|Founded||1 June 1996|
|Headquarters||AABC, Lebuhraya Puchong-Sg. Besi, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Malaysia and Brunei|
|Dato' Rohana Rozhan
|Products||Direct broadcast satellite
|Revenue||RM 2.6 billion (2014)|
|Parent||Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad|
All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator (or better known as Astro) is a Malaysian direct broadcast satellite (DBS) Pay TV service. It transmits digital satellite television and radio to households in Malaysia and Brunei and has operations at the All Asia Broadcast Centre located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and MEASAT in Cyberjaya. Astro was granted an exclusive license as a sole Pay TV provider by the Malaysia federal government until 2022. Until then, it will be the only DBS provider in Malaysia. Its only competitor is HyppTV, a cable TV service by TM. As of September 2014, astro provided services to over four million subscribers.
Astro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks plc. and operated by MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd. This company was de-listed from the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad on 14 June 2010, following a successful take-over offer by Astro Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Tegas Sdn Bhd and its affiliates and Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Astro launched the first High Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia in December 2009 under the brand Astro B.yond. Following the launch of HD, Astro B.yond PVR (Personal Video Recorder) was introduced in June 2010 and Astro B.yond IPTV in April 2011 followed by Over-The-Top service, Astro on the Go in 2012.
On 18 February 2012, Astro introduced NJOI as an entry-level DTH satellite TV service. It is the first non-subscription-based satellite TV. As of February 2015, NJOI has 25 TV channels and 20 radio channels.
- 1 Brief history
- 2 Satellite and transponders
- 3 Events chronology
- 4 Channels
- 5 Upcoming channels
- 6 Service and technical information
- 7 Broadband and internet-based services
- 8 Viewership
- 9 Red button feature
- 10 International operations and joint venture
- 11 Awards and accolades
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan, was issued a license in 1995 to operate MEASAT. MEASAT in turn launched ASTRO, Malaysia’s digital direct broadcast satellite service. Krishnan is a long-time member of the board of the Bank Negara and operates Malaysia’s “Sports Toto” (owned by Berjaya Group currently). He is also estimated with a net worth of over US$7.4 billion. Malaysia’s privately owned FM stations exhibit similar ownership patterns as television, and is largely controlled by Ananda Krishnan. Five of the seven stations are owned by Airtime Management and Programming Sdn. Bhd. (AMP). AMP additionally operates four “FM” services that are available only via digital direct broadcast satellite (ASTRO). AMP is also a division of Krishnan’s ASTRO. Not forgetting that Ananda Krishnan also has control over the telecommunication company Binariang Bhd. that owns two satellites Measat-1, Measat-2 and now Maxis Communications Berhad(S) (Shriver, 2003). After the launch of the MEASAT-1 satellite as part of Malaysia’s commercialisation of space, Astro commenced broadcasting in 1996 with an initial bouquet of twenty-two television and eight radio channels, which were its own channels (Astro All Asia Networks, 2011).
Satellite and transponders
Astro utilises 11 high powered Ku-band transponders on MEASAT-3 and 6 high powered Ku-band transponders on MEASAT-3A to transmit its signal across Malaysia and Brunei. MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3A are owned by MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of MEASAT Global. Astro and MEASAT Global are related parties. MEASAT-3 was launched into orbit in Dec 2006 at 91.5 degrees east, entered commercial service on 1 February 2007 and has a design lifetime of 15 years. MEASAT-3A, which also has a design lifetime of 15 years, entered into commercial service in Jul 2009 and is co-located at the same orbital slot as MEASAT-3. Both satellites are controlled from the Measat Teleport and Broadcast Centre located in Cyberjaya, in the same facility as the Cyberjaya Broadcast Centre. A backup satellite control facility is located at the All Asia Broadcast Centre. MEASAT-3B was launched into orbit in September 2014 and entered commercial service in Dec 2014, have 18 transponders which Astro expects to be able to expand its broadcasting capacity to 180 SD and 102 HD channels.
