Last week, I was invited to Airtel’s HQ here in Chennai to experience the newly announced Airtel Internet TV DTH Set-Top Box. To be honest, I’ve been apathetic on Set-Top Boxes. I just got a brand new 4K TV which does not have a DTH connection on it. I just have my Gaming Console and Streaming Boxes connected to it. But then I quickly realised I was completely wrong. Airtel Internet TV DTH is the real deal!
Airtel Internet TV is the perfect blend of DTH service and streaming box. It runs full blown Android TV OS 6.0 with all its features and advantages on the Streaming Box side. You get the play store and all apps optimised for TV OS. On the DTH Side, you get all the SD and HD channels Airtel has to offer. Also, the DTH box supports Chromecast streaming.
Traditional TVs can get away with dumb remotes, but for Streaming Boxes the remote is a core component and the device you interact with. It needs to do more than just switch channels. For starters, the remote is connected to the box via Bluetooth which is amazing. You can have your box hidden away and use your remote from any angle. Also, on the remote, there’s a trackpad for navigation. The final component of the remote is a Microphone which can be used to search for both content and apps, and it is flawless. Alternatively, there’s an Airtel remote app for both iOS and Android which can be used to control your TV. The app also comes with a controller mode for playing games.
The box outputs a maximum resolution of 4K at 60fps, supporting Dolby Digital. There is no 4K channel to view right now, but there is a bunch of apps which can stream 4K content from apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. This is a fantastic deal since it is the cheapest 4K Streaming box in India runing Android TV OS.
Oh the Hardware Side, it has 2GHz Dual Core processor, 2GB RAM and 8GB ROM which is expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD. It has two USB Ports; One USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 which supports Hard Drives up to 2TB. You’d want to connect a Hard Drive if you want to record content.
The Airtel Internet TV costs Rs. 5,000 which includes three months of subscription to all channels and Rs. 8,000 for 12 months of subscription. The only catch with the box is that you’ll need an active subscription at all times to use the box. You can only choose one of the two plans. Rs. 500 for all SD channels and Rs. 700 for all SD and HD channels. But I don’t think it is a huge deal for the customers it is intended at. Stay tuned for our complete review which will be out soon!