TVNation’s HD Box Offers 200+ Channels, Smart Features and More

While digital service providers in Pakistan have steadily grown in number, there still exist a large amount of the population that relies on analog TV.

Of the two types of services, analog is obviously the older (and rather outdated one) while digital TV is state of the art and comes with a wide array of features. However, its penetration is still low due to the high cost associated with it as well as general availability.

Rising above the ranks and aiming to revolutionize the way we watch TV is tvnation. They offer digital TV services which offer consumers a wide variety of local and international content.

The said content is in real HD (unless otherwise not available) and is not downscaled in any way. This gives viewers the ultimate experience of watching actual HD content just the way it is meant to be. What makes their digital TV service more interesting is that it comes with an interactive, and content-rich Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) that allows you to view daily program listings. You can also use the EPG to schedule your favorite program for recording or book a reminder for the same to watch it when it airs.

TVNation was kind enough to extend us an invitation to their head office in Karachi to show us their latest HD Set-Top-Box and gave us a tour of what customers can expect.

TVNationHD

TVNation has two products: TVNation HD and TVNation NextGeneration (NXG).

NXG is yet to launch while the TVNationHD is already available for consumers. Today we’ll be taking a look at what you get inside the box, some of its features and pricing.

Unboxing

TV Nation HD Box

Open up the simple box and you get the following items:

  • tvnationHD set-top-box
  • Remote control
  • HDMI cable
  • User guide (in Urdu and English both)
  • AV cables
  • Spare batteries
  • Power adapter

TV Nation HD Box Accessories

Moving on to the set-top-box itself, on the front you get TVNation branding, a power button, and next/previous channel buttons. The rest of the functions are meant to be controlled by the provided remote control, apparently.

Move on to the back and you will find your usual ports including a USB port, the function of which we’ll discuss later on.

TV Nation HD Box front TV Nation HD Box ports

 

The remote is a standard affair.

TV Nation HD Box Remote Control

After the unboxing, we hooked up the set-top-box with the TV, turned it on and went through the initial set up.

Boot-up usually takes 7-10 seconds during which the box checks for updates

TVnation

Let’s move on to the actual service and features that tvnation promises and see what sets it apart from the rest of the competition.

Features

1. 200+ Channels

TVNation claims to provide consumers with 200+ channels and during our testing, almost all of the channels were available and working just fine. Most of the content was in HD but still, there were some channels which weren’t available in HD and they were being shown in standard definition (SD).

If for some reason you can’t tell the difference between what channel is HD or not, you can just press the Info button on the remote to view the details of the channel.


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You can see in the image below that a little pop-up at the bottom of the screen shows basic channel info such as the channel name, aspect ratio it is being played at and the resolution.

The channel info bar also shows, in terms of percentage, how much the current program you’re watching has elapsed and also the next two programs that will air, which we will also discuss later on. The date and time are also displayed in the same bar.

TV Nation HD Box Hum Channel

Press on the “Info” button on the remote once more and it will show you the synopsis/plot of whatever program you are currently watching.

TV Nation HD Box Current Program Info

2. Categories

One of the many features it offers is the ability to categorize channels. Now, that may not sound exciting but the way tvnation does it makes it rather smart.

First off, you have an all channels list which shows all the channels you have at your disposal. Apart from that, you have pre-defined categories such as News (split into local and international), Entertainment (also split), Sports, Kids etc.

If you choose a channel from any of these categories and try to change the channel, it will only move between channels in that category instead of cycling through all the channels. So, for instance, if you are in the mood to watch some sports and take your mind off the news, you can just choose any channel from the sports category and if you try changing channels, you’ll only get more sports channel instead of being annoyed by the news.

Furthermore, users also have the option to create a list of channels of their own. It works the same way as the predefined categories when it comes to switching channels so you have an even more customized experience tailored to your needs.

TV Nation HD Box Channels

News Channels TV Nation HD Box

3. Electronic Program Guide (EPG)

TVNation promise to deliver the full digital experience to the users which brings me to the next most important feature of the set-top-box, the electronic program guide.

EPG is usually bundled with digital set-top-boxes. It shows the list of current and scheduled programs of all the channels you have available and also a short summary of each program as well. Remember the synopsis we talked about above? That was part of the EPG.

To access the whole thing, all you have to do is press the “EPG” button on your remote and the following screen will come up.

TV Nation HD Box Electronic Program Guide

Here the screen will be split into two panels. The top one shows the current program that you are watching and also the time it airs for. You also get a little summary of the program as well.

