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DDF Exclusive: (UPDATED-14/8/12)Airtel HD RecorderVSTataSky + HD VS Reliance HD DVR VS Dish Tru HD +
After Browsing the forum , i realized there is no comprehensive Comparison between all the HD DVR`s in the market.
So here is a comparison between all HD DVR DTH providers in India.(All except Videocon HD DVR as i don't have Videocon installed in my house)
Fell free to correct me if i am wrong somewhere , and share your views and opinions regarding these products as well.
Updated with all changes as of 14th Aug 2012. Smile
i have not changed the text of the previous review at all but added all the updates in bold at the end of each section and highlited the change in points if any.
The total score has also been changed with respect to the above.!


>Airtel -
Offers a 320 Gb HDD , and some might be lucky enough to get the 500 GB HDD (i wasnt as i bought it on july last year ) , Which though is more than enough for SD content , i find my HDD regualrly reaching 90 - 95 percent as i record a lot of HD movies and shows. So a bigger HDD of 500 GB would be better (Am still not sure if the 500 gb HDD has become common so same rating). (8/10)

>TataSky -
Offers a 500 GB HDD , but as i read in Dream Dth itself that a portion of it is reserved for Vod , so not exactly sure about the Actual Size. Recording capacity though is decent though i still have to delete Stuff regularly to accommodate more recording , but it doesn't happen as much as airtel.(this could also be partly due to the fact that it has less HD channels , 8 as compared to airtel`s 14)
UPDATE: tata's HD channels have increased to 10 while airtels to 15.
8/10- 7.5/10

Reliance lags way back as it offers only a 160 GB HDD , which is too less if you are into recording a lot of HD content.(5/10)

>Dish TruHD + -
Even though Dish Tru HD+ has a lot of negative points(Will come to them later) , This is one area where it REALLY scores. as i don't have to worry about the limited capacity of the HDD. I have installed a 1TB seagate HDD and literally the sky1s the limit when it comes to recording.
UPDATE :Now a big concern of mine is a week ago , my HDD just stopped working and now it has just conked out and is not working at all , dont know whether Dish tru HD caused the HDD failure but cannot ignore this (9/10)-(7/10)

2.Recording Features -

>Airtel -
-Airtel has Dual tuners which allows you to record one show while watching another or record two shows at a time while watching one the shows getting recorded or a previous recording.
This is really usefull and i feel essential in a DVR as it gives you the freedom to record a program for the future while not missing out on your current program.
- Plus it has 7 days program guide plus series link feature which really adds to the usability of the DVR. (Earlier it has a major issue with the interface which was just recently solved with the new software . i will come to that later)
Has both mobile and internet recording.
-Doesn't have any Folder management options in which you can group your recorded content into genres or your own sub groups.
UPDATE: New interface has severly limited the favorites feature.

>Tata Sky -
-has Dual tuners which allows you to record one show while watching another or record two shows at a time while watching one the shows getting recorded or a previous recording.
-Just like airtel , it has 7 days program guide plus series link feature which really adds to the usability of the DVR.
-Doesn't have any Folder management options in which you can group your recorded content into genres or your own sub groups.
- Has both mobile and internet recording.
-Tata sky and airtel are fairly similar in this regard. (8.5/10)
UPDATE: none.

- Though it too has Dual tuners like airtel and tata , it Doesn't allow you to record two shows at once , but only gives you the option to watch one show while recording another which is pretty strange considering that they do have two inputs running to the DVR and could have easily enabled this.
-It has only 2 days of EPG with NO series recording which hampers the usability of the DVR as i have to constantly remember to schedule new recording every 2nd day and it gets really tiresome. Plus if i have to go on a long vacation i will have no way of recording more than 2 days content (other than putting several time based recordings) as it doesn't have any mobile or internet recording as well.
-There are some good things about reliance HD DVR as well including the ability to make your own personal sub folders for recording , which in my opinion makes it MUCH easier to sort through all the recorded content,
eg - i have made different folders for movies , eng shows , hindi shows , and sports.
-It has dedicate next and previous buttons which recordings according to the time specified by you (ranging from 30 secs to 3 minutes)
-Overall not bad for the first HD DVR in the market but reliance needs to seriously overhaul it to keep it in contention with the others.
UPDATE: none.

