TrueVisions

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True Visions Group Co., Ltd.
Formerly called
United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)
UBC-True
Public: (SET:TRUE)
Industry Pay television
Founded 1 July 1998; 19 years ago (1998-07-01)
Headquarters 118/1 Tipco Building, Rama XI Road, Sam Sen Nai, Payathai, Bangkok 10400,
Thailand
Area served
Southeast Asia
Key people
Soopakij Chearavanont (Chairman)
Supachai Chearavanont (CEO)
Products Digital satellite and cable TV
Parent True Corporation
Website truevisionstv.com

TrueVisions is a cable and satellite television operator in Thailand. TrueVisions is owned by the True Corporation. Until February 2007, it was called the United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) or UBC-True.

History[edit]

International Broadcasting Corporation (1989 – 1998)[edit]

International Broadcasting Corporation Limited
Subsidiary
Industry Pay television
Founded 17 April 1989; 28 years ago (1989-04-17)
Founder Thaksin Shinawatra
Defunct 1 July 1998 (1998-07-01)
Headquarters Bangkok, Thailand
Area served
Thailand
Products Satellite television
Website www.truevisionsgroup.com

In 1989, the International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) was established by Thaksin Shinawatra. It was the first national cable TV provider. The MCOT gave the IBC a twenty year concession to a provide subscription television service. The IBC broadcast its programmes via super high frequency microwaves using MMDS.[1]

In 1995, after approval for an expansion of coverage area, the IBC began its first DTH service.[2][3] In 1997, the South African–Dutch company, MIH Limited, bought a sixteen percent stake in the IBC.[4] The IBC obtained most program content from the channels of other countries including HBO, CNN and ESPN.

UTV Cable Network (1993 – 1998)[edit]

Thai Cable Vision Public Company Limited
Public company
Founded 2 October 1992; 24 years ago (1992-10-02)
Defunct 1 July 1998 (1998-07-01)
Website www.truevisionsgroup.com

In September 1995, UTV began a CATV service in the Bangkok metropolitan area. The service was provided on a hybrid fiber coaxial network. The cable technology allowed a number of channels to be offered with high quality sound and pictures. It also provided a pay-per-view option. By 1997, the hybrid fiber coaxial cable network reached about 800,000 homes.[5] In 1997, UTV sold the cable infrastructure component of its business to its sister company, Asia Multimedia Company Limited. This allowed UTV to focus on content and service delivery to subscribers.

Merger with United Broadcasting Corporation (1998 – 2006)[edit]

In February 1998, after the onset of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the IBC merged with UTV in order to decrease operational costs. The United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) was formed. The UBC later split into two companies: UBC plc. which provided a pay-television service via the IBC's satellite transmission concession, and UBC Cable Co., Ltd. which provided a pay-television service via UTV's cable concession.

UBC-True (2006 – 2007)[edit]

In November 2005, True Corporation (True) bought a 30.59 percent stake in UBC from MIH Holdings. It launched a tender offer for the 221 million shares outstanding at 26.5 baht per share and delisted UBC from the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).[6]

In April 2006, UBC rebranded to "UBC-True". UBC was delisted from SET on April 11, 2006.[7]

On April 2, 2006, UBC-True announced that it would launch the documentary channels Explore 1, Explore 2, and Explore 3 in October 2006. UBC-True also announced the launch of entertainment channels, G-Square and UBC Preview, followed by two music channels, Majung TV and True Music.

TrueVisions (2007 – present)[edit]

On January 24, 2007, UBC-True was re-branded as "TrueVisions" (TrueVisions UBC). It announced its purchase of exclusive rights to the Premier League.[8]

On July 12, 2012, after a long battle about Copyright infringement (piracy), TrueVisions switched its content encryption system to VideoGuard. It also upgraded its video encryption from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. This was used with the new HD set-top box launched in October 2011.[9]

In 2012, TrueVisions lost its bid for the 2013 – 2016 Premier League broadcast rights to a new company, CTH. In 2016, TrueVisions restored the Premier League contents through beIN Sports, the Qatar based sports network. After negotiations, TrueVisions aired 6 beIN sports channels.[10]

On October 15, 2016, TrueVisions suspended the transmission of some of its entertainment and information channels to abide by the official rules for the mourning period following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Regular programming was gradually returned to the channels over the course of the next several weeks.

Controversy[edit]

Channel deletions[edit]

On April 1, 2013, TrueVisions deleted Star World and Channel M from its platform because Fox International Channels no longer offered them on an exclusive basis. Viewers were given two days' notice. The Star World slot was filled by Life Inspired.[11] On December 1, 2015, TrueVisions deleted the Asia Food Network from its platform. The creator discontinued production until January 1, 2017.

On November 1, 2016, Discovery Science Asia, DMAX Asia, Eve and Discovery Kids were removed from the platform. TrueVisions said the deletion was due to Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific stopping broadcasts of those channels in Asia. However, the channels were seen in other Asian countries.

