With an eye on the Cricket World Cup, DTH operator Tata Sky has launched 4K set top boxes (STB) in India, which are capable of delivering content up to 3840×2160 pixels. Tata Sky plans to broadcast the Cricket World Cup (14th Feb to 29th March), in 4K, but the problem clearly is that other than the World Cup, there is hardly any 4K content available, especially on Indian channels.

Additionally, there is also the matter of cost. The cheapest 4K television available on Flipkart is currently priced at Rs 67,500, while on Snapdeal is priced at Rs 70,000. These are low end 4K models, with high end 4K TVs priced well over Rs 100,000. The set top boxes are available, from Tata Sky, for Rs 5900 for existing subscribers, and Rs 6400 for new subscribers. The STB is also capable of delivering Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) channels.

Given the low availability of content and the high cost of adoption, the new STB unlikely to lure users away from SD and HD to 4K. Probably users who already own 4K sets might become early adopters.

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Other developments:

– Tata Sky had launched an on-demand video service Everywhere TV for laptops and desktops in June 2014. The platform had launched then with availability only on Windows 8, although it has since expanded to support all Windows versions XP onward, along with Mac, iOS and Android systems. The plans for this Everywhere TV were first announced by Tata Sky in October 2013, after rival Dish TV announced DishMobile, in partnership with group company Ditto TV to offer Live TV, Movies, TV shows and videos, the same month.

– In February last year, Tata Sky tied-up with Hungama.com to launch a DTH-based Karaoke service, which the company claims is the first in the world. The service showcases music videos along with lyrics and features ‘Sur Meter’ that rates an individual’s singing performance.

Competition:

– Dish TV, which had launched an over-the-top (OTT) streaming application, DishOnline for Android and iOS, just before Tata Sky did, received a DTH license from the Government of Sri Lanka to launch operations in the country in November last year.

– Bharti Airtel had launched a new service called Pocket TV that will allow its digital TV subscribers watch live content from over 150 channels for a monthly fee of Rs 60, on Android and iOS, in March last year. Subsequently in October the company partnered Samsung to launch an Integrated Digital TV (iDTV) that will allow consumers access Airtel’s DTH services without installing an external set-top-box. In May the same year, the company partnered with Disney India to launch an English subscription video on demand (SVOD) service called Disney Family Movies.