I have been a long term Tata Sky user, and have tried all of their set top boxes. I took the Tata Sky Binge Dongle as soon as it became available so naturally Bingle Plus was also an obvious choice.
What is Binge Plus?
Basically its a hybrid system. You gt to watch the Live Tv channels like you would do through a Set-Top Box, but in addition to that you get access to an Android system with in-built apps like Prime Video, HotStar, Sun NXT, ErosNow and more. Being a Google Android based system, you can even download more apps from the Play Store.
With Binge menu, you get access to recordings of serials, sports and news whose telecast happened a week back. From an easy to use interface, just pick the channel or search for a serial by its name. Tata Sky also gives you access to its showcase as well as its movies database, but some of them may be chargeable as per the plan you are on.
Access to this hybrid box required an active connection with Tata Sky. You can’t just have the Binge Plus box without using their Live Tv subscription.
The remote supports Google’s Voice Search feature which is easy to set up. It also works with Google Home.
Binge Dongle vs Bingle Plus
Binge Dongle was launched long time back and used Amazon’s Fire Stick with Tata Sky. You get the dongle for free if you have an existing subscription with Tata Sky, but you need to recharge the dongle with Rs. 249 every month for using it.
The dongle has a very nice interface and search works across all apps. You search for an app, and it will give you the option to download it if it is not already present. Sideloading of the apps can be done using external apps like “Downloader”.
However, the dongle does not have Live Tv. It will let you watch episodes 30 min later after the actual telecast. And it is not available in 4K, just the Full HD version is available. The dongle remote is sturdy and has easy to press buttons, but lacks the mute button.
Binge Plus just enhances the features of the dongle with access to live Tv. However, interface is not great. The remote feels as cheap as the Tata Sky Set Top box remotes, especially the back and forward buttons feel real sick. With 8GB internal storage, you can download some apps but the home search option does not search inside the play store.
You need to open the Play Store app to search for more apps which is weird. It’d have been great to just use the search and let it suggest apps from the Play Store directly.
There is no way to organize or arrange the apps. The app sizes on the home screen are too big and take a lot of space.
What is probably the most irritating thing of the Binge Plus box is that it does not have Netflix. The app is just not present and you can’t even download it from the Play Store. The Play Store lets you download rival’s Airtel XStream app but won’t let you download Netflix! Not sure what the problem was but why would I want to use my Smart Tv to watch Netflix and Binge to watch Prime Video or Hotstar. I want all my apps at one place.
And for the price they are charging, Rs. 3,999 for the connection and box, we deserved to have access to all features of a true Android system.
Apps support the 4K resolution which is a big positive for me. Especially after watching Full HD on Binge dongle, I am happy to see the real resolution of my Tv being used.
Setting up the device is simple and straight forward. I did face some issues with TataSky support though. I have 4 Set Top Boxes in my house under one account plus the Tata Sky Binge Dongle. When I ordered this Binge Plus, I was told they can not install it as my limit is reached. I told them that they can disable one of the Set Top Boxes and add Binge Plus instead which they declined saying its not allowed.
I had to finally take the Binge Plus as a new connection, although I still can’t understand their logic of why they couldn’t just cancel one of my set top boxes and let me use this hybrid box instead.
If you watch live Tv more, remain with your Set Top Box.
If you watch Prime Video, HotStar, etc more, go for Binge Dongle which is free and then costs only Rs. 249 per month.
If you are really like me and want to try whatever is new in the market, can’t live without 4K and watch NetFlix more on mobile than on Tv, then pay Rs. 3999 and go for this device.
My Binge Plus box came as a gift from my only friend. So that makes it special for me.
Note: Even Airtel has a similar Airtel XStream Box but it is priced cheaper. I tried getting it first but Airtel guys said to me that I need to get rid of TataSky before they install it because my building has internal wiring which was already being used by TataSky. Since I could not have wasted my existing SetTop boxes, so I decided against it.