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; 18 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 Thailand's leading cable satellite television operator. Now owned by the True Corporation, the company was formerly known as the United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and also known as UBC-True, but it was rebranded in February 2007.

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

International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) was the first national cable TV provider established in 1989 by Thaksin Shinawatra. After having granted a 20-years concession to provide subscription television service by MCOT, IBC began broadcasting its programmes via super high frequency microwave using MMDS.[1] Its first DTH service began in 1995 after their request for coverage-area expansion was approved.[2][3] In 1997, South African-Dutch company, MIH Limited bought 16% stake in IBC.[4] IBC’s content mostly came from other countries such as 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

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 began deploying in 1994. The cable technology allowed a number of channels to be offered with high quality sound and picture. It also allowed for added services; such as pay per view. By 1997 hybrid fiber coaxial cable network passed an estimated 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 subscriber management service delivery.

Merged into United Broadcasting Corporation (1998-2006)[edit]

Due to an economic crisis since 1997, in February 1998, IBC signed a merger with UTV to form United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) in order to survive the crisis by decreased the operation costs. UBC has separated into two companies 'UBC plc.' which was operating pay-television service via the satellite transmission via IBC's concession and 'UBC Cable Co., Ltd.' which was operating pay-television service via the cable via UTV's cable concession.

UBC-True (2006-2007)[edit]

In November 2005, True Corporation (True) announced it would take over UBC plc. It will buy 30.59% stake from MIH Holdings and launch a tender offer for the 221 million shares outstanding at 26.5 baht per share and will delisted UBC from the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).[6]

In April 2006, UBC has rebranded to UBC-True following the take over completion. UBC was delisted from SET on 11 April 2006.[7]

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

TrueVisions (2007-Present)[edit]

On 24 January 2007, UBC-True was rebranded as TrueVisions, also known as TrueVisions UBC along with an announcement of its exclusive rights to Premier League.[8]

After a long fight on piracy, TrueVisions switched its content encryption system to VideoGuard on 12 July 2012. It also upgrade its video encryption from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 which can be used with a new HD set-top box which was launched in October 2011.[9]

Premier League has been the one of its flagship content for years until it lost the rights to the newcomer, CTH, in 2012 bid for 2013-2016 broadcast rights. TrueVisions has obtained the Premier League once again in 2016 through beIN Sports who acquired the exclusive rights along with major European football leagues including La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 which most of them was an exclusive rights of TrueVisions before. TrueVisions airs 6 beIN Sports channels after completed a negotiation with the Qatar-