HD DTH Comparison: TataSky HD vs Airtel HD vs Dish TV HD vs BIG TV HD vs SunDirect HD

Update: Current list of HD Channels in India are:

  • Discovery HD
  • NGC HD
  • History HD
  • Movies Now HD
  • Star Movies HD
  • Star World HD
  • Star Gold HD
  • Star Plus HD
  • Colors HD
  • Zee HD
  • Zee Classic HD
  • UTV Stars HD
  • ESPN HD
  • TEN HD
  • CNBC Prime HD
  • ICONERT
  • Travel XP HD
  • Star Cricket HD
  • Neo Croicket HD
  • Ten Cricket HD
  • Set MAX HD
  • DD HD
  • Sun TV HD
  • KTV HD
  • Sun Music HD
  • Gemini HD
  • Telugu Service HD

Update: For standard non HD DTH comparison see: DTH Comparison and Offers.

HD War has started in India DTH segment with TataSky, Airtel, BIG TV, SunDirect and Dish TV launching their HD services. When Sun Direct has HD service, the enrty cost was whopping Rs10000/-. Now, it has come down to Rs 2600/- with TataSky being the cheapest. Only Videocon D2H is yet to start their HD service.

Decide for yourself what is the Best High Definition DTH after seeing the comparison. Here is the comparison Chart for these DTH in the following criteria:

  • DVR Recording Support
  • Universal Remote
  • HDMI Out
  • Component Video
  • Composite Audio/video
  • Optical out for 5.1 Sound
  • Coaxial Out for 5.1 Sound
  • Number of HD Channels in 16:9 aspect ratio /1080i resolution
  • No. of Up-scaled HD Channels
  • Minimum Entry Cost for New Customers
  • Minimum Entry Cost for Existing Customers
  • Monthly Cost for Channels in 16:9
  • Monthly Cost for All HD Channels
  • Customer Service

Comparison Chart( Latest and Updated)

HD Channels Comparison Chart:

Key points to note:

  • Airtel, TataSky,BIG TV has HD DTH with Recoding DVR capability.
  • You can have any base package and add HD as add-on in all DTH except Sun Direct HD. You need to have METRO pack active for HD channels
  • Tata Sky,Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV TruHD has Coaxial S/PDIF out for 5.1 Dolby audio. BIG TV and Sun Direct has Optical TOSLINK out. Make sure your Home Theater receiver has teh corresponding port when you buy the High definition DTH Set Top Box
  • Only Airtel and BIG TV offers Universal Remote.
  • Though Videcon D2H has maximum number of Asli HD Channels, it does not provide 5.1 Dolby audio like TataSky and Airtel Digital TV
  • Videocon D2H is the only DTH that has a service that shows 3D content. Though it is a repeated content and nothing specific to India
  • There is very minimal 3D content available at present and better not to make buying decisions just on 3D capability of the DTH

Also see:

What is the best High Definition Television for my HD TV

Connecting HD STB with Home Theater for 5.1 Sound

 

 

 

105 Replies to “HD DTH Comparison: TataSky HD vs Airtel HD vs Dish TV HD vs BIG TV HD vs SunDirect HD”

    1. I have purchased SONY – 52 inch LED TV with FULL HD and 200 Hz Motion Flow Technology.
      Please advice me on the following;

      1. which is better … Tata Sky HD or Airtel HD

      2. If I take HD Connection, what will be the quality of the non-HD channels ? Will they have better quality in HD STB compared to SD STB or not ? Because most of the time we will be watching non-HD channels only.

      3. If I wanna take normal SD STB, Which is better TATA SKY (Does this have MPEG4 Tech)/ AIRTEL / VIDEOCON(This is giving most no. of channels)

  1. Also, Platinum Package worth Rs. 325 p.m. is compulsory for enjoying HD Channels in Dish TruHD.

    And, BIG TV HD-DVR and Dish TruHD do not offer 5.1 Ch. Audio in HD Channels as per users’ experience – you can also check their official websites; there is no mention of 5.1 Ch. Audio.

  2. Also, Platinum Package worth Rs. 325 p.m. is compulsory for enjoying HD Channels in Dish TruHD.

    And, BIG TV HD-DVR and Dish TruHD do not offer 5.1 Ch. Audio in HD Channels as per users’ experience – you can also check their official websites; there is no mention of 5.1 Ch. Audio.

