work!

    Teh set top boxes offered by TS are 10 steps ahead of disastrous STBs offered by Dish TV. The DTH is supposed to be viewed with teh direct AUX ins and picture quality rocks..

  12. I think there is something called IPSTAR that provides broadband internet access. I am waiting for the dishwallahs to provide me this.

  13. Any idea tatasky coming up with “pay per channel” system in the near future ? I heard from their representative that its going to be Rs.5/- per channel and we can chose channels picking up only what we want to watch on a regular basis, thereby avoiding payment for never-watched channels. Practicality of this system will be: eg. I watch only 20 channels, I pay only 20X5 = Rs.100/-

  14. I work for the company NDS that produces the software that runs on the TataSky STB, and i know for a fact that the digicomps are NOT DVR upgradable! … TataSky will be launching new STBs sometime in the next 12 – 15 months, which will have a hard disk. They’ll probably come up with some sort of exchange scheme wherein you could give in ur existing digicomp for the new DVR at a subsidised rate ( at least, that’s how it works in the UK and Aus).

  15. Thanks Sandman and everyone for comments. I think I need to convert that earlier comment of mine to a post.

  16. […] Comments silkboard on Bye bye cable, going Tataskytarlesubba on Stacking lotsSrivathsa on Stacking lotsgmohanprakash on Picture timesilkboard on […]

  17. Hi Silkboard and buddies,
    I have 2 digicomp and pay Rs. 400/- p.m -33% discount that I got for the next whole years subscription on 3000/- voucher and also I got 2nd box free for 5 months…
    I connect to TV tuner card to watch on my PC and use WinDVr software but cannot schedule recording so need to know How to decrpyt channels in DVr software so that DVr just tunes to tht chanel automatically and record the program at the time I want???????

    Plz help

  18. Customer i/d 1006419418. My 6 weeks with TataSky and two remotes behave whimsical, two set top boxes often hang, third remote needed replacement within 4 weeks, third set top box gone bonkers and these guys have the nerve to say that I have to pay for the repairs. I am not paying even if I have to throw away the whole lot on road. I feel cheated. Their field staff is sadist and cruel, the company’s approach feudalistic, determined to take you to the cleaners. I think they imported cheap quaility equipment and are now unable to service it. I wish I had some way to prosecute them on criminal charges, after all I feel cheated. Is it not an irony that something I purchased for entertainment and relaxation causes my blood pressure to shoot up.

  19. Hi guys,
    Have you guys have any idea whether TATA Sky is launching their DVR’s or not?

    Cheers
    -Pallav

  20. Have 2 TVs and 2 set top boxes. the current price is Rs125 for each additional box. take any package on your primary box and the price on the secondary box remains the same.
    I just took the annual pack and they have added 4 new movie channels – without any additional subscription charge (as advertised)
    Customer Service and their engineers are excellent – prompt response and they will always call you to fix an appointment.

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