In January 1996, Astro was officially formerly known as "Philips ASTRO" it was officially launched by the digital video broadcasting – satellite form of the programme for general used 4-satellite channel used translated into English on Saluran 20 (now Astro SuperSport), Malay on Saluran 1 (now Astro Ria), Cantonese on Saluran 60 (now Astro Wah Lai Toi) and Tamil on Saluran 2 (now Astro Vaanavil) with an initial bouquet of 22-digital television and 3-digital radio was backed by Philips Electronics as Holland digital technology by the digital electronics.
On 1 January 2003, Astro Showcase was launched as a free-to-view channel showcasing Southeast Asian movies. The following year, Season Pass was launched, showing games and other sporting events. These two have now became pay-per-view channels under the Astro Box Office name and new logo was launched, the uppercase 'Philips ASTRO' was changed to the lowercase 'astro'.
On 1 November 2006, Astro News was co-produced with the national news agency Bernama, with the former taking 12-minutes of the programme for general. The news is also translated into Chinese on Astro Asian Entertainment Channel, Malay on Astro Ria and Tamil on Astro Vaanavil.
On 1 April 2007, Astro added another 9-satellite television channels into its line-up. The nine channels that were announced were Jia Yu Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Home & Health, E! Entertainment, Astro Vellithirai, Sun Music, Eurosport and The Golf Channel.
The 3-satellite television channels were already added into Astro's line-up on 24 April 2007.
The 6-satellite television channels became available from 1 May 2007 onward.
On 1 July 2007 onward, Astro On Demand Preview was launched and it is entirely devoted to telling the Astro subscribers about this new channel. A total of 31 satellite television channels have been allocated for this new service.
On 13 October 2007, Astro added 7 satellite television channels into its repertoire, including the Asian Food Channel, Astro Hua Hee Dai, Astro Oasis, Astro Xiao Tai Yang, Chutti TV, KBS World and Makkal TV. This increased the number of 803 satellite television channels on Astro.
On 1 December 2007, Australia Network started transmission on Astro platform.
On 1 January 2008, Bernama TV is a 24-hours in daily of Malay news channel of starts transmission on the Astro platform.
On 1 May 2009, Astro launched the Mustika Pack is a new pay television package comprising three new channels named Astro Citra, Astro Warna, and B4U. Astro Warna offers comedy; while Astro Citra is the Malay version of the HBO Asia channel providing Southeast Asian blockbuster movies, Malay premieres and Malay epic series; and B4U the latest box-office Bollywood movies and music with Malay subtitles. Astro Bella however replaced B4U in early 2012.
Astro then added a second Astro branded sports channel, Astro SuperSport 2 on 1 November 2009.
On 23 November 2009, Astro starts transmission of the first high-definition channels in Malaysia, Astro Supersport HD, ESPN HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD, followed by ESPN HD in 11 January 2010.
Granada TV was added the Astro platform on 1 December 2009 featuring many of the United Kingdom's best shows. Granada TV was subsequently renamed to ITV Granada on 1 November 2010.
On 25 March 2010, Astro Arena, the country's first local sports channel went on air. Astro Arena, a 24-hour local sports channel will be delivered predominantly in Malay and available to all Astro customers under its Family Pack.
On 1 April 2010, Astro starts transmission of TVB Classic Channel is a drama channel in Cantonese, featuring memorable and highly rated dramas from the 1970s and 1980s – all from TVB's much-coveted vault of library titles, covering varied genres such as romance, costume, action and comedy.
On 1 May 2010, Astro starts transmission of ESPNews is a sports news channel from ESPN STAR Sports showcasing the latest international and local sports news. This channel is a rolling news service featuring highlights, interviews, results and lead-up stories.
In conjunction with the launch of Astro B.yond PVR', Astro starts transmission of 3-new high-definition channels such: AXN HD, Astro Zhi Zun HD – a Chinese general entertainment high-definition channel – and FX HD will join Astro B.yond's HD line up. In addition, FOX will make its debut on Astro in standard definition. All these new channels started transmission on 16 June 2010.
On 1 July 2010, Astro starts transmission of Astro SuperSport 3 (ASSP 3). ASSP 3 will broadcast 'LIVE' coverage of BPL (Barclays Premier League) games as well as also feature highlights, previews and magazine programs around the BPL. ASSP 3 will also broadcast other football plus a variety of other sporting genres.
