Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By just4kix

Advice required - Cable or DTH?

  1. #1
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    11,632

    Default Advice required - Cable or DTH?

    I received this PM which I thought should be a question to many others as well:

    Quote Originally Posted by projenator
    Hi,
    I am from Calcutta and as you might be well aware all metros have this deadline to switch to digital TV by July 1st, my cable TV operator is asking for Rs 1800 to put up a STB. This guy is very monopolistic and I started looking for other options, so I started reading DTH reviews on the internet. Having read reviews for a couple hours every day for the last one week, I am extremely confused since every DTH operator has his own set of issues.
    Dish TV has the most inclusive channel packages but pathetic technology while Tata Sky is exactly the reverse. Airtel has pathetic customer service, a bunch of reviewers say. Having read your posts, I find yours most clear, concise and very very well written, so I thought I pm you and seek advise. I am not looking for HD experience, neither am I looking for my TV transmission to break down every week. Please advise.

    Thanks and kind regards,

    proj
    I will reply in detail - meanwhile I leave the thread open for discussion.

    projenator,

    DTH is usually better than cable, and definitely better than analogue cable. Now cable is also becoming digital and many drawbacks of analog cable (weak signals, picture/sound quality, snowy channels, single language, etc.) will go away. To have digital cable at home, an STB is required. But even after digital cable, the inherent issue with cable operator (monopolistic behaviour, random changes to subscription, channels disappearing because operation has not paid to content providers, etc.) will still remain.

    As far as cable operator asking for Rs. 1800 for STB, this is very fair. That should not be the cause of complaint.
    • You are right in saying that DTH providers also have their own sets of issues.
    • First of all, DTH is not immune to price changes; but they occur less frequently.
    • Some DTH providers are a nightmare in terms of customer support. But problems in DTH rarely occur.
    • DTH is more costly than cable when comparing package to package.

    Now DishTV is often reported to be the worst but I had been their customer for 4 years and I did not face major issues and when I did, my problems were rectified within promised SLA. So do not always go by what others say or what I say. Take an informed decision. Also don't agree with your assessment that DishTV has pathetic technology. TataSky has slight better PQ than DishTV but DishTV is not bad; especially when SD is concerned. Airtel is good also. The cheapest is Videocon D2H and they have very good packages.

    I will say that moving to DTH will be better in the long run; especially if your cable is getting interrupted every now and then. My main reasons of shifting to DTH were as follows:
    • I was tired of the signal quality
    • In those days (2006), there used to be 3 hour power outages in the city, section by section; so during outage in my area, I used to be blank for 3 hours and my cable operator in the adjacent area had power cut; so in effect I used to get cable outage for 6 hours.
    • Cable prices were random. I lived in a slightly upmarket area and was being charged Rs. 325 pm but in the neighbouring densely populated area the same operator was charging Rs. 220.

    You will alone be able to make a correct assessment of the situation. See what you are getting and what it is going to cost. Make a cost/benefit analysis and then arrive at a decision.
    Last edited by just4kix; 11th January 2012 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    *** Never argue with an idiot. ***

    All my useful articles and Guides | My DVDs | My Blu-Rays | My Blogs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    I received this PM which I thought should be a question to many others as well:



    I will reply in detail - meanwhile I leave the thread open for discussion.

    projenator,

    DTH is usually better than cable, and definitely better than analogue cable. Now cable is also becoming digital and many drawbacks of analog cable (weak signals, picture/sound quality, snowy channels, single language, etc.) will go away. To have digital cable at home, an STB is required. But even after digital cable, the inherent issue with cable operator (monopolistic behaviour, random changes to subscription, channels disappearing because operation has not paid to content providers, etc.) will still remain.

    As far as cable operator asking for Rs. 1800 for STB, this is very fair. That should not be the cause of complaint.
    • You are right in saying that DTH providers also have their own sets of issues.
    • First of all, DTH is not immune to price changes; but they occur less frequently.
    • Some DTH providers are a nightmare in terms of customer support. But problems in DTH rarely occur.
    • DTH is more costly than cable when comparing package to package.

    Now DishTV is often reported to be the worst but I had been their customer for 4 years and I did not face major issues and when I did, my problems were rectified within promised SLA. So do not always go by what others say or what I say. Take an informed decision. Also don't agree with your assessment that DishTV has pathetic technology. TataSky has slight better PQ than DishTV but DishTV is not bad; especially when SD is concerned. Airtel is good also. The cheapest is Videocon D2H and they have very good packages.

    I will say that moving to DTH will be better in the long run; especially if your cable is getting interrupted every now and then. My main reasons of shifting to DTH were as follows:
    • I was tired of the signal quality
    • In those days (2006), there used to be 3 hour power outages in the city, section by section; so during outage in my area, I used to be blank for 3 hours and my cable operator in the adjacent area had power cut; so in effect I used to get cable outage for 6 hours.
    • Cable prices were random. I lived in a slightly upmarket area and was being charged Rs. 325 pm but in the neighbouring densely populated area the same operator was charging Rs. 220.

    You will alone be able to make a correct assessment of the situation. See what you are getting and what it is going to cost. Make a cost/benefit analysis and then arrive at a decision.

