Airtel Digital TV HD Recorder Review
- Very wide channel bouquet
- All sports and Hindi GEC HD channels on the platform
- DVR built well, and looks classy
- Slick interface
- Recording works seamlessly, including series link
- Pause and resume Live TV
- Top end package is slightly on the pricier side
- 320GB hard drive will get filled up quickly
- DVR gets quite warm when in use
Safe to say, we were very impressed by the overall package that Airtel's Digital TV HD Recorder offers. The real outcome of this experience - once you have used a DVR, there is no going back to a standard set-top box. Recording features work well, and are simple to get the hang of. The real kicker is the fact that you can pause Live TV, and resume without missing any action. And with Airtel's line-up of 14 real HD channels and about 265 channels in total, the idiot box shouldn't become boring.
Gone are the days when a TV programme would wait for no one. If you get up to answer the doorbell, you would probably miss a about half an over in a cricket match, or a game changing goal, if you are a football fan. And gone also are the days when you had to tailor your schedule according to the TV schedule. With the DVRs gaining popularity, mostly because they are more affordable now, using a standard STB isn't possible once you have experienced this.
Installation and activation
Just like any DTH installation, the dish antenna is installed outdoors - balcony, terrace etc. The dish needs a direct line of sight with the sky, and cannot be installed even remotely indoors. Just like DishTV's service that we reviewed recently, Airtel also used a dual LNB, since they are getting channels from two separate satellites - Insat 4CR and SES 7. As with a full-fledged DVR, there are two cables running from the dish/LNB to the set top box. The DVR connects to the TV via composite, component and HDMI. We used the HDMI cable that came as a part of the package, and then a Panasonic cable that we use for the PS3, just to see if there is any difference in quality. Proves the point that an expensive HDMI cable makes no quality difference, something that we have reiterated all along. The DVR also has optical audio out, to connect directly to an AV Receiver.
The installation took about 30 minutes, which included setting up the antenna (which is multiple components joined into one unit that you see finally), wiring to the box and activation of the service. In DishTV’s case, the DVR features (pause, record etc.) were activated a couple of hours after the channels started working. With Airtel, everything started working immediately post activation.