-Doesn't have a dual tuner , has a SINGLE tuner which means you have to watch the channel you are recording which is a BIG negative point for a DVR.
-Has 7 days EPG(i get only abt 3-4 days in most channels and 5 days in some) but no series link facility.
-I can make my own personal sub folders for recording , making it MUCH easier to sort through all the recorded content.
-No internet or mobile recording.
- Its a mixed bag which has some good as well as bad features.(5.5/10)
UPDATE: none.


With the recent Update , the UI of airtel HD recorder is a breeze to use , looks very nice and sleek and has solved almost all of the issues that were found in the old software like the inability to delete individual series linked episodes and the list jumping to the top whenever i deleted anything.
-with catchup tv and VOD just around the corner , the future looks exciting.
-The only grouse i have with the new UI is that it has removed the ability to browse recordings according to genre.
UPDATE : after months , the future STILL looks exciting as catchuo tv and VOD are nowhere ! and discovered the hampering of the favourites feature.
-overall 8.5/10. - 8/10

>TATA Sky-
- tata sky has a very similar UI to airtel and likewise is very easy to use and good to look at as well.
-Plus it also has already launched Video On Demand.
-The only grouse with the tata sky UI is that the font is a little too small making it hard to read the Guide from a distance.
-One big disadvantage (at-least to me) is that i can only set One set of favorites that too with a 50 channel limit.
UPDATE: none
-Overall (8/10)

- This according to me is a weak point of reliance HD DVR , within just a month of usage , (i bought it on 1st Feb 2102) ,it has hung 4 times.
- menu navigation and channel surfing/changing is slower than airtel and tata sky(but have got used to it)
-The reliance logo is VERY small , almost half the size of the old logo.(But if the video is relayed through the component or composite cable , the Logo again becomes VERY big ,and the interface becomes blocky and the texts jagged)
-The EPG is only of 2 days and that too not in a grid format which has become the norm amongst all the other DTH providers.
- Mini Guide only has information for current and next program me while all the others have12 - 24 hrs info in the mini guide.
-When a recording is going on , the UI becomes slower than usual , and whenever i have tried to schedule recordings when a current recording is going on the menu just freezes and sometimes the STB hangs.
-On a cold start , the guide takes at-least 7 - 10 minutes to load.
-The select feature doesn't work.
- The good things are the folders feature in My recordings and the ability to set multiple favorites with custom names.
-plus i love the white on red interface and feel on HDMI it looks really sharp.( i feel i may be the only person who does !)
UPDATE: Dont know whether some update has been pushed or not but the problem of the STB hanging while scheduling a recording when a current recording is going on has reduced significantly but all the other problems still remain , so a minor increase in score.
6/10 - 6.5/10

>Dish Tv -
-Dish tv lies in the middle with a software that is perfectly usable and stable but doesn't look half as good as the tata or airtel`s UI.
- Its pretty stable and My dish Tru HD has just hung 2 times since i bought it in 2010(as soon as it was launched , during the FIFA world cup).
The interface is quite fast with a decent Mini guide and EPG.
-The recordings menu is also quite extensive allowing you to see how many hours of both HD and SD recordings is left , make personal folders and like all the others protect/lock your recorded content.
-Overall not too fancy but does the job well
UPDATE: none.