    A very well written introduction to the problem. I was aware of almost every thing you wrote above except that I could not understand the acronym SD. PQ is picture quality I guess. I have read a few posts written by Calcutta folks who trashed Tata sky for rain outages, not sure if they are over reacting. I asked a relative who has Tata Sky and he also complained about rain outages but he lives in a apartment complex and might be having his dish hiding between two tall buildings which is the perfect recipe for satellite signal loss even if slightly disrupted. In Calcutta, there is Siti Digital Cable in most areas which is definitely better than DTH given that they are charging just a 1000 bucks for STB. I called them up and told them my story requesting if they could help. They said the situation is a difficult one but they are going to give it a shot but they haven't gotten back to me yet. If I did not have this monopolistic cable operator, I would not have been sitting here splitting hair on my head. In our neighbourhood, the cable market is not a free market and the other cable provider is afraid of the one I subscribe to. He was the first to market when cable TV came along and we took a subscription but my family soon realized his ways, so we started talking to the other guy. He categorically refused us saying that he would have had no problems taking us had we gone to him first but he does not want to piss off the other guy given his political connections. Power outage is not a big issue in Calcutta, maybe a couple months max, rest of the year is fine.

    I am not picky about transmission quality and I have tolerated analog cable picture quality the last couple years with a smile. But I am getting increasingly concerned about one trend I am noticing in India which is getting worse by the day. A lot of service providers just forget about you once they have your money. I recently bought a LCD TV post Diwali and I was promised a 3 year warranty, only to find out that the service center will hand me the card during installation. During installation, the service center guy told me that they ran out of cards and will courier me one in a couple months. A couple months passed and I had to make a bunch of phone calls before I finally got the card, now I have to run to the retailer to get the card stamped, all this for spending my hard earned money on a TV. I have lived in the west for more than a decade and this does not happen there, god only knows what kind of progress is happening in India ?

    Coming back to the point, there are a bunch of posts trashing DishTV's channel switching time and interface. Since I have a compulsive channel switching disorder once ads come on, this might be an issue. Any comments how tolerable/intolerable this is ??
    I honestly like the Dish TV packages for the price and if the aforementioned tech issues are not intolerable, I might zero in on them.

    Also anyone aware of this CAM device for DTH interoperability which Dish TV has come up with There is a June 2010 report in the Calcutta Telegraph. I am not allowed to post the URL being new to this forum
    Last edited by projenator; 11th January 2012 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  3. #3
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    11,632

    Default

    SD = Standard Definition. Google this or read in Wikipedia.

    Rain Outage: This is a common problem with all DTH providers in India. All of them use the KU band which is more suseptible to rain outages. No idea why. In UK, when I lived there, I never had rain outage and it rains almost every week (if not every day). Some providers have more outage than others. It depends upon many factors such as strength of cloud cover, lightening, size of dish, angle of signal from the satellite, area of India where you live, etc. The same provider may have less outage, for instance in South India but more outage in North India.

    Cable operator monopoly: Cable operation are run by musclemen/goons and ultimately connected to some strong politician. They have divided the areas of a city amongst themselves and it is a complete mafia. Just like mafia divide the areas of cities as their exclusive territorry, same is the case here. Other cable provider will not come into your territorry.

    Channel switching time delay: All DTH have a delay between channel switch. The delay lasts less than 2-3 seconds. Over a period of time you do not notice it.

    PQ = Picture Quality. Directly related to transmission quality, signal strength, etc. If you have LCD TV then you have to be very particular about this. Traditional CRT TV had gain amplifiers built-in. The technology was very forgiving. LCD/Plasma TV expect good quality signal and not so forgiving. A drop in signal strength immediately results in choppy picture, choppy sound, etc.

    DishTV vs. TataSky vs. Airtel vs. Reliance vs. Videocon... etc.: More or less everyone is equal in my opinion. Reliance and Airtel have the best signal quality/PQ followed by TS, then Dish/Videocon - but there is very miniscule difference. Videocon D2H has the best package and price.

    CAM and STB interoperability: This is in the nascent stage right now. It may take three years till STB become truly interoperable. By that time, it will be time to change STB. The typical life of an STB is four years.
    Admin likes this.
    *** Never argue with an idiot. ***

    All my useful articles and Guides | My DVDs | My Blu-Rays | My Blogs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Just4kix,
    Appreciate you being of assistance and explaining everything in detail organized fashion. I think I have a fair idea of DTH from a pan India perspective and need to get down to Calcutta specific research, more so the rain outage factor given the long monsoon season here.

    Once again, thanks and kind regards,

    Proj

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Thanks to Proj. & J4k for such en-lighting discussion. I am also from Calcutta and facing the same dilemma. My request to Proj is to research the Behala area where STB has been introduced couple of years back. The Cable network is SITI cable there. The people of Behala may provide valuable city specific information. Looking for the post...

    AC

  6. #6
    Platinum Member panchabhut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,065

    Default

    to my knowledge Behala (Kolkata) falls in the original CAS area where STB for cable was introduced almost 10 years back.

    for those who need to move based on their job etc. DTH is a better option as most STB are not interchangeable between operators.

  7. #7
    Admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,500

    Default

    I would suggest DTH and that too Tata sky only and get HD recorder box if you have a HD tv. Yes there will be outage when there is heavy rain but here in Delhi it happens may be 4-5 times in a year and that is for 4-5 mins no more.

    Tata sky customer support is better then every other DTH company I have used in the past.

Similar Threads

  1. Need Advice which one to go for ?
    By KS Naresh in forum Mobile broadband
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20th March 2012, 09:52 PM
  2. I need advice
    By arunman in forum BSNL broadband
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 29th June 2010, 06:17 PM
  3. Digicable/home cable digital cable service
    By ramatl78 in forum Direct to home, Satellite, Cable and iptv
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 30th May 2010, 11:27 AM
  4. Advice Required on Capital Gains saving
    By Boot_Comp in forum Investment and Finance
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10th June 2009, 03:03 AM
  5. Which Type Of Cable Required To Connect Tv- Tuner Help
    By icar in forum General offtopic discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 20th February 2007, 01:26 AM