Direct to Home service (DTH) has been sought after by customers with the offering of HD and interactive and value added services. With over 45 million households already subscribing to DTH services, the industry is set to grow further during the upcoming digitization phase, where consumers may opt for a shift from the analogue to the digital platform.
The High Definition (HD) market is growing with the help of DTH services and vice-versa. All the major players are offering content on HD. The viewers are getting ready with HD televisions with the falling prices. A full HD 22 inch television costing less than `15,000, It is obvious that every television will have HD feature in near future. Though the customer is getting an HD TV at a reasonable price, he has to pay extra to avail HD channels.
“Obviously with HD there is an extra expense involved. Initially the acceptability was slow and indulgence was experimental in nature from the consumers. But now, people have opened up to this phenomenon; we do have a significant percentage of viewers today who are willing to pay for experiencing supreme quality services. The difference in costs is also not much right now,” said spokesperson, Videocon D2H.
DTH operators have an edge over cable operators with the quality of the content and number of HD channels. Most of the cable operators could not provide HD services to the customers.
“HD will certainly prove to be one of the major product offerings that will garner huge interest especially amongst a certain section of audience. It is going to be a USP that cable operators would not be able to match. As far as conversion of feed is concerned, we can certainly foresee this as a growing trend but in the end there would be a few genres which would be more sought after than the others keeping in mind the high costs involved with producing HD feed. Most major channels will eventually start providing a dual feed of HD and Standard definition (SD),” he said.
DTH platforms are offering wide variety of services apart from just enjoying TV. Today the customer can easily afford an HD recorder, which can record hours of HD content enabling the viewer to rewind, record and pause Live TV. Airtel has launched a new interactive service, iEnglish to help customer hone their English speaking skills within the comfort of their homes.
“New technologies that you may see from DTH services are push video, advanced gaming and probably even internet surfing. A lot of R & D is happening related to all these features but it is very difficult to pinpoint as technology is evolving and sky is the limit. Currently Videocon d2h is offering Record, Pause, Rewind Live Television, Pay TV, Active Services and Movies on Demand plus it is the only DTH player to offer an exclusive active channel with 3-D feed.
To attract customers to their services, some DTH operators showed channels which have a better quality than SD channels as a HD. Many customers fall prey for this and subscribed.