02 March 2022 737 Views

Best DTH plans for you – A-la-carte

by James Murphy

Television has been one of the most favored medium of mass media entertainment. Before television, people relied on radio to get their daily quota of news, songs, and other entertainment programmes like lively discussion, story time, book recitals, etc. The launch of television gave a face to radio. Today, almost every house worldwide has a television set. Earlier, people accessed their favourite TV shows with cable connections. 

The journey from Cable Television to DTH

Cable Television is basically a system which employs radio signals to deliver television programmes via fiber-optic cables. It is quite different from DTH (Direct-to-Home). DTH uses communication satellites placed in special orbits to deliver television signals. The DTH set top box decodes and displays the shows on the television. 

In 2012, the Government of India took a remarkable step towards digitizing television transmission. Under this, over 90 million homes which used analog cable network were asked to start using digital set-top boxes. The switch was made mandatory by the government. Since this particular move, DTH has become an indispensable part of the entertainment industry. Major operators like Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Tv, and others are working to stay ahead in the market by offering economical DTH packages for its customer base.  

There are multiple DTH packages offered by the network operators. As a user, you need to conduct your individual research and a comparison of each plan offered in the market. Post comparing DTH packages offered by multiple operators, you also need to choose between an already defined package, a customized one, or an all-new option of A-la-carte. 

The 2018 TRAI regulation for A-la-Carte plans

After working on the digitization of the cable sector, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) came out with a new set of regulation in December 2018. Here are some key pointers to explain the same.


The broadcasters must practice a transparent display of the individual tariff for each channel and packages offered by them. 

No more paying for additional channels

Earlier, both the broadcasters and the distributors designed their DTH packages in such a way that one had to take a complete set of channels just to opt for a single preferred channel. The additional channels even if not watched by the users reflected in the total bill. With the new regulation, users can choose a single channel out of a set and leave the additional ones to reduce their monthly tariff. 

The new a-la-carte option

After implementation of TRAI guidelines, from February 2019, users were allowed to handpick and choose the channels from an a-la-carte list, i.e., choosing individual items from separate lists.

Prescribed Price cap/ceiling

Thanks to new regulation, the ceiling price of choosing 100 SD (Standard Definition) channels is capped at Rs. 130 per month. HD (High Definition) channels are identified as 2 SD channels to calculate the fee subscribers have to pay to the distributors (excluding the taxes). If someone is choosing more than 100 channels, they have to only pay Rs. 20 per slab (A slab equals to 25 channels). 

A user can save over 15% using the a-la-carte option carefully and wisely. 

Now that you have understood how beneficial a-la-carte can be for you, let’s look at some of the best DTH plans available.

Best DTH plans

Airtel A-la-carte plan (Source: https://www.airtel.in/alacarte)

There are more than 300 paid channels to choose from with Airtel’s DTH packages. The minimum price of a channel including taxes is around Rs.1. It goes up to Rs.65. The list includes both SD and HD channels. The minimum recharge is of Rs. 150 only.

The price of each channel is subject to changes. Please confirm with the distributor directly to find out the latest price and plans. 

Tata Play (Tata Sky)

Tata Play offers users channels from several groups like Hindi movies, sports, regional language channels Asianet, Colors Kannada, and many more. Their Hindi news option alone has over 66 channels to choose from. 

Dish TV

The monthly minimum recharge for Dish TV is at par with its competitors. The distributor offers wide variety of channels available as bouquets and individual channels. Head over to the website to know more.

Thanks to TRAI, now consumers have the choice to decide for themselves and make a suitable choice just for themselves! Not only does it cut the cost, but it also saves the users from wasting time and effort while choosing amongst the various DTH packages. Economical and easy television for you with a-la-carte option!



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