Tata Sky – My Experience
CAS Also called conditional access system, came into the cable industry in September 2004. Immediately there began protests against it the three leading metro’s(Mumbai,Delhi and kolkatta), The government springs back into action and delays the launch in these three metro’s.. But where does chennai come into the picture.. As Always Chennai remains quite about the issue and accepts the government order with both hands. Although there were few north Indians who did protest but since the count was low it was implemented anyway.
People at that time had to buy or rent set-top-boxes from the government operator SCV and Hathway to watch the pay channels (Generally the channels that people liked watching). People who protested bought it. I didn’t. Then after about two years DTH came into the picture with Zee-Dish TV DTH offering their service with exclusive offers and channels. Giant in the telecom industry TATA also started their own DTH service in the name of TATA sky as a partnership with star group. Tata Sky with its aggressive marketing strategy, quality service and their superior man power base began to take over tha DTH market. Dish TV took a cue from Tata Sky and began offering their service at lower rates and offering free subscription.
When did i select Tata Sky:
Late in the year 2006 when the tussle between DD and NEO sports began regarding the sharing of cricket rights, i was unable to watch a few matches because of the controversy. Then came the Cricket World Cup. Now is the time i had to decide to move into CAS or DTH. I consulted a few Friends before moving to Tata Sky. All of them suggested me to buy tata Sky for the following reasons:
1. Good quality services.
3.DVD Picture quality and Sound.
4. Tata being a business giant will offer premium services.
Some other things that i found regarding the other options: (Dish TV and CAS)
1.Cas is operated by the cable operator, therefore there were bound to be some trouble relating to Ur cable operator. Some one did tell me that he was not able to watch all FTA(free-to-air) Channels through his SCV set top box because his cable operator was not able to find the problem and solve it. As he had already bought the set top box, all he could do is to pay for a new STB or pay for getting the problem solved. This experience of my friend made me turn to DTH.
2.Dish Tv at that time was offering 6 months subscription free, Tata Sky was offering only three months for free. But another friend’s experience with Dish customer care left me with no option to only go for Tata Sky.
At that point of time Dish had a very poor customer care where people were hired to solve the basic problems such as aligning the dish, installing equipment etc.. Only if there was a very huge problem people belonging dish would come to rectify the issue. They of course would take their very own time to address the issue.
Then i Finally decided to go for Tata Sky. I should say i was initially impressed by the fact that i had to buy the box alone, pay the installation amount and only carry the STB back home. Then i had to make a call to the customer care and book an installation date. The next day the engineers came and installed everything efficiently without affecting the aesthetics of my house.
It started working immediately, where as in case of dish it is the customer who had to carry all the equipments back home and then get them installed. They would also have to pay for the installation only if they were satisfied by it, which was supposed to be paid on the spot. then the STB will have to be kept on for more than 24 hours for it to load all the softwares and load all the channels. i was satisfied with tata sky for about 2 months only.
My problems Associated with Tata Sky:
It was the day when ESS decided to launch thier own channel called Star Cricket which would show all the matches exclusively on star cricket.
( just for reference, For people who don’t know there is a forum running exclusively for tata sky customers to discuss issues in tata sky on: http://broadbandforum.in/tata-sky-dth/ to know more about tata sky read threads in this forum)
Members of the forum decided to call the Tata Sky customer care relating to adding the new channel. But to our surprise tata sky executives suggested us to watch the matches on DD which is a part of FTA channels. This was the time when we decided to launch a sort of revolt against Tata Sky threatening them to lose connections if they did not add the channels. Luckily the channels was added just before the match began. It was the day when we celebrated our victory on the forum. To our surprise tata gave us all an explanation saying that they were not aware of the new channel launch or that the Test matches were to be exclusively shown on Star Cricket. (even when we had made 100’s of calls telling them the same information).
Then came the issue of SUN Channels which were not a part of the package till this day. Tata had been fighting a case against Sun for not providing its content to Tata Sky for at least 6 months. Finally they made settlements out of court and sun agreed to provide their content t Tata Sky. This was the day when celebrations again went off in the forum. But today, 7/9/2007 Tata Sky has changed its package rates and increased the subscription amount to 350 INR for just adding about 15 SUN channels which are a part of FTA channels in CAS notified areas. Though everyone is happy about adding of the channels there are a few people who dont like the new package.
Now on the present day Tata Sky has added neo sports and few other channels. These channels are provided for free until oct31 and then they will be moved to a gold pack which I’m sure will again lead to an increase in the subscription. They might also move a few other channels to the new pack and come up with packages in such a manner that subscribers might have to subscribe to the full package for watching their favorite channels. This again asserts the fact that once the customer database increses to a certain level they get to increase the cost. They should instead try to find means of reducing the expenses and somehow manage to keep the subscription under 350 INR. otherwise it will reduce the growth of TATA as a premium service provider.
My Comparision Of Tata Sky over CAS:
Most of my TV Viewing is related to sports and some other entertainment channels. Frankly, i watch only 50% of the channels that Tata Sky provides which means that i’m paying full subscription to have some unwanted channels.
If i was subscribed to CAS then i had the choice of picking the channels which i would want to watch and pay for only those channels. So here is the calculation of how much i may lose in the first year of my changeover to newer TV viewing experience.
(Assuming i watch only 30 quality channels)
Initial cost: Set-Top-Box cost and smart card cost: 2400 INR
Installation Charges: 300INR
Monthly charges: 100 INR(FTA Channels) + 150 INR(30 channels*5 rs/channel) =250INR
Total cost for an year = 2400 + 300 + 250*12 =5700 INR
Tata Sky: (Assuming 300 rs package is average for all houses)
Initial Cost: 3000INR for STB
Installation Charges: 1000INR
Monthly rental: 300 per month (Now increased to 350INR if south package is selected)
Total Cost Per year = 3000 + 1000 + 3600 = 7600 INR
Therefore annually u spend almost rs.2900 extra if u have subscribed to a dth service.
Another point that i would like to make is that i did not subscribe to CAS because i thought i will hav to bear my cable operator for not giving me good service. Then after subscribing to Tata Sky and having been a part of the revolt to get Star Cricket on the Tata Sky platform i have realized that i will have to not only pay what they want me to but also fight for getting the channels. Another thing i realised was, i will get the channel after the fight but i will also have to bear the excess cost for getting that channel. This is driving me crazy.
The Advantage for being on CAS is immaterial of wat the channel has as content or whatever the popularity of the channel the customer has to pay 5rs a channel.
The Advantage with Tata Sky is its quality of service and the DVD quality, but hat is the only service they provide.So if u want quality at a high cost then Tata Sky or Dish Tv is the way to be.
The only hope for existing customers is what TRAI has to say about the pricing and quality of the DTH players. I hope TRAI steps in as soon as possible and brings in some regulations so that the customer is happy. If u are looking to move to DTH or CAS and are confused after reading my experience i would suggest u to stay out till January 2008 and then pick a choice cos by this date India should be having very many DTH players so that u can choose the right one.
I will also try to add more on this blog regarding what are the problems that i see are associated with Tata Sky. Read the blog regularly for updates.
Hope u find it useful.
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