Reliance’s DTH service launch was due for a very long time, as the ADA group company delayed and postponed its launch a couple of times. Touted as the big launch of Reliance into the DTH market – Bluemagic or Big as it is called now was launched into the market with a whimper and hardly any advertising and worse the packages announced weren’t eye popping or stunning as they did not differ much from their opponents.
The box is compact and similar to a Strong fta box, and the biggest advantage is that they have composite output to attach to more modern tvs or lcds.
The the remote is similar Dish tv in size but smaller than that of Tata sky (almost all of them are based on the UK Bskyb)
from IBF site
Reliance iptv remote / which has slightly more functions
The positives being use of MPEG-4 technology to transmit a signal on the transponders of Satellite – Measat 3. They can crunch a lot more channels in the available capacity saving Reliance added costs. It also means better picture quality better interactivity and a more powerful chip used to decode the signal than the ones used by tatasky and zee (still MPEG-2 ).
Launch offers seems attractive and at the first instance seems much better than competition including Tatasky especially for people not viewing English or Sports channels, but there is fine print which says – All Launch offers are on rental basis which is a deceptive statement to make. On giving the Helpline a call they clarified that the rental is actually the subscription fee for the duration of the launch offer.
Starterpacks : Popular pack133 Rs 200/ Premium pack146 Rs 265 / Max pack158 Rs 405
People have the lurking fear of what the channels will cost once the offer ends its term. The breaking up of channels into smaller base packages starting from 44 channels for Rs 100 – unlike dish tv or tatasky whose base packs start at 100+ channels. This makes little difference cause most of the channels people actually want to see are in the tier 3 onwards, as in the recommended India pack starting at Rs 290 , but still giving the customer better in terms of content than Tatasky. The helpline also stated that u could renew the starter packs at rates mentioned above.
i see no change in this bundle them all attitude until CAS is introduced into the DTH by TRAI. The fact still remains that for a cost conscious consumer, the local cable guy offers the best deal ( if he can offer good service ) , and thanks to CAS he still beats all DTH operators hands down. Worse the Big tv website doesn’t give you specifics about the content of the base packs, something i found at a dealer somewhere at Lamington Rd and am posting below chk out AAG
Starter Pack 3: 93 channels @ Rs. 175/-
Regional Pack: 3 channels @ Rs. 30/- mostly Etv + Zee regional tv
Top Ups: @ Rs. 25/-
. News Plus: 3 channels CNN ZEE? ZEE ?
. Hindi Movie Plus: 3 channels Filmy, Zee Cinema, Zee Premier
. Elite Plus: 3 channels BBC, Zee Cafe, Zee Trends
. English Movie Plus: 3 channels HBO, World Movies, Zee Studio
. Kids Plus: 3 channels Hungama, Cartoon NW and Pogo
. Uni Plus: per channel Star Cricket or 10 Sports or Zee TV
. Sports Plus: 2 channels @ Rs. 40/- Star Sports, ESPN or Neo Sports n Cricket
More interactive stuff / Pay per view
I think they will be featuring a whole lot of pay per view movies and interactive channels thanks to the entry of Reliance into the movie business. The cost per movie will be 50 hindi/60 english in comparison to tatas 75 for hindi. What content they push is something yet to be guaged.
Service : Currently Service is not yet up to the mark and their service numbers are sometimes jammed, worse getting a human on the other end of the line is even more difficult . In certain places people have complained about delay in installation something even tata and zee customers faced in the launch phase.
Summing it up
Reliance offer seems quite good at face value that is if u can get over the Reliance ADA name and will be a serious competition to the reigning leader tata sky if they manage to get their act together by especially getting over their innitial problems and service issues such as installation delays, thanks to the intelligent structuring of the packages.
Tata sky anticipating the challenge has done a mini advert ramp-up of sorts roping in glam power of Aamir Khan in Ardhnari add touting Reliable technology and Sonali Bendre and child star Darshil to promote it, but will it work as more competitiors are set to enter the arena in the near future?