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The new direction regarding the prices in the TV industry passed by Trai last year took the DTH industry by storm. All the DTH and cable service providers were rushing to migrate their subscribers to the new packs and prices. However, to the relief of the users, Trai extended the deadline for the implementation thus providing them more time to make the switch. This migration process also revealed a lot of loopholes in the system and the subscribers got a chance to do a reality check about their DTH service providers. While some subscribers complained about channels being missing, others were troubled by crashing websites. It is pretty evident that a lot of subscribers might also change their service provider in the same period. In case you are in a similar situation and wondering what each of the DTH providers is offering, here is our quick take. msnTarGet.com

Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?

Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?
Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?
1. D2h raced ahead of other providers in the migration process, but its consumers are still facing a lot of issues
2. Sun Direct, Tata Sky and Dish TV did away with additional slab NCF charges to attract more customers.

Tata Sky

Tata Sky is easily one of the biggest DTH service provider in the country. After the Trai mandate though, the operator was slow to list the new channel packs and pricing. However, it is safe to say that Tata Sky has done a commendable job of introducing a smooth migration process for the subscribers. After the mandate, Tata Sky has launched tons of HD and SD packs for the subscribers in regional languages as well. There are also Mini-packs in the portfolio and combined with the straightforward app and website based migration process Tata Sky has managed to stay on top of the preference list of a lot of subscribers. The operator also remains ahead of other operators by boasting as many as 65 exclusive channels. Fun2Ind.com

D2h

Notably, D2h was the first operator to respond after the Trai mandate came out back in October. The operator was also quick to start the migration process ahead of others and hoped for subscriber addition to its existing base in the interim. Later the operator introduced many combo plans and topped them up with add-on packs in SD and HD and many packs in regional languages as well. Recently, D2h has also put out information about additional connections as well, noting that subscribers can avail them by only paying Rs 50 as flat NCF. MobAsk.com

However, D2h subscribers have faced and are still facing a lot of issues related to various channels. In fact, most of the consumers are still not able to reach the company’s toll-free number for clarifying their doubts.

Dish TV is also offering similar combo packs to the consumers since it’s the one who operates D2h.

Airtel Digital TV

Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing also boasts of an impressive subscriber base of more than 15 million in the country. The operator, after the Trai mandate, introduced many channel packs for its subscribers. To ease up the process in a better way, Airtel Digital TV also made it possible for the subscribers to select their new channels via the Set-Top Box only. The operator also launched lots of regional channel packs, but as of late Trai has put Airtel Digital TV in crosshair after some subscribers of Airtel Digital lodged their grievance about missing channels and black screens although the problem was quickly resolved soon after. SoAs.in

Sun Direct

Sun Direct is a prominent DTH provider in the south, and it is safe to say that although the provider does not boast of a widespread network in the North, it has established a solid stronghold in South India. Further, the move of completely doing away with additional slab NCF charges made Sun Direct an attractive choice for a lot of subscribers. Following in the lines of other DTH providers, Sun Direct has launched new channel packs, regional channel and add-on packs in HD, SD.

Verdict

After weeks of noticing the happenings in the DTH industry, we have noted that in terms of the number of channels and number of channel packs, ease of migration and customer service Tata Sky is the DTH provider which has managed to satisfy the subscribers to a large extent. The provider had also launched a similar offer as Sun Direct by doing away with NCF on select channels. With that being said, it is also worth noting that as the days pass DTH providers are easing into the migration process, and the move to the new Trai plans along with the customer service can be expected to improve for all DTH companies in the coming weeks. Do let us know what you experienced with your DTH provider in the comments section below.