On the bottom panel you have the channels listed vertically and in front of them, split by time, are the upcoming shows that will air. You can select any of the program and press on “Info” on the remote and it will show the synopsis of that program.

EPG also allows you to record a program, which we’ll discuss later on.

Press the EPG button again once you have highlighted any of the channels and the screen changes to show you the detailed view of upcoming programs for that particular channel.

You can also set reminders for a particular show that you want to watch. So when you’re watching another show and the other program starts airing on another channel, a pop up comes up asking you whether you want to switch or not to that other program. You can either cancel it or select “Yes” and if there’s no response for a while, it will automatically changes the channel for you.

Play saved recording in TV Nation

4. Recording

Another major feature of tvnationHD is the ability to record programs and not only that but also schedule recording for later. This feature is quite similar to what PTCL offers with its SmartTV set-top box.

To get started with recording, firstly you should have a USB attached to the set-top-box with enough storage to record complete programs in HD.

Once that is done, open up the EPG as discussed earlier. You can either start recording the current program or schedule the recording for a program that will air later. For now, let’s focus on recording a program that is currently being aired.

Once you have the EPG open, press the red button on the remote which indicates “REC”.  A message box shows up, confirming that recording has started.

TV Nation HD Box Recording

You can record up to 2 hours at a time or until you run out of storage. To stop the recording, simply press the REC button once again and it will ask for confirmation before saving.

You can then head on over the PVR menu on your set-top-box and playback the recording that you just saved.

TV Nation HD PVR

As mentioned above, you can also schedule the recording. To do that simply open the EPG and select a show that is yet to air. Once selected, press the REC button and the program thumbnail will turn orange, indicating that all is set and it will instantly start recording when the program starts to air.

From a content security point of view, the recording on the USB will remain safe and can’t be used for piracy. If you use the USB on your laptop, you won’t be able to play the recorded shows thanks to encryption. The shows can only be played back on the set-top-box. If you try to use the USB on another tvnationHD set-top-box, it won’t playback the recording over there either.

5. Learning Remote

Doesn’t it get annoying when there are too many remotes lying around your home and you have to use separate remotes for everything such as your TV, set-top-box or any other component as well? It looks like the people working at tvnation had to face the same issues but thankfully they have also come up with a solution and it comes in the form of “Learning Remote”.

How it works is the remote you get with the tvnationHD has a separate group of buttons at the top of the remote that is labeled as TV Control. The buttons include our most used functions such as the power button, Volume +/-, Channel +/- etc.

TV Nation HD Remote Zoom

What the feature actually does is let you control the TV and your set-top-box directly from a single remote instead of trying to use two remotes at the same time.

All you have to do is configure the remote according to the instructions shown on the back side of the remote and it will save those settings.

In our testing, the learning remote feature worked perfectly and it was a relief to know that the people using tvnationHD will not have to fumble around looking for remotes.

Availability

As of this moment, tvnation’s digital TV services are available in major cities in the country through its partner, StormFiber

We asked about tvnation’s plans for expanding their services in the future, they said they have plans to offer services all over Pakistan. Their end goal is to provide these digital services and features we just discussed above to each and every household in Pakistan at an affordable rate.

Of course, expanding takes time and right now they have plans for some major cities such as Multan, Quetta etc.

Expanding also means finding new partners to join tvnation which is precisely what they are looking for right now. StormFiber is one of the partners that provide these services in Peshawar and Karachi for now.

What tvnation promises to deliver is quality from end-to-end, starting from satellite acquisition all the way to the customer’s home. For this, partners are scrutinized before being brought on board. Since tvnation delivers true HD, they need to know beforehand if the potential partner has enough equipment to provide the quality they promise.

TVNation offers an opportunity to potential partners to connect with them and to provide these services to the customers. This will enable the partners to provide quality services to their customers which will in return secure their customers.

What we mean by “secure” is that if one day PEMRA decides to issue a notice to completely shut down analog TV and switch on over to digital, those service providers that were not prepared for such a move will eventually lose customers. Partnering up with TVNation eliminates the possibility of such a scenario. You can reach out to TVNation representatives at [email protected] to become a TVNation partner.


  • Arsalan

    Such services require IPTV license and according to PEMRA’s website, TV Nation hasn’t got any license to operate such service. So, it can be closed anytime by the government.

    • gab

      hope they close it. otherwise all those people that spent money on expensive DTH services will lose out. we must foster ecosystems of obsolete technology by banning all new technologies. that is how the country will progress.

      • Village cable

        They are digital TV operator with necessary licenses. You can check with PEMRA. They have invested to compete against DTH operators. Sadly they don’t have coverage outside of major towns.

