In what is becoming something of a routine, yet another rumor has been spread that Reliance Jio is about to start a DTH service and you will be able to get all the channels at half the price that you currently pay.
According to this, 350 TV channels will be offered at Rs 185 per month, which is half of the price that you have to pay for Airtel Digital, Tata Sky and so on. What’s more, there will be catch up and rewind feature as well.
Is this true? Are you going to be able to move on to a new, cheaper and more advanced DTH service from Dec 15?
Unfortunately, this rumor too is just that — a rumor. There will be no DTH service from Jio. From our inquiries, there is no corroboration of the company purchasing DTH satellite spectrum from any vendor, or setting up a marketing and distribution network for its dishes and set top boxes.
Instead, what many of these websites are confusing with DTH is the JioTV app — which you are already getting on your mobile phone — working through a broadband connection.
The main difference is that instead of the phone, the output can be connected to your TV.
However, this is not really a big breakthrough development and can be done already with a plain old 4G or broadband connection.
Instead of waiting for Reliance Jio DTH, all you have to do is order a Google Chromecast (Rs 3,399), plug it in to your TV and connect it to your smartphone using the Google Home app and you already have your Jio DTH.
In fact, many advanced phones and TVs do not need even a Chromecast for ‘Jio DTH’ to work. You can just play JioTV on your phone and mirror the screen using the phone’s built in screencasting feature, such as Miracast.
In case your 4G speed is not good enough to watch JioTV in high quality, you can connect your phone to any broadband, such as Airtel, BSNL or Tata DoCoMo and watch JioTV over that connection.
What Reliance will be doing under this so-called DTH offer is practically the same thing. It will be running an app on the set top box which is either the same app as the one running on your mobile phone, or a slightly modified version of it with support for remote controller etc.
WHY YOU’RE UNLIKELY TO GET IT
The main problem with the promised set-top-box system is likely to be availability. As even the rumors have suggested, the set-top-box requires a fiber connection from Jio.
At present, Jio’s fiber connections are available only in the metros like Mumbai and Chennai, and that too only in some areas. The company will eventually take the service to 100 cities, but it may take months or years.
And in the areas where you are going to get Jio Fiber initially, you already have other fiber players offering 10-Mbps, 50-Mbps and 100-Mbps services anyway.
HOW TO GET ‘JIO DTH’ NOW
If you have a 2 Mbps or above broadband connection, there are lots of apps — including JioTV — that you can use for watching TV without purchasing a DTH connection or cable connection.
The most famous of them is YuppTV, on which you can not only watch live TV channels, but also scroll back and see all the old programs as well.
In addition, other DTH and media players have also brought out their own TV streaming apps.
There is OZEE and dittoTV from Zee group, Hotstar from Star Group and PocketTV from Airtel, SonyLIV from Sony, IDEA TV, Vodafone TV, Tata Sky Mobile, DishTV and so on.
All these apps allow you to watch TV channels. The only difference between them is in the number of channels and support for watching past programs.
Some of these apps have only around 50 channels, while some like JioTV have 350 channels. On some, like Hotstar, you have to search for the program by name, while on others like YuppTV, you can see the program names listed in the order in which they were telecast and you simply have to click on them.