Which is best DTH in India?
The seven DTH service providers in India are Airtel Digital TV, Reliance Digital Big TV, DD Free Dish, DishTV, Sun TV, TataSky and VideoconD2H. Since the channels on all these DTH services are almost the same, what sets them apart is the quality of their broadcasts, the number of real HD channels, who uses latest technology MPEG-4 with DVB-S2, etc. So to decide on which is the best DTH service in India, we must consider their technology, signal strength, picture quality, equipment features like recording HD Set Top Box, monthly charges and installation charges.
We will discuss all of this in the dedicated pages to each of the DTH providers in India namely Airtel Digital TV, DD Direct+, DishTV, Reliance Digital, SunDirect, TataSky and VideoconD2H.
The market in India for DTH Satellite TV is very big. India has about 300 million TV owning households. Most of these households are connected to Cable TV services, but as of now only about 50 million are connected to DTH. With the superior quality of the DTH transmissions, many of the Cable connected households would change over to DTH. So the growth of DTH in India can be phenomenal.
List of DTH service providers in India
There are at present 7 DTH TV connections available in India:
- Airtel Digital TV
- Reliance Digital TV (Reliance BigTV)
- DD Direct+ now renamed as ‘DD Free Dish’
- Sun Direct TV
Compare DTH connections in India
All DTH connections in India are paid service with monthly charges, except for DD+ which is FTA (Free to Air). Deciding which is the best DTH TV in India is your choice, but we will give you all the information for you to compare all DTH connection service in India make your own choice.
As mentioned before, the Channels provided by all DTH TV providers or operators are all almost the same. So to compare DTH TV connections in India, we have to look at their services and quality of the equipment they supply. The main difference in channels between the DTH TV providers in India is their Pay Per View TV Channels and the HD Channels DTH TV providers in India offer. The bulk of the 300 DTH TV channels offered by all Indian DTH Satellite TV connections are the same. Indian DTH Satellite TV channels are available in different languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya or Odiya now, Telegu, Tamil, etc.
Which DTH has maximum HD channels in India, which DTH is best for HD in India
Regarding DTH TV HD Channels DishTV claims to offer more than 30 HD channels, but all the 30 are not real HD or Asli HD Channels (check out our page on HD Channels for the details). As of today VideoconD2H, has the most DTH HD channels in real High Definition. To quote from Videocon D2H website:
Videocon D2H: The only DTH service provider to offer the highest number of Asli HD channels.
Videocon d2h, the fastest growing DTH providers in India is offering highest number of Asli HD channels on its platform. Asli HD channels are broadcast in 1080i format. These channels have superior picture clarity giving more depth and sharpness to the picture, crystal clear digital quality picture and digital quality sound. These Asli HD channels are superior to the digitally modified upscaled channels which other DTH service providers are offering and claiming as High definition channels.
The Asli HD Channels available on Videocon d2h which are, 24 hrs advertisement free Star Plus HD, Star World HD, Star Cricket HD, ESPN HD, Star Movies HD, Star Gold HD, Movies Now HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic HD, Travel XP HD, Active Music HD, Active 3D Channel.
Best Indian DTH satellite TV service
On the DTH TV technology front Airtel Digital TV , VideoconD2H and TataSky are the best Indian DTH satellite TV service having MPEG-4 with DVB-S2 technology (check out our page on DTH Basics. Reliance Digital and Sun Direct TV uses MPEG-4 but they rely on DVB-S1 technology. That leaves DishTV who uses older MPEG-2 Technology. As explained in our DTH Basics Page, the main disadvantage of using the older MPEG-2 technology is that it becomes much costlier for them in Satellite Transponder costs, because they can transmit only about half the number of Channels per Transponder when compared to MPEG-4 users. The quality of the TV picture with both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 is about the same. This means that for DishTV they will have to incur more expenses to rent transponders on satellites, but since DishTV has a much larger subscriber base compared to other DTH providers, they do not mind. For dishTV to switch to MPEG4 technology will be a very costly affair, because they will need to change the set top boxes of all their subscribers.
Why DTH TV signal lost during rains, or Rain Fade
During rainy and cloudy days DTH TV is not clear or the signal completely goes off. The signal loss due to rain clouds can happen both where they upload the signals to the satellite and when rain clouds block the signal from the satellite to your outdoor satellite dish. So rain clouds can interfere with DTH signal reception in both the uplinking and downlinking areas. This is why sometimes even though there is sunny weather in your area, there are still disturbance to the DTH Services. This is may be due to the fact that the DTH uplinking station has Rain clouds over them. Most of the DTH Companies avoid this problem by having uplinking stations at two or three locations far apart like in Delhi and Pune for example.
DTH digital TV services available in India
The following Companies provide DTH services in India
Airtel Digital TV
Airtel digital TV belongs to Bharati Airtel, the Company which runs the Airtel Mobile Telephone services.
Airtel started its DTH Satellite service in 8 October, 2008. Airtel Digital TV uses MPEG-4 with DVB-S2, the best Satellite DTH technology to date. The signals of Airtel Digital TV are transmitted through the INSAT-4C Satellite at 74°E and also the SES-7 Satellite at 108.2°E. Airtel Digital has 11 HD Channels. There is another 260+ regular channels which is almost the same as all other DTH Service providers in India. As of June 30, 2011 Airtel Digital had over 6 million subscribers. You have the option of getting a Digital Video Recorder DVR with a 160 GB Hard Disc from Airtel Digital at extra cost. ......More from dedicated Airtel Digital TV page
Airtel Digital TV Recharge Online is very easy by visiting their recharge website.
