The country's oldest DTH operator Dish TV proved it still has several aces up its sleeve. In a move that is likely to upset some companies worried about piracy, it has just introduced a recorder (DVR) that
records on any USB media.
The move is a big step for consumers bothered by the 100-hour limit imposed by most high definition DTH recorders in the market. For example, Airtel's HD DVR, which promises 600 hours of recording, can
only support about 100 hours in high definition recording.
Dish TV's new recorder, however, can keep recording on any USB memory device, including pen drives and USB-hard disks, the company said. It has been priced at Rs 2690, about 30% cheaper than other DTH HD DVRs in the market.
"our idea is to expand the DVR market by making it accessible at the
price of a normal HD box",said R.C Venkateish, Chief Executive Officer, Dish TV India said.
Those owning an Dish HD set-top-box owners will get the upgrade to the new mode free of cost, the company added.
If consumers think that they can record their programs on pen-drives and watch them on their computers at home or office, they may be in for a disappointment. The recording is likely to be encrypted and
accessible only from the box on which the recording was originally made.
Still, the move is seen as a giant leap in consumer convenience as channel companies have traditionally opposed letting recorders store data on external devices. They believe that such an arrangement will lead to viewers trying to 'hack' the content and watch it on other devices or share it illegally.
However, with the advances in encryption, such fears may be misplaced,according to experts.
This is the second innovation from Dish, owned by the Zee group, after it leased a second satellite 'behind' its existing satellite to almost double its capacity and offer several new HD channels.
However, Dish's HD line-up and pricing still leaves a lot to be desired as competitors like Airtel and Tata Sky have launched several new HD channels over the last few months and offer HD packages costing
between just Rs 50-100 per month.