OTT platforms are on the rise these days and traditional DTH operators along with ISP’s and Telecom providers are getting into the action one way or the another. Just a few months we saw Airtel and Act launch their versions of the product and now Tata Sky has joined in as well.
In order to diversify their user base, Tata Sky launched their new product the Tata Sky Binge for their existing customers with the help of Amazon. Amazon comes into the picture here with their Fire Tv Stick which is being used as a vessel to run the Binge platform.
We got our hands on the Fire Tv stick Tata Sky edition and here’s our review after a weeklong of extensive use.
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky edition
- Voice Remote
- Wall adapter
- HDMI extender
- micro USB cable
- 2 AAA batteries
- User Guide
Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition specifications
- 1.3 GHz Quad-core MediaTek processor with Mali450 MP4 GPU
- 1GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage
- Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi s 2×2 MIMO
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass-through up to 7.1
- Ports: HDMI output, Micro-USB for power
- Content Formats Supported Video: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30, Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
- Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p
What is Tata Sky Binge?
Tata Sky Binge is an app-based platform that brings premium digital content from a set of over-the-top (OTT) platforms onto a single app which is the Binge. Tata Sky Binge is powered by the Amazon Fire TV Stick which is loaned to the existing Tata Sky customers and comes with a monthly subscription fee of Rs 249. Under this plan you get access to content from Hotstar, Sun NXT, Eros Now and Hungama as of now.
The Hardware here is the same as that of the standard Fire TV Stick 1080p version with just the Tata Sky Binge branding on top. There are instead changes done to the UI and content integration. One thing to note here is that, though it’s a Fire TV Stick in the Prime Subscription is not a part of this deal, so you need to invest in it separately. But for the time being, new users enjoy Prime services free for 3 months.
What about new customers?
Since the Tata Sky Binge is a Value-Added-Service (VAS) and you need an active Tata Sky subscription ID in order to get into the ecosystem. As a new user, you first need to get a Tata Sky subscription and going through that process can opt for the Tata Sky Binge Kit.
How the system performs?
In terms of performance, it’s the same as you’d expect from the normal Fire TV Stick. There are some changes in UI and content aggregation done in order to differentiate the Fire TV Stick Tata Sky edition to the normal Fire TV Stick. Right from the start you get the Tata Sky Binge app installed along with Hotstar, Sun NXT, Eros Now and Hungama. Apart from this, you have the Prime Video and Amazon app installed with the option to install apps from the Amazon store like on the normal Fire TV stick.
The setup process is easy and If you already have an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you can use it immediately on the stick. Tata Sky subscribers need to fire up the Binge app and log in using their credentials. Once you are signed in, the Binge app shows you the content sourced from their partners and few TATA Sky TV channels which are neatly laid out and segregated into genres. With the Binge app, you can also enjoy pre-recorded TV programs from the last 7 days so you don’t miss out on the action.
Since the Fire TV stick here comes with support for up to 1080p content and Dolby Audio surround, you get a great viewing experience but in order to fully enjoy this, you need to have a sufficiently fast internet connection (min 2mbps).
After using the Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky edition extensively it is evident that the product is being focused to a very niche market as of now and this could be to the millennium user or the ones who are really invested into the OTT app ecosystems. The stick is only available to current Tata Sky subscribers and the rollout is being done in a phased manner which we feel is the negative point here. Add to that, the fact that new users need to get a Tata Sky DTH subscription first in order to be eligible to get one for themselves.
To conclude this review, we would like to highlight the efforts of the brand in bridging the gap between TV and internet content. When factoring in the value proposition of the product, this seems to be a little overpriced when you consider the fact that the subscription to the two most famous streaming platforms Netflix and Prime Video is not included in the package.