Airtel Launches Internet TV Set Top Box Before Jio’s Reported DTH Launch
Airtel, the Indian telecom giant, launched a new variant of set top box called the Internet TV on Wednesday.
The unique feature of this set top box (STB) is the amalgamation of regular high definition broadcast channels coupled with internet-based content such as Netflix & YouTube.
The new STB will be available exclusively on Amazon.in for the next 30 days and is being offered in top 20 cities. At a base cost of ₹ 4,999, Airtel is offering all Standard Definition & High Definition channels free until mid-August.
The STB also provides Airtel broadband connectivity from within the device using the MyHome in the MyAirtel app with which, users can access online content through services such as Netflix & YouTube. Although one needs to have a Netflix subscription to view its content, the ease of use makes the Internet TV attractive.
Similar to Netflix, users can watch YouTube videos directly from the STB. To make streaming easier, the device also contains Google Chromecast built into the box for seamless streaming. This can be controlled through various apps available on both, Android and iOS.
Speaking of Google, Airtel has incorporated Google’s Voice Search directly into the device’s remote. Users can speak into the remote in order to navigate through the channels or apps. Google’s other apps that are compatible with the device include Google Play Games and access to Google Play Store.
Another related feature is the ability to use a smartphone as a gamepad using Airtel’s Gamepad app. This turns the phone screen to a gamepad which can be configured to play compatible games on the TV through the STB. The app is available on Play Store & App Store.
In terms of technical features, the box supports :
- 4K resolution
- Dolby Atmos audio
- Android TV
- Pause & record live shows
- Added storage through microSD card (upto 128GB)
- WiFi & Bluetooth receiver
Buyers get the benefit of Airtel Movies as a free promotional offer valid for 3 months which given them access to a huge collection of local & international movies. Refer below for plans & pricing.
As seen above, Airtel plans to close down its ecosystem by providing benefits to users who are completely on their network. “Customers must download the Airtel Movies app & register with their Airtel mobile number using the Airtel mobile internet to activate free subscription“.
All this leads to the conclusion that Airtel pushed itself to be the first service provider to bring out the new age of STBs which are reportedly being planned to be released by other DTH operators in this year, including Airtel’s biggest competitor at the moment, Jio.
Jio’s STB plans were already known & speculated by many since rumours were abound after a leaked photo of Jio DTH STB was seen online.
Indian consumers are benefiting from this rivalry and could expect a lot more in the coming year. Until then, one can see all the details of Airtel’s Internet TV on their website and for any FAQs, read here.
All images sourced from Airtel website.