Sun DTH Review
Sun DIRECT is the latest entrant in the DTH Service in India. It belongs to the SUN TV group of Mr. Kalanithi maran, son of former Minister Murasoli Maran. SUN DIRECT claims to have 3.5 million DTH subscribers in India, a massive number. Here is my review on SUN DTH. This review is based on my real experience of purchase of SUN DTH.
I purchased SUN DIRECT DTH from a Coimbatore based Dealer. I could not make a choice because so many providers are out there. We already have a TATA sky DTH connection in our house. TATA Sky was good in Terms of singal reception / quality, customer service etc., But it is not good for those prefer regional channels especially the south indians seeking Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam or kannada language options. Because these language generes are dominated by the SUN TV Group, their offering is best for this segment. I had Airtel Digital TV in my mind when entering the shop. But except Aitel they got all others Sun Direct, Reliance BIG, TATA Sky and DISH TV. The shop owner suggested SUN DTH and friend also suggested the same.
So I decided to buy SUN DTH and paid RS. 1700/- ( Inclusive of SUN DTH STB, Dish, 15 meter cable, 6 months subscription of freedom pack in Tamil, installation and activation). Earlier the i was told that Rs. 200 extra will be charged for installation by a technician. Sun DIRECT is weak in this area of service. The DISH installation is not properly managed, but all other DTHs TATA, Reliance and Airtel offer professional installation by company trained personnel. This draw back was offset by SUNs other advantages like MPEG 4 compression technology, more number of channels etc.
They asked for a photo ID proof and i gave my Driving license. They quickly filled the application and gave the stb, dish and other things. I was told that the technicial would come on early morning of 14th. All these things happened on Monday, 12th october 2009, a heavily raining night with eventful journeys with venkat.
On 14th i phoned the technician and he told some reasons to come on the next day 15th. On 15th he came up with some other reasons / excuses. I was really raged now. Actually my town was some 30 kms from coimbatore. That may a reason. I contacted a local TV service center and they suggested a guy to install my DTH. I phoned him and he accpted to come to my house. Due to some other dealy he could not make it on 15th, instead he arrived on Friday, 16th.
Meanwhile i checked by accont status with sundirect website. The website sundirect selfcare have customer login feature offering all subscrption details, Balance, Top-up, Add-on, Validity etc. You have to provide the smart card number as your login name in the website. The default password is 'password'. You can change it later.
I logged in and found that my application was approved and activated on 13th october, really quick. All i needed is fixing DISH and connect the cables.
The technician fixed the Dish on the wall and oriented properly and checked the signal using his signal meter. All were fine. We connected the cable with STB and TV. Initially we got 'signal scrambled' message. He told the it would get ready in half an hour after initial setup. After some time we got the channels. Usually we tune in VHF (Very High Frequency) in our TV. But this did not work with SUN DTH. So I tried with UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and this worked!. The picture clarity was superb. Hats off to SUN DIRECT!. It beat TATA Sky in this area. Digital MPEG-4 works great. DTH remote control offers fairly good control over the STB. It offers channels menu, TV/Radio selection, channel organizing feature and more. I have not yet fully explored all the features. I am writing this review just an hour after the installation.
Customer service is really poor in sun DTH. I contact them using their customer care / contact us pages in their website, but didn't get a reply after two days. Its really a weakness as the first impression is poor. I will write a review after a week or two so i can ascertain whether my choice is good or bad. Its really tough time cable operators. They charge in the range of 130-200 for a number of Tamil and English channels. The arrival of DTH service tells the end of cable dominations. The subscribers are now free to choose the channels they view and the amount / price paid for that. At Rs. 100/- a month you get basic regional pack. At Rs. 300 a month you get almost all channels in all genres. Still a heavy amount comparing cable TV. With so much competition this amount will decrease in the future.
This year marked the emergence of DTH service in India. Now rural India enjoys TV telecast. Even the remotest corners of villages can view TV Channels. This is made possbile by the INSAT satellite. Thanks to ISRO. SUN DIRECT comes to you via INSAT4 satellite.
Some words about the sundirect webiste
The webiste offer reasonably good, reliable and updated information. You can get information of various packages avaialable channels in each pacakge, Add-ons, price / rate for each package an FAQ, Contact form, latest offers and much more.
Ok. I will come back with a second review later this week. Till then bye.