On December 26, 2016, TrueVisions said it was planning to delete HBO HD, HBO Family, HBO Hits, HBO Signature, Cinemax and RED by HBO on January 1, 2017, saying it had not reached an agreement with the content provider. On December 27, 2016, TrueVisions' changes were approved. The HBO channels were replaced by Warner TV, Sony Channel, Paramount Channel, Fox Action Movies, Celestial Classic Movies and True Film HD2.[12] True Corporation said the changes were made because the sister channels received low ratings, and HBO Asia would not allow TrueVisions to carry only the main HBO HD channel.[13]

Number of subscribers[edit]

At the end of the 2008 financial year, TrueVisions had 799,837 subscribers (1,469,000 subscribers including FreeView).[14] The table below, charts the annual growth of TrueVisions' subscriber base (excluding TrueLife FreeView):[15]

Year Subscribers
1998 301,309
1999 324,537
2000 380,956
2001 406,589
2002 437,845
2003 434,815
2004 457,542
2005 483,816
2006 558,860
2007 618,228
2008 799,837

Products[edit]

Personal Video Recording System[edit]

In July 2008, TrueVisions launched its PVR (Personal-Digital Video Recording) system. The TrueVisions PVR set-top box included a 140 GB hard drive for recording. It was sold separately with an extra monthly fee.[16]

HD set-top box[edit]

In October 2011, TrueVisions launched an HD descrambler and all-in-one set-top box called "HD Plus" following the launch of its HDTV service. The HD Plus was manufactured by Samsung and Humax. HD Plus also has the PVR feature which recorded using an external eSATA hard drive. On September 22, 2014, the extra monthly fee for PVR was removed for customers with premium packages.[17][18]

High-definition channels[edit]

In November 2007, TrueVisions started testing its high definition (HD) broadcasts and its new HD PVR set-top box. The system was also demonstrated at the Bangkok ICT Expo.[19] In 2010, TrueVisions offered customers with premium subscriptions three HD channels (one HBO and two sports) for an extra payment. The original HD set-top box did not have a DVR function. In 2011, TrueVisions offered CATV customer eight new HD channels, and a new combined HD and PVR set-top box. This coincided with extension of fibre optic cable networks to some provincial areas.[20] On July 16, 2012, TrueVisions expanded their HD offerings to seventeen channels, making all HD channels available to both DSTV and CATV subscribers.[21] In September 2016, TrueVisions offered fifty-six HD channels.

3D broadcasts[edit]

in 2008, TrueVisions tested 3D broadcasts, showing short European-made vignettes filmed using the Pulfrich effect. In 2009, segments of Academy Fantasia were broadcast live using the Pulfrich effect.[22] Since 2013, the True Film HD channel has aired selected movies in a Side-By-Side 3D format.[23]

TrueVisions Anywhere[edit]

True Visions Anywhere logo

The TrueVisions "TrueVisions Anywhere" service offers its customers more viewing options. Customers can view their subscribed channels (but not all channels) on any mobile device. Functions include "two hour time shift", "two day catch up", "on demand" and "picture quality".[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banerjee I. and Logan S. Asian Communication Handbook 2008 AMIC ISBN 9789814136105
  2. ^ Atkins W. The Politics of Southeast Asia's New Media Routledge ISBN 9781136860553
  3. ^ Ayutthaya C. A Content Regulatory Framework of Thai Pay-TV Under Convergence] Social Science Research Network. December 23, 2011
  4. ^ Lewis G. Virtual Thailand: The Media and Cultural Politics in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore Routledge ISBN 9781134217663
  5. ^ Thailand Finally gets "Real" Cable Variety November 27, 1995. Accessed January 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Thailand: True Corp set to take over UBC UCLA International. Accessed September 16, 2016.
  7. ^ True Corp has eye on free TV Nation Multimedia. Accessed September 16, 2016.
  8. ^ True Visions Scores Licence for Football Nation Multimedia Accessed September 17, 2016.
  9. ^ Cracking the Code Nation Multimedia.
  10. ^ TrueVisions to show Premier League games in Thailand Soccerex Accessed January 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Truevisions in talks over Star World, Channel M renewal Nation Multimedia. Accessed January 17, 2017.
  12. ^ TrueVisions to drop HBO, Cinemax Bangkok Post. Accessed December 26, 2016.
  13. ^ TrueVisions defends customer relief plan Bangkok Post. Accessed January 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Investor information True corp. 2008.
  15. ^ TrueVisions subscriber growth True Visions television.
  16. ^ "ทรูวิชั่นส์เชื่อPVRโดนใจลูกค้า คาดสิ้นปีมีคนใช้กว่า3หมื่นราย". Manager Online (in Thai). 
  17. ^ True Visions products True Visions corp
  18. ^ TrueVisions allows Platinum, Gold subscribers to use free recording service National Multimedia news.
  19. ^ TrueVisions rolls out HD TV in Phuket True corp. Accessed September 16, 2016
  20. ^ TrueVisions in major expansion of HD services Nation Multimedia. Accessed September 16, 2016
  21. ^ TrueVisions to increase number of HD channels to 17 on July 16 Nation Multimedia. Accessed September 16, 2016
  22. ^ TrueVisions Presents Top Reality Show "True Academy Fantasia 6" Airing in a New Timeslot for Families to Enjoy, Plus 3D Experience for the First Time in Thailand True corp. Accessed April 9, 2017
  23. ^ The 3D experience in your living room Nation Multimedia. Accessed April 9, 2017.
  24. ^ TrueVisions Anywhere TV on the App Store Apple. Accessed April 9, 2017

External links[edit]