Tata Sky Binge Service Review: Worth Going for a DTH-OTT Combo?
Tata Sky service with access to OTT apps is the latest attempt from the company.
Tata Sky service with access to OTT apps is the latest attempt from the company.(Photo: The Quint)

Tata Sky Binge Service Review: Worth Going for a DTH-OTT Combo?

Tata Sky has joined hands with Amazon for a special edition of Fire TV stick, which will offer other streaming platforms like Hotstar and let you access TV shows that are a week old.

Instead of signing up and paying for multiple streaming platforms, Tata Sky Binge allows you to pay for apps like Hotstar, Eros Now and SunNext among others through this rental.

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Tata Sky claims you don’t have to pay anything extra for the Fire TV stick, but if you don’t pay the rental amount (fixed at Rs 249 per month), this special service won’t work for the user. We tried out the Binge service from Tata Sky and here’s a closer look at this space, its services and what are its rivals offering to the consumers.

Also Read : The Great Indian OTT Race’s Finish Line Is No Longer in Cities 

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What Does it Offer?

The Binge app is listed on the Fire TV stick bundled with the service.
The Binge app is listed on the Fire TV stick bundled with the service.
(Photo: The Quint)

Tata Sky Binge is being made available to existing Tata Sky subscribers at Rs 249 per month. This gets them the device and access to OTT platforms, all paid via a single fee.

The service is available in the form of an app on the locked device, and you need to pay this rental to avail the bundled subscription package for Hotstar, Eros Now and Sun Nxt among others.

Considering what you pay for a regular subscription of these platforms, Rs 249 per month doesn’t’ sound like a bad deal. However, you have to take into account the monthly expense of recharging the Tata Sky connection.

Also Read : Tata Sky Comes Up With Broadband Service: Worth the Pricing?

This is the Tata Sky Binge version of Fire TV Stick.
This is the Tata Sky Binge version of Fire TV Stick.
(Photo: The Quint)
Binge is a locked service, and only people with Tata Sky connection and this version of the Fire TV Stick can subscribe for it. If you stop paying the monthly rental, Tata Sky will take the device back from subscriber.

Just in case, you’re not keen on this limited rental offer, users can buy the Fire TV stick separately, which will cost them Rs 3,999 for the HD variant, and Rs 5,999 will get you the 4K version of the device.

Binge - TV and OTT in One?

Now, let’s take a look at the TV side of the Binge service, which is claimed to offer 7-day television content from channels like Star, Sony and Zee among others. The interface has been built into the device, and works with the remote that you get with the Fire TV stick.

All the TV shows listed on the app interface.
All the TV shows listed on the app interface.
(Photo: The Quint)

While browsing through the content, we realised that the interface isn’t as fluid as other streaming platforms we’ve become accustomed to these days. There is a certain lag between what content we choose to watch and what it actually plays on the screen.

Also, with Binge you can only watch TV serials which are week old. None of the movies showcased during that time are available for viewing.
You get details of shows and its episodes that aired over the past seven days.
You get details of shows and its episodes that aired over the past seven days.
(Photo: The Quint)

Any Alternatives for Binge?

We bumped into few service providers who’re offering access to both TV content, as well as OTT platforms. Lining up against Tata Sky are Dish TV and Airtel TV both of which are giving their users chance to try both the world, without needing to ditch the cord.

With Dish TV, you’re getting a streaming stick which is identical to the Fire TV stick but this one is also locked for Dish TV subscribers, and the Dish TV HD set top box.

This product is yet to be officially launched but we saw it on the website.
This product is yet to be officially launched but we saw it on the website.
(Photo: Dish TV)

The Dish SMRT Stick, as mentioned on the website will be priced at Rs 599 with a free preview of 6 months and the company won’t be asking for installation charges.

Dish TV has partnered to offer streaming content from platforms like Hungama Play, Zee5, SonyLiv, with other apps are expected to be available soon.

Compared to Tata Sky Binge (Rs 249 per month), the Dish SMRT Stick will convert your existing TV and make it Wi-Fi compatible, which in return gives you access to the aforementioned apps.

Airtel had launched its product called the Airtel Internet TV few years back, with prices starting from Rs 3,499. At this exorbitant cost, you’re getting the device, free access to Mega HD pack for a month, subscription to Airtel TV for one year, free games from the company and one-month free trial for Netflix.

(Photo: Airtel India)

But post the free period is over, Airtel has put these conditions in place. With this device, after the free preview period, the bundled Mega HD pack will be available at Rs. 699 per month. And that free trial with Netflix is only applicable for new account users.

Everyone else needs to have a Netflix subscription. Airtel believes with the benefits given below, users are getting their money’s worth with the service.

(Photo: Airtel India)

So, that’s the new-age offering from DTH providers in India. They’re battling it out against OTT platforms, and with people willing to cut the cord, they need to become innovative in their approach.

As for Tata Sky Binge, we’re still not sure if you’d want to spend money on both keeping the TV connection, as well as pay for OTT services, with limited access. All in all, this is smart thinking on the company’s part but more is needed to attract consumers from switching to the other side for good.

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