Now who hasn’t seen the umpteen ads of Aamir Khan and Asin on the TV, advertising Tata Sky + with their cheeky acts that almost push you to the brim of buying one for yourself. I too would have fallen to one of these extremely well produced ads and spent a good Rs. 9000 (erstwhile) and now Rs 5000 for a Tata Sky + box, but for my sane wife who was steadfast in her refusal to do anything with it. Her reasoning was simple. “When all channels re-broadcast their programs, why does the world need a Tata Sky +?”
(For the novice, a Tata Sky + box is a regular DTH set top box rolled along with a 160 GB hard disk that enables you to record TV programs when you are unable to watch them and then lets you play them back. The same feature also allows real time rewind and playback. It is basically a PVR (Personal Video Recorder)…Sounds great eh?)
This happened twice, I fall for it and my wife pulls me back. I decided to do a Cost-Benefit analysis myself keeping her common sense logic apart.
- Rs. 5000 for a just the recording facility of 160GB is way too much. A 160 GB hard disk costs you no more than Rs 2500 today and the price is falling still. The rest of it is just your regular set top box with software patch to record and replay from your PVR.
- Even in the US, PVRs cost downwards of $100 that translates to Rs 4500 or less. However the US market DTH market is deregulated to the extent that you need not buy the set top box from your Satellite TV provider which means that the basic TiVo service that allows you to record and replay programs is about $15 a month. Tata Sky on the other hand is planning to hike the price back to Rs. 9000 post Diwali.
And the benefits?
- I get to record, replay and pause
Well that’s the only benefit. There is no other benefit.
- You cannot burn the recorded shows into a DVD or a Blu Ray Disc yet.
- Once you reach your 160 GB limit, you need to erase past shows.
- You will look like a fool playing a Matrix movie from your Rs 5000 (or Rs. 9000) PVR when your neighbor just waited for 8 hours and watched the re-telecast by selecting the remind feature on his set top box.
Don't lose heart yet. Maybe the Cost Benefit analysis is different for those ladies (or even gents) who have to compulsively obsessively watch the 9:00 PM soap on both Zee TV and Star Plus. These are the kinds who can’t wait for the re-telecast the next day coz they wouldn’t have enough gossip material otherwise during their social circle meetings.
However, if you are like me or my wife, JUST YOU WAIT. Prices of PVRs will crash as soon as the other DTH players bring their versions into the market. Even then , I am doubtful if my wife would let me have one coz this according to her is only a “Nice to Have” gadget but not a “Must Have” whatever the price point. Hopefully I can convince her at the Rs. 2000 mark