Last Friday Dec 11, our Malaysia’s Astro TV launched its HDTV or high-definition TV broadcast starting with five HD channels starting with Astro Supersport HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and History HD. More will be available from January on ward.
Subscribers will pay an extra RM20 per month (US$6) for the new Astro B.yond service.
Astro B.yond is a multi-phased innovative service, starting with the country’s first high-definition (HD) broadcast. It is an Internet Protocol-ready next generation set-up box that can deliver high-definition TV.
Currently, Astro has 2.9 million subscribers in Malaysia, which translates to about 48% household penetration. Astro is targeting one million homes for the HDTV service in the medium term, with half of that figure expected in the first year to 18 months.
Subscribers wanting to take B.yond will get a new set-top box and smart card, a new outdoor dish and HDMI cable, and a new remote control. Customers returning an old box will have their installation fee waived.
As well as HDTV, Astro B.yond is offering a new and improved EPG and will in 2010 offer video recording through an external hard drive. Digital video recording, video-on-demand and IPTV connectivity are promised in phases over the next 24 months.
According to Astro there are about 1.2 million Astro customers is using HD-ready TV so it seem that the market is ready for HD content.