Tata Sky had launched an Android version of its set-top box called Tata Sky Binge and Binge+ in 2020. Airtel had introduced a similar product called Xstream in the same year. Is Xstream better than Binge or vice versa? What features do these two services offer? We’ve answered these two and many other questions in the following paragraphs:
Tata Sky Binge
Binge is a service that gives users access to premium content on multiple OTT applications at 1 price. Binge supports 11 OTT platforms. For a single monthly payment, you can watch content on 11 OTT apps instead of paying a subscription fee for 11 apps every month.
Tata Sky Binge is available in two forms – set-top box and mobile app. The mobile app doesn’t require you to purchase a set-top box. To use it, all you have to do is download and run the Binge app and subscribe to one of these two plans:
This plan is priced at Rs 149 per month. It gives users access to 7 OTT applications – Sony Liv, ZEE5, Voot Select, Eros Now, Voot Kids, Hungama Play, and Shemaroo. You can stream OTT content on a mobile device or PC browser.
Priced at 299 Rs/month, the Premium plan of Tata Sky Binge allows you to watch content on CuriosityStream, Disney Hotstar content in addition to the content on OTT applications offered with the Standard Binge plan. If you’ve got a smart TV that allows you to install the Binge Android app, you can install the 9 supported apps on the television and use them.
Fire TV Stick and Set Top box plans
Binge on TV offers two plans – Amazon Fire TV Stick Tata Sky Edition and Tata Sky Binge. The FireStick is available exclusively to the customers of Tata Sky at no additional cost and with a monthly subscription. The Tata Sky Binge+ set-top box will turn your ordinary TV into to smart TV. It lets you watch live television in full HD resolution. It supports Google Assistant, voice search and comes installed with the Google Play Store application. You can watch shows/movies of the last 7 days aired on Tata Sky with Binge+. The set-top box supports Chromecast. It costs 2499 Rs and gives you free access to the OTT content of the following applications:
- Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5, Eros Now.
- Hungama Play, Curiosity Stream, Sun NXT, Voot Kids/Select.
The Android set-top box by Tata Sky comes with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage.
Airtel has launched 4 variants of Xstream – Box, Fiber, Stick, and App. The Xstream app is available for download to Airtel SIM users. It offers a premium plan that allows users to watch content marked as Premium on the free version of XStream. Like Tata Sky Binge, Xstream also gives users access to content on third-party OTT services such as Epicon, Shorts TV, Eros Now, MUBI, and Divo but unlike Binge where only a single subscription is required, you’ll have to subscribe to a service of your choice in Xstream by paying money. For example, if you want to unlock the content of MUBI and Eros Now on Xstream, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee for MUBI and Eros Now.
The Airtel Xstream TV stick is a plug-and-play device priced at 3999 Rs. The Stick ships with a remote that supports voice commands. It lets you install apps such as Amazon Prime Video (3 months free subscription), Disney + Hotstar, etc. Like Binge Fire Stick, Xstream TV stick comes with the Google Play Store application and it supports Chromecast. The Stick allows you to watch TV in HD resolution and it is powered by the Google Android TV platform. You will have to buy a subscription plan of the supported OTT applications to use them.
Set top box
The Airtel Xstream Box is an Android 9 OS powered set-top box that supports 4K resolution. It lets you install apps, games, etc, and supports pen drives, Bluetooth, microSD card, WiFi connectivity. Like the Airtel Xstream Stick, the Box supports voice commands. It allows you to watch satellite TV channels or live TV channels over the internet. The Box features 8GB storage memory and 2GB RAM and it costs 2499 Rs.
The Xstream Fiber service provides a fiber-optic broadband connection and an Android set-top box to the users. The broadband plans start at 499 and they offer 40 Mbps to 1Gbps internet speed. XStream Fiber broadband plans ships with free access to OTT applications.
The difference between the above Airtel Xstream variants is the internet connection. Xstream Fiber offers broadband connection. You must connect the stick, and set-top box or your phone to access Xstream content (or content of Xstream partners).
Airtel Xstream vs Tata Sky Binge: Which service is better?
Because Airtel Xstream Fiber provides a fast broadband connection with unlimited data along with access to Airtel Xstream and OTT applications and as it can stream live channels at HD resolution, it is better than Tata Sky Binge. However, when it comes to satellite TV channel picture quality, Tata Sky is unbeatable.