Airtel on Monday launched its Xstream Box and Xstream Stick in India, as part of its rebranding of its Airtel TV platform to Airtel Xstream. Alongside, the company detailed the Xstream app's refreshed user interface, and said users will be able to access the streaming service on the Web as well. The rebranded launch comes just ahead of the Jio Fiber commercial launch – which bundles the Jio Set-Top Box for OTT app access and ‘console-like gaming experiences' on televisions. Read on for more details about the Airtel Xstream Box and Xstream Stick, including their price in India, specifications, subscription plans, and features.
Airtel Xstream Box
Also known as the Airtel Xstream 4K Hybrid Box, the Airtel Xstream Box price in India is set at Rs. 3,999. Existing Airtel Digital TV customers however get a discounted price to upgrade to the new set-top box – it will be available at Rs. 2,249 for them. The Airtel Xstream Box comes with a 1-year subscription (worth Rs. 999) to Airtel Xstream app content, as well as a one-month subscription to an HD DTH pack.
The Airtel Xstream Box will be available via Airtel retail stores, Airtel.in, e-commerce sites (like Flipkart and Amazon), as well as retail chains like Croma and Vijay Sales. Airtel is touting the Xstream Box set-top box to combine both satellite TV and OTT content, something its Airtel Internet TV set-top box (launched in 2017) already offered.
Buyers of the Airtel Xstream Box will have the option to choose from over 500 TV channels, and can also access content via the preloaded Airtel Xstream app (said to feature over 10,000 movies and shows). OTT content partners include ZEE5, Hooq, Hoi Choi, Eros Now, HungamaPlay, ShemarooMe, Ultra, and Curiosity Stream. Users will also have access to over 6 million songs from Wynk Music's library.
The set-top box runs Android 9.0 Pie, and gives users access to the Google Play Store, letting them download apps, including entertainment offerings such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube. As with the Airtel Internet TV set-top box, the Airtel Xstream Box comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a built-in Chromecast, apart from Bluetooth connectivity. There is a universal remote with Google Assistant-based voice search functionality apart from Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube hotkeys.
Finally, the company is also touting access to the Airtel Store for “advanced gaming with high-end graphics” on the Xstream Box, an obvious answer to the much-touted Jio Set-Top Box. It also supports streaming in 4K.
Airtel Xstream Stick
Next up, is the Airtel Xstream Stick, which offers most of the features of the Airtel Xstream Box, without access to DTH channels. Instead, it is limited to digital streaming services, with the preloaded Airtel Xstream app providing access to the same OTT partners as named above, as well as Google Play Store support that gives users access to Netlix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube in addition. It is based on Android 8.0 Oreo.
The company claims the Airtel Xstream Stick offers built-in Chromecast, features a “best-in-class” 1.6GHz processor, and a voice search-enabled remote with Bluetooth v4.2 functionality. The Airtel Xstream Stick price in India has been set at Rs. 3,999, while Airtel Thanks Platinum and Gold customers get complimentary access to the content subscription plan, while others get the first month free, and thereafter have to pay Rs. 999 for an annual subscription. The Airtel Xstream Stick will be available online exclusively via Flipkart, apart from Airtel.in. Offline, interested consumers can buy it via Airtel retail stores, as well as Croma and Vijay Sales outlets.
Airtel Xstream app, Web interface
Now, we get to the Airtel Xstream app – which is a revamped version of Airtel TV app. The rebranding was spotted last month, and Airtel says the redesign brings a new user interface that focusses on content discovery and recommendations. It provides access to 400 live TV channels, as well as over 10,000 movies and shows. Airtel Xstream app subscribers can also access services on the Web, by visiting Airtelxstream.in.