DTH in India

Here is the summary of DTH operators in India regarding technical aspects and some advantages & disadvantages which user may face depending upon their views about the service

As of 18 Jan 2009. Number of channels may vary as channels added/removed by the operators


DD Direct Plus

Owner: Prasarbharti (Public Broadcaster)

Satellite: Insat 4B at 93.5°E (Earlier on NSS 6 at 95°E)

Encryption: Un-encrypted

Encoding:  MPEG-2

Channels: 50 TV, 21 Radio

Advantages: Completely Free (Free to Air), Good Audio/Video quality, Can be received any parts on India and neighbouring countries, Users can also enjoy local AIR audio channels in part of country, Carries many popular Hindi music channels

Disadvantages: Mostly DD channels and less popular Hindi private channels, appears monotonous as mostly carrying music & news channels, very slow in adding new channels, no EPG, no interactive services



Owner: Essel Group by ZEE

Satellite: NSS 6 at 95°E

Encryption: Conax

Encoding:  MPEG-2

Channels: 140 TV, 4 Radio including 6 PPV MOD channels (50 TV & 21 Radio receivable from DD Direct Plus) + Interactive Channels

Advantages: First private operator to launch DTH service in India, user-friendly affordable packages based on regional languages, Carries DD Direct Plus channel in its EPG

Disadvantages: Slow in adding newly launched channels, NEO sports channels not available, not at par in customer service (as per various forums), delay in updating website



Owner: TATA (80%) and SKY (20%)

Satellite: Insat 4A at 83°E

Encryption: Videoguard

Encoding:  MPEG-2

Channels: 147 TV including 6 PPV MOD channels, 0 Radio + Interactive Channels

Advantages: Good Audio/Video quality, fast package activation & account recharge, aggressive in adding newly launched channels, EPG in Hindi

Disadvantages:  Costlier compared to other service providers, Lack of language based channel packaging, missing few ZEE channels & ZEE SPORTS, Missing popular music channels, No Audio channels



Owner: SUN group (India) & Astro (Malaysia)

Satellite: Insat 4B at 93.5°E

Encryption: Irdeto

Encoding:  MPEG-4

Channels:  110 TV, 3 Radio (50 TV & 21 Radio receivable from DD Direct+)

Advantages: First operator to use MPEG-4 encoding so can carry more channels, South Indian market targeted hence carry more south Indian channels then other operators, can receive DD Direct Plus channels as both use same satellite

Disadvantages: No ESPN-STAR SPORTS, NEO channels, no interactive services, less presence in other parts of India



Owner: Reliance ADA group

Satellite: Measat 3 at 91.5°E

Encryption: Mediaguard

Encoding:  MPEG-4

Channels: 186 TV including 30 PPV MOD channels, 10 Radio + Interactive Channels

Advantages: Uses MPEG-4 encoding, carries more number of channels then any other operator, Carries more number on PPV channels, Carries most of popular GEC, Movies & Sports channels

Disadvantages: Confusing channel packaging for beginner users, may end up costlier if channel package not selected wisely



Owner: Bharti Airtel group

Satellite: Insat 4CR at 74.0°E

Encryption: Videoguard

Encoding:  MPEG-4

Channels: 144 TV, 10 Worldspace Radio + Interactive Channels

Advantages: Uses MPEG-4 encoding, 1st DTH provider to provide Worldspace radio channel, Universal remote control provided

Disadvantages: Not identified yet


Joining soon to the list VIDEOCON DTH.











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2 Responses to DTH in India

  1. Sunil says:

    Hi friends,
    After studying d experience of all dth users(dd/dish/tata/sun/big tv) 4 last 2 years,i found
    (1)adv & disadv in all dth players
    (2)no existing dth can satisfy max people,as its quite obvious that u cant make each & everyone happy
    (3)rain & bad weather means no signal on dth box
    (4)channel no is limited as less space on transponders,high cost . **my advice=go 4 digital cable eg wire & wireless(zee cable=galaxy)
    (1)more channel capacity than dth upto 1000
    (2)digital signal
    (3)no problem during rain v/s dth
    (4)can enjoy local cable tv channels,new movies instantly without paying extra money v/s dth were u have 2 pay per view
    (5)Early addition of newly launched tv channels
    (6)cheaper than dth

  2. akhileshgupta says:

    Hi Readers,

    I just wanted to share my worst experience with “Reliance BIG TV” DTH Service.
    First of all I request everybody not to purchase “Reliance BIG TV” connection.

    Well, to start with I have taken BIG TV “Set Top Box” on 31/Aug/2008 “Invoice No. 0101038073” from one of the Main Web World, Mehdipatnam Branch (Hyderabad).
    I think initially as a company while selling the product, web world person has to inform me about all the future requirements from my side, but they have not given any kind of information.
    Actually, one Work Order ID is required in order to have installation for BIG TV, that we can get after calling customer care of BIG TV.
    But because they have not informed me that I hvae to call Customre care, it was delayed for 2 days, and by chance I called c.care for some other reason on 02/Sep/2008 and got my work order ID.
    Even after having my work order ID, I have not recieved any call from the Installation team for Installation, I raised complaint for the same also for so many times, but none of any use.

    Almost everyday for more than 1.5 hours I was calling c.care for any kind of solution and spoke to around more than 12 c.care representatives, to name some of them are :- Sheetal, Usha, Bhaven, Ganesh, Priya and so on and escalated the same issue to some of the senior members as well they are:- Rahul and Bhuvneshwari.
    Everybody was saying the same thing repeatedly “we are sorry for the inconvinience caused, it will be done asap……etc…..”.

    Till today, i.e. 12/SEP/2008 more than 12 days after purcahse of STB, I am still waiting for the installation…..??? and still have no update….

    One more intersting thing, I called c.care to ask “is it possible to return the STB because of bad services”, the representative straight forward answered “just go to the web world and return back the STB, they will refund the money”, they people are not even concerned about the problem and reason why I asked to return it back.

    Finally, I request everybody again PLZ PLZ PLZ never go for “Reliance BIG TV”, only name is BIG, everything else is small.
    For any kind of details or assistance you can reach me at “09966222601” or “akhilesh.davim@gmail.com”.
    Go for TATA SKY, DISHTV or SUN DIRECT, but not for BIGTV…….!

    Have a Good Day,
    Akhilesh Gupta,

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