On 11 August 2010, Astro starts transmission of National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild). Nat Geo Wild, is in Malaysian, English and Mandarin language tracks for all programs.
On 17 August 2010, Astro starts transmission of AXN Beyond HD as well.
On 1 October 2010, Astro launches three additional HD channels, ONE HD provides Asian general entertainment with a focus on Korean content. while STAR Movies HD brings movies in HD and Astro Lifestyle HD channel which will air programmes from both Food Network Asia HD (9:00 am to 9:00 pm) and Life Inspired (Li) (9:00 pm to 9:00 am).
On 9 December 2010, Astro Tutor TV UPSR returned as a permanent channel on Astro with a programme line-up include, Mathematics, Science, English and Bahasa Malaysia with full interactive 'red-button' features to make revision even more engaging and fun.
On 14 January 2011, Astro launches Astro First, a first of its kind movie-on-demand service. Astro customers will be able to watch films within two weeks after the cinema release.
On 1 May 2011, Astro offers Astro Tutor TV channel for PMR and SPM version, with newest line-up programmes include, Mathematics, Science, Malaysian English, History, Malaysian, and Additional Maths (only for SPM) with full interactive 'red-button' features to make revision even more engaging and fun.
On 1 July 2011, Astro launches another new package called Indo Pek, which comprising two new Astro branded channels named Bintang and Pelangi. Bintang provides Indonesian lifestyle entertainment such as music videos, gossips, and more. Pelangi shows Indonesian movies from the 1970s and later.
On 15 September 2012, Astro launches Disney's extreme channel in SD and HD version, Disney XD on channel 617 and 637 (HD). This channels will be go to Astro Family Pack.
On 13 January 2013, Astro launched the second Chinese HD channel named Astro Quan Jia HD for all Astro B.yond customers. The first Chinese HD channel Astro Zhi Zun HD will be revamped to a Cantonese HD channel, which is a sister channel of Astro Wah Lai Toi.
On 11 July 2014, Astro incorporates Astro On Demand into the upgraded version of Dynasty Package. This channel will be made available to all existing Dynasty Package subscribers on Astro B.yond platform.
On 1 November 2014, Astro's first home shopping channel, Astro Go Shop launched.
On 16 November 2014, Astro second Chinese HD channel Astro Quan Jia HD which is showing local programmes and Singapore drama along with Astro AEC will be moved to new Chinese HD channel, Astro AEC HD and the Chinese Drama HD channel, Astro Shuang Xing HD, which is showing all drama in SD version of Astro Shuang Xing, along with 8 new channels such as FOX Action Movies HD, FOX HD, FOX Family Movies HD, FYI HD, HITS HD, Celestial Classic Movies, ZooMoo and DIVA HD. All of 8 new HD channels and ZooMoo is available for preview to all Astro customers from 16 November 2014 until 28 February 2015. At the same time, Astro chose to discontinued FOX in SD version on channel 710 upgraded to FOX HD on channel 724.
On 18 November 2014, Astro Shuang Xing and Astro Shuang Xing HD has finally showing hotest HKTV drama for the first time with Chinese & Bahasa Malaysia subtitles until English subtitles for the second HKTV drama starting the end of 2014.
On end-year 2014, Astro launches first Korean channel in SD version only for preview from end of 2014 to 16 February 2015, Channel M until the launch of HD version.
On 1 February 2015, Astro launching the first free Chinese HD channel named Astro Xi Yue HD for all NJOI customers. However, this channel is also available for all Astro B.yond customers when 88% of the customers who have watching HD channels. NJOI has now have 25 SDTV channels, 20 Radio channels and 1 HDTV channels. However, Astro has already have 49 HDTV channels and the HD Service fee is not changed.
On 16 February 2015, Astro launches all new Korean Pack for K-pop fans. This pack includes Oh!K HD and Channel M HD. These channels are now available on complimentary channels from 16 until 28 February 2015. At the same time, Channel M in SD will be end of the preview at 16 February 2015 and Golf Channel HD launches too.
