Some of the things you should know before buying dish TV. You need clear view of the sky on the southeast side. There should not be any obstructions. Don't think you can just point it to any part of the sky and you will get dish tv. Second thing is you will pay the same amount or some times more for the dish tv service than your cable. So price should not be a factor for you to buy dish tv. You can't choose just one or 10 channesl its a package deal. You will have to pay minimum of 110 Rs atleast. So don't think that you can just choose all the english channels. Go here to see what packages offer.
Then why in the hell should you get one. Read more to find out.
This is the dish that you get with the dish tv. It not that big to give you an idea about its size, width wise it would be as big as your 21inch tv.
When you pay for the dishtv you are also charged for installation etc. So you don't have to worry about fixing it. The dish guys will come and do it. You will need cable that connects from your dish to tv, there can't be any breaks in between. It should be one piece. So if you are on the ground floor of 10 floor building you will be paying quite a bit of money for the cable.
The settop box that come with the dish tv is as big as your vcd player.
It quite simple box With only three controls. There is a viewing card slot which will have a viewing card similar to that of credit card. Which you can find when you open the front part of the settop box. You don't need to open it (unless you want to make your dishtv friend angry by removing the card and hiding it somewhere). There is one light indicator on the box when it glows red it in sleep mode. when its green its active.
The back of the settop box has all kind of connectors. One is for the cable that comes from dish. Then there is an option of three pin or single pin that you can connect to your tv. That's mostly it. There some digital connector options too.
The remote of the dishtv settop box. This is the best remote I have seen. Its easy to use and each key are clearly labeled.
When you switch the dish tv on this is the first channels you will get. when ever your switch on the tv this is the first channel you get. It like their ad channel where they show all the new stuff they are bringing and about the payment options etc.
There is a menu button on the remote from where you can change all the settings etc.
You can select the info bar duration that is the thing that show up when you change the channels. the other are what they say. The preferred audio option is semi useful. you can select any language. it is only useful when channels offer those audio choices. two to three channels only offer those choice and its mostly Hindi and English.
This is the dish info. The signal strength should be above 60% when the installation guys are installing check this before you send them away. if its below this when ever wind blows etc the channels will become choppy. so don't forget that.
There is a channel search option keep doing this once in a while because they keep adding channels quite often. You can just select that option and wait till the bar says 100% and then store those channels by following the instruction on screen. As you can see from the photo i get 163 channels and 24 radio channels. Yes that is another special thing dish tv does. you get to listen to radio too. Out of the 163 channels you will get all kind of crappy one doordarshan has like 40 channels and other channels are pay channels so you will not get all the 163 channels unless you paid for. But the least you get is more than 100 channels with basic subscription. Which is quite good.
There is a favorite selection option where you can select the channels you want and store them. This is a useful feature imagine changing 163 channels to get the one you want not that fun ha.
There is a program guide thing where you can see the program schedule with the timings. you can see upto two days program guide but some channels don't implement them well. None of the doordarshan channels have them.
If you like any of the programs in the program guide. you can set an alert upto an hour in advance. When the program time comes the settop box automatically switches to that channel. If you switch off the settop box this feature will not work.
Then they have a new thing called active services. these are the interactive services. You have news, sports and games.
The news active is like a webpage where you can read the news and a small window on the side keeps showing video of that section. You will only get the news from zee news. This is mostly for reading. all the photo on the screen are video not pictures. Which looks cool if you have big tv. This is nice for the people who want to read their news in the morning or any time.
This is another photo of what you get when you select one of the categories you will get story headlines like this which can be selected further to give the detailed story.
The active sports channels only works with zee sports and that too when they have live events. To know what you get in sports active click here.
The games active give you small games which can be played. They have five or six games. They update these games once in a while. I don't know if they will make them for pay in the future or not.
These games are not quake 3 or halo they are simple games like tetris or bejeweled the above one is table top football. They are similar to the games that are played on mobiles or flash games on net.
This in the info bar that comes up when you change the channels. It shows the current program and the next program. it also show the audio options. About the picture quality once the dish is set the quality is perfect. there is no way of changing the picture color or sharpness etc on settop box. You don't need to but if you want you can do that with your tv.
When you click on the info button while watching any program you will get little details about the program. its a nice feature when you watch movies. but the serial have like basic information not the information of that particular episode which is sad. That would have been a nice feature.
Once you store you favorites you can select the favorite and it will only show the group of channels you have selected. Which is quite useful when you have 163 channels. Before the software upgrade the favorites could be renamed to say your name that was really nice. so that each family member could have their own favorite channels with their names, but now you can't because of the software upgrade.
You can use the remote of the settop box to control the volume which is nice because your don't have to always keep the tv remote near you.
There is a movie on demand thing i have never used it. They have four channels which show latest movies, but not that latest. If you want to watch those movies you can send an sms with your settop box no and they will allow you to watch the movie. movies cost around 40 Rs. You can watch them at four different times so you have to choose what time you want to watch in the one day they give you. The movies are changed every week. They don't have advertisements in the movies by the way.
Conclusion and some other things you need to know.
The channels will not come as your regular tv channels it will be just one channel and you keep changing it so you don't need both the tv and settop box remotes. Imagine how a DVD player works it the same channel but you change the cd's similar thing.
You will pay something like 120 Rs per month for the basic channels and if you want channels like HBO and star group of channels you will have to pay extra. When you are buying they have an option where you can pay monthly or yearly or quaterly choose which option you like you cannot change it later. Monthly is nice, you can choose group of channels just for that month. Their other options have huge discounts but you have to pay years amount in advance. You can make the payments online through credit card or any number of other options they have. You can also make payments offline.
The price for the actual settop box can start from as little as 3000 Rs. But you will have to pay extra for channels. Or you could go for the bigger package now which costs like 5000 Rs and not worry for paying channels later. There is a discount on channels subscription if you go for the bigger package.
The software upgrade, they do this when every they feel like. The changed the user interface a month ago. Its pretty simple process when they have a update the settop box it will automatically download the update and change the user interface. The new user interface which was done in a hurry to compete with tatasky is a bit bad. There are some good things too though but still you have get use to using it. There is no choice you just have to update which is sad. Before all the buttons on the remote were capable of doing something like you could pause tv even though the program continues in the background you could stop the tv, its good for writing down numbers or address etc. you could zoom etc. Now some buttons on the remote don't work hoping they will do an update soon so that all the buttons on the remote are used.
There are quite a few models of settop boxes this is one of them there are other too where you get a different remote etc. but its all the same.
They even have a digital video recording (dvr) option for 15000 Rs. Its just a settop box similar to this but with a harddrive to which you can now record tv shows and watch them later when you have time which is nice. but 15000 Rs is a bit too much.
My conclusion is that you will get super quality pictures and sound for all the channels and some extra features if you pay for it. So if you are a tv freak or a person who is tired of asking the cable guys for that one channel you want go get one.