August 8, 2022
Act Stream TV 4K Review

ACT (Atria Convergence Technologies Limited) is perhaps best known as an ISP that provides services under its brand ACT Fibernet in some parts of the country. Not many people know that the company also operates a Digital TV brand named ACT Digital. Recently, the company launched ACT Stream TV 4K, a product aimed at cord-cutters that attempts to bring its two businesses closer together.

ACT Stream TV 4K is essentially a streaming box that also lets you watch Live TV over the Internet. The box itself is pretty, roughly the same size as an Apple TV, and has all the ports you’d expect. On the back, you have an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, 3.5mm and SPDIF digital audio out ports, and a power adapter inlet. On the right side you have two USB ports and a microSD card slot for plugging in external media.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review 01 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

Setting up the box is fairly simple, although you’ll need to be an ACT Fibernet subscriber to get started, as step one requires you to authenticate yourself as one. ACT says it plans to eventually offer the box to everyone, but for now, it’s only being offered to ACT Fibernet customers. Once the box is set up and activated, you can use it with any internet connection, and we have verified using it with an Airtel broadband connection.

The box itself runs Android TV version 9 and the main home screen will look very familiar if you’ve used Android TV or any other smart TV interface before. The UI is divided into four parts – Home tab, Apps & Games tab, Live TV tab and Offers tab. Each of these four tabs has a carousel at the top to highlight specific content, followed by rows of additional icons.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review UI 01 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

The carousel on the home screen features shows and movies from the live TV service’s channels right now on air, along with manually curated content from various streaming services like Netflix and Hook. This is followed by a row for the apps installed in your box and another line showing the live channels you’ve recently watched (which we’ll touch on shortly). A line called Movies highlights the movies currently being “broadcast” on all live TV channels. Lastly, you get other popular/featured trending content from streaming services including Hungama, Hook and Zee5.

The carousel in the Apps & Games tab also contains (separately) content from various streaming services, followed by fairly standard rows highlighting your installed apps and games. The Offers tab highlights special offers for ACT Stream TV 4K subscribers, for example we saw ongoing offers on a free two-month Hook subscription as well as live TV channel packs. Some parts of the UI are a bit similar, and in the two months we spent using the product, some of the thumbnails in the carousel didn’t update at all, even those that were pointing to live TV shows. were clearly no longer available.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review UI 02 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

This brings us to the Live TV tab, which sets this box apart from most other Android TV devices on the market. In addition to another carousel at the top, which highlights select shows currently airing (again, not updated regularly enough, if at all), you get a row called My Channels Contains your most recently watched channels, followed by channels grouped by categories, with a row for each category such as entertainment, news, sports, etc.

Selecting a channel starts streaming it over your internet connection. At this point, you are offered a selection of 89 channels, a list that seems to be the same across all cities. Sixty-five of these channels are offered to all subscribers free of charge, and the other 24 are part of the “Starter Pack” premium channel bouquet. As an introductory offer, ACT is offering this pack to all ACT Stream TV 4K users for free right now, although it says you will be charged Rs. 50 per month as part of your monthly broadband bill when the offer expires.


ACT Stream TV 4K Live TV Channel Pack

free channel

  • ACT 24×7 News HD
  • DD National HD
  • dd news hd
  • 9X Jacasso
  • 9X Jalwa
  • 9XM
  • 9Xo
  • faith hymn
  • Aastha TV
  • ABP News
  • ACT TV
  • Aljazeera International
  • APN
  • asianet news
  • b4u movies
  • b4u music
  • captain news
  • captain tv
  • care world
  • channel one news
  • CNNB
  • DD Lok Sabha
  • DD News
  • DD Podhigai
  • DD Rajya Sabha
  • DD Saptagiri
  • DD Sports
  • vague
  • ftv
  • Home Shop 18
  • india news punjab
  • India TV
  • Jai Maharashtra
  • Kalaignar Sethiga
  • Kalaignar TV
  • Katyayani
  • news so far
  • Kolkata TV
  • music india
  • music field
  • news 9
  • News India 24×7
  • News X
  • OTV
  • Polymer News
  • POLIMER TV
  • Pudhiya Thalaimaria
  • Republic Bharti
  • republic tv
  • rupsi bangla
  • Russia Today
  • Sakshi TV
  • Secrament
  • Good accompaniment
  • SVBC
  • Thanthi TV
  • tolly wood
  • tv 5 kannada news
  • TV9 Kannada
  • TV9 Telugu
  • TV1 Telangana
  • tv5 telugu
  • TV9 Gujarati
  • Vedic
  • vtvnews

