A video of a working Reliance Jio ‘DTH’ TV has been leaked by a Gujarat-based Youtube user, even as Airtel unveiled its own ‘Internet TV’ today.
The Youtube user demonstrates a working set-top-box, complete with HD channels and various other features. Even though the uploader calls it Jio DTH, there is nothing in the video itself to suggest that the connection was working over satellite.
The demonstration suggests that the company will go for a set-top-box that is largely similar to what many of the players in the market offer today. From the demonstration, the set-top-box does not look like it supports third-party apps or comes with an independent operating system like Android.
This could be a disappointment, as the market currently offers several ‘smart set-top-boxes’ for services such as DD Free Dish and ABS, and Reliance’s big rival Bharti Airtel has also come up with an Android-based box today.
However, on the positive side, Kaon — which seems to be the equipment provider of the box — offers STBs that take a single cable as input for both Internet and cable using Cisco’s Docsis 3.1 technology.
So, while you may not be able to watch Youtube or Netflix services like you can in Airtel’s boxes, the solution will probably be elegant enough to work on a single wire that allows you to watch Jio’s video-on-demand and rewind features – even without a separate Internet plan.
Airtel’s box, on the other hand, uses your home broadband connection via Wifi or ethernet.
You can watch the video uploaded on Youtube below.
According to the information we have been able to gather from the market, the so-called Jio DTH needs a cable connection to work. The set-top-box works over a cable connection supplemented by high-speed Internet provided using a standard ethernet cable.
Though there was speculation that the Mukesh Ambani led firm will tie-up with Reliance Big TV — controlled by younger brother Anil Ambani — the demonstration showed several channels that are presently not available on Big TV, suggesting that it is a different service.
Moreover, the set-top-box has a ‘cable in’ port instead of an ‘LNB In’ port as would have been the case if it was indeed a DTH connection. Moreover, all DTH boxes also specify the current specifications above the LNB port, which is also missing in this case.
Without these specifications, there is a chance that the wrong LNB (the cylindrical device on the dish) could be used, resulting in damage to the LNB and the box.
While the same user had claimed that the set-top-box worked over a dish connection in an earlier video (see below), in the latest video, he has not made any such claims.
He has also not responded to questions by users about whether indeed the device works using a satellite dish or a cable.
WHY DTH MATTERS
The reason why the exact technology — DTH or cable — matters is because of the speed of roll-out.
If the company is using satellite DTH, it can roll out its service across India at the snap of a finger. However, if it uses cable — as seems likely from the images of the box — it will have to either acquire existing cable operators or draw cable lines across the country — a very time consuming process.
As of now, market reports indicate that the connection requires wires and that the company will go for a phased roll-out of services starting with Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, possibly towards the end of this year.
That also fits well with the company’s rumored roll-out plan for its high-speed fiber-to-the-home services.
Meanwhile, Airtel Digital also rolled out an Internet-enabled ‘smart’ set-top-box today.
The set-top-box comes with Android and supports downloading of apps from the Google Play store.
The user also showed an ‘unboxing video’ for the set-top-box, which is linked below.