The pandemic has given led to an increase in our consumption of online content, but not everyone wants to stream videos on their mobile. There are many who would like to stream videos on a big TV screen with family as it offers a much more immersive and enjoyable experience.
But in order to watch Over the Top (OTT) content on TV, you need to have a Smart TV, which can be expensive, and one needs to pay for the subscriptions. One solution to this could be buying a hybrid set-top box, which will make your old TV a Smart TV. With the smart set-top box, you will be able to enjoy both live TV and OTT apps. We tried Tata Sky Binge+ and here’s our review.
Tata Sky Binge+ price
The Tata Sky Binge+ set-top box will cost Rs 2,499 if you are upgrading from the standard version. New customers will be required to pay Rs 2,999 for the box. With this, the company also offers six months of free subscription to ten OTT apps. These include Disney+Hotstar Premium, Sony Liv, Zee5, Voot Select, Voot Kids, Eros Now, Sun NXT, Hungama Play, Curiosity Stream and ShemarooMe. Additionally, customers also get three months of free Amazon Prime membership.
Once the free subscription period ends, you just need to pay Rs 299 per month for all mentioned OTT apps. It is not mandatory to spend Rs 299 for the OTT apps.
If you have a separate subscription of Amazon Prime, Disney+Hotstar Premium or any other video streaming services, then the apps will still be accessible on TV.
You will be required to pay an additional Rs 129 per month for Amazon Prime, once the free period is over. It is not mandatory if you don’t want to pay, as per Tata Sky. This is the original monthly price of Prime Video.
For basic TV channels, you will have to spend Rs 153 per month. This means that customers will need to pay around Rs 581 if they want all the mentioned OTT apps, access to basic TV channels, and Amazon Prime membership.
If you don’t want to pay for some of the popular subscriptions, then you should consider buying those prepaid or postpaid mobile recharge plans that offer Prime, Disney+Hotstar, Zee5 and Netflix for free. This way, you will only have to pay Rs 153 per month for regular TV channels.
Tata Sky Binge+ UI, mobile app, remote
The user interace of Tata Sky Binge+ is quite user-friendly and simple. It took me less than 30 minutes to properly understand the interface, and once you explore it, you are good to go. But it was sluggish at times.
Users need will need a stable and fast internet connection for the best experience.
The mobile app of Tata Sky Binge offers support for catch-up TV service, which is really nice. This basically means that you will be able to watch full week’s episodes if you missed watching your shows. The company’s app also offers a lot of movies, shows, live TV channels and other content.
The device comes with built-in Chromecast functionality for screencasting from compatible devices.
There is no dedicated Prime hot-key on Tata Sky remote, unlike Airtel Xstream. But, this not such a big issue as you can control the TV with your mobile phone, which might be more convenient for some. While the young generation can easily use Google Assistant to control the TV, those who are not fond of the tech will struggle to search for content using the remote. The best way is to use a mobile phone, where you can easily type, search and watch content by casting it on TV.
Tata Sky doesn’t offer support for Netflix app. But, we found a way to watch Netflix. One just need to download Rave – Watch Party app from Play Store. This a popular app for watching YouTube videos or Netflix with friends online. After downloading the app, you just need to create an account if you don’t already have a Rave account.
Then, just go to Netflix and log in. If you want to watch Netflix alone, then change the privacy setting from public to private and watch any video in full screen. All of this will take only five minutes. We do hope Tata Sky will soon add support for Netflix too as it is one of the most popular video streaming apps.
If you have the basic mobile plan of Netflix, then you won’t be able to watch Netflix on TV. You should have Rs 499 or higher plan to watch the content on different devices.
Is Tata Sky Binge+ better than Airtel Xstream Box?
With this service, you not only get access to all the regular TV channels, but also OTT apps. This is much better than having a Fire TV stick. You get free one-month basic channels package, free installation, six months of free subscription to some of the popular OTT apps and three-months of free Prime Video membership.
You don’t get these benefits with Airtel Xstream Box. This service is currently only offering 1-month free access to Airtel Xstream Premium. For 12 months of this subscription, you will be required to pay additional Rs 499. If customers want Disney+Hotstar VIP, Zee5 and Xstream Premium for one year, then the additional amount for these is Rs 1,699.
Don’t forget that you will also have to spend on basic channels. The set top box of Airtel will cost you Rs 2,499. Though, some Airtel Xstream Fiber customers might be able to get the box at a discounted price of Rs 1,500. Still, Tata Sky Binge+ seems like a better option for many users.
What you should you know before buying Tata Sky Binge+?
If you don’t have a decent Wi-Fi connection, you won’t be able to stream videos as the loading time will be slow and you might end up turning off the TV. This will be the case with every smart set top box if you don’t have a stable Wi-Fi connection.
If you have a non-Smart TV and using Tata Sky Binge+ service without recharging, then you won’t be able to use the OTT apps as the video streaming apps are accessible via the service, and not by Smart TV.
You will be required to do basic monthly Tata Sky recharge to keep the service active. You cannot just use OTT apps without keeping the service active. If you have a Smart TV, then there is no need to buy the smart set top box and you can just buy the regular set top box of Tata Sky.
With a Smart TV, if you don’t have a Tata Sky connection, you can use OTT apps. Do note that you should have subscriptions, then only you will be able to stream content. You can anytime pay for channels and watch live TV channels, instead of paying for a year. All this depends on how you prefer to watch content on TV.