Archive for August, 2007

Asianet DTV Service

August 26, 2007

Heres a typical consumerist type entry.

I switched one of my TV’s to the digital service from Asianet. They hooked me up with a Scientific Atlanta (now Cisco) Z60 DVB digital set top box. There’s nothing special on the inside, except that it differs from its elder sibling , the Z70, since the ethernet port / chips are not soldered on. It does have a SIM card slot though.

What they say:

* DVD Quality picture and sound
* Over 115 digital channels
* Electronic program guide
* Program reminder

What i say:

* The picture and sound is a definite improvement over the regular cable. Some programmes on Star World seem to have a single channel of sound. Definitely a mood killer!
* They do have 115 Channels! I counted. Of which, 1 is a demo channel with information about the channels, a sample channel with 4 streams playing ( 4 malayalam video streams , but no audio), and 5 placeholder channels for Video on Demand.
* EPG . Technically true. doesnt meet up to their claim of a 7 day schedule. Its more like a 3 day schedule, and you cannot go back to see what programs you missed. (big mistake!) Also, im not really intersted in knowing that some channels are showing “No data available”. The schedule could use a good dose of upper/lower case education for easy readability.
* Program reminder .. Notice i use programme/program interchangeably. It does remind me, but there a too many options to set a reminder. Kind of a pain.

Now for the other features… Asianet says, 1 year warranty, and lifetime free service on the STB. Also , they should allow exchange upgrades when newer devices come out ( DVR!! 😀 ). I will believe it when i see it. They provide a composite a/v cable to connect the STB to your TV, and plugin the RF coax cable to the STB. They do not connect the STB to the TV using coax. A recipe for disaster.

Yesterday, my service cut out on me. The end of the world you say? Well, it turned out that the digital service cut out, but the analog service worked fine. But, for me to access it, i needed to unplug the Cable from the STB, and plug it into the TV. (Cheapskates). 12 hours later, the service seems to be back up.

After repeated calls, that is.

So heres the info you were looking for:

To get it: SMS STB to 62635. You should get a confirmation message, and they will call you up.
They will offer you two STB models. The vanilla STB, or the EPG enabled Z60 STB. Its a Rs. 300/- in your one time payment. You pay a years subscription upfront to cover the cost of the device.

In case of a problem , call 3016666 . ( Trivandrum users anyway… ) . If the line is still in service ( like today , when the service provider informed me that the line is out of service, after i tried a few times. ) they should pickup and redirect you to your local area office. So far so good.

On popping open the box, theres nothing really fancy that caught my eye. But of course, the flash / ram chips , the tuner and a STM chip called OMEGA. More research into that when i get my camera back. Yes. i have outsourced my camera.

If you are stuck with asianet cable/internet, then DTV is worth a try. Otherwise do check out TataSKY and/or DishTV ? Anyone willing to sponsor one 🙂 ?