Airtel Digital TV launched what it called India’s first hybrid set-top-box with built-in Android and a host of advanced gaming and Internet functions at a price of Rs 4999.
Customers can also get one year of free subscription by paying Rs 3,000 extra.
It will be available online exclusively on Amazon India starting April 12, 2017 and via Airtel Digital stores and contact centers soon after.
With this, consumers can watch online content along with regular satellite TV channels.
Content selection can be done by speaking the name of the content into the Bluetooth-enabled remote controller. The speech is converted into text by the built-in Google voice search feature.
The Wifi-enabled set top box comes with apps including Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Games, Airtel Movies and more.
It also offers access to Google Play Store for users to download their favourite apps, content and games on to their TV.
The box is 4K content ready and enables LIVE TV shows to be paused, recorded or even rewind.
It also supports content via USB (external HD) and Bluetooth.
Customers can also cast, mirror content from mobile devices, tablets and laptops on to the TV screen by installing the Google Home app on their mobile devices.
In other words, they don’t need to buy a separate mirroring device such as Google Chromecast, and all cast-enabled apps will work with the new set-top-box.
Users can install games on the device and use physical game controllers or even their smartphones as a game pad.
The recommended Internet speed for the device is 4 Mbps, though even a 2 Mbps connection should also work.
A regular Airtel Digital TV dish antenna will also be a part of the installation. Existing Airtel Digital TV customers can also upgrade their existing STBs to ‘Internet TV’ STB. More details on the product are available on Airtel’s website.
The only other player that has announced plans to launch similar boxes is Den, which has promised to come out with a similar device this year.
Airtel has also rolled out bundled offers for its home broadband customers.
Customers with the Android set top box just need to register for myHOME on MyAirtel app and can avail upto 25GB additional data on their Airtel broadband account every month.
“With consumption of online content within Indian Homes increasing rapidly, Airtel ‘Internet TV’ will offer customers a superior experience by enabling them to enjoy their favorite content on the biggest screen in their Homes. Customers can now stream and cast their favourite content directly on to their TV as well download their favourite apps and play games,” Airtel said.
Sunil Taldar, CEO & Director – DTH, Bharti Airtel said, “Growing broadband penetration is driving the popularity of online content, particularly in urban homes, and with Airtel ‘Internet TV’ we are bringing world-class content from the web and much more to the TV screen. This latest innovation has been designed keeping in mind the needs of Indian homes and it bridges the gap between online and offline worlds to enable an end to end entertainment experience with the convenience of a single device. We will continue to add exciting content platforms to Airtel ‘Internet TV’ and invite customers to experience this innovative offering.”
“India is one of the most important and vibrant countries in the world and we are delighted to be teaming up with Airtel to make it much easier for consumers to enjoy Netflix,” said Reed Hastings, Co-founder and CEO of Netflix. “In the months and years to come, we look forward to bringing our Indian members more compelling stories from all over the world, an ever-improving viewing experience and incredible joy.”