Photon TV, a mobile TV streaming service from Tata Indicom has been launched. The service is open to all prepaid customers using Tata Indicom Photon+ high-speed wireless broadband internet. With the launch of Photon TV, Tata Indicom has caught up with Reliance Communications, which is already offering mobile TV streaming for its wireless broadband customers.
If you have a prepaid Tata Indicom Photon+ connection, you can download and install the TV application from the Photon TV section of the Tata Indicom website. The Photon TV application is free, but you will need to pay for the download charges. Once you install the Photon TV application, double-click and open it. You are ready to view live TV on your laptop or desktop.
Since video-downloading is a data-intensive process, Photon TV works well only in HSIA areas. HSIA stands for High-speed Internet Access, which is available in 33 cities serviced by Tata Indicom Photon+. If you have a Tata Photon+ broadband data card, but live in a place without HSIA coverage, you will not be able to enjoy live streaming, since in non-HSIA areas, data downloads will slow. Update: Tata Photon prices reduced
Photon TV charges are considerably higher than similar charges for television on DTH or cable network, but don’t forget that unlike them, you can Photon TV anytime anywhere, if you are travelling around with your laptop in HSIA areas.
You have three options for Photon TV channel subscription. To subscribe for a single channel, you need to pay a monthly subscription charge of Rs 4. My 10 package will get you 10 channels a month, for Rs 29. My Full Pack will get you the entire bouquet of 40 channels, and it will cost you Rs 75 in subscription. New users get to watch all channels for free (no subscription, but data charges apply) for one hour before selecting the package of their choice.
However, do not forget that over and above the Photon TV subscription charge, you also need to pay for the data downloads. A single minute of video on Photon TV will be about 1.5 MBs. If you go on a binge of TV viewing on Photon TV, keep an eye on your data usage balance. You can check for your data usage from the Tata Indicom Photon+ icon on your desktop.
Tata Indicom has tied up with Apalya Technologies for the launch of Photon TV. Apalya, in turn, has tied up with TV distributors for the content. Tata Indicom and Apalya said that Photon TV users are prohibited from downloading, recording or reproducing content on Photon TV. This is to ensure copyright protection for the digital content beamed across Photon TV.
Photon TV, just as Photon+, makes use of CDMA-based high-speed wireless internet for TV broadcast. The launch of Photon TV shows that 3G telecom operators in India will increasingly target heavy data consumers. Going ahead, we can expect mobile operators offering mobile TV on cellphones and other wireless data devices. In terms of wireless data applications, Photon TV is only the beginning.
The Photon TV application is 16 MBs in size. Once you install and open the application, you will be asked to select the package of your choice. You can either select from the Photon TV packages, or go for a few channels of your choice. Photon TV shows you the list of channels on offer. You can click and select whichever channel suits you. You can pause viewing the TV program and return to it later, to continue from where you left off.
All Photon TV channel subscriptions are for one-month periods. After one month, the package expires, unless you renew it. There is no auto-renewal. You can also change from one Photon TV subscription package to another, as per the terms and conditions mentioned.
Currently, 40 channels are available on Photon TV. In comparison, Reliance communications offers 34 channels. Again, there is a lag of 30 seconds on Reliance mobile TV, while on Photon TV, there is a lag of just 7-8 seconds. This list may be expanded later. The channels are under different sections, as below:
Hindi: Star News, Aaj tak, NDTv India, India TV, Zee News and India News.
English: NDTV 24X7, Headlined Today, Times NOW, CNN-IBN
Entertainment: Zoom TV, NDTV Imagine
Kids: Cartoon Network and Pogo
Movies: Bolly Theatre and English Movies
Sports: ESPN Mobile TV, W and MotoGP
Business: NDTV Profit, Zee Business, CNBC Aawaz, CNBC TV18
Telugu: TV9, Sakshi TV
International: CNN, CNN On Demand
Gujarati: TV9 Gujarati
Tamil: Raj TV, Raj Movies
Malayalam: India TV, Manorama News, Jai Hind
Kannada: TV9 Kannada
Marathi: Zee Marathi, Star Majha
Bengali: STAR Bangla
Punjabi: Chardikla Time TV