Bharti Airtel launches Android-based set top box to convert any TV into smart TV

Bharti Airtel has launched Android-based set top box that allows any television to be converted into a smart TV. It has built in content apps including Netflix, YouTube and will soon come with Amazon Prime and Chromecast for viewing on TV screens.

The Internet TV-enabling set top box will be priced Rs4,999 for three months and Rs7,999 for a year for new users, and Rs 3,999 for existing Airtel users, with content and TV channels bundled in.

Airtel's new set-top box comes installed with streaming services including Netflix and YouTube - and will soon come with Amazon Prime, which will allow users to view content from these sites on their televisions, in addition to regular TV channels. "It provides seamless integration of viewing online and offline content on a bigger screen," Sunil Taldar, director of DTH business at Bharti Airtel, told ET.

"The early adopters will be existing content consumers who want to view the same content on larger screens... whether we sell through resident welfare associations, modern retail stores or consumer electronic stores, we expect high number of conversions to happen.

Airtel 'Internet TV' is available exclusively on Amazon India since Wednesday. It will be available through Airtel Digital TV touch points - retail stores / website / contact centres soon after online launch, according to the company's statement. 

"Customers can stream and cast their favourite content directly on to their TV as well download their favourite apps and play games. All of this along with the best satellite TV experience with 500 plus channels offers the complete Home entertainment experience," the statement said.

"Growing broadband penetration is driving the popularity of online content, particularly in urban homes, and with Airtel 'Internet TV' we are bringing world-class content from the web and much more to the TV screen," said Taldar, CEO & director of DTH, Bharti Airtel.