Here airtel shines with the highest HD content(currently) amongst DTH operators with 14 TRUE HD channels.
>Star Gold HD , Star Movies HD , Star plus hd , star world hd , Star cricket hd , espn hd , colors HD , history Tv 18 hd , NGC hd , discovery HD , cnbc prime HD , TEn HD and UTV stars Hd.
-Though the cost of HD channels is pretty high , i have to shell out 176 RS per month in order to have all HD channels.(RS 89 - HD plus , RS 15 - CNBC PRIME HD , and RS 72 - Sports HD) But on a positive note , it offers you the flexibility to add the HD ala carte packs to any base pack of your choice.
UPDATE: UTV Stars HD and CNBC Prime HD have disaapeared with the arrival of Zee Tv hd , Zee cinema HD and Sony HD , so total count is Now 15 , so in my opinion , a great HD lineup has been made even better,
-9/10 - 9.5/10

>Tata Sky -
-When i bought it in 2011 , it had the best HD content , but due to space issues and competitors like videocon and airtel overtaking them , it`s HD content has become stagnant and stale.
Has 8 HD channels priced at 75 RS per month.
>Star movies HD , star plus hd , star gold hd , star world hd , espn hd, star cricket hd , NGC hd and Discovery HD.
-When i bought airtel in june 2011 , it just had 7 hd channels and since then it has added 7 more hd channels while tata sky was and is still stuck at 8.(Still doesn't have MOVIES NOW)
-It too offers the flexibility to add the HD ala carte packs to any base pack of your choice.
UPDATE: The Situation has improved a little with the arrival of Sony HD and Zee Tv HD pushing the total count to 10 but still lacking behind Dish , airtel and videocon(but as videocon is not a part of this test , doesnt have a play on the scores.)
-overall 5.5/10.-7/10

-It has 9 HD channels if i include i Concerts HD which is their own service offering Music concerts in HD.
>Star Movies HD , Star Gold HD , Star Plus HD , Zee Tv hd , ESPN hd , Star cricket HD , NGC HD , Movies NOW HD and I concerts HD.
-It too offers the flexibility to add the HD ala carte packs to any base pack of your choice.
-Crucially doesn't have Discover HD which all OTHER HD providers have.
UPDATE: Absolutely no change in total HD count , only movies now HD has been replaced with Ten HD and overall whenn all other DTH operators are upping their game in terms of no of HD channels , they are just sleeping , even tata sky has added 2 new HD channels
-Overall -7/10 - 6/10

>Dish Tv -
-"Dish Tv offers the maximum HD channels in India!"
-In reality dish tv offers just 12 True HD services while missing out on crucial and popular HD channels like stars asli HD bouquet , Star cricket HD , ESPN HD and surprisingly their OWN Zee HD bouquet.
-Claims Fake up-scaled Sd content as HD which is according to me unethical and immoral , and is just a way of fooling customers who are not informed.
-But on a positive note the 12 TRUE HD channels provided(History Tv 18 HD ,NGC HD , NGC adventure HD , NGC wild HD , Mtunes HD , UTV STARS , TRAVEL Xp , TEN HD , COLORS HD , CNBC PRIME HD , Discovery HD , Movies now HD ) have great quality and no signs of pixelation.
-Plus it has some exclusive HD channels like Mtunes hd , NGC adventure HD , Travel XP HD and NGC wild HD.
-It has Absolutely no option of adding HD channels as ala carte and has separate packs for HD which are priced quite higher than regular Sd packs and the ONLY way to get all HD channels is to take the Royale pack at 550 rs .month , which for me is very costly.
UPDATE: Dish is the biggest gainer in this aspect with finally the addition of the Zee Full on HD channels !! bringing the total Asli HD count to 17. So dish gains points here BUT at the same time loses points for 1.not putting ESPN HD for such an important event like the olympics and putting the zee channels as ala carte bringing the total cost upto a CRAZY 660 rs for all HD channels!
-Overall 6.5/10 -8/10


>Airtel -
-Airtel provides a universal remote which can control both your TV as well as STB.
-It looks pretty cool and sleek , and is very well laid out with keys that i personally feel are a tad bit hard.
-There are plenty of shortcuts , like my recordings , interactive and so on and the airtel engineer himself was able to program the remote to control my Tv (Samsung LED in this case).

