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DTH offers recording: end of prime-time?

Direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast platform Tata Sky on Tuesday launched a new service that allows users to record programmes and watch it later.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2008 20:56 IST
Ruchi Hajela

The next phase of the TV war is here – and thanks to that, the old idea of “prime-time” may take a knock. Direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast platform Tata Sky on Tuesday launched a new service that allows users to record programmes and watch it later.

“It is the end of the fight for remote in our homes,” said Vikram Kaushik, managing director of Tata Sky. That takes the crowded market to a level beyond a price war unleashed by BIG TV.

The new service includes an advanced set-top box with a built-in recording feature and a hard drive capacity of 160 GB.

Considering that a three-hour movie is about 1.4GB, one should be able to store up to 800 half-hour programmes and about 115 movies in the box. Tata Sky’s new hardware is priced at Rs 8,999 and the company is offering an exchange festive discount of 40 to 50 per cent to existing subscribers.

In the US market, digital video recorder service providers such as TiVo allow users to record and share videos, movies, music and even photos.

Other DTH players are also expected to launch their digital video recorders soon. “We have held on the launch of the DVR due to dollar fluctuation but we should be launching the same in a month’s time,” said Salil Kapoor, COO at Dish TV, part of the Zee group.

Dish TV’s recorder is expected to cost over Rs 10,000 with memory to store 140 hours of content.