Astro (television)

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Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd
Subsidiary
IndustryBroadcasting, Mass Media
Founded29 September 1996; 22 years ago (1996-09-29)
HeadquartersAABC, Lebuhraya Puchong-Sg. Besi, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Area served
Malaysia
Key people
Zaki Azmi (Chairman)
Henry Tan Poh Hock, CEO
ProductsDirect broadcast satellite
Mobile TV
Internet TV
RevenueIncrease RM5.613 million (Q1 2017).[1]
Decrease RM777.71 million (2014)[2]
Increase RM447.95 million (2014)[2]
ParentAstro All Asia Networks plc
Websitewww.astro.com.my

All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator, doing business as Astro, is a Malaysian satellite television provider. It operates in Malaysia and Brunei and has operations at the All Asia Broadcast Centre located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and MEASAT in Cyberjaya. It was granted an exclusive license as a sole pay-television provider by the Malaysia federal government until 2017. It competes with HyppTV, a IPTV service owned by Telekom Malaysia (TM). As of September 2014, Astro has four million subscribers.[3]

Astro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks plc. and operated by MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd.

History

On 29 September 1996, Astro was launched as "Philips ASTRO".

On 18 February 2012, Astro introduced NJOI as a free-to-view satellite TV service, similar to the UK's Freeview, France's TNTSAT and Italy's Tivùsat. As of February 2015, NJOI has 24 SD channels, 5 HD channels and some radio channels.[4]

Astro B.yond

Astro B.yond logo

ASTRO launched its own high-definition platform called Astro B.yond on 11 December 2009. Its rollout costed RM200 million, including marketing and operating costs of approximately RM150 million.[5]

It introduced a PVR with an external hard disk drive connected to the decoder. The 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.[6]

In April 2011, Astro B.yond introduced its IPTV platform, in association with TIME dotCom Berhad.

Astro IPTV

Launched on 20 April 2011 as Astro B.yond IPTV, it featured HD channels, a PVR, VOD channels, high-speed internet and voice services. Astro's initial target audiences were residences of high-rise buildings that were having difficulty with the installation of dishes from Astro's satellite service.[7]

Astro NJOI

Astro NJOI is a Malaysian first free-to-view satellite TV service by Astro. Launched in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia on 18 February 2012, it debuted with 18 channels and 19 radio stations.

Currently, NJOI offers 26 SDTV channels, 5 HD channels and 26 radio channels.[8]

Service and technical information

Both older (bottom) and old (top) of Astro 60cm satellite dish

Astro broadcasts on Ku-band using the transponders of the MEASAT satellite system. Reception of the service signals uses a fixed 65-cm diameter dish antenna. Astro service is currently transmitting from 3 satellites, which are Measat 3, Measat 3a and Measat 3b.

Initially, the HDMI output of the B.yond PVR was disabled (including NJOI) if the user was not subscribed to the HD service. However, since late-2014, the HDMI output is now enabled to every customer with the release of firmware updates featuring multilingual user-interface.[9]

Encryption

Since its launch, Astro distributes 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 tells the receiver how to decrypt the programming for viewing.

  • 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.

Currently, Astro uses the enhanced VideoGuard encryption system for B.yond boxes as it features smart card pairing technology, where the smart card are only allowed for the particular set-top-box issued by Astro, and it is no longer interchangeable like the legacy Astro set-top-boxes.

Viewership

As of February 2015, Astro has provided services to more than 4 million subscribers, which represents more than 50% of Malaysia's television households.[10]

As of Q4 2016, Astro has 3.4 million pay TV subscribers and 1.6 million NJOI subscribers, making a total of 5 million customers, which represents 71% household penetration.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Wall Street Journal http://quotes.wsj.com/MY/ASTRO/financials/annual/income-statement. Retrieved 29 April 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://www.themalaymailonline.com/tech-gadgets/article/astro-scores-in-all-major-indicators
  4. ^ https://www.astro.com.my/njoi
  5. ^ Astro to launch HDTV services on Friday Archived 13 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 December 2009
  6. ^ [1]. Retrieved on 23 April 2011
  7. ^ [2]. Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services, Greyreview.com, Retrieved 24 September 2014
  8. ^ Astro.com.my. "NJOI – Free Satellite TV from Astro". www.astro.com.my. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Jeff Lee - Why my astro set top box HDMI port output not... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  10. ^ [3]. Retrieved on 23 April 2011
  11. ^ "Astro aims to increase household penetration to 75% next year - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 19 February 2017.

External links