On 26 February 2015, Golf Channel HD will no longer available on Sports Pack and become to ala carte channel. At the same time, Golf Channel in SD ceases transmission.
ASTRO launched Malaysia's first high-definition television service branded Astro B.yond on 11 December 2009. The roll out of these services is estimated to cost some RM200 million, including marketing and operating costs of approximately RM150 million, over the next financial year, ahead of revenue and earnings from these services.
Astro B.yond also introduced a Digital Video Recording (DVR) service, available through the Astro B.yond Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and an external hard disk drive connected to the Astro B.yond decoder. The Astro B.yond PVR comes with an inbuilt 500GB hard disk and allows customers to record up to two live programmes at one time, rewind and pause live TV. Recording services is also available through Astro B.yond via a compatible external hard disk drive and activation of the recording service by Astro.
In April 2011, Astro B.yond introduced its IPTV services through Astro B.yond IPTV a collaboration with TIME dotCom Berhad (TIME) to deliver IPTV. Since December 2010, this provides a wide choice of Astro channels in HD (High-Definition) with personal video recording and video-on-demand services delivered via TIME's 100% fibre broadband. Astro B.yond IPTV will be progressively available in Klang Valley and Penang. At present, Astro B.yond IPTV is available at 60 high-rise condominiums within Mont Kiara, KLCC, Bangsar and Penang.
The Astro B.yond decoder is a rebranded Pace plc DS-830NA.
Astro IPTV is an Internet Protocol Television service by Astro. Launched on 20 April 2011 as Astro B.yond IPTV, its subscribers were entitled to high definition Astro channels, personal video recording, video-on-demand, high-speed internet, and voice services. Astro’s initial target audiences were residences of high-rise buildings who previously had difficulty accessing HDTV services. By offering HDTV services with its IPTV, Astro was able to bring HDTV to these high-rise residences. This was made possible by partnering with Time dotCom Bhd and later on Maxis Berhad (April 2013). Astro B.yond IPTV was rebranded to Astro IPTV in February 2014.
Source : Astro Channel
|8TV||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Adithya TV||Maharaja Pack/Namma Pack/Super Pack 2|
|Al-Jazeera English||News Pack|
|Animal Planet||Learning Pack|
|ART||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Animax Asia||Variety Pack|
|Asian Food Channel||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro AEC||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|Astro AEC HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Arena||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Awani||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Bella||Mustika Pack (Astro)/Mustika Pack (NJOI Prepaid)/Nilai Pack/Super Pack 1/Premium Channels (NJOI Prepaid)|
|Astro Best||Astro Best|
|Astro Box Office||Astro Box Office|
|Astro Ceria||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Citra||Mustika Pack (Astro)/Mustika Pack (NJOI Prepaid)/Nilai Pack/Super Pack 1/Premium Channels (NJOI Prepaid)|
|Astro First||Astro First/Astro First Portal|
|Astro Go Shop||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|Astro hitz||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Hua Hee Dai||Wah Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|Astro Mustika HD||Mustika Pack (Astro)/Nilai Pack/Super Pack 1|
|Astro Maya HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Oasis||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|Astro Prima||Basic Pack/NJOI|
|Astro Quan Jia HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Ria||Basic Pack/NJOI Prepaid|
|Astro SuperSport(SD & HD)||Sports Pack|
|Astro SuperSport 2 (SD & HD)||Sports Pack|
|Astro SuperSport 3 (SD & HD)||Sports Pack|
|Astro SuperSport 4||Sports Pack|
|Astro Shuang Xing||Dynasty Pack/Wah Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|Astro Tutor TV PT3||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Tutor TV SPM||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Tutor TV UPSR||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro TVIQ||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Vaanavil||Basic Pack/NJOI|
|Astro Vellithirai||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Vinmeen HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Astro Wah Lai Toi||Dyansty Pack/Wah Pack/Super Pack 3/Premium Channels|
