Tuesday, July 06, 2010

First look at Airtel DTH HD (High Definition)

After a long battle I finally got my first look at ESPN HD on our newly installed Airtel DTH HD. We have a Samsung Series 5 40" LCD (LA40C550) which is a full HD capable one. I have already played HD content like Avatar trailer, "Waka Waka" and so on. Of course I was not expecting Avatar picture quality on ESPN HD. But it seemed more compressed than I expected. The obvious things you will notice once you switch to ESPN HD is the aspect ratio. If you have an HD TV and are stretching the Standard 4:3 feed into 16:9, you get used to the stretching. But once you watch full HD resolution (1920x1080) you realize all of a sudden that humans are not that fat.

To compare the two side by side I would need two setups, which I do not have. So I tried to concentrate on the match and not the channel logo on top, to see if I could see a lot of difference between the two feeds. To be honest the difference was there, but not on the face. Even though HD was still HD in resolution, the bitrate I am sure is much lower than any HD content on disc. So that brought in similar blotchy-ness in the content as SD format, but much, much less. Yes you could see the players with much more clarity, and the overflowing color patches that are common when you view the field from distance was not present as much. Overall its a good view. I could not test surround audio since we do not yet have a 5.1 setup on our main A/V receiver.

So final verdict? Well I will say, unless you are crazy about pixels, you can wait for the prices to go down, or maybe HD becoming the "standard" equipment in DTH.

1 comment:

Pranjal said...

Airtel Digital tv is engaging in massive fraud. I smsed BUY to 54325 to get details of the connection. One executive called and after discussion paid Rs 999 for the connection. She gave me a transaction ID and said customer ID will be smsed in a couple hours. I never received it nor any serial code or activation code. Connection has not been given and it is now close to 2 weeks. Their customer service is so bad...they say they will take complaint but put you on hold and cut the call. Complaints are closed without taking action. When I call they ask for customer ID and I tell them I never received it. After 15 such calls I have thoroughly given up. They have absolutely no record of me paying the money but my credit card has been charged for the amount and I have transaction ID that they gave. I submit my complaint at consumer court i.e. http://www.consumercourt.in/direct-home-dth/12306-worst-airtel-dth-services.html and then mails to digitaltv@airtel.in are never replied even I have contacted to the Nodal officer. This is a complete nightmare and I never expected this from Airtel. All in all they have cheated me of Rs 999 and they are not going to give connection. This is the most pathetic customer service experience I have had in my life. My sincere advise to anyone reading this, please please dont go for Airtel Digital tv.

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