It wasn't too long ago that flat screen (LCD, LED & Plasma) televisions had started becoming a commonplace in Indian households. With the cost of new technologies constantly plummeting, it won't be long before television programs at 1080p resolution (or true HD, the marketing jargon) also become the mainstay.
Dish TV India has already prepared themselves for such an eventuality by recently launching the Dish truHD+ service that doesn't only features high definition content, but also allows unlimited recording of the television programs.
Well, the word 'unlimited' is more of a gimmick, since the programs don't get recorded inside the box itself, but rather in an external USB drive/HDD. Which essentially means the word 'unlimited' is limited by the capacity of the hard drives a user can purchase.
Despite the obvious 'cheating', we like this concept a lot because such a system essentially has helped bringing the costs down for the set-top box. Dish truHD+ shall be available in the Indian market at Rs 2,690 only. Compare that with the (almost) obscene Rs 5,990 that you shall have to shell out for Tata Sky+ HD set-top box.
One major concern we have about Dish truHD+ is the performance of the setup. It is a known fact that the speed of access of information in an internal disc is always faster than that on an external USB drive or a hard disk. Conversely, I am hoping, that the program that gets recorded and stored in an external drive can also be viewed on a computer (which could also fuel piracy).
In all, we think the idea of allowing users to record content on an external media is a brilliant concept, just by the virtue of the fact that such an arrangement brings down the cost of the set-top box by a lot.
Dish truHD+ offers dual advantage of HD and DVR where the consumer can get a picture quality of 1080i with a 16:9 picture format and 5.1 surround sound. It also comes equipped with the latest MPEG4 technology. In addition to this the same box is used as a DVR as well by a simple "plug-n-play" through an external USB device. This enables users to get traditional DVR like recording and playing back programs, pausing or rewinding live TV, different play-back positions, event based recording (EBR), time based recording (TBR) and so on.
Oh, before we forget, Dish truHD+ also bundles in a 4GB pen drive, in case you care.