There are a few public, free-to-air channels available on the government network, Doordarshan. Usually, however, only one or two English channels are provided, which are locally edited and programmed. Watching free-to-air channels alone will not make for a satisfying TV experience.
If you want to watch anything more than the handful of free-to-air channels, you need to approach one of the many direct-to-home (DTH) cable television providers. When you sign up, you are sold a Set Top Box (STB) which is a digital TV receiver. Costs of an STB are Rs. 1600-2000 and there is often an installation cost of Rs. 1000. Many providers now offer a High Definition (HD) receiver, which also allows video recording and these cost Rs. 6000-7000. Once you have a receiver, you have the option of buying a selection of channels, either as a bundle offered to you by the provider, or custom-made by yourself. Channel bundles are sold to you on a per-month charge and vary from Rs. 120-160 a month for 70 channels to Rs. 500-600 a month for 180 channels. The bundles offered and prices vary from provider to provider, and you can often get deals and offers (such as 3 months of free bundles with a new connection). Connections are usually for one TV only, but you can arrange with the DTH provider to have several TVs connected.
There are many direct-to-home (DTH) television operators in Bangalore, all of whom offer a similar quality of service and channel bundle options. Many phone and internet service providers (Tata, for example) also offer cable/DTH services, so you could have one company fully connect you with phone, internet and cable/DTH. Ordering on the internet or in store are both options, and installation by a technician and a Set Top Box (STB) is required, which could take a couple of days before your cable connection is fully operative.
To subscribe to cable tv, you will need to provide:
- Identity proof
- PAN card
- Residence proof