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Airtel Digital TV HD Receiver - Review and Picture
Recently I shifted to Airtel Digital TV HD and it’s high time to give my viewpoints and comments on its performance. It’s my fourth DTH receiver after completing successful rides on ‘Tata Sky, Sun Direct and Reliance DTH’. Before you continue reading this personal review (does not reflect the opinion of IndianDTH Forum) please note that this is neither a comparison of any DTH nor I try to degrade any of the DTH services currently in the market.

Here I am just trying to expose the personal experience while using this particular DTH with the pure intention to improve the quality of services provided by all the DTH’s products currently available in the market as well as to serve this note as a guide for new users or customers visiting this forum.

  1. Airtel Receiver & Remote:- The Receiver looks sleeky with a stylish full black color. The card is fully covered/inside the receiver. Ports are available for HDMI Cable, Component out, 2 USB port and 1 Ethernet port (Refer pics attached). Airtel provides Universal remote and looks good as in its black color.
  2. Receiver Program/Software:- The current software and menus in Airtel DTH is good, yet I would say it’s complicated for an average user. However a techie or advanced user would love it with its various options and functions compare to other DTH’s. Functions such as “Genre-Search, Program-Search, Weather/sports gadgets etc. are some examples for it. Booting time is fast compare to other DTH’s and no delays while moving/changing channels.
  3. Picture Clarity:- The picture clarity of Airtel Digital TV needs to improve in many channels (not all). Comparing to Reliance Digital TV many of the SD channels provided by Airtel is compressed by below average bit-rate and is visible on a ’32 inch LCD TV. I believe this won’t affect or have any visible problems to 21’ TV’s. I used to have Reliance ‘SD’ receiver connected through component out to the same full HD 32’ LCD TV and didn’t have any problems. However, the picture clarity of HD channels and some of the SD channels in Airtel are perfect. (eg:- Colors TV, Superhitz, UTV etc. are having good pixel rate; Channels like Z-Café, Z-Studio, B4U Music, Masti etc. are poor in picture quality and need to be improved). I believe this can be fixed by Airtel by improving the channels compression rate adapted by Airtel at the up-linking station. Of course, this may affect the TP capacity and number of channels carries per TP.
  4. Sound Clarity:- The sound clarity is very good. For a better analysis, it should be connected or use a 5.1 audio system or Home theater system. However, the performance is very good (sound clarity) while its connected through HDMI cable to the LCD.
  5. Channel Package and Add-on’s:- As a typical south Indian user, I prefer to have at least two south Indian language in the base pack itself, as provided by Reliance DTH. Airtel is providing only one language in the base pack, and additions can be made through Add-on’s only. I had to pay Rs.33/- (per month/excluding tax), for adding an additional language pack.
  6. Chhota packs and Add-ons:- The HD pack (Rs.50/-) covers only 3 channels at the moment (Discovery HD, NGC HD and Movies Now). Other HD channels (i.e. TenCricket/other event based/or any new additions), needs to be added separately. I believe Airtel will expand the current HD pack with all HD channels in its bouquet on a single Add-on. The other add-ons provided by Airtel are comparatively cheap and I am really happy with it.
  7. Customer Relation/Service:- I bought the receiver through online, and the service was satisfactory. As promised, the product was delivered/installed at my home within 48 hours of my payment. The technicians were good and they set-up the dish and receiver in an ‘hour’. So far, I had no issues with CC and yet to contact the CC/Nodal officers. So can’t evaluate/say further on their responsiveness.
  8. Number of Channels and Promotions:- A variety of channels are available in Airtel which is a plus point for Airtel. Various new channels are continually being added in Airtel and they also offer a free-view for 1-2 weeks. This also helps the user to decide on whether to subscribe or not.
  9. Online Self Care Portal:- Airtel provides the self-care portal for users where we can easily manage our account and subscriptions. Features include adding/subscribing to additional channels or package, recharge our account etc. This found to be a plus point in Airtel. Some of the existing DTH providers miss/does not have this facility at the moment.
  10. Channel Numbers/Order:- One of the major set-back in Airtel is its channel line-up. You will find a particular language channels are scattered around and you have to remember the particular channel number to tune to it. Also, Airtel should have atleast made some effort to segregate and arrange particular channel categories and line them up in a proper way. For instance, you will see sports channels starting from 224(TenCricket), and Ten HD on 222, English Movies starts on 190, Information and science channels starts at 338 (Discov.HD).

Let’s wrap up here and have your comments/remarks if any.

Here are some of the snapshots of Receiver and Remote:

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Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.. for tomorrow never comes.. live today!!!
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Very Good review and nice photographs.!
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Hi, I have taken new Airtel HD Connection, can any body explain me different between the (example: Normal Ten Sport channel & Ten Sports HD), why i am not getting HD Channels, i am paying Rs. 400 per month.
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HD channels do not come within the Base package price. You have to buy HD Channels as 'add on' if you like those.
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An improved and detailed review of the same is now available on IndianDTH blog...

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.. for tomorrow never comes.. live today!!!
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