Friday, June 30, 2006

Astro Set To Launch 50 More Channels

Astro TV is expected to launch another 50 channels by the end of the year, bringing its total offering to about 100 channels of satellite TV, including premium pay per view TV services, said David Butorac, its group chief operating officer. He said the rolling out of these additional channels and services would depend on the availability of greater bandwidth capacity with the launch of the Measat 3 satellite by Measat Global, an associate company.There had been some delay in the launch of the satellite because of issues related to the launch vehicle, he said at a media and analysts preview of Astro Max, a personal video recorder (PVR), here Thursday.

Astro TV currently beams its programmes on the Measat 1 and Measat 2 satellites to Malaysia and Brunei, and soon to Indonesia. Astro TV now has more than eight million viewers in 1.8 million households in Malaysia. The PVR will be available over the next few weeks at an introductory price of RM988 each.

Astro TV chief executive officer Rohana Rozhan said that the PVR would enable subscribers to record up to 60 hours of their favourite TV shows via 80 gigabyte hard disk. "With the Astro Max, subscribers can watch whatever they want, whenever they want," she said. The PVR will not only enable viewers to watch one programme and record another but also to pause "live" television.

She said Astro TV had spent up to RM80 million to develop, launch and market Astro Max which had been manufactured by its partner, Thomson, at its plant in Johor Baharu. Rohana said with the PVR, all recording functions would be done through a single device without any messy tapes or DVDs. She said Astro TV had committed more than RM500 million to create exciting content, both local and foreign, to its viewers so that its customer value proposition would stay fresh and relevant. "As content grows, with the Astro Max, our subscribers can be sure to never miss a single moment of their favourite programme," she said.

The PVR is expected to be the second decoder set for existing subscribers and may be the primary set for potential customers looking for premium services. However, Butorac explained that content from Astro TV would continue to be available through ordinary decoder boxes. "This (Astro Max) is a premium product and the question of affordability comes into play," he added.


Anonymous mypapit said...

Will this marks the doom of MITV? They are expensive and their channel choices are crappy

4:18 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Bankman said...

If only ASTRO would remove the 3+ minutes delay on their "live" sports (ESPN & StarSports)

6:49 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing the shiny brochures won't tell you is that if you upgrade they will transfer your account - the tricky part is that this involves shutting off your signal for 3 to 5 working days!

So, hope you can survive without Astro for a week. I decided that if I could survive a week then I could survive forever, and just returned my set & cancelled my account.

1:15 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:30 PM GMT+8  

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