|Astro Wah Lai Toi HD||Dynasty Pack/Super Pack 3/Premium Channels|
|Astro Warna||Mustika Pack (Astro)/Mustika Pack (NJOI Prepaid)/Nilai Pack/Super Pack 1/Premium Channels (NJOI Prepaid)|
|Astro Xi Yue HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|Astro Xiao Tai Yang||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Australia Plus||News Pack|
|AXN Asia(SD & HD)||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|BBC World News||News Pack|
|Bernama TV||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Bintang||Indo Pack (Astro)/Indo Pack (NJOI Prepaid)/Nilai Pack|
|Bloomberg Television||News Pack|
|Cartoon Network Asia||Kids Pack|
|CCTV-4||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|CCTV News||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Celestial Classic Movies||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Celestial Movies||Chuen Min Pack/Wah Pack/Fans Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|Celestial Movies HD||Wah Pack/Fans Pack/New Emperor Pack/Premium Channels|
|Channel M HD||Korean Pack|
|Chutti TV||Maharaja Pack/Namma Pack/Super Pack 2|
|Cinemax Asia||Movies Pack|
|CNBC Asia||News Pack|
|CNN International||News Pack|
|Crime & Investigation Network||Metro Pack|
|CTI Asia||Chuen Min Pack/Wah Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|Discovery Channel||Learning Pack|
|Discovery HD World||Learning Pack|
|Discovery Science||Learning Pack|
|Disney Channel Asia||Kids Pack|
|Disney Junior Asia||Kids Pack|
|Disney XD(SD & HD)||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Diva Universal(SD & HD)||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Food Network Asia||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Fox HD||Basic Pack|
|Fox Action Movie HD||Movies Pack|
|Fox Family Movies HD||Movies Pack|
|Fox Movies Premium||Movies Pack|
|Fox Sports Asia(SD & HD)||Sports Pack|
|Fox Sports 2||Sports Pack|
|Fox Sports 3||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|FX HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|fyi HD||Metro Pack|
|Golf Channel HD||Premium Channels|
|HBO Asia(SD & HD)||Movies Pack|
|History Channel Asia||Learning Pack|
|Hits HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|ITV Choice||Metro Pack|
|Jaya TV||Chakravathy Pack/Namma Pack|
|Kah Lai Toi||Basic Pack/Chun Min Pack/NJOI|
|Kalaignar TV||Chakravathy Pack/Namma Pack|
|KBS World (SD & HD)||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|KIX HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Life Inspired HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Makkal TV||Basic Pack/NJOI|
|MTV Asia||Variety Pack|
|Nat Geo Wild||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|National Geographic Channel(SD & HD)||Learning Pack|
|Nickelodeon Asia||Kids Pack|
|NTV7||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|ONE TV ASIA HD||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|Pelangi||Indo Pack (Astro)/Indo Pack (NJOI Prepaid)/Nilai Pack|
|Phoenix Chinese Channel||Dynasty Pack/Wah Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|Phoenix InfoNews Channel||Chuen Min Pack/Wah Pack/New Emperor Pack/Super Pack 3|
|PPV Movies HD||Astro Best/First|
|Raj TV||Chakravathy Pack/Namma Pack|
|Sky News International||News Pack|
|Star World(SD & HD)||Variety Pack|
|STAR Vijay||Chakravathy Pack/Namma Pack|
|Sundance Channel||Movies Pack|
|SUN Music||Maharaja Pack/Namma Pack/Super Pack 2|
|SUN TV||Maharaja Pack/Namma Pack/Super Pack 2|
|TLC||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|TV1||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|TV2||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|TV3||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|TV9||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|TV Alhijrah||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|TVB Classic||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack|
|TVB Entertainment News||Dynasty Pack/Super Pack 3|
|TVB Xing He||Astro Dynasty Pack/Astro Super Pack 3/NJOI Ying Shi Pack/NJOI Prepaid|
|TVBS-Asia||Dynasty Pack/Super Pack 3|
|TVi||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI|
|Zee Variasi||Basic Pack/Chuen Min Pack/NJOI Prepaid|
|Zoo Moo||Kids Pack|
- ANIPLUS HD
- Astro Bao Xiao Tai HD
- Astro Gembira HD
- Astro SuperSport 4 HD
- BBC Knowledge
Service and technical information
The direct-to-home (DTH), is broadcast as high-power Ku-band transmissions using the transponders of the MEASAT satellite system. Reception of the service signals uses a fixed 60-cm diameter dish antenna.
