Failing to compete with Jio’s tariff bouncers, Airtel has now decided to tap its DTH and broadband customers. Bharti Airtel has today launched a hybrid Android-powered setup box, christened as ‘Airtel Internet TV’. This set top box allows any standard TV to function as a SmartTV — a television set with integrated Internet and interactive features. It comes with built-in support for content apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Google PlayStore, and Airtel Movies among others.
The news lines up with the partnership deal cracked between Airtel with Netflix, the past month. Hastings then said that in 2017, both the companies will work on making their Indian service better in every dimension.
The setup is available for ₹4,999 for three months of Airtel Digital TV subscription and ₹7,999 for a year as an introductory offer to new Airtel users. Existing Airtel broadband users can avail the service at just ₹3,999 for a yearly subscription. The set top box will be distributed exclusively through Amazon India starting Wednesday, April 12th for a month. After the end of the period, distribution via Airtel offline stores, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and other online platforms will be introduced. Airtel DTH users can apply for upgradation of their existing setup box as well.
This one-of-its-kind Airtel Internet TV service allows users to stream 4K content, online content and enables downloading of games and apps on TV as well. In addition, you can pause live streaming, record and even rewind as well. A USB-port has been added to the setup for recording content on your pen drive. Moreover, an SD card slot on the set top box will allow you to save downloaded games and apps. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options are also provided to connect your headphones, controllers and other IoT devices.
Talking about the service, Sunil Taldar, CEO & Director (DTH), Bharti Airtel said in a statement,
With Airtel ‘Internet TV’ we are bringing world-class content from the web and much more to the TV screen. This latest innovation has been designed keeping in mind the needs of Indian homes and it bridges the gap between online and offline worlds to enable an end to end entertainment experience with the convenience of a single device.
In addition, he stated that the company will continue to add exciting content platforms to Airtel Internet TV and invite customers to experience this innovative offering.
The set top box offers 500+ satellite TV channels and has a built-in Chromecast support. The support allows you to cast your favorite movies, games, shows directly from your mobile screen to your TV itself. It comes with a Bluetooth-enabled remote control which is capable of calling upon Google voice search to further ease the user experience. It means you are no longer required to memorize TV Channel numbers and can simply talk to your remote.
To make all this function, the set top box requires a 4G hotspot connection with a minimum recommended speed of 4Mbps. On the purchase of Internet TV, Airtel will also install a Digital TV dish antenna for the smooth functioning of TV services. To further drive its sales, the company is offering free 25 GB of additional data every month with no extra cost to existing users who sign up for this newly launched service. The company has also introduced various data offers for its broadband customers.
This is a first for India as it provides seamless integration of viewing online and offline content on a bigger screen. The company is also engaged in talks with Amazon Prime and Eros Now to integrate their content on the Internet TV.