Finally I decided to go over to the HD side, and why not get a DVR while we are at it. I decided to upgrade my Tata Sky box to a Tata Sky HD Plus set top box. HD signifies High Definition while plus signifies DVR capabilities. On Wisetechie.com we cover the installation and the basic features and formalities, Here on IndianTechBlog we cover features and operations part of the review :
HD Channels : The current HD gold bouquet has 6 full time HD channels (Star Plus HD, Star Movies HD, Star World HD, Star Gold HD,Nat GEO HD and Discovery HD) apart from that there is Set Max HD which only comes on during IPL matches.
HD quality is superb, at 1080i the images are crisp most of the time, to preserve HD quality, Start is not advertising on its HD channels and fills in remaining time with fillers. So a show which starts at 8:00pm finishes at 8:22pm on Star Plus HD and 8:30pm on Star Plus SD.
Hardware Capabilities : The set top box from Tata Sky is a fairly competitive piece of equipment offering 500GB of storage space. Apart from the space, features like live pause, rewind (live) and slow motion are really awesome. The set top box also has a cool rotating play display which tells you the state of playing from the hard disk.
The box has 2 inputs and HDMI and RCA outputs. It also promises 5.1 channel audio (which I haven’t verified). It has a super light indicator as shown in below video :
You can record 2 channels at one time, if you are recording two channels at one time, it wont let you switch channels and you will have to stop recording. This again is very counter intuitive.
Its takes a while to figure out why its giving the warning and how to stop recording one of the channels. If you had paused a similar warning is given on changing channels, this time with no reason as to why its asking you to confirm a channel change.
The recording can be done in many ways, ad hoc recording, just go to a channel and press record to record the current program. You can also choose a program in the future to record, apart from this there is also an option to record all instances of a TV series.
TV series is a little confusing though, it took me a while to figure out how to edit series settings. The manual is totally useless, offers absolutely no information on operation. Tata Sky really shortchanges customers on manual quality.
The usability of the box is severely reduced due to earlier point. I literally had to tutor my parents on usage.
Apart from the special characteristics, the set top box has the ability to set 50 favorite channels. I also observed that sometimes on changing the channel it wont come on. That’s a major issue that needs addressing.
So that’s it for this part of the review, for the earlier part of the review , head on over to Wisetechie Blog
Overall Positives :
1. Great price of Rs. 3999
2. Tata Sky Service Quality , best in DTH providers
3. Star’s bouquet of HD has no ads till now, 500 GB space is awesome
Overall Negatives :
1. Extremely complex to use for normal folks
2. No proper manual given, no guidance provided by setup staff
3. HD gold pack costs 50 rupees per month extra. So another pack you have to add to your bouquet.