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Reliance BIG TV is a DTH satellite television provider in Indiamarker, using MPEG-4 digital compression technology, transmitting using MEASAT-3 91.5°East. It is the 5th DTH service launched in India.


DTH service was launched back in 2004 by launch of Dish TV by Essel Group's Zee Entertainment Enterprises. Later on public broadcaster Doordarshan launched its free to air DTH named DD Direct+ . In 2006 Tata teleservices in collaboration with British Sky Broadcasting, a subsidiary of News Corporation started a service named Tata Sky. In 2007 the war of DTH heated up when 2 telecom giants Airtel and Reliance Communications along with a strong south Indian media group Sun TV and Electronics company Videocon declared to launch their DTH services.

The south Indian DTH service mostly providing South Indian Channels SUN DIRECT was launched in mid 2008 which provides service in South Indian States and Reliance ADAG launched their DTH service on 19 August 2008. Later on Airtel launched its services as Airtel Digital Tv on 9 October 2008. As of July 2009 Videocon D2H+ has soft launched in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh.

About BIG TV

Reliance BIG TV limited is a part of Reliance Communications Ltd., a susidiary of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group founded by the Late Dhirubhai Ambani, the Indian business tycoon and owned by his son Anil Ambani. BIG TV started operations from 19 August 2008 with the slogan "TV ho Toh BIG Ho" ("If you have a TV, make it BIG"). It currently offers close to 200 channels and many interactive ones, 32 cinema halls (i.e Pay Per View Cinema Channels) as well as many Radio channels. The company plans to increase the number of channels in the near future to 400 and begin High Definition broadcast. It is the first Pan-India DTH provider that uses MPEG-4 for broadcasting. There are also plans to introduce services like i-Stock, i-News and other such interactive services in the future..

Reliance BIG TV was launched on August 19th, 2008 with the sole aim of providing the consumer with quality and enriched home entertainment service at value-driven pricing.

The available opportunity today is huge considering the fact that India has an existing population of 225 million TV households out of which 130 million are C&S households and 16.5 Million are DTH households. When Reliance BIG TV was launched, the overall DTH penetration was just about 4 million households.

The pre-launch surveys showed that the biggest stumbling block in the growth of DTH was the accessibility to the product coupled with the fact that the existing players were charging anywhere between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 per connection. Even at that price the quality of product being given to subscribers was not up to the mark.

This understanding gave them the roadmap to launch Reliance BIG TV. They deployed superior technology to deliver a good quality product, established a vast network to be able to reach out to consumers and finally a good pricing-packaging strategy to attract the subscriber.

Reliance BIG TV’s launch in August was probably the biggest roll-out in home entertainment ever. They deployed the most advanced MPEG4 technology that enabled them to deliver best quality digital audio-video to the consumer. That apart, it also got prepared for the future when Hi-Definition TV will be launched in India because only MPEG4 technology can support HD TV and not MPEG2 which is used by the earlier entrants in the DTH industry.

The MPEG4 technology also gave them advantage of broadcasting at least 50% more channels compared to the competitors. The superior compression technology of MPEG4 helps them to broadcast upto 35 to 40 channels per transponder and with 12 transponders in hand gave them the unique edge of being able to broadcast over 400 channels. They are currently utilizing only 8 of their transponders to broadcast over 200 channels.

Reliance BIG TV’s retailer network is spread across 100,000 outlets in 6,500 towns in India. This was literally unheard of in the DTH industry. They had effectively out-stripped the competition here. When it came to pricing – packaging, their introductory offer stood at Rs. 1,490/- with 3 to 6 months of free subscription. They also introduced 32 Pay-Per-View Movie Channels, the highest by any DTH player. Not just that, while other players made subscribers pay for each movie, Reliance BIG TV introduced the unique concept of Subscriber-Video-On-Demand (SVOD) under which the subscriber paid a monthly subscription of Rs. 50/- to get a 24 x 7 access to the 21 PPV channels showing Hindi and Regional Films. We were also the first to introduce dedicated PPV channels for Marathi, Gujarati and Bhojpuri films.

Picture quality

Although it works on DVB-S and not DVB-S2 technology like Airtel DTH and D2H, it is claimed to have the best picture quality amongst all DTH providers in India.


Further reading

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