        • AbdulB1

          they can never have coverage outside because they run many paid Indian or European channels which are not allowed to be shown in Pakistan. another thing is bandwidth it is not cheap to put all these channels on the satellite without huge costs of satellite transponder rent etc.

        • Cable wala

          Digital TV and DTH is a way to go forward. Sadly, Pakistan is still stuck with Analog cable TVs and services like these will enhance customers TV viewing experience. Needless to mention that India is far ahead of us in these technology, but still a big share of those markets are shared by Digital TV and DTH service providers. TVNation as a service provider is looking for partners as mentioned in the article, good thing for local cable guys to cash on.

    • Japan Cable

      Duh. It is digital cable TV and they have ALL the licenses to operate.

      And while you’re on shutting down illegal IPTV service, close down Netflix and Cline first.

    • Japan Cable

      Duh. It is digital cable TV and they have ALL the licenses to operate.

      And while you’re on shutting down illegal IPTV service, close down Netflix and Cline first.

      • C

        Netflix is now more valuable than Disney. So are you honestly calling the biggest media company in the world illegal? Considering Disney also owns Marvel which produces movies that gross more than a billion dollars regularly, that fact is just astounding. Netflix is by no means illegal, in Pakistan or anywhere else it operates.

      • C

        Also, a streaming website does not an IPTV service make. Learn the difference.

        • Amin Badami

          Japan Cable is right and you’re flatly wrong. A steaming website may not be licensed properly in Pakistan yet perhaps but tv distribution of any sort required pemra and PTA licensing. It is called CVAS Video license and IPTV license where applicable.
          Furthermore even if we assume no licensing is required for this “streaming website doesn’t iptv service make” crap that you are trying to teach us, the constitution, PTA and ccp acts guarantee that Pakistani operators cannot be discriminated against. So if there are no restrictions or even pemra licenses or fees applicable on Netflix, then these cannot apply to cable operators or iptv operators either.

          Just because you feel one is a web streaming or through a software client and so it’s diffenet doesn’t mean it is legal. Cable operators are too dumb to pursue this but if they did it could easily be licensed or blocked in Pakistan. Just like it is in China where streaming services of all types are regulated.

          Check your facts, get off your pedantic high horse. It just misleads customers. If the cable operators plead the case, Netflix could be blocked within 1 or 2 hearings by a local court.

          • Cable wala

            Agreed with @Amin Badami. Rules should be for everyone. Why should local service provider suffers bcz of these international giants.

          • C

            By that logic, YouTube would need an IPTV license to operate in Pakistan, Einstein. Especially because YT now has a paid service called YouTube Red. Netflix and YouTube are not IPTV services. What are you idiots doing on a tech blog?

          • C

            Netflix-type of service is called OTT, Google “OTT vs IPTV” and you’ll know the difference. In the meantime, you should get off tech blogs if you can’t even differentiate between video-on-demand streaming vs IPTV.

          • C

            Check your effin’ facts before idiotically commenting on a blog contradicting others. Even an ancient company like PTCL differentiates between IPTV and VOD.

          • C

            Courts of this country don’t prove anything btw, Uber and Careem are about to be blocked by court because of “public safety hazards” and “not having first aid kits in their cars”. Like public transport buses in Karachi are world-class and carry first aid kits. Your whole point relies on corrupt courts and politicians?

      • AbdulB1

        cline was my favorite in 2016 but sadly due to frequent disconnections I gave it up.

  • billabadmash

    Not available to rawalpindi?

  • Taha Najam

    Very fishy that all the pictures only show screenshots of HumTV HD. Could it be because that’s the only channel in their catalog that’s available in full 1080p?

    • AbdulB1

      other channels are european. and hum is only pakistani channel with full hd i guess.

  • Foqaan Shaikh

    When is it coming to other cities like Islamabad?

    • AbdulB1

      u have nayatel why even bother with this?

  • Aamir Mahmood

    This is basic digital TV service which is the same as offered by the cable operator in my area except that they only offer analogue for now.

    Zooming in the third picture, this box doesnt seem to have ethernet port so it is seems like purely digital tv box.

    Would be good to see a demo.

    • AbdulB1

      it is just a digital cable box nothing fancy in it. cheap china made box shown something huge by propakistani.

  • Adonis

    the world has changed now , i can offer 10,000 HD/SD streams with nominal cost and using current TV,s
    200 channels not big deal

    • Zardar Lolis

      This is over IPTV and will be shut down after PEMRA crackdown.

