Internet has truly transformed and revolutionised everyone’s lives. It has made life easier and simpler. It has now made inroads into the television space with internet protocol television (IPTV) which is the latest type of digital TV transmission. Earlier, very few companies in India provided this service. However, with rapid increase in broadband penetration, more and more companies have also started IPTV services. One of them is Airtel.
Airtel has launched its Digital Television interactive service i.e. IPTV in Delhi-NCR. Basically, IPTV services provide television channels with internet broadband connection. Airtel also provides users added advantages of telephony, entertainment and broadband services which means that one connection will serve as a telephone, broadband internet service as well as TV.
Airtel’s IPTV comes with the best MPEG4-10 compression technology which gives its customers more content and enhanced quality images including a host of other services like real video on demand, live broadcast television and network-based time shifted television and other interactive services. These services will be delivered through fibres consisting of copper using advanced ADSL2+ technology which provides broadband connectivity which in turn gives customers better digital audio and video quality.Here I review the service and describe the pros and cons of this IPTV service.
Installation- The Airtel IPTV service is not available everywhere in the country. The installation is a simple half an hour’s process because it is just cabling work where the personnel drills holes in your walls and finally all he cables are neatly tied up.
Setup- The IPTVs setup is similar to that of a broadband internet connection and the accompanying modem is Wi-Fi enabled. Those who have more than two laptops or PCs need not invest additional money for the IPTVs hardware.
Performance and Features - The best part about the Airtel IPTV is that it gives fewer problems than its BSNL and MTNL counterparts. The TV quality remains unaffected by internet usage. It features time shift TV which is very innovative. There are around 130 channels and its uniqueness is that users can order food when enjoying movies on TV. However, the variety in channels is limited. Not all channels are available and the time shift TV works currently only for 16 channels.
Pricing- The installation and initial cost is Rs.3999 which is one-time payment. There are three plans available which customers can choose from according to their requirements. The magic at home plan has a monthly rental of Rs.999 which provides 135 channels and 256kbps internet with unlimited download and a landline phone. The second plan is the interactive combo plan which has a monthly rental of Rs.599. Here, customers get 117 channels; 256kbps internet with 2.5GB of downloads. The last plan is the premium pack having Rs.399 as monthly rentals but only 135 channels are provided and this is only an upgrade for current landline and broadband users.
Airtel will give a single bill for all their services along with 24×7 customer care. It plans to launch its services in Mumbai and Bangalore very soon.
Bottom line- The Airtel IPTV has an edge over its competitors because of its superior technology. However, it has its own flaws. This service is only for those who are willing to shell out large amounts of money for an all-in-one solution for TV, internet and telephone.