Following implementation of new regulations imposed on DTH service providers and cable operators by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), you can now reduce your monthly TV bill by limiting your subscription to only those TV channels you watch. Consumers have been given time till the end of this month to make a choice for uninterrupted service after January. In the new regulations, any DTH provider like Airtel DTH TV, Tata Sky or Dish TV can charge a maximum of only Rs 130, excluding GST, for a set of 100 non-HD channels. msnTrGet.com
  • The base pack can include 100 SD channels (Fun2Ind.com)
  • First 100 channels will cost Rs. 130 plus taxes
  • The last date to migrate to the new system is January 31 (soas.in)
If you opt for any pay channel in that list of 100, you have to pay extra, according to the MRP of that individual channel. After a TRAI order, all broadcasters like Sony, Zee, Star, Discovery, Sun, Turner and, Viacom have declared which of their TV channels are free-to-air (FTA) and which ones are pay channels. (MobAsk.com)

10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV

10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV
10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV

TRAI: Pay Rs 130 And Watch 100 Pay and FTA Channels

The first most important clarification regarding the new Cable TV Regulation is that, Rs 130 plus GST is the minimum fees, which every cable or DTH consumer needs to pay. (Fun2Ind.com)

With 18% GST, this amount comes to Rs 154, which is called ‘Network Connect Fees’, and has to be paid to the respective cable or DTH operator. (soas.in)

Now, after paying Rs 154 as Network Connect Fees, the consumer will be eligible to access 100 channels. MobAsk.com

These 100 channels can be FTA or Free to Air and/or Pay Channels. In case the consumer wishes to watch more than 100 channels, then Rs 20 per 25 channels has to be paid. Once these 25 extra channels are allocated, then again, the user can choose FTA or Pay channels. soas.in

10 things to know about selecting new plans on Airtel DTH, Dish TV, Hathway and others (MobAsk.com)

1. Besides a la carte rates, all major broadcasters have also declared various bouquets based on genre and language. The prices declared by individual broadcasters are the maximum retail price and your TV service provider can offer you a deal below the MRP. Even the price of the base packs can be lower than Rs 130. (Fun2Ind.com)

2. On its website, Airtel DTH TV shows a base pack of Rs 99 with a host of SD (standard definition) channels. Tata Sky’s lowest base pack, too, begins from Rs 99. However, both the operators have a list of select SD TV channels as part of the pack. As the new TRAI rules come into force, these base packs will also undergo a change as you will have the liberty to put any SD channel of your choice in the base pack. Any pay channel you include in the list gets added to your bill. msnTrGet.com

3. In the new regulations, any subscriber wanting to watch more than 100 channels can choose additional channels in each slab of 25 channels with at a maximum price of Rs 20 per slab. According to TRAI, consumers opting for more than 100 channels are rare and form only 10-15% of the market. About 80% subscribers, according to the viewing pattern from BARC, do not even flip more than 40 channels. (soas.in)

4. “If a consumer carefully chooses channels of choice for the complete requirement of a family, the amount payable may be even less than the present payments being made per month,” TRAI says on its website. (MobAsk.com)

5. As reported to TRAI, there are as many as 330 pay TV channels, including HD and SD, from 40 broadcasters. The list of private FTA channels goes up to 535. (Fun2Ind.com)

6. Among the 40 broadcasters, at least 17 have announced bouquets of several channels with discounted pricing. For example, a bouquet of 9 channels will cost Rs 63 if taken a la carte basis but if bought together, the price reduces by almost half to Rs 31. msnTrGet.com

7. FTA channels can’t be clubbed with pay channels in a bouquet. Further, HD channels can’t be clubbed with the SD version of the same channel, so that the consumer has complete clarity with respect to what is on offer. (Fun2Ind.com)

8. You also have the freedom to buy a set-top box from the market and not from the service provider. However, that set-top box will have to be technically compliant with the system of the operator. (soas.in)

9. TRAI has instructed that there shall be no blackout of services till January 31 but after that, you may be pushed to the basic pack, which has no pay channels. To avoid disruption in services, you have to migrate to the new plan by the end of the month. (MobAsk.com)

10. Every cable operator or DTH player has been asked to run a consumer information channel preferably on channel No. 999 wherein consumer-related information including the prices of channels shall be displayed.

SoAs.in

Satish Kumar

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