>Tata Sky-
- the tata sky remote looks good in silver and black and is MUCH smalled than the bulky tata sky + remote.
-the keys i feel are too rubbery and are hard to press.
-button placement is excellent and blind operation doesnt take too long to master.
-One major drawback is that its not a Universal remote.

>Dish Tv-

-Here i feel dish tv loses out , as the although the remote looks nice , its very difficult to use and the keys (Especially the direction keys) are very hard to press and some of them produce annoying clicking noises.
-Its not very logically laid out with redundant buttons like timeshift.
-Its not a universal remote and is not very compact either.


-Here is the one place where reliance really shines.
- the remote is well built , logically laid out and very easy to use.
- Personally , amongst the 4 i feel it has the best buttons which are neither too hard and clicky nor too soft and rubbery.
- But the best part is that it controls my TV (Toshiba power Tv) , Reliance HD DVR STB , as well as my DVD player which completely eliminates the need of extra remotes or an external universal remote.


>Airtel -
the HD DVR is priced at 5,990 for new customers which seems high but you also get value for money as airtel has the most HD channels and is loaded with features.(Moreover the prices may come down in the future as the HDD prices normalize)
-The HD channels are costly but atleast i have the flexibility of choosing whichever channels i want along with the base pack of my choice.
Monthly cost to get ALL channels-Rs 395(ultra pack) + RS 176 (RS 89 - HD plus , RS 15 - CNBC PRIME HD , and RS 72 - Sports HD) = RS 551.

>Tata Sky -
-Same price as Airtel (rs 5,940 for new customers) but loses out somewhat as it has less HD content than airtel.
- but the monthly charges are much less that airtel at rs 75/month for all 8 channels and one has the flexibility of pairing the HD gold add on with any base pack of their choice.

-Priced at Rs 4, 990 for new customers , its is cheaper than both Airtel and tata sky , but on the flip-side you lose a little usability as well as features.
-Makes sense for those who want a Full HD DVR but think that the 6000 asking price of airtel or tata sky is a little too much.
- you can get all HD channels at 83 rs per month which is quite reasonable and can be paired with any base pack of your choice up until the silver pack.(bronze and value pack are not available for HD customers.)
UPDATE: As the HD DVR has been phased out i really dont know what to do here , so to keep the comparison fair , im removing the points for this section out of the total.

>Dish Tv
-Here is A major advantage of dish tv , as dish tv tru HD + doesn't have any HDD built in.
-You have to connect an External storage device like a pen drive or a External HDD.
- So basically this makes sense cost wise if one cannot afford the regular HD DVR`s and is interested basically in HD and the occasional recording as he basically gets the recording feature for free along with the HD box and can use regular pen-drives which can be obtained cheaply.
-but to use it as a regular DVR , one would have to invest in atleast a 320 Gb hdd , which will minimum be available for rs 3250(Due to the boom in HDD prices due to the recent Thailand floods.).
So which basically adds up-to rs 2690(the price of the TruHD + BOX) + 3250 =5940 , almost as same as the Tata sky and airtel boxes.
-But it also makes sense for Recording junkies like me who need more space than just 320 gb as it gives you the option of connection upto a 2TB HDD .
-monthly cost for all HD channels - 550 rs month.
- so overall - 6.5/10.



2.TATA SKY + HD = 45/60

3.DISH TRU HD + = 39.5/50




2.TATA SKY + HD = 38/50

3.DISH TRU HD + = 32.5/50


So Airtel and Tata remain at the same positions while the ONLY change is that Reliance by HALF a point drops from tying with dish for third to FOURTH.