  3. Hi Mohapatra,

    I am planning to purchase a Full HD TV and got a offer to have a TATA sky free along with TV. I want to know:

    1) Should I opt for TATA Sky HD ?
    2) Or take the free connection from TATA Sky and wait for a good time to switch to HD (any provider, as very few channels are there in HD now)
    3) Is it OK/good to watch in a HD LCD with TS (Normal).

    1. 1) better to go for tatasky hd… may be u can pay the remaining amount ( taatsky regular is 1000) may be they can discount that in tatasky hd
      2)It’s ur choice 🙂
      3)Please understand , we have very few HD channels right now. So most of the time you will be watching SD channels only.
      HD is good when they telecast cricket and other sports. Tatasky is the one gives most of the cricket in HD

    2. 1) better to go for tatasky hd… may be u can pay the remaining amount ( taatsky regular is 1000) may be they can discount that in tatasky hd
      2)It’s ur choice 🙂
      3)Please understand , we have very few HD channels right now. So most of the time you will be watching SD channels only.
      HD is good when they telecast cricket and other sports. Tatasky is the one gives most of the cricket in HD

  4. for getting one hd channel (NGC-HD) i had to pay Rs 1250 extra + Rs.16.55 pm
    which is not quite reasonable . moreover the picture of all other SD channel reduces to
    70% approx through HDMI cable.Airtel & all other company should not launch the full HD set top bax at present.

    1. I leave the price part and answer this:

      //
      moreover the picture of all other SD channel reduces to
      70% approx through HDMI cable.
      //

      There will be an option use 16:9 format for standard SD channels as well. Only in native 4:3 the picture size backs out in left and right side!

  5. I have purchased SONY – 52 inch LED TV with FULL HD and 200 Hz Motion Flow Technology.
    Please advice me on the following;

    1. which is better … Tata Sky HD or Airtel HD

    2. If I take HD Connection, what will be the quality of the non-HD channels ? Will they have better quality in HD STB compared to SD STB or not ? Because most of the time we will be watching non-HD channels only.

  6. If I wanna take normal SD STB, Which is better TATA SKY (Does this have MPEG4 Tech)/ AIRTEL / VIDEOCON(This is giving most no. of channels)

  7. .I have purchased SONY – 52 inch LED TV with FULL HD and 200 Hz Motion Flow Technology.
    Please advice me on the following;

    1. which is better … Tata Sky HD or Airtel HD

    2. If I take HD Connection, what will be the quality of the non-HD channels ? Will they have better quality in HD STB compared to SD STB or not ? Because most of the time we will be watching non-HD channels only.

    3. If I wanna take normal SD STB, Which is better TATA SKY (Does this have MPEG4 Tech)/ AIRTEL / VIDEOCON(This is giving most no. of channels)…Quality wise which is better and Service wise which is better ??

    1. 1) Almost same quality . But Tatasky has more channels. See above.
      2) SD channels via HDMI is also same as non HD STB only . No increase/decrease in quality.
      Some channels like Star moves have prologic encoded audio. You can get 5.1 sound in that SD channel itself( when connected to coax with HD STP)

    2. Take Tatasky HD plus which is only Rs.3999/-, and got 3 HD fulltime channels, and sports channels in HD whenever there are any events.

      The quality of non HD channels will be as normal even in HD STB.

      Tatasky is good in – QUALITY – SERVICE – CUSTOMER CARE

    3. i am using tata sky hd since 1yr , quality is good but get bored with monotony of progrms on all hd channels , and they are providing just 7 so better to go for vediocon hd becouse you will get variety there and important thing vedio quality of other channels is good as compare to tata sky 

  8. in the comparision table you are saying that Big TV doesn’t have optical audio out but in the comments below you are mentioning that though optical output is there in BiG TV it doesn’t provide 5.1, which one is correct information?

  9. Hi All,
    I am planning to buy a HD DVR but i am confused with which one i should choose i have three options either tata sky HD DVR or Airtel HD DVR or Big Tv HD DVR. one more point to be considered is i am planning to buy for my parents so i would lke to stick on with basic regional channels so i would be helpful for them to view the recorded serials so do suggest me whihc is the best HD DVR and the minimum package so i would be helpful for my parents to view and record watch it without any hassle .

