Up until recently I was using the set top box of Hathway for my cable TV services (in Hyderabad). I was extremely happy with the service for almost all part of the 9 months that I’ve use Hathway’s STB. You get the digital quality (looks like) picture clarity with the same monthly cable services bill that your cable boy collects (See DD Direct DTH). You only had to pay an upfront charge of Rs.1000 (I got it at this price 9 month back, but now it seems its shot up to Rs.1500. The official price given on Hathway’s website is Rs.3000, so which is the correct price is any one’s guess).
Similar to any DTH, you will have the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that gives you the schedule of shows of all channels for the next 24 hours. You can set a reminder with in the EPG so that you don’t miss out on your favorite program.
Hathway’s STB or a DTH?
The big difference between Hathways’ STB and other DTH service is that, In order to get any additional channel you will have to purchase a new package in case of DTH services which isn’t the case in Hathways STB. You’ll almost
have all the channels from 0 to 900 (with quite a few blank channels in between obviously) (this is no longer true, see update below) and a few radio channels of all major Indian languages. If any new channel is introduced any provider, it gets included in the list pretty soon. You get all this for the normal cable TV bill each month (around Rs.150 – 250 in most cities in India? It’s Rs.200 for me here in Hyderabad). Compare this to the hefty prices and limited number of channels that you get in the DTH services, there is no comparison actually.
But the problem is, it’s extremely hard to find a service person in case your STB turns faulty, which happened in my case just a few days ago. My cable guy says that it can’t be repaired and when I ask for it to be replaced, he says it’s difficult to find a STB too (means, there is a scarcity). With F1 and IPL starting in a weeks time I can’t wait to get the STB replaced with a new one (even if it costs a lot more). I said the same to the cable guy and he promised to get a new one soon. Ohh and no, I have no thoughts of choosing any DTH service for quite a few reasons.
Update: Now even with Cable guy’s Set Top Box, you need to chose your channels via a ‘Subscriber application form’. You will only get these channels and you will only pay for these channels.