Win Any Problem , no matter how big or small , can be solved in a peaceful manner. Win
The following 17 users Like ForceRaikkonen's post:
  • Pugazhbalaji (06-03-2012 06:35 AM), Gssran (06-03-2012 06:47 AM), Greatkarthik (06-03-2012 07:06 AM), iS THAT ME (06-03-2012 07:53 AM), Bapun Raz (06-03-2012 10:25 AM), M@zh@R (06-03-2012 10:37 AM), omparkash sharma (06-03-2012 04:08 PM), mystic (06-03-2012 05:29 PM), ASHWANI (19-03-2012 10:31 PM), Gagan (25-03-2012 07:28 PM), Vikram (25-03-2012 11:05 PM), Karthik (02-04-2012 04:20 PM), Hero (10-04-2012 03:08 PM), vikash (07-06-2012 02:04 AM), umeshg729 (10-06-2012 06:47 PM), dreamdth (14-08-2012 11:08 PM), Ratnesh (30-10-2012 02:53 PM)
Plus i would like to add ( i am sorry of this is off topic) , i never realized how much work goes into writing and compiling such an article . Hats off to all you senior members who have been regularly been contributing to Dream Dth .Thumbs Up
Win Any Problem , no matter how big or small , can be solved in a peaceful manner. Win
The following 1 user Likes ForceRaikkonen's post:
  • umeshg729 (29-09-2013 07:17 AM)
Hats off to you for such a nice comparison

Nice comparison...Rep+ to you for this Smile

Clearly, I see Airtel HD DVR winning...

[Image: boz2U.png]
Thanks guys , this is my first post , and with such encouragement , i hope the fisrt of many Smile
What i want is someone who has videocon HD DVR , to comment on his experience as well so that it can become a complete HD DVR comparison.
Plus i will upload pics of all the 4 as well soon.
And please feel free to share your experince is using these services as well.
Plus i would like to add that -

>I feel that Reliance has an edge when it comes to PQ on SD channels , while i Fell that Dish has the nest PQ among HD channels.
>I feel that both dish and Airtel compress their SD channels a lot as i see a lot of pix-elation on them in my 55 inch Samsung LED.(which is not that noticeable when i use it on my 26 inch)

>And as far as customer care goes

-Tata sky is way ahead , as believe it or not , within 2 years of ownership , i have had to call them just 3 times (once to change the package , once to install VOD and once when my STB was restarting which was instantly solved. ) Plus tata sky doesnt charge me any Service charges or visit charges as they claim i am a premium customer ! Smile
-Airtel is a mixed bag when it comes to customer care , as their email support and their online portal are very easy to use. But the CC on the phone are very frustrating and uneducated. But i have not faced any problem whatsoever with my airtel connection thus far.
-I cant comment on reliance as i have owned for just more that a month , but unlike many negative comments i have read , the installation and activation was very smooth , and when i recharged after the free period got over , there also i didnt find any problem. But its too soon to comment right now !
-DIsh tv i have left for last because their CS has been absolutely horrendous ,since the very beginning Bang Head , The installation guy was extremely rude both to me as well as my grand parents. Even a simplke request like a package change took 3 days and more than 10 calls to CC (changed from royale to HD world in dec 2011).
They suddenly decided to terminate my child HD connection last month , and rectified it only after 24 hours and 3 calls to the Nodal officer.
And recently they took 19 days to deliver my HD+ remote.

But the reason i have not included both customer care and PQ in the comparo is that i feel that Both are subjective matters , and differ from person to person so shouldnt be included in a general comparison.
Win Any Problem , no matter how big or small , can be solved in a peaceful manner. Win
The following 3 users Like ForceRaikkonen's post:
  • Bapun Raz (06-03-2012 10:25 AM), mystic (06-03-2012 05:30 PM), umeshg729 (12-11-2013 12:35 PM)
Its just excellent work bro... Excited Keep it up... Thread Is Sticky Now... Wink
Live each day as if it's the last day in your life. Win
Excellent Work Broooo
Just awesome work
My Choices are
[Image: Tsibv.jpg] & [Image: op8axu.jpg]
Great job Joy...very nice comparison sir ....Love
Simply a great job buddy..... Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
This will definitively help our members a lot.
The following 1 user Likes mystic's post:
  • ForceRaikkonen (19-03-2012 10:55 PM)

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