Being an NRI here in the US, two of the things I am constantly struggling with is the craving for Indian food and Indian TV channels. Not so much crazy for the second one, but yes. Thanks to YouTube and other online streaming options, my TV viewing habits have changed over the years. But once a while, I need my slice of desi action. Especially during election times or when something live is going on in India. YouTube and other online streaming options are of little help then.
And I’m sure many NRI friends would relate to it. They’re all always looking out for ways to watch Indian TV in the USA. Good news is that, the options to watch Indian TV channels in the USA have gotten better over the years. 10 years before, things would have been a lot different but today, more TV channels have started airing in the US and they’re affordable as well. In this article, we’ll look at ways to watch Indian TV channels in the USA.
Related: Cheap ways to call India.
1. Indian TV Channels on Comcast
Comcast is one of the popular internet service providers in the US, especially North America. They have the home entertainment package which comes with Internet, TV and a land line. Internet without doubt are good, but TV sucks. I mean, I don’t know how crazy you are for TV these days, but Indian TV channels on Comcast are very limited. You have to buy the “South East Asian” bundle, which comes with the following channels. Sony Asia (Hindi), TV Asia (Gujarati), Zee TV (Hindi), Eros Now (Hindi), Star India Plus (Hindi), Life OK (Hindi), Star India Gold (Hindi), ABP News (Hindi), Vijay TV (Tamil). So, as you can see, there are couple of Hindi channels and one Tamil channel. If you are from South India, you don’t have much options (No Telugu, Kannada channels).
Easy to install. If you have Comcast internet or TV, you can install this package quickly via a phone call.
Expensive. It’s not worth the money. Also, options are very less. No south Indian channels.
Check out their latest Indian TV channels pricing here.
2. Indian TV Channels in USA with Yupp TV
Yupp TV is popular with the Indian community in the US, for the fact that it’s easy to install and get started. They have an app and are available on Roku, Chromecast and even come pre installed with some of the smart TV’s these days. All you have to do is buy a subscription and you’re all set. It works just like Netflix. Open the app and browse through the channels. Their subscription packages cost from $19.99/month (Hindi) to $19.99/month (Malayalam). They are a step ahead of other options in the fact that they have more languages covered like Telugu, Bangla, Sinhala, Oriya, Marathi etc. What’s really nice about Yupp TV is that after buying subscription, you can pretty watch Indian TV channels on any device including your smartphone, Xbox, Smart TV, Roku set up boxes etc. Keep in mind that you’d need an internet connection of minimum 4Mbps download speed for a better experience.
Check out their latest prices here.
Jadoo is like a combination of Netflix & Comcast for South East Asian Entertainment. They have live TV channels (400+), recorded TV shows and even Movies (1250+) available on their subscription plans. You need to buy their set top box to be able to watch the content though. The box cost $219. Check out their latest prices here.
4. Telugu Channels in USA with Reliable IPTV
Reliable IPTV is another IPTV service that offers watching Telugu TV channels in USA. It has over 33 Telugu TV channels and offers a free phone that will enable you to call India with unlimited minutes (Just like Vonage). They have three options to choose from. One, online subscription ($9.99/month), where you can watch Telugu TV channels online, two TV Channels only ($19.99/month) and three TV channels + Phone ($29.99/month). This is a great offer if you are from Andhra Pradesh and want to watch only Telugu TV Channels.
Cheap. Has phone offer (you can get rid of Vonage)
Only Telugu TV channels.
5. Sling TV
Sling TV is like Netflix but for TV. For about $35 you can pretty much watch a lot of American TV along with some Indian TV channels. Indian TV Channels list include Sony, Times Now, Asianet Movies, MTV, Vijay TV, Mazhavil Manorama etc.
Easy to choose from. (No confusing “packages”)
Only few Indian channels. Also, expensive.
6. Desi Indian TV Channels on Dish TV
Dish TV is pretty popular with the Indian community in the US. You’ll see branded dishes on Indian home apartments while you’re in the US. They too have international packages that you have to additionally buy on top of the core subscription you have. Which means, you have to pick a basic TV subscription package and add the South East Asia package on top of it to be able to get Indian TV Channels. The basic subscription can cost you $29.99 to $39.99/month. But they have more options to choose from compared to Comcast. For example, they have language bundles to choose from. As of today (2015), the following Indian TV channels are available.
Hindi News – NDTV 24×7, News18, Zee Business, Times Now, Aaj Tak etc.
Hindi Spiritual – Aastha, Sanskar, JUS One
Gujarati Channels – TV9 Gujarat
Hindi Masti – MTV, Sony MIX, NDTV Good Times, B4U Music, Zoom
Hindi Entertainment – Sony, Life OK, Star India Plus, Colors, Rishtey, SAB, Zee TV
Hindi Movie Channels – Movies OK, SET Max, Zee Cinema, B4U Movies
Cost – Minimum $5 .99/month
Punjabi Channels – JUS 24/7, 9X Tashan, PTC News, MH1, JUS One, Global Punjab
Cost – Max $14.99/month
Malayalam TV Channels – Surya TV, Mazhavil Manorama, Kairali TV, Kiran TV
Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies
Cost – Max $14.99/month
Tamil TV Channels – Jaya TV, Sun TV, Vijay TV, KTV, Sirippoli
Cost – Max $14.99/month
Kannada TV Channels – Colors Kannada, Zee Kannada, Udaya TV, TV9 Kannada
Cost – $19.99/month
Telugu TV Channels – Gemini TV, ETV Telugu, Maa TV, Zee Telugu, TV9 Telugu, TV5
Cost – $24.99/month
Bengali TV Channels – Colors Bangla, Sony AATH, Aastha
Cost – $19.99/month
Urdu TV Channels – Geo TV, Aag TV, Geo News, ARY Zauq, ARY Digital, ARY Musik
Cost – Max $29.99/month
Lot of options to choose from.
If you choose more than one package, it can get expensive.
Total cost of Dish TV will be – Core package (Max $39.99/month – 290 Channels + Regional package $29.99/month) = $69.99/month
$39.99/month is the annual package offer. Per month plans can go up to $89.99/month.
So, looking at all the above options, I have to admit that it is very confusing, figuring out which is the best Indian TV channel in USA. The reason is that, when one says “Indian TV channels” there are several variables. There is South India, North India and everything in between. There are several languages and options within that it doesn’t do justice to call it “Indian”. One thing I’ve noticed with most providers is that almost all of them try to bundle everything together calling it “Indian” or “South East Asian”, when the truth is that it doesn’t do justice. For example, a big player like Sling TV calls everything together as “Hindi” when there are clearly regional languages included in the package.
So, out of all the options, I think Dish TV does a good job of understanding the audience and segregating packages based on languages. Assuming that you would only choose one package (Hindi or Tamil or Malayalam) it is very reasonably priced. But for someone like me, who might watch TV channels more than one language, it will prove costly. But this is rare, I guess. If you don’t like long term contracts, then YUPP TV is the next best option.