As with other DTH operators, Tata Sky also offers different types of set top boxes (STBs) with varying features, specifications, and prices. Here, we'll try to differentiate among three STBs: Tata Sky SD, Tata Sky HD, Tata Sky+ Transfer HD. Though most people nowadays prefer HD STBs, there is a large number of people who are still comfortable with the standard definition STBs for various reasons (mainly price). Whereas Tata Sky HD and Tata Sky+ Transfer HD broadcast in 1080i resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio (default), Tata Sky SD is in DVD quality (480p). Also, the latter provides only CD quality sound while the other two STBs have Dolby Digital Surround.
No matter which DTH operator you'll choose, the SD version cannot have the same features as its HD counterparts because of the obvious technical reasons; however, they for sure provide value for money. Both, Tata Sky HD and Tata Sky+ Transfer HD are 3D ready (can deliver 3D content to your 3D TV when it's available from broadcasters) and provide special services such as video on demand and karaoke. However Tata Sky+ Transfer HD provides a number of other features that are not available with the other two STBs like 500 GB hard disk for HD recording, rewind/forward/live pause, series recording (from mobile), and transfer or streaming of recorded content onto other devices.
When it comes to price of these set top boxes, Tata Sky SD is for Rs. 1600, Tata Sky HD is for Rs. 1800, and Tata Sky+ Transfer HD comes at a staggering price of Rs. 9300. Since the price difference between Tata Sky SD and Tata Sky HD is quite small, it's better to go with the HD STB. Though the features in Tata Sky+ Transfer HD are quite good, its steep price does act as a hindrance for most people.
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