ASTRO commenced HD services in Malaysia
December 31, 2009
Source: MM Network
By: Media Mughals
ASTRO, a leading pay-tv service provider in Malaysia has set a new benchmark in the country’s broadcast industry with the initiation of a multi-phased service of High Definition (HD) broadcast. The Company has launched ASTRO B.yond being Malaysia’s first ever HD broadcast service.
"At 48% penetration of Malaysian TV homes, we are part of 2.875 million homes. It is a privilege we do not take for granted. At ASTRO, we are committed to innovation in content, technology and customer experience. We would also like to ensure our customers get the maximum value out of every ringgit they spend with us," said Dato' Rohana Rozhan, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRO in a prepared release.
The newly launched ASTRO B.yond offers customers more innovative services that incorporate technology to change TV viewing experience of viewers of Malaysia with richer colours, picture-perfect clarity and cinematic surround sound. Along with this, a new and improved Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) designed for better viewer interface will be introduced.
Following the launch of ASTRO B.yond, ASTRO aims to bring more innovations accompanying the future-ready platforms. In 2010, ASTRO aims to be the first in the world to offer video recording through an external hard drive. With this service, customers can record their favourite programmes and personalize their TV viewing schedules. ASTRO B.yond will also introduce Digital Video Recording (DVR), Video on Demand (VOD) and IPTV connectivity in phases over the next 24 months.
To avail the HD services of the ASTRO B.yond total revamp in capabilities, hardware and installation are required. As part of the new B.yond service, customers will get the new B.yond box, new smart card, new outdoor unit dish, HD Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable and new remote control. New set-up installation fee will be waived in exchange for the existing box.
On HD content, ASTRO will start with 3 key genres that are recognized as HD content drivers globally - sports, movies and documentaries. The channel line-up includes ASTRO Supersport HD, ESPN HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD. However ESPN HD will be available in January 2010. Sports fans will also be thrilled to know that they can soon watch FIFA World Cup 2010 in HD. ASTRO plans to roll out more HD channels, including local content, in 2010. The access to enjoy the HD channels corresponds to the customer's current package subscription.
ASTRO B.yond's HD provides 10 times better quality images in true high-definition details, 5 times better audio quality with Dolby 5.1 cinematic surround sound, vibrant colours and wider screen compared to standard definition TV.
"Today approximately 1.2 million of our customers are HD-ready. According to an industry report, 59% of all televisions sold in 1H 2009 are already HD-ready with an uptrend in sales. All data indicate that ASTRO's introduction of HD service comes at an opportune time and the market is ready for HD content," said Dato' Rohana.
"ASTRO B.yond is ASTRO's commitment to bring Malaysians the future of the media space and to remain as Malaysia's number one choice. We want to continue enriching their lives by delivering innovation in our content, delivery and services." concluded Dato' Rohana.