|Predecessor(s)||United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)|
|Headquarters||118/1 Tipco Building, Rama XI Road, Sam Sen Nai, Payathai, Bangkok 10400,
|Key people||Soopakij Chearavanont (Chairman)
Supachai Chearavanont (CEO)
|Products||digital satellite and cable TV|
TrueVisions is Thailand's leading cable satellite television operator. Now owned by the True Corporation, the company was formerly known as the United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), but it was rebranded in February 2007, rebranded as TrueVisions.
Origin of TrueVisions
On April 17, 1989, the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand (MCOT) and UBC (which was then International Broadcasting Corporation Public Company Limited or IBC) entered a joint venture agreement for the provision of subscription television service that was subsequently amended on May 19, 1994 and April 17, 1998 or the UBC Concession. Under the UBC Concession, UBC is permitted to operate subscription television on behalf of MCOT until September 30, 2014. UBC is entitled to provide subscription television pursuant to the UBC Concession to the whole of Thailand using a satellite to provide direct-to-home service, cable in the provincial areas and MMDS as permitted by the Post and Telegraph Department, and is entitled to use a satellite to provide service to hubs in provincial areas and then, through local cable networks, on to subscribers.
IBC launched South East Asia’s first subscriber-based television network in Bangkok in October 1989 using an MMDS transmission platform. IBC was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on February 3, 1994 with a registered share capital of Baht 180 million. IBC began serving viewers in major cities in all areas of Thailand in 1994 by transmitting programs using Thaicom 1 satellite. The satellite was used to relay signals to MMDS transmitters in the provinces. In 1995, IBC launched its DStv service using Ku-band transmission and MPEGII video compression. This enabled IBC to increase the number of channels being offered, improve sound and picture quality and distribute its service everywhere in Thailand. These services are now transmitted on the newer and more powerful Thaicom 5.
On July 1, 1998, IBC merged with UTV (below) to form UBC.
Origin of TrueVisions Cable
On November 12, 1993, MCOT and TelecomAsia entered into a memorandum of agreement for a joint venture for the provision of cable television services. Pursuant to its terms, TelecomAsia agreed to set up a public company to operate a cable television business. On June 6, 1994, MCOT and UBC Cable (formerly UTV Cable Network Public Company Limited or UTV) entered into a contract for the joint operation of subscription television services, or the UBC Cable Concession. UBC Cable is permitted to operate subscription television on behalf of MCOT until December 31, 2019. UBC Cable is entitled to provide subscription television pursuant to the UBC Cable Concession in Bangkok and elsewhere.
UTV began providing its CATV service in Bangkok Metropolitan Areas in September 1995. The service was offered on its high quality hybrid fiber coaxial network which it began deploying in 1994. The cable technology allowed for a number of channels to be offered, with high quality sound and picture and allowed for value added services such as pay per view. By 1997 hybrid fiber coaxial cable network passed an estimated 800,000 homes. In 1997 UTV sold the cable infrastructure component of its business to its sister company Asia Multimedia Company Limited allowing UTV to focus on content and subscriber management service delivery. UTV would merge with IBC in 1998.
Number of subscribers
As of the fourth quarter of 2008, TrueVisions had 799,837 subscribers (1,469,000 subscribers including FreeView). The following table charts the annual growth of TrueVisions' subscriber base (excluding TrueLife FreeView):
Personal Video Recording System
TrueVisions is now selling the new PVR (Personal-Digital Video Recording) System, similar to TiVo. However, TrueVisions has claimed that the set-top box will not be compatible with future HD channels or programs.
DVRs set top boxes are sold to subscribers. The HD set top boxes are provided as a part of the special HD subscription.
On October 2011, TrueVisions began offering a combined TiVo-like DVR and HD descrambler—all in one set-top box (called "HD PLUS"). However, customers who wish to use the PVR service has to pay an extra monthly fee above the normal subscribed rate.
As of November 12, 2007, TrueVisions started to run a promo between programs on several channels that they operate, stating that they are currently testing high definition (HD) channels and also the new set-top box system that will support both PVR and HD. They plan to launch the test run at Bangkok ICT Expo in November 2007.
Channels that they claim to be under the test run includes Premier League HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic Channel HD, History Channel HD, and some HD programs on True Series. Although AXN Asia claimed that they filmed The Amazing Race Asia with High Definition cameras from season 2 onwards, they did not broadcast any HD programming in South East Asia until 2011.
Since 2010, TrueVisions began offering high-end subscribers three HD channels (one HBO and two sports) via a special extra subscription. The original HD set-top box also decodes regular TV, but does not contain a DVR function. In 2011, TrueVisions offered 8 new HD channels exclusively for CATV subscribers, along with a new combined HD and PVR set-top box, coinciding with a push to install fibre optic cable networks in selected provincial areas.
On 16 July 2012, TrueVisions expanded their HD offerings to 17 channels, making all HD channels available to both DSTV and CATV subscribers.
In 2013, TrueVisions announced its intention of increasing its HD offering to 50 channels.
Unlike other television operators, TrueVisions's strategy in offering HD channels is to stop offering any duplicated SD channels that are already broadcast in HD, except a few channels where both SD and HD channels are offered. TrueVisions calls this practice as an "upgrade".
TrueVisions has tested 3D broadcasting during 2008, showing short European-made vignettes filmed using the Pulfrich effect, and again in 2010, with segments of Academy Fantasia broadcast live using the Pulfrich effect, along with the vignettes from the previous airings. However, TrueVisions has yet to broadcast 3D programming in other formats.
TrueVisions offers a service called "TrueVisions Anywhere" in order to offer more viewing outlets to its customers. TrueVisions's customers can view their subscribed channels (but not all channels) on any mobile devices through this service by applying for an Anywhere account. Functions include 2 Hours Time-shift, 2 Days Catch-up, On-Demand, and Picture Quality. Many functions are still limited. At the moment, the service is offered for free for any TrueVisions's customers; however, after the free period, customers have to pay a fee in order to use the service.
The number of Anywhere accounts is dependent on the number of installation points the customer has at his/her house.
The number of channels and the free viewing period is dependent on the customer's TrueVisions package.
- http://www.truevisionstv.com/thai/subscriber_growth2.aspx TrueVisions Subscriber Growth
- TrueVisions PVR Website