Enables to view content on the move anywhere
If you thought the good old set-top box (STB) is only about accessing channels from the satellite via the outdoor dish antenna on your TV, think again. Tata Sky+ Transfer, a new high-definition smart STB, will enable you to watch the latest episode anytime, anywhere.
Apart from streaming live TV, the STB also works as a personal video recorder (PVR)—users can record movies and TV shows from channels—and plays well with your smartphone or tablet. The previous version, Tata Sky+ HD PVR, did not allow you to transfer these recordings to a mobile device.
Using the Tata Sky Mobile app (available for Android and iOS, and will soon be available on PCs too), you can transfer these recordings from the STB to the phone or tablet.
For the transfer feature, you will require to upgrade theTata Sky+ Transfer set-top box that comes with a Wi-Fi dongle and in-built tuner. This dongle is what connects the box to the rest of your smartphones. Set up is relatively easy, but you will have to use the Tata Sky remote to find the Wi-Fi network and login. Plus, the service works in tandem with the Tata Sky Mobile app.
The setup is fairly simple. The Wi-Fi dongle on the STB allows one to connect to the home Wi-Fi. The smartphone or tablet you wish to pair the box with also needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi. Once done, download the Tata Sky Mobile app (Google Play Store or Apple App Store) and log in with your subscriber ID. On the home screen of the app is the Transfer menu. Tap that, and the app will detect the STB—you will now be able to see all the recordings currently sitting in the Tata Sky+ Transfer’s hard drive, with clearly laid out options.While the home Wi-Fi network is used to pair the app with the STB, it does not connect to the Internet at any time during this process. And when you are viewing the transferred content on the phone or tablet on the move, your 3G or 4G data is not used.
The Transfer PVR is packing some features that were not available in the previous generation PVR.
Firstly, while Tata Sky+ HD required connecting two wires from the dish antenna installed outdoors, Tata Sky+ Transfer needs just one.
Secondly, Tata Sky+ Transfer is capable of recording content from three channels at a time. At present, two recordings can happen simultaneously, but Tata Sky confirms they will enable the third with a future software update.
The wireless remote has a touchpad too. This will come in handy with newer apps and services.
The Transfer is compatible with resolution of 1080p, while Tata Sky+ HD was limited to 1080i—1,920 x 1,080 pixels in both, where “i” stands for interlaced while “p” means progressive. Interlacing is slightly inferior, as it only scans every alternate line of pixels in a video. This allows some fine distortion to creep into the picture. By going to 1080p, we immediately noticed an improvement in terms of clarity and colour—TV, HDMI cable and picture settings kept constant.
The Tata Sky+ Transfer PVR costs Rs. 9,300 for new subscribers, and Rs. 7,200 for existing subscribers who wish to upgrade.