BigTV, Reliance Digital
BigTV of Reliance was launched on August 19, 2008 and was called Reliance BigTV then. Now the name has been changed to Reliance digital. There are now about 240 DTH Channels on the Reliance Digital regular service and about 32 Pay Per View Channels offering Cinemas - Reliance Digital calls them Cinema Halls. As of now Reliance Digital has the largest number of Pay Per View Channels or PPV Channels. Reliance Digital has also tied up Star India to show its bouquet of HD channels StarPlus, Star Movies, Movies Now, Nat Geographic and iConcerts. At the end of 2010 Reliance had 3.5 Million Subscribers to its DTH Service.
Reliance uses the MEASAT-3 Satellite at 91.5°East for its broadcasts and employs the MPEG-4 technology. MPEG-4 is the latest Satellite transmission technology and, as explained on our page on MPEG-2 Vs. MPEG-4, has several advantages.
Reliance recently announced that they are tying up with Indian Railways to make available their DTH TV services on Indian Trains. They also announced that their DTH service will soon be available for moving buses and cars. To quote Sanjay Behl, chief executive officer, Reliance Digital, said, “Reliance Digital TV has capability to provide services in cars, buses and trains. We are keen to evaluate all tenders in this regard, including that of the Indian Railways.” .....More from the dedicated Reliance Digital BigTV page
Reliance Digital BigTV Recharge online is very easy by visiting their recharge website
DD Direct+ renamed to 'DD Free Dish' - Doordarsan Free to Air Channels
DD Direct+ now renamed to "DD Free Dish" is the DTH service of Doordarshan, the Indian Government owned Broadcasting Corporation. DD Direct+ is a Free to Air (FTA) Service, which means that anyone in India can fit a small dish Antenna and receive the TV pictures for free, instead of paying the monthly fees charged by other DTH players. DD Direct+ now offers 57 television and 23 radio channels. .........More from dedicated DD Direct+ page
DishTV India DTH service
DishTV is the first DTH operator in India. DishTV is a division of Zee Network Enterprise (Essel Group). Currently there are 43 so called HD Channels on DishTV. DishTV uses MPEG-2 digital compression technology, transmitting from NSS-6 Satellite at 95.0 deg. E. Dish DTH was launched in 2004. Dish TV has the facility to offer it DTH Satellite Services on buses, trains and aircrafts. Dish TV has the largest number of subscribers in India. As of 30 June 2011, Dish TV has 11.2 million customers from the total of about 35.5 million DTH subscribers in India.
On 28 Dec 2010 Dish TV announced that they have taken additional transponders on Asiasat Satellite. Since NSS-6 and AsiaSat Satellites are positioned close by, it allows existing customers to get the signal from Asiasat also, although an additional LNB has to be installed on the existing dish. What this means is that Dish TV has more transponders to transmit Channels. Since Dish TV uses the older MPEG-2 technology, DishTV needs to increase its transponder capacity at great expense due to the fact that MPEG-2 compression only allows half the number of channels per transponder when compared to those using MPEG-4 Compression. ......More from dedicated page on Dish TV
DishTV Recharge Online
For DishTV recharge online visit their recharge website
Sun Direct DTH
Sun Direct DTH is an Indian DTH TV service concentrating on the South Indian Languages, especially Tamil. It was started in 2005 and uses the Insat-4B Satellite at 93.5°E and also the MEASat-3 at 91.5°E. SunDirect DTH has the distinction of being the first in India to MPEG-4 compression technology for its digital transmissions. Sun Direct has a subscriber base of 6 Million as at the beginning of 2011. ...........More from dedicated page for SunDirect
For SunDirect recharge visit Sun Direct Recharge Online site
TataSky DTH Service in India
TataSky is a partnership between the TATA Group (80%) and STAR Group (20%). STAR is a leading media and entertainment Company in the world. STAR’s parent company, News Corporation, owns BSkyB of UK, Sky Italia in Italy and Foxtel in Australia. TATA Group is one of India’s largest and most respected business conglomerates.
TataSky DTH uses INSAT 4A Satellite at 83.0°E and uses MPEG-2 digital compression technology. The TataSky DTH Services were launched in India in 2006. As of April 2011, Tata Sky had about 7 million subscribers. TataSky offers the following premium DTH Services: TataSky+, TataSky à la carte service, TruChoice, Tata Sky HD, Tata Sky+ HD. ........More from dedicated page for TataSky
TataSky Recharge online
TataSky recharge online is available on the Tata Sky online recharge website
VideoconD2H DTH service in India
Videocon d2h is one of the 7 DTH Operators in India. Videocon DTH uses the Singapore Tel Satellite ST-2 at 88 deg. east for its transmissions. Videocon DTH makes use of the latest technologies for its DTH transmission - MPEG-4 with DVB S2 (please see our page MPEG-2 Vs. Mpeg-4). As of May 2011 VideoconD2H has over 3 Million Subscribers.
The Videocon group is the largest Electronic Consumer goods manufacturer in India and is an Indian Multinational Company with interests all over the world. The Group has a turnover of about 6 Billion Dollars a Year. They are the world's 3rd largest producer of Television Tubes. ...........More from dedicated page for VideoconD2H
You can recharge VideoconD2H by visiting the Videocon D2H recharge site