It is November 2020 and most of us have spent an entire year of being at home. In these 11 months, we gathered a plethora of new skills, including the ability to multitask most of our work and somehow find a balance between work and home. And in between all that work and household tasks we managed to binge watch TV – Be it Ramayana on DD or the season of Mirzapur on Amazon Prime Video.
Well till now to watch content on Satellite/Dish/Cable TV and on OTT platform we needed two separate devices like a Set-Top Box from a D2H company and an Android box from another. But with the launch of Binge+, Tata Sky has solved the fundamental problem of enjoying both OTT and Dish content on one platform seamlessly.
So, what is the Tata Sky Binge+ all about? Well let us find out:
In simpler words, it is the best of both worlds – a set-top-box and an android box offering both satellite TV channels and OTT content on 1 box. To access broadcast live tv it uses the dish on the roof installed by Tata Sky technicians when you buy the Tata Sky Binge+ box and to access all you need is internet connectivity. Both broadcast channels and OTT platforms need active Tata Sky Plan.
Since it is a hybrid box it doesn’t look like a set-top box or an Android box. It has a very unique design and I love how the Tata Sky logo lits up on the top when you switch it on. Just like its use case, the design is very unique, and it stands out.
On the back are all the ports and they are plenty of them to connect just about anything you would need – AV out, 2 USB ports, HDMI out and SPDIF. The HDMI port is HDMI 2.0 so it will work with 4K and HDR TVs and will also work with 1080p and HD ready TVs as well. Thanks to the AV out, you can connect it to older TVs as well.
In terms of Sound and Display it offers 4K video output and Dolby Audio sound if your TV supports it. I used it with my Samsung Frame 4K TV to enjoy both 4K HDR and Dolby Audio content.
Hardware & Software
In terms of hardware and software, the Binge+ box runs on Android TV Pie and comes with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. As for connectivity, it offers both 2.4 and 5Ghz Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 4.2. It also comes with Chromecast built-in for wirelessly casting your phone, tablet or laptop content on TV.
As they say, bad software can ruin great hardware. Well, the good news is that the Tata Sky Binge+ has an excellent UI. It is so simple and intuitive to use that even first time OTT users won’t face any problems finding content. I gave the remote to my dad who is a regular Tata Sky user and in less than 5 minutes he was well versed with the user interface.
In fact, the Live TV UI has also been refreshed for the regular Tata Sky users. It has been overhauled and the Guide section now looks and works even better. The main UI is divided into 4 sections – Home, Guide, Binge and Apps.
The Home section shows the best of all – Live TV, New Release on OTT apps and a lot of other subsections. Then the Guide section has all the channels and details about the programmes. The Binge Section is where you will find all the content to Binge from best comedy movies to the best regional content. Lastly, the Apps section has all the Apps that you have installed on the box.
Ok now to my least favourite part of the device – the remote. Don’t get me wrong, the remote is fine, has a good grip with voice command functionality, Google Assistant button etc. But the Channel Up and Down button has + and – labels on it and 9 out of 10 times I change the channels instead of increasing or decreasing the volume.
Well here’s the catch! When the Tata Sky Binge+ first launched it was for INR 5,999 and within a few months the prices have dropped to INR 2,999/- for new subscribers and INR 2,499/- for existing Tata Sky customers. In that price you also get six months of subscription for Hotstar Premium, Zee5 Premium, Voot Select, Voot Kids, Eros Now, Hungama Play, Sun Nxt, Shemaroo Me and three months of Amazon Prime Subscription.
But as it is a subscription-based platform you would need to pay for it monthly/quarterly/annually depending on the plan you take. It is not a one-time investment even if you decide to watch just OTT content and use it as a regular android box later on.
Tata Sky Binge+ The Unbiased Verdict
The Tata Sky Binge+ is definitely a multitasker and knows how to juggle between regular TV content and OTT apps but it does have a few shortcomings like No Netflix (a platform that most people want). And the remote flaw could be just me, but it really is confusing.
But that’s about it. Apart from that everything else is going its way and as the pricing has also been on a steady decline making it an even more lucrative option. So if you consume content regularly on both sides of the spectrum – OTT and Live TV then the Tata Sky Binge+ is must-have for you.
Disclaimer: We tested the Tata Sky Binge+ for a few months before writing this review. All our reviews are unbiased and are published without the brand getting to read it before you guys. We don’t change our reviews on pressure from brands and that’s the reason we are not sent review units from companies like Samsung, OnePlus and a few more.