Sun Direct is an Indian direct broadcast satellite service provider. Its satellite service, launched in 2005, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in India. Sun Direct uses MPEG-4 digital compression technology, transmitting on INSAT 4B at 93.5°E. and MEASAT-3 at 91.5°E. It is the country's first MPEG-4 technology DTH service provider.
Its primary competitors are cable television and other DTH service providers—Airtel digital TV, Reliance Big TV, DD Direct+, Dish TV, TATA Sky and Videocon D2H.
Sun Direct is a joint venture between the Maran's Sun Network family and the Astro Group of Malaysia. Sun TV entered into an MoU with the Astro group in January 27, 1997, when Aircel was not in existence, but since the government of India did not allow the use of KU band transponders for DTH services the project was put on hold, the firm said in a statement. After the DTH policy was announced by the government in December 2007,Astro picked up a 20% stake in Sun Direct TV,the stake was valued at approximately $115 million. Sun Direct TV was registered on February 16, 2005. However, the failed launch of INSAT 4C resulted in a lack of transponders, delaying the launch. The service was finally launched on 18th Jan 2008 after availability of transponders from INSAT 4B.
Sun Direct offered subscribers a satellite dish and Set-top box for free and basic monthly plan as low as 75(approximately). Currently basic monthly plan costs 143(approximately).
Sun Direct spread rapidly all over the country owing to lowest pricing of any DTH services in India. In December 2009, Sun Direct was launched in Mumbai, Country's financial capital and announced its pan India launch. By 2009 it became the leading DTH provider with 3 million subscribers. This makes it the second largest DTH service provider of India. In April 2010 Sun Direct became the No. 1 DTH service provider of India with 5.8 million subscribers and soon officially launched its HD service in India.
INSAT-4B glitch and satellite change 
On July 7, 2010 a power glitch in the INSAT 4B satellite turned down the DTH system partly and SUN Direct announced that the service will be free till whole services are restored.The partial service was restored on INSAT 4B with 193 channels and meantime SUN Direct is now transmitting 173 channels on MEASAT-3 for uninterrupted transition of its customers from INSAT 4B at 93.5°E. to MEASAT-3 at 91.5°E. Sun direct now using 4 Measat-3 Transponders(TP's) and 3 INSAT-4B TP's to provide DTH services, and additionally through exclusive agreement with BIG TV,a DTH arm of Reliance ADAG group, Sun Direct Shares 2 TP's of BigTV(BIG TV holds 12 TP's in Measat-3),i.e. BIG TV allows SunDirect to get signals of FTA channels to Sun direct. Sun Direct stopped its Standard Definition TV services from INSAT-4B and moved its High Definition TV Services to INSAT-4B, Sun Direct now its entire Standard Definition TV is from Measat-3. Sun Direct becomes the second DTH Provider to change satellite.
Sun Direct HD 
Sun Direct is also the first to provide high-definition television services in India.It provided the HD beam from Measat 3 at 91.5.Starting with two HD channels (National Geographic Channel HD and Tamil / Telugu HD Service. Now the HD beam is from INSAT-4B. It is the first DTH service provider to show IPL 3 in HD format and has tie up with Dolby Digital.
Sun Direct HD PVR 
Sun Direct has introduced recording feature facility as an addition to its HD services.Subscribers can now record unlimited HD or SD television content via USB port facility in the all new PVR box.The new Sun Direct HD boxes let us attach any external storage like a USB drive or HDD & record TV content on it.The direct-to-home (DTH) company claims the new HD boxes have following advantages: unlimited recording, recording content from a channel while watching other channels, ability to set time up to a week in advance to record future programs, and facility to pause the live channel and watch after a short break.
Subscriber base 
Sun Direct has over 8 million subscribers as of January 2013. There were over 48 million DTH subscribers in India as of June 2012.
See also 
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