I have been a Tata Sky HD+ user for a few years now and the service has been responsible for losing my
dependance on live television. In India, that can only be a good thing, given the state of the television industry. Now, Tata Sky is offering its users the option of moving their recorded content wherever they want. Here is a look at Tata Sky+ Transfer.
Tata Sky+ Transfer will require you to upgrade the set-top box to one that comes with the option to add a Wi-Fi dongle. And this dongle is what connected the box to the rest of your devices. Set up is relatively easy, but you will have to use the Tata Sky remote to find the Wi-Fi network and login. It is a good thing that you don’t have to do this too often. Plus, the service works in tandem with the Tata Sky Mobile app.
What is good?
The set-top box lets you transfer any recorded content—it could be a video on demand (VOD) movie or a recorded soap—to a connected device like a smartphone or tablet. Transfer takes a few minutes even for a full movie and you can watch the same effortlessly on your smart device. Thankfully, this does not use your broadband data to download the movies and transfer happens over local Wi-Fi.
The Tata Sky Mobile app, thanks to the Wi-Fi connection on the set-top box, can be used as a remote. Using a icon-based remote is much easier when you are dealing with scores of channels. It is good for switching from one genre of channels to the other without scanning through hundreds of channels. The app also offers one-tap record options for all the shows.
Everywhere TV lets you beam live TV onto the smartphone or tablet screen. Just make sure you are not using mobile data when doing this. However, I could not test this feature as it needs to be activated separately and means an additional charge.
What is not good?
Well, my first grouse is a philosophical one. What is there on Indian television that will make you spend more to get a new set-top-box? What is there on Indian television that will prompt you to carry on a phone when you are away from home? I can’t find an answer and for that one reason I will not spend over R9,000 for this set-top box and service.
The app needs a lot of work. It is cluggy and takes ages to open up and change screens. With the Wi-Fi remote, the app tells you each time that it can’t find the Wi-Fi connection only to give what you are asking for a second later. This remote just needs to grow up and move on.
Tata Sky lets you enable the transfer feature on just two devices and that is a surefire way of starting a fight in the family. If a household is going to spend so much on a STB, then it will be a family where at least two people have more that two devices. So let’s fix this anomaly soon.
For those who can’t live without their daily dose of soaps even if they are in the office or out of town, maybe this is something they should invest in.
Otherwise, I don’t really see a reason when you need to beam content from the TV to the smaller screen in India which lacks quality shows. If you just want to watch old movies or shows, isn’t YouTube a better option?
** Estimated street price: Rs 9,300 for new users; Rs 7,890 for upgrade