Reliance Jio recently showcased its 4K set-top box ahead of the commercial rollout of JioFiber broadband service on September 5. Though details such as price are unclear at this point, it is unlikely that the device will support Android. Instead, it will have a suite of Jio apps such as JioSaavn, JioGames, and more.
Ahead of the Jio 4K set-top box rollout, Airtel has launched its Xstream devices which includes a Xstream Box which lets its users stream OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc along with over 500 TV channels in 4K. There is also the ACT Stream TV 4K device that supports similar features.
Meanwhile, Apple TV was revamped last year with support for several new channels like HBO, Showtime and more. So how do the Reliance Jio 4K set-top box, Airtel Xstream, ACT Stream TV 4K, and Apple TV 4K compare in terms of price and features? We find out:
Jio 4K STB vs Airtel Xstream Box vs ACT Stream TV 4K vs Apple TV 4K: Prices
Reliance Jio is yet to announce the price of its 4K set-top box. However, under its ‘Welcome offer’ for JioFiber, the company is giving the device free to users who opt for annual plans, details of which will be announced on September 5.
Airtel Xstream Box 4K, it is priced at Rs 3,999 each. It will include free access to the Airtel Xstream service for one year (Rs 999 otherwise) and one HD pack free on Airtel DTH. Airtel Xstream service is free for Airtel postpaid, broadband, and DTH users provided they access the content on the Airtel network.
Those on a prepaid connection will need an active recharge of Rs 199 or more to access the service. For other users, the annual charge is Rs 999 after 30 days of free trial on the Airtel Xstream Stick.
Apple TV 4K is available at a starting price of Rs 17,430 for the 32GB model, while the 64GB model is available for Rs 19,480. Finally, ACT Stream TV 4K is only available in Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad, as of now where it will be available for free with select plans. The price of the device is Rs 4,499 and Rs 1,500 is refundable as a part of a special offer.
Jio 4K STB vs Airtel Xstream Box vs ACT Stream TV 4K vs Apple TV 4K: Features
Reliance Jio 4K STB will support Jio’s apps such as JioCinema, which gives access to movies and TV shows, JioSaavn, JioGames, and more. It is unclear if the Android platform will be supported, but another interesting feature that Jio has showcased is the ability to make video calls using the JioCall app via this set-top box.
As per Jio, its users will be able to make group video calls via the JioCall app on the television set itself. The calls can be made on any supported device and via any network. The feature is not available on the other set-top boxes. We will have to wait to get more details like whether there will be download options, default streaming resolution, and more.
With Airtel Xstream Box, one can access apps video streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Netflix as well as Airtel Store in addition to over 500 TV channels. Unfortunately, a download option is not available as of now. The service can be streamed on web, Android and iOS well. The Xstream Box from Airtel has 4K resolution support and it runs the Android Pie, which means more apps from the Google Play Store can be downloaded as well. In terms of connectivity, Airtel Xstream Box supports WiFi and Bluetooth.
Apple TV is powered by the A10X Fusion chip and it is compatible with HD and UHD TVs with HDMI as well as Bluetooth keyboards. Users can stream content in 4K HDR and there’s Dolby Atmos surround sound as well. Apart from content from popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc, more apps from App Store can be downloaded as well. Live sport from apps like SonyLiv, NBA and MLB, as well as breaking news from apps like Bloomberg and CNN are also supported. More features include sync with iCloud Photos and support for AirPlay.
ACT Stream 4K also comes bundled with apps like Netflix, Hungama Play, Hotstar, etc and supports 4K streaming as well as Dolby Audio. Android TV apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store as it runs the Android platform. The device is powered by a HiSilicon 3798M V200 chipset.
Jio 4K STB vs Airtel Xstream Box vs ACT Stream TV 4K vs Apple TV 4K: What about online gaming?
Reliance Jio will launch its multi-player gaming network as well and the 4K set-top box will support all gaming control. Though gaming graphics details are not clear at this point, but it will support 4K gaming.
Jio demoed how someone can play Fifa with their friends while relying on the set-top box. Jio is promising zero latency while playing on the Gigafiber network.
Apple will soon launch its Arcade gaming service with support for over 100 games. Apple also recently announced support for more controllers such as PlayStation DualShock 4 and Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth.
The Airtel Xstream Box and ACT Stream Tv 4K do not support online gaming, but users can still stream games on their smartphone to TV, thanks to Chromecast support. Gaming apps can be downloaded from Google Play Store as well given both of these devices are based on Android.