[Review] Comparison Between Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH Services in India

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If you are living in India, you might be aware of the fact that Tata Sky and Dish TV are the best and most popular DTH (Direct-To-Home) television service providers in India. There are a few other DTH services in India such as Airtel Digital TV, Videocon D2H, Reliance Big TV, Sun Direct, etc but Tata Sky and Dish TV are at the top of the list.

My work doesn’t allow me to stay in India but due to my health problems which I mentioned earlier, currently I’m staying in India. Some of you might be knowing that I have Tata Sky DTH connection at my home as I have posted about my interesting service menu discovery in Tata Sky STB. I have an HD+ Transfer set top box of Tata Sky which allows me to watch HD channels as well as record them. Recently I posted about hidden secret service menu present in Dish TV which I found while checking a new Dish TV connection purchased by my cousin sister. It was also an HD+ connection.

It helped me in comparing both Tata Sky and Dish TV quality and performance. I found many differences between both the services. In some areas Tata Sky is the best but there are some features which are exclusive to Dish TV.

Today I thought about sharing my experience with Tata Sky and Dish TV with you all. I hope it’ll help many Indian readers in choosing which is the best DTH service in India.

I’ll try my best to compare Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH services and will cover all possible points in this small review. Feel free to share your experience and thoughts in your comments.

We have divided the review and comparison in following parts:

  • Compare DTH Set Top Box (STB)
  • Compare DTH Channels Count and Picture Quality
  • Channel Recording and Series Recording Feature
  • Compare DTH Set Top Box Software UI
  • Compare DTH Plans and Channel Packages

Let’s start the review and comparison between Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH services:

[Point 1: Hardware and Look] Compare Both DTH Set Top Box

First impression is the last impression and Tata Sky clearly wins in this area. Tata Sky set top box (STB) looks better than Dish TV set top box. The front of Tata Sky STB is sleek, it shines and looks like a branded product. One the other hand, Dish TV STB looks basic. Some people might like Dish TV set top box more as its very small in size compared to Tata Sky set top box.

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Dish TV STB sometimes gets hot but Tata Sky STB doesn’t get hot so much as it contains a fan inside the box.

Tata Sky STB comes with a 500GB internal Hard Disk to store program recording which is a huge amount of space to record your favorite TV shows, movies, etc. On the other hand, Dish TV STB doesn’t contain any internal hard disk. Although Dish TV provides a 4GB USB pen drive to attach into Dish TV STB but its very small in size. You can attach other USB drives if the existing USB drive runs out of space.

Tata Sky STB contains 3 extra light indicators to show recording progress, new messages and remote activities. Dish TV STB doesn’t contain any such extra indicators.

So in hardware and look area Tata Sky is the clear winner.

Point 2: Compare Both DTH Channels Count and Picture Quality

If we talk about HD channels count, Tata Sky beats Dish TV. Tata Sky provides maximum 89 HD channels, on the other hand Dish TV provides 79 HD channels.

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NOTE: Since all DTH companies regularly add new HD channels, it would be better to visit following exclusive comparison topic to know the current status of HD channels availability on all DTH services in India:

[Review] Which DTH Service Provides Maximum HD Channels in India?

If we talk about SD channels, both Tata Sky and Dish TV provide almost equal number of SD channels.

Regarding picture quality, its almost same in Dish TV and Tata Sky. Channels look very sharp and clean on both DTH.

Point 3: Channel Recording and Series Recording

No doubt, Tata Sky is far better than Dish TV in channel recording feature. Dish TV doesn’t come with hard disk as we mentioned in the beginning, so you can’t record as many TV shows or movies as you can record in Tata Sky which comes with huge 500GB hard disk.

Also Read: [Fix] “No Signal” Issue on Tata Sky DTH Service in India

Dish TV doesn’t provide series recording feature which is present in Tata Sky STB. Series recording feature is an excellent and very useful feature which allows you to set recording of any TV show only once and it’ll automatically record all future episodes of the program. You can use this feature to record episodes of your favorite daily soap or favorite Discovery channel program. This feature is present in almost all channel shows whether its a cartoon channel, sports channel or infotainment channel such as Discovery, National Geographic or History TV.

Since Dish TV doesn’t provide series recording feature, you have to manually set recording of each and every episode of your favorite TV show on daily basis. On the other hand, Tata Sky requires you to set the recording only once.

Another big disadvantage in Dish TV is that you can’t watch a different channel if you are recording current channel. You’ll have to watch the same channel which is being recorded then what’s the point of recording if we have to watch the same channel? On the other hand, Tata Sky allows you to watch a different channel and record 2 different channels at the same time. Or you can record 3 channels simultaneously in Tata Sky. Dish TV allows only 1 channel recording at a time.

I also found that Dish TV failed to record complete movie. I tried 2 times to record an English movie but both times Dish TV recorded only 70 or 75 minutes of the movie. On the other hand, Tata Sky records everything perfectly without any problem.

Also finding and watching recorded TV shows in Dish TV is difficult compared to Tata Sky.

So Tata Sky wins in channel recording feature without any doubt.

Point 4: Compare Both DTH STB Software UI (User Interface)

Again Tata Sky beats Dish TV in user interface area. Tata Sky STB user interface looks stylish and its very easy to operate. On the other hand Dish TV user interface looks basic.

Using Tata Sky menus and options are easier than Dish TV. Menus in Tata Sky are well organized and easy to find but Dish TV is a little bit difficult to operate.

NOTE: Tata Sky comes with a very useful option called “Master Lock” to block / restrict all TV channels and services. It might become handy if you want to prevent others from watching TV in some situations:

UPDATE: The new Tata Sky HD+ Transfer box (PVR) now comes with brand new EVO12 EPG and UI which looks extremely premium and stylish.

Point 5: Compare Both DTH Plans and Channel Packages

If we talk about price, both Tata Sky and Dish TV are almost same. There is not much difference between channel prices but Tata Sky has a great package plan which is not present in Dish TV.

Tata Sky provides Annual Mega Plan which can be subscribed for a whole year and the beauty of this plan is that you get access to all present channels. Also any new channel which is added by Tata Sky in your subscription year, will be automatically added to your plan without any extra cost. Dish TV doesn’t provide any such plan.

UPDATE: After new TRAI tariff order, now all DTH companies provide almost same prices, packs and plans.

Phew!!! That’s the difference which I was able to find between Tata Sky and Dish TV DTH services.

I hope people, who are planning to purchase a new DTH connection, will find this review useful…

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Published in: Mobiles and Internet

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.

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