      • AbdulB1

        PEMRA works only for geo gardi

    • Tehseen Shamim

      Can you name any IPTV service subscription which offers good quality channels in low price?

      • Adonis

        there are so many like Rapid IPTV, GEN IPTV and many more

  • Well this long article.
    I couldn’t find any pricing.
    Maybe we should check their website.

    • AbdulB1

      3500 hai

      • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

        if you have storm fibre 10 mb connection then it is free for you
        for hd box you just have to pay 3300 rupees one time and you will get the set top box free for one tv

        • AbdulB1

          I know. But the problem is that their analogue cable is s””t

  • AbdulB1

    yes DTH is getting obsolete. even sky uk now thinks it is better to offer streaming services via app. star tv in india has also moved towards app.

  • Adnan

    It can work on Normal TV at Home ?
    Normal TV Means Onlly VCR Plug Supported No HDMI No USB No Smartness :

    Please advise us

    • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

      yeah there is analog support as well but i think the hd result will not available

  • Fraz Ahmed

    The only problem I have with TV Nation is their BIG logo that ruin the whole experience. Especially when you are watching the cricket match, you cannot see the whole score bar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72ed728250bb316eb2b3c05f7d8de7abb85df112ba64798da94fc481ea3b7b9c.jpg

    • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

      exactly this is what i wanted to discuss as well. maybe we should file a complaint to tv nation

      • Fraz Ahmed

        I had sent a message few weeks ago using the chat on their website but no reply yet.

        Now two days ago I created the ticket with StormFiber and they closed the ticket by mentioning that they have forwarded this to concern department.

        I had suggested them to remove the logo or make it transparent.

        • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

          this is very annoying specially when watching cricket because all the info bars are on the bottom

          • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

            i think this doesnot appear on channels like geo or news channels as there is ticker moving in the bottom so this means they can remove it from any particular channel as well

          • AbdulB1

            they are using Airtel streams and masking their logo. :(

        • AbdulB1

          bhai woh Airtel DTH ki stream dekha rahay hain logo to ana hi hai na

  • Muhammad Yasir

    eh, where’s the channel list !?

    • Ahmad Raza Saleemi

      I can share with you the list if you ask but ask me the channel name i can tell you immediately if that is available or not

      • Muhammad Yasir

        it would be great if you could share the entire list

        thanks :)

  • Muhammad Yasir

    thanks !

  • Romaan Ahmed

    This is just a standard cable box made by the Chinese tech company Skyworth. You can see the information in the picture of the back of the box. The EPG is just a standard interface that is available on any cable box in the market. You need an EPG application (purchased seperately) at the cable headend to inject the actual EPG data. Recording on USB is also available on most cable boxes these days.
    Why is TVNation a “partner” of Stormfiber. It because both Stormfiber and TVNation belong to Cybernet. It is also why the CAS on the box is Verimatrix which is the same CAS used by Stormfiber (I have it at home). And the 200 channels are the same pirated channels (but in good quality) that every cable operator is showing these days without permission from channel owners. Propakistani should really have “Sponsored Post” at the top. This is unprofessional journalism.

    • Ahmar Abidi

      It looks like a review to me. Not sponsored. Talks about the good and bad. I also appreciate the quality of the unboxing video done by Propak on this. We need to see more of such reveiws with unboxing videos.

      We just got it at home. The EPG definitely stands out. Others have just channel names at best and otherwise just channel numbers. The EPG here has extra details including cast members and story plots which I like.

    • Football lover

      Irony, bragging about this company and then naming every cable operator is doing the same, what’s the point? Don’t you think this is how you do it? In a country like Pakistan, people are not willing to spend on television services but want everything covered in Rs. 300-400, what a joke. You talk about permissions, will you pay $5 or more for each international channel? and what about the operator cost? Not justifying the wrong but the cable industry needs to transform and move to digital. Once the technology and system is there, regulators can play their role and force customers to go for proper subscriptions like in India.
      I am a TV freak, my cable operator provided a similar box to me few months back, but wasn’t impressed by the quality and there was no such thing as EPG on that box. I recently watched UEFA on TVNation’s box on my friends home and loved it. What quality man!

  • Ans Azeem

    You do know that in Pakistan people don’t have awareness about m3u/m3u8. They want something ready. And i don’t think there are any good or reliable IPTV services that offer Pakistani channels.

  • Yaseen Seen

    salam Bilal bhai Peshawar mai kis se contact karna parega any shop office mobile no etc ??

  • Haris Hasan Khan

    Hi Bilal,

    Thank you for that detail information.. i was just wondering that tv nation is availablae in karachi ? how to get this box ?