Direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV is offering a new accessory for its DishNXT HD set top box (STB) customers, which will add on the convenience of accessing over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services such as Hungama Play, Zee5 and Sony Liv along with the traditional television. The accessory in question is the DishSMRT Stick, and this plugs into DishNXT HD STB, you connect it to Wi-Fi and then you can access the video streaming apps too via the interface of your Dish TV connection. The DishSMRT Stick is priced at Rs 599 with a free preview of six months bundled with the price.
Dish TV confirms that Voot and AltBalaji apps will be added to the platform soon.
But what is the purpose of the DishSMRT Stick? The idea is to allow users to be able to access Live TV as well as streaming apps from within one interface, with one device and one remote, and no need to switch your TV to another source to access another device to access streaming apps. This becomes even more relevant if you do not have a smart TV to access these apps directly.
At the moment, the DishSMRT Stick works only with the DishNXT HD box. This was perhaps necessary since Dish TV does not have a ‘smart’ STB so to say—something on the lines of the Airtel Internet TV STB that is based on Google’s Android software and allows access to all video streaming platforms as well as Live TV, from within one interface.
The DishSMRT Stick connects with Wi-Fi directly, you do not have to struggle with a smartphone app to set it up or the inconvenience of having to connect the STB with the internet router via a LAN cable. However, you will have to sign in with your separate subscriptions for these apps—whether you are on the free tier or are paying for a premium subscription.
It is interesting to note that at the moment, Netflix, Amazon Video and Hotstar are missing from the DishSMRT Stick. Airtel perhaps has the advantage in that regard, since all possible video streaming apps you can remember, are available on it.
Your Dish TV Live TV subscription continues as is, depending on your choice of ala-carte channels, broadcaster bouquets and curated packs.
While the concept of cord cutting is quite a common occurrence in some countries around the world, it is slowly but surely catching on in India as well. With over-the-top (OTT) services gaining traction, the traditional linear television is under threat. And that is probably worrying DTH operators in India as well. Dish TV is trying to offer the best of both world on its platform, in an attempt to hold on to customers who may otherwise have switched to the streaming apps altogether—hopefully an Amazon Fire TV Stick like device will be the magic ingredient. ―News18