Premium Channel (Starter Pack)

  • animal planet hd
  • Discovery HD
  • Discovery Jeet HD
  • MN Plus HD
  • mnx hd
  • movies now hd
  • Romi Now HD
  • Times Now HD
  • TLC HD
  • animal planet
  • bbc world
  • D Sports
  • Search
  • discovery Kids
  • Discovery Science
  • Discovery Tamil
  • Discovery Turbo
  • et now
  • Jeet Prime
  • mirror now
  • mnx
  • movies now
  • times now
  • zoom

The full list of these channels is reproduced above. There are some popular channels like BBC World and Discovery family channels, as well as some regional fare, but most of the mainstream channels you want to watch are missing. Along with that, most of the content offered by major providers like Zee, Sony and Star is available through their respective apps, so there are other ways to watch your favorite shows.

Most of the channels are being streamed in SD though some of them are also available in HD. The video quality we experienced was similar to what we had seen with services like Hotstar and Sony Liv on our 100 Mbps line. Internet usage from the box will count towards your FUP quota, and there are no special benefits on that front.

Live TV Guide shows the schedule of all available channels. Once you start watching a TV channel, you can use the Up/Down button on the remote to cycle through the channels in that particular category, without having to sift through the channels on broadcast television. Got to enjoy quite a bit as a “throwback” to surfing. Switching between channels is very fast, unlike some of the IP-based TV offerings we’ve seen in the past. Although ACT talks about the ability to “timeshift” (i.e. watch shows at a later stage) live TV using the box, we couldn’t find the option anywhere. There is also no companion app.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review 07 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

Speaking of the remote, it is one of our favorite aspects of the device. Instead of trying to be unnecessarily clever, ACT has kept things simple and included all the important buttons you could want. Additionally, there are dedicated buttons for Netflix, Live TV, YouTube, and Google Play, which do exactly what you’d expect them to.

Other aspects of using the box are pretty much the same as using any other Android TV box. All of the standard apps you’d expect are either pre-installed or available through Google Play, except for Amazon’s Prime Video app, which isn’t available for this device yet, even though Google and Amazon have announced that they’ll be able to download the app. You have made your peace. ACT says the app will be available for ACT Stream TV 4K, though it declined to say when. Thankfully, you can cast content to ACT Stream TV 4K from the Prime Video app — or any other compatible app — on your iPhone or Android phone.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review 04 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

This means that the YouTube and Netflix apps are your only options if you want to stream 4K content, at least for now. Although the Netflix app on the box refused to stream anything higher than HD when we had the ACT Stream TV 4K with a Philips BDM4350UC 4K monitor (even though the box was outputting at 4K resolution), we did it via Netflix. Enjoyed 4K content. Problems when connecting box to 50-inch Samsung MU6100 Smart TV.

YouTube, on the other hand, streamed in 4K on both panels without issue, which was hardly a surprise. You can certainly play 4K media from external devices like pen drives and microSD cards, something we managed without any issues during our tests.

ACT Stream TV 4K Review 02 ACT Stream TV 4K Review

Decision
ACT Stream TV 4K is a device that has a lot of potential. Among the live TV offerings and popular streaming apps, this box includes the most common sources of TV shows and movies. We wish the native Amazon Prime Video app would become available soon, and we look forward to seeing how ACT plans to complement its live TV offerings in the future. We’re also big fans of the remote, which delivers pretty much everything you want while keeping things simple, and should be a nod to other manufacturers.

Our biggest complaint about the box is that ACT itself isn’t taking it very seriously. The content curation has been in a state of complete neglect, which makes the user experience really bad for anyone who has come and tried Box for the first time. Available with just a refundable deposit of Rs. If you’re an existing ACT customer, with 1,500 to ACT customers for now, Box seems like a no-brainer, but its long-term success will depend on how both pricing and products develop from here.


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