Dish TV presses HD button; introduces new cardless set top box


NEW DELHI: HD ahoy! That’s the flag that India’s leading DTH operator the Essel group owned DishTV has been waving for quite some time. And now it is doing it again. In a move to encourage wary Indian TV viewers to switch from a standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) connection, it has announced a campaign, which it has labeled “HD for all initiative.” Under this, it says it will stop providing SD boxes, and will now only ship HD ones to subscribers.

“The HD space has been fast evolving, making significant in-roads into Indian households,” says Dish TV CEO Anil Dua. “With a sharp focus on HD, this move aims at bridging the gap between the SD and HD subscribers and taking away the inhibitions involved in switching from SD to HD. Our endeavor is to increase affinity with our audiences by providing them HD viewing experience.”

Currently, India has around 12.8 million HD households; Dish TV hopes this push will more than double this subscriber base to 25-30 million s in the next five to six years.

The company has also launched a new cardless HD set top box (STB) branded Dish NXT HD which has a starting price of Rs 1,500 with primary SD packs. It claims that the new box gives five times better picture quality, 5.1 suroound sound, and a whole new user Interface and graphics and multilingual support. Additionally, it comes equipped with an integrated smart chip technology to enable users to interact and tune-in to their television in a smarter way. A universal remote and a recorder come included with the box. The cardless feature eliminates the need of a separate viewing card for clutter free experience and faster performance.

Points out Dua: “The new DishNXT HD STB will lead to a rapid rise in HD consumption. It will also encourage subsequent upgradation to full HD experience, thereby expanding overall HD viewership and boosting our revenues.”

“As part of our festive offering, this latest innovation has been designed keeping in mind the evolving needs of our discerning customers and to enable an end to end entertainment experience,” adds Dish TV senior vice president marketing Sukhpreet Singh.” With the new clean, intuitive user Interface, fast navigation and ease of controls, DishNXT HD is a game changer in DTH entertainment, offering unmatched HD TV viewing experience.”

Apart from this STB, it is also flogging its DishNXT HD Premium box which has a starting price of Rs 1,750 and can offer all 66 HD channels.

Recently, the satellite provider had launched a Mera Apna Pack that allowed customers to choose their HD channels at a sticker price of Rs 17 plus GST as part of its popular packs. The company says this is partially in keeping with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s tariff order as it empowers consumers and provides content as per customer choice.

Amongst the packs it is offering currently include:

* Priced at Rs 169, Swagat offers 210 channels.

*The Super Family Pack offers 337 channels at Rs 250 per month.

*The Maxi Sports Pack offers 342 channels at Rs 290 per month.

*The All Sports Pack offers 387 channels at a sticker price of Rs 330 per month.

*The World Pack has a bouquet of 400 plus channels and is priced at Rs 380 per month.

* The Platinum Pack has a bouquet of 418 channels at Rs 475 channels per month.

All these packs have a freebie offer going on currently: seven HD channels are being offered at no cost to customers. The free HD channels include: Zee TV HD, Colors HD, &TV HD, Zee Cineam HD, &Picture HD, Cineplex HD and MTV Beats HD.

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