  10. Hi All,
    I am planning to buy a HD DVR but i am confused with which one i should choose i have three options either tata sky HD DVR or Airtel HD DVR or Big Tv HD DVR. one more point to be considered is i am planning to buy for my parents so i would lke to stick on with basic regional channels so i would be helpful for them to view the recorded serials so do suggest me whihc is the best HD DVR and the minimum package so i would be helpful for my parents to view and record watch it without any hassle .

  11. I HAD A BITTER EXPERIENCE WITH SUN DIRECT HD. THE REMOTE STOPPED WORKING, AND I HAD TO SHELL DOWN MONEY FOR EQUIPMENT THAT I DID NOT OWN. ALSO THE PROGRAMS ARE REPETITIVE. THE RADIO CHANNELS STOPPED WORKING. THE TELUGU SOUND TRACK FOR DISCOVERY NEVER WORKS. THERE IS VERY LITTLE SERVICE FROM THE SERVICE ENGINEERS IN VISAKHAPATNAM. THE CHARGES WERE ABNORMALLY HIGH, WITH A TAKE IT OR LEAVE ATTITUDE. I REGRET HAVING TAKEN THE HD CONNECTION FROM SUN DIRECT.

    1. It is not just in Visakhapatnam. You shouldn’t expect service from such companies. They are just but BIG FRAUD!! If have put money on it just accept you got cheated..throw the box in the nearest dust bin..tell your neighbours to ever dare to think or talk about something close to the word =SUN, they will be wasting time & money. When there are good service provide why fall for these cheap ones! After all they don’t mean to do any business and achieve any thing!. I went through the same thing – that too in Chennai and now I realized! I’m booking Tata HD. After all old is gold. TATA’s are business pillars of this country and they stand by their name. All others are just wast of time.

      1. I agree to JK and gopal. I am another disappointed customer of SUN HD. Being in Chennai and having grown up in chennai I was expecting to favor the SUN Network. But now I realize the lack of professional approach to business and customer services. I am not sure of where to switch to, but i thought it is my duty to let other customers know about the bad experience with SUN HD.

  12. Hey expert, I wanna know is it possible to record HD on tata sky HD plus?? As the website states that 625 hrs of recording can be done on 500 GB hard disk and there’s no specific information about SD and HD recordings.

    1. Tatasky HD plus can record HD channels( indeed that’s its purpose) If you record only HD channels the recording hours will be 200hours or less(depending on their compression settings)

  13. I am buying a samsung HDTV and i want to know if its a good choice as almost all 30HD channels dish is offering are upscaled.

  14. what about airtel IPtv? i hav full hd 42″ plasma.does IPtv provides HD channels? is the quality same in IPtv compared to normal SD STB?

    1. Airtel is a worst choice, to my knowledge try Tata Sky+ HD is best choice because I am using both. Quality, Customer Care and User Interface Tata is the best.

  15. How about Dish TV with 30 HD Channels? Can it be the current choice in terms of no. of HD channels? it does not have recording feature yet, but it has same quality as Tata Sky… Any insights?

  16. hi i have bought 40′ inch Samsung 40d5000 LED having full HD.
    Please suggest which is better out of Tata sky and airtel as i am very much confused.
    Kindly respond and guide what hd channels are provided by Tata sky and airtel.
    Thanks in advance.

      1. i dont want south channels, only Hindi channels. which 1 is btr in quality as i heard that Tata sky has mpeg2 and airtel has mpeg4 quality. also can u pls confirm what hd channels are provided by Tata sky and airtel.
        Thanks

  17. HD quality is being provided by Channel not DTH provider.. then how come DISH TV is promising for 35 channels. what a joke….. we should sue them.. even SRK is mad , doing ads for them

  18.  Hi! I ordered Tata Sky HD (without recording), I was initially told that i will get 5.1 channel Audio out through optical out, but when stb arrived, there was no optical out, i called customer care and they told me that there is coax cable out and not optical out but their coax out is non functional and is there just as show piece, they advised me that to i can get 5.1 channel out through HDMI cable which is connected to LCD provided LCD TV should have 5.1 channel capabilities.
    There is no way i can connect Tata sky HD to my Philips home theater via optical or coax sp finnaly i had to cancel the order and return the dish.
    is there any other alternative? How is Airtel, are they providing 5.1 channel out through optical out?

