It’s 2019 and a lot has changed over the past 5 years. High-speed mobile data and broadband is available for dirt cheap. In fact, we have the cheapest internet plans in the world. This is one reason why we have seen an explosive growth of OTT streaming platforms. Now, DTH operator Tata Sky has come up with Tata Sky Binge service that offers the best of live TV streaming and OTT platforms in one package. I’ve been using it for over two weeks now and here is my Tata Sky Binge review.
What is Tata Sky Binge all about?
To put in simple words, Tata Sky Binge is an add-on service that complements your DTH connection. When you subscribe for Tata Sky Binge, you get Amazon Fire TV Stick for free. It usually costs Rs 3,999 on Amazon India. The Binge service bundles complimentary Amazon Prime Video subscription for 3 months, after which you can pay Rs 999 a year or Rs 129 a month. This payment has to be made directly to Amazon India.
As a part of the package, Tata Sky is offering complimentary access to Hotstar, Eros Now, Sun NXT and Hungama Play. You need to pay Rs 249 every month for Binge service, in addition to the usual DTH recharge that you make. So, if you are currently making a recharge of Rs 500 a month, you will have to pay Rs 749 (Rs 500 for DTH + Rs 249 for Binge).
If you calculate, Hotstar Premium subscription is available for Rs 299 a month, or Rs 999 a year. The Hungama Play subscription is usually available for Rs 149 a month, and Rs 1,399 a year. Similarly, Eros Now subscription is available for Rs 99 a month or Rs 950 per year. A total of these three yearly subscriptions come to Rs 3,348. But with the Binge service, you end up paying a total of Rs 249 x 12 = Rs 2,988. You end up saving a marginal Rs 360 a year with Tata Sky Binge.
Of course, the Fire TV Stick platform also lets you download ALT Balaji, ZEE5 and Netflix app and enjoy that content too. And you will have to pay extra for those platforms.
Tata Sky Binge app
The best part of the service is that you get Tata Sky Binge app, which you don’t otherwise get on the Amazon Fire TV stick. This app is your gateway to watch live TV channels that are a part of your Tata Sky DTH plan. You also get catch-up TV service where you can watch your favorite shows that you missed. The catch-up TV service supports episodes for up to past seven days. You can even pause these episodes and then start again, which is not something you can do with live TV.
Why I found Tata Sky Binge helpful
I found this app very handy, especially during the current rainy season. If you own a DTH connection at your place, you would know that when it rains, the transmission is lost. But with Tata Sky Binge app, you can watch your favorite channels and shows uninterrupted. Of course, you will need a working internet connection with at least 4Mbps connection to be able to stream the content.
Secondly, with the whole TRAI framework for DTH and cable operators, multi-TV connection has become expensive. Earlier, if you have two TVs at your place (one in hall and one in bedroom), you had to pay for one dish and two set-top-boxes. The channels on your primary connection were available on the secondary connection too, by paying a nominal cost.
However, today, if you have a multi-TV connection, you pay double the amount. Say you have selected 250 channels on the primary connection and pay Rs 550 a month, you will have to pay another Rs 550 (total Rs 1,110). This is if you want the same channels on the secondary connection. Else, you will have to be selective on channels for the secondary connection. But with Tata Sky Binge, you will pay Rs 550 (DTH) + Rs 249 (Binge) = Rs 799. All you need to do is have the DTH on one TV and Tata Sky Binge on the other TV.
Tata Sky Binge content and app UI
Let me first talk about the UI. The interface is the same as you get with a regular Amazon Fire TV Stick. The Tata Sky Binge app and other customizations are a part of it. Even with an internet speed of over 20Mbps, I would have expected the UI to be smooth, but it is sluggish. Finding content, especially movies and TV shows on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video was a bit of challenge. But with regular usage you’ll get used to it.
Talking about content, you also have apps like VIU, Spuul, MX Player TV, Voot, TVF, Raaga and Gaana among others. Sure, there is no death for content. Whether you want to binge-watch movies or TV series or stream music. Google has also made the YouTube app available for the Fire TV Stick which means you can watch all videos from the platform too.
It is important to note that sports channels aren’t a part of the Binge app. But thankfully, the subscription includes Hotstar subscription and sports enthusiasts will find this worthy. The Fire TV Stick also has JioTV app. If you are a Reliance Jio user, you can enter your credentials and watch live TV channels on that app too.
Verdict: Should you get Tata Sky Binge
All, said and done, the Tata Sky Binge edition Fire TV Stick is available for free only for Tata Sky users. You can give a missed call on “8460984609” or call up the customer care on “1800-208-6633” to get one for free. But does it make sense to get the service?
Well, it is simple. If you don’t have a Fire TV Stick and looking to get one, being a Tata Sky subscriber you’ll get it free. The Rs 249 extra every month doesn’t let you save a lot compared to individual subscription. But the benefit is you get the best of Live TV and OTT streaming services in one package.
With my DTH connection, my folks are always watching regional content, and I always end up streaming football matches or TV shows on my laptop. If you are in a situation like me, and have a spare TV (or have complete control over your TV), getting Tata Sky Binge won’t be a bad idea. But for others, there doesn’t really seem any real value. You are better off getting a Fire TV Stick from Amazon India and enjoy the same content.