Ku-band signals can be affected by rain attenuation (rain fade), making it susceptible to frequent outages in heavy rainfall areas such as Malaysia, the operators of Astro have employed a tailor-made system to boost power of the satellite delivery system to overcome this problem. The service availability of 99.7%, however, is still a topic of much debate by subscribers.
Set top box manufacturers
|Generation||Country||Manufacturer||Logo||Model||Date Introduced||Date Dissolved|
|1st generation/launch product||Netherlands||Philips||Old||INS 610||1 January 1996||31 December 2002|
|2nd generation||Japan||Pioneer||DVB 8750s||1 January 2003||now|
Since its launch, Astro transmits programming with encryption to mitigate signal piracy. The receiver (also known as an IRD, or "integrated receiver-decoder") uses ISO/IEC 7816 smart cards which tell the receiver how to decrypt the programming for viewing. Astro is now using a third generation of access smart cards.
- The first generation of smart cards were used until 2004. The encryption uses the SECA Mediaguard.
- The second generation of smart cards were introduced in 2004 and used until 2008. The encryption uses the improved version of Mediaguard.
- The third generation of smart cards were introduced in 2008. This is the current "standard issue" smart card. It uses the NDS VideoGuard encryption system.
Packages / subscription
The Astro service uses the package pricing model commonly used by other pay-TV providers in which channels are grouped into packages (i.e. basic and premium) made available to subscribers at a monthly fee.
Since 15 November 2007, there has been a slight alteration to the packages and prices. The Family package, which is the lowest entry level, offers a fee of RM37.95. Subscribers who pay this amount will only enjoy channels grouped under Astro Family banner that offers 26 channels, including six free-to-air terrestrial television networks, in-house vernacular channels and some international networks.
The basic packages (also known as Mini packages) are categorised into four groups known as Variety (Entertainment channels such as MTV and E!), Learning (Educational and documentary-related channels such as Discovery Channel), Fun (Children's channels such as Disney Channel) and News. The sports package – initially a mini package – is now offered separately, and must be subscribed with another Mini package at least.
Premium packages (known as Super packages) include the Movie and Dynasty (Chinese-language channels) packages. They are offered at a higher rate than the other available package.
Also, five new packages, collectively known as the Plus packages, were introduced to Astro since 15 November 2007. They include the Metro package (such as Discovery Home & Health), the Maharaja package (Tamil-language channels), the Gold package, the New Emperor package (both Chinese language packages), and the Mustika package (Malay and Bollywood package). Subscribers cannot select both the Gold Package and the New Emperor Package as four channels in the Gold Package are available within the New Emperor Package as well.
Broadband and internet-based services
At the end of 1999, Astro's operator MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems announced a proposal to provide high-speed satellite-delivered Internet access services. The service, called @stronet-JARING, was to be a one-way terrestrial return system, whereby Malaysian ISP Jaring would provide the outbound data service through dial-up (and later broadband) access. Downloads would be received via the MEASAT satellite system, which promised a maximum download speed of 6.5Mbit/s. A PC-based trial was performed in early 2000 with a maximum download speed of 400kbit/s. Other proposed services included Multicast File Transfer and Multicast Streaming Delivery. The service, however, has never been made available publicly.
In May 2005, Astro launched Astro.tv, a broadband TV portal. Initially, it had two video channels: Akademi Fantasia Xtra and GOALTV. The service required a separate subscription fee charged to the subscribers mobile phone bill. It was rebranded as Astro Broadband..
In 2010, Astro introduced the Astro B.yond Player Online offering access to selected programmes via LIVE video streaming on astro.com.my to its customers. There is also Video-On-Demand and selected programme replays available online. The Astro B.yond Player comprises videos from Astro's locally produced content, LIVE football matches and a special programmes HD broadcast. Astro B.yond Player Online requires a Microsoft Silverlight plug-in.
Since December 2010, Astro's strategic collaboration with TIME dotCom Berhad (TIME) has enabled Astro to deliver IPTV with multiplay of Astro channels in HD (High-Definition) with Personal Video Recording (PVR) and VOD (Video-on-Demand) services delivered via TIME's 100% fibre broadband offering the fastest Internet speed in the country with voice to Malaysian homes.
