The push for Make in India has seen significant traction over the past few weeks, and leading Direct to Home (DTH) company Tata Sky has now joined in. Tata Sky has confirmed that they are shifting a significant volume of the new set top box (STB) production to India. The DTH player confirms that its partner Technicolor will develop STBs specifically for the Indian market and these will be manufactured as well as sold within India. This is expected to streamline the process of developing, manufacturing and distributing STBs within India. Tata Sky is a leading DTH player in India, and competes with rivals including Airtel’s Digital TV, Dishtv and d2h.
At this time, Tata Sky offers five different STB options in India. The entry-spec HD STB is priced at Rs 1,499 and it offers up to 1080i resolution and Dolby Digital surround sound. There is also a standard definition (SD) STB that costs the same. If you are someone who likes to pause or record Live TV channels, there is the Tata Sky+ HD STB that is priced at Rs 4,999 and includes a 500GB hard drive for recording Live TV shows and movies. The newest addition to the line-up is Tata Sky Binge+ which is a smart STB that runs Google’s Android TV and along with Live TV, also gives users access to the popular video streaming apps including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, Eros Now and more. This costs Rs 3,999. Last but not least is the Tata Sky Ultra HD 4K set top box. It is priced at Rs 6,400.
At this time, it is not clear if the shifting of the development and manufacturing of these STBs to India will have any impact on the prices. However, one could expect some of the benefits to be passed on to customers, as these STBs will not have any import duty levied on them, which in turns reduces the cost for DTH companies, in this case Tata Sky, to procure them.
“As the world adjusts to the rapid changes emerging due to the recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tata Sky and Technicolor Connected Home are realigning production of a group of set-top boxes (STBs) to India by early 2021,” says Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO of Tata Sky. “Working with Tata Sky to move set-top box production to India will better serve this important market. It is yet another example of Technicolor’s best-in-class supply chain, which remains flexible and adaptable. This is especially valuable in volatile situations, such as those created by COVID-19. Our supply chain capabilities have proven to be a strategic asset as we offer multiple options to our customers. We remain committed to minimizing risk and total cost of ownership for services providers around the world,” says Luis Martinez-Amago, President of Technicolor Connected Home.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data ending June, the DTH user base in the country is now 69.98 million users. Tata Sky leads with 31.80% market share, followed by Dishtv with 30.55% share.