As most of us love to spend our free time in front of our TV’s, we have now got bigger TVs than ever before, and great quality sound equipment installed in our living rooms. Be it normal daily soaps, sports, news etc. there are tons of things to watch on your TV now-a-days. Even smart TVs or consoles offer channels like YouTube, Viewster or Hulu on bigger screens.
And most useful of all there are Full HD channels, ( There are ultra-HD and 4Ks as well, but lets talk about them sometime later.) who are broadcasting 1080i content 24 hours a day to your HDTV.
The number of HD channels provided by service providers like Airtel, Tata sky, Dish TV, Big TV etc. has also seen a steady rise. You have a lot of options available which is a good thing on one hand, but it also gets you confused as to which operator or package you should go for.
There are about six major HDTV service providers in India, and the number of HD channels they provide vary from one another. Let’s discuss each of them in detail.
Comparison – India’s Best HD Channel Providers
The highest number of HD channel provider is DishTV which provides about 48 HD channels in all. You are not going to watch all of them indeed, but the more the better. At about 380 rs/- a month, you get a decent package of most of the channels you watch including Hindi, English, sports, music etc. channels which also has their respective HD channels in each segment. Due to sheer number of channels, DishTV certainly gives you a service which is value for your money.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: Many techies say that not all HD channels included in DishTV are true HD channels, but they are upscaled to higher resolutions. But fact is you get higher clarity than SD channels, and DishTV has lowest rates overall.[/alert]
Airtel digital TV provides a total of 30 HD channels in all segments. With packages starting at 440 rs/- a month which gives basic channels along with the maintenance, to up to 675 rs/- a month for the magnum pack which includes most of the channels with respective HD channels.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: Airtel is well known among geeks to provide technically the best quality of video, TV user interface and easy to use remote. But note that their packages are most expensive of all.[/alert]
Tata Sky HD
Tata, which is the most trusted brand in India, has its service available in this sector known as Tata Sky. They offer various packages to choose from, and well known for pushing no hidden charges. They offer 36 HD channels in all segments. Their annual packages are quite good. At 7500 rs per year i.e. 625 rs /- a month, you get all of the HD and normal SD channels including Hollywood and sports channels which are very important to me. So it’s quite a good deal.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: In terms of video quality Tata Sky is as good as Airtel HD, and they are well known for bringing short term exclusive HD channels. Short term meaning, sooner or later they come to other providers. e.g. Currently Tata Sky of offering Comedy Central HD in India, which is not available anywhere else. So if you want to be in exclusive HD channels club, and get the best quality, Tata Sky is an absolute no-brainer. [/alert]
Videocon Asli HD
Videocon is also trying to gain some ground in DTH service in India, so they’ve got Videocon d2h which offers about 37 HD channels. With recently added regional channels from south, they are offering most of well known HD channels in the country. They have the diverse selection of packages starting from as low as 253 rs/- per month to up to 605rs/- per month with variety of channel combinations. So depending on what channels you want to watch, you can select your package.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: There are some major channels missing from the platform, so make sure you check the list of offered channels before you buy. Otherwise, Videocon HD a.k.a. Asli HD is overall decent contender in the segment.[/alert]
Sun Direct TV
Sun direct TV provides lowest number of HD channels with only 12. At 410 rs/- a month for value pack and 500 rs a month for the mega pack, they charge quite a lot for the service they provide.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: One of the cheap but weak service provider when it comes to HD channels, so stay away from their packages even if you are from south. Most of these regional channels are now already available on Airtel, Tata Sky & Videocon in HD. [/alert]
Reliance Digital TV
Reliance Digital TV earlier called the Big TV also provides only 12 HD channels along with the other 183 channels. Costing you as low as 240 rs to as high as 550 rs /- a month, you can choose from the various combinations of channels available in different segment including the HD.
[alert type=”yellow”]Fact Check: Another weak HD channel provider in India. [/alert]
Out of all the six HD digital TV service providers of India, we have selected two winners based on budget and quality.
The Best HD Channels Provider in India: Tata Sky HD
( Based on technical quality, offered add-ons and pricing, Tata Sky beats Airtel HD.)
The Most Value for Money HD Channel Provider in India is – Dish TV
(Offers high number of channels, decent quality, and fits within a tight budget.)
Making Your Own Package?
As most of well-known Digital TV players now offer ‘Make your own plan’ kind of schemes, you can easily chose this option if you are looking for only 2-3 channels. As each of these HD channel cost on average Rs. 45, you’ll end up exceeding the offered prices on packages with more than 2-3 channels. Note that you also need a base SD channel pack that will cost you minimum Rs. 170 with any provider, and adding HD channel on top of that will get you to over Rs.450 easily. So think smart, and choose only the offered packages.
Providers like Airtel and Tata has, packages for different genre like HD Entertainment, HD Infotainment, HD Movies, HD Hindi. You can go after these, if you are only interested in single genre.
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on selecting best HD channels provider for your TV. Please make sure reach out to us if any doubts or suggestions, in following comments section. For more such editorials, news, smartphone and game reviews join us on Facebook – facebook.com/DigitalConqueror
Very useful article for those who don’t want to get into too much detail…thanks!
I have gone in for Airtel digital TV based on your comment that it provides best video quality content so was surprised to read later that Tata sky beats Airtel hd. Do you think going in for Airtel over Tata sky was the right decision? Thanks
I appreciate that you have followed my advice. We did publish this back in 2015, where HD channels were very limited and players were still building the necessary infrastructure for delivering HD content. As of now If I compare, they are both delivering equivalent quality and results, so it would be hard to differentiate to be very frank.
I am still using the same, and in fact, I am slowly moving to a completely DTH free ecosystem, with technologies like Amazon Firestick and subscriptions of OTT players like Zee5, Netflix, Prime, etc.
I have kept the same Airtel DTH for my parents at the hometown though, nd the HD quality is still great, and I have no complaints from Airtel at all.