Dish TV is the latest brand to enter the Indian market with its version of hybrid set top box to compete with Airtel and Reliance JioFiber. The company, unlike Airtel and Jio, doesn’t offer broadband service in the country but it’s hoping to retain its existing direct to home (DTH) userbase with the Smrt Hub box.
This device has been priced at Rs 3,999 but for users upgrading within the Dish TV network, can get it for Rs 2,499. Having said that, for Dish TV users, they will have to spend extra on getting broadband internet to their household.
So how does the Dish TV Smrt Hub box compare with Airtel Xstream device and the upcoming hybrid set top box from Reliance Jio? Here’s everything you need to know about three of them and what they offer.
Airtel has priced the Xstream box at Rs 3,999 and its users get free of cost access to content for the first month.
The Xstream Box connects to any TV via an HDMI port (at the back of the device), and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in terms of connectivity features. Airtel claims users can watch TV channels or shows from apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, while strangely Hotstar is missing from the default list.
Having said that, being an Android TV supported device, the Xstream Box uses all the apps from the Google Play Store, which means you can download and install Hotstar from there. Airtel mentioned its statement that Xstream box comes with a universal remote that features a Google Assistant-based voice search and hot keys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.
In terms of the content, the Android Xstream box comes with complimentary access to the Xstream app (worth Rs 999) for one year. You pay regular charges to access content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video among others. In addition to this, users get a one month’s subscription to a HD DTH pack with Airtel as well.
Existing Airtel TV users can upgrade to the Xstream Box by paying Rs 2,249.
Dish TV Smrt Hub Box
Dish TV has priced its hybrid set top box at Rs 3,999 and the existing subscribers can get it for Rs 2,499. Just like the Xstream Box, Dish TV’s box runs on Android TV as well, which includes support for the Google Play Store, from where you can download other apps, and also use Google Assistant to make voice commands.
Dish TV users will be able to use Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Voot, ALTBalaji, and YouTube, but Netflix is missing. the Dish TV SMRT Hub with built-in Chromecast, users can stream content to their TV from their smartphone.
Dish TV has added support for Dolby Atmos. The company also bundles a Bluetooth remote with SMRT Hub that includes dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, YouTube, and Watcho.
JioFiber Hybrid box
We don’t have the exact details for Jio’s hybrid set top box, but we’re hopeful that will support Android TV, so that other apps can be downloaded. One thing we can tell you, the popular JioTV app won’t be available on big screen televisions, the company is pointed out on its website.
But it’s worth noting that unlike Airtel and Dish TV, all users on JioFiber are getting a 4K set top box and Jio Home Gateway system for free. Although you’re paying Rs 1,500 as refundable security deposit, and Rs 1,000 as installation charges which is non-refundable.
In addition to this, Jio claims that users will get access to zero-latency gaming, TV video calling support, and device security for up to five devices via Norton software.
Jio hasn’t revealed the OTT applications that will be available to its JioFiber broadband users as of now. These are likely to be detailed in the coming weeks.
The extra GBs in the plans are available for six months as part of the introductory benefit with JioFiber. Even for gaming, video calling on TV, subscribers need to buy the devices separately.
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