As of February 2015, Astro has provided services to more than 4 million subscribers, which represents more than 50% of Malaysia's television households.
During high-profile events, Astro adds a red button interactive feature to some channels to provide a link to several different feeds from the event, thereby enabling viewers to select between events or sporting matches that may be taking place simultaneously. The Red Button feature is also used to provide interactive services such as programming updates, event news, scores, contest information and sponsor advertising. The service is accessible by pressing the Red Button on the set-top box's remote control when prompted by a "Press Red Button" logo on-screen.
The Red Button service was first used in June 2004 to provide enhanced services for the program Akademi Fantasia, the localised version of Mexico's La Academia.
Other multi-feed/channel events using the Red Button feature:
|Event||No of feeds / channels||Broadcast channel|
|2003 Southeast Asian Games||4||ESPN
Astro Box Office Sport
|2004 Thomas & Uber Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2004|
|2004 Summer Olympics|
|2005 Southeast Asian Games||8||Astro SuperSport|
|2006 Winter Olympics|
|2006 Thomas & Uber Cup|
|2006 FIFA World Cup|
|2006 Commonwealth Games|
|2006 Asian Games|
|2007 Southeast Asian Games||11|
|2008 Thomas & Uber Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2008|
|2008 Summer Olympics|
|2009 Southeast Asian Games||10 (5 in SDTV and 5 in HDTV)||Astro SuperSport in SDTV and HDTV|
|2010 Winter Olympics|
|2010 Thomas & Uber Cup|
|2010 FIFA World Cup|
|2010 Asian Games|
|2011 Southeast Asian Games|
|2012 Thomas & Uber Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2012||10 (10 in SDTV and 10 in HDTV)||Astro SuperSport in SDTV and HDTV)|
|2012 Summer Olympics||10 (10 in SDTV, 10 in HDTV & 10 in 3DTV)||ESPN and STAR Sports in SDTV, HDTV and 3DTV)|
|2014 Winter Olympics||4 (2 in SDTV and 2 in HDTV)||Astro SuperSport|
|2014 FIFA World Cup||8 (4 in SDTV and 4 in HDTV)||Astro SuperSport in SDTV and HDTV|
International operations and joint venture
The Astro service is currently also available in Brunei under the brand Kristal-Astro. Launched on 24 January 2000, the Brunei operation is a joint venture company established between Brunei company DST through its subsidiary, Kristal Sdn Bhd (51.1%) and Measat Broadcast Network Systems (48.9%). That service comprises over 80 DTH television and radio channels.
Indonesia (as of Astro Nusantara)
A joint venture company, PT Direct Vision, in which Astro will hold a 20% stake, operates the Astro service in Indonesia. 48 channels including 5 locally produced Indonesia exclusive channels were launched under the Astro brand. The service ceased transmission sign-off closedown on Monday, 20 October 2008 at 00:01 local time midnight.
Sun Direct is an 80:20 joint venture between the Kalanidhi Maran family and the Astro Group of Malaysia. Sun Direct adds around 200,000 subscribers per month in the south and the target is three million plus active subscribers by the end of this fiscal nationally. Sun Direct is the first one to adopt the advanced MPEG4 technology offering better compression and signal quality and is the first one to offer HDTV (High definition) content. Sun Direct offers all customer premises equipment like the dish and Set Top box at no additional cost to the customer, which is a practice followed by DTH platforms across the world.
Astro joint venture with Endemol to open the second Asian branch and the branch is call Endemol Malaysia and than the first format from Endemol is Kamilah Bintang -A kids talent searching reality show and was aired on Astro Ceria since November 2010.
Awards and accolades
On November 2009, Astro was awarded the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Chairman's Award 2009 for its contribution to the pay-TV industry in the region.
- Astro Nusantara (Indonesia)
- List of Malaysian television stations
- Mega TV (non-operational since 2001)
- MiTV (non-operational since 31 October 2006, awaiting relaunch as U Television)
- Fine TV
- Commercialisation of space
- Aora TV
- . Retrieved on 8 July 2014
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