    1. Hi, 

      You will need to have Home theater(A/V R)  with Digital/Co-axial input to feel Dolby Surround(5.1). 

      Tata/Airtel STB don’t have normal 5.1  (RC-A cable) out which we see generally in DVD player. 

      Again why u r looking for Airtel as they have only opt/coaxial output to feel 5.1. 

      Their HDMI never carry 5.1 output. they are just to carry video & Stereo audio. (Be ware of them)…..

      1. HDMI can never carry 5.1 audio, its only designed to carry 1080p /720p VIDEO and 2 channnel stereo AUDIO, so its normal to use co-axial / optial to enjoy 5.1 DOLBY or DTS.

    2. Co-axial audio, otherwise digital audio is not very complicated, except it needs a DTS / Dolby Digital converter , so i would assume the connections need to done with some understanding.

  19. My main concern is which is the fastest in channel switching. I don’t like the dth that is painfully slow in switching channels. I want it as fast as the cable walas! Which one would you guys recommend?

  20. My main concern is which is the fastest in channel switching. I don’t like the dth that is painfully slow in switching channels. I want it as fast as the cable walas! Which one would you guys recommend?

  21. MPEG 4 is definatelly the future technology. So it sud be the 1st thing to compare, Secondly, don’t go with popular Brand Names. We all know nw that Airtel is having maximum consumer complaints followed by Reliance. Better to go with peoples Brand Videocon d2h, only company providing lifetime warranty because they are world famous in CRT tubes . Lastly, although HD services originates with Channels, but operators have their own recording setups where they upscale Video Quality to 1080i and sound to 5.1. As far as I know, this kind of setup is present only with RDTV. Thats why they are claiming all 250 channels in HD like (not HD).

    Finally everyone has his/her own choice and brand loyality…

  22. i hav a sony bravia led and need to hav a HD connection for that. so which is beteer tata sky HD or airtel HD. suggest me yaar

  23. i hav a sony bravia led and need to hav a HD connection for that. so which is beteer tata sky HD or airtel HD. suggest me yaar

  24. Hi SMEs, I have brought 40″ LED 3D HD TV from abroad which has NTSC only and no PAL system. Can you suggest me which provider gives NTSC signaling***.
    I’m thinking of below points too..
    1. Good customer care.
    2. STB shud also have Component / RCA out.
    3. Good quality video in HD as well as SD
    4. Valuable south channel packs.

    Cheers,
    Pkk

  25. I recently bought Tata Sky (non-HD). My TV is Samsung LED series 4. I just want to know that whether i will be able to watch the HD pack on this Tata Sky (non-HD) or for viewing HD channels Tata Sky HD is a compulsory???

  26. iam planning to buy a set top box for my ordinary flat tv. which dth connection would be better?
    vediocon or tatasky, big tv, airtel?

    shijo

  27. i hv got a Toshiba 32″ lcd HD ready TV and m planning to get a d2h connection.

    i hv following queries :

         1. is there any difference in d picture quality of Tata sky and Airtel?
         2. which offers more channels ( ignoring the south channels )..?
         3. which of d two faces more problem during rains??
         4. which is more recommended

    plz clear my doubts..
    thank u. 🙂

  28. Hi Expert,

    Have gone through the comparison chart.. its very useful to understand about various DTH services. But I have a query for u…

    We have 42″ LED TV, which supports 2D-3D conversion. Can you suggest the best/good HD DTH service, which will give best quality where 3D conversion has good quality?

      1. Greetings and Thanks KrishnaMoorthy.

        As you expected, 2D-3D is not great. Infact no much difference. But came to know that its effect will be good with the Blue-Ray disc players or dedicated HD channels. So looking forward for good DTH Services.

      2. Greetings and Thanks KrishnaMoorthy.

        As you expected, 2D-3D is not great. Infact no much difference. But came to know that its effect will be good with the Blue-Ray disc players or dedicated HD channels. So looking forward for good DTH Services.

        1. Only Airtel and TataSky has true 5.1 Dolby output.You must need to connect the coaxial/optical to your Home theater( with Dolby decoder)  D2h HD has fake surround. Corrected the above post. Corrected my above post.

          1. Yes, I agree with you. I use optical cable with my Airtel Set up Box – Sony 5.1 Home Theatre. NGC HD, Movies Now HD, Star Movies HD are the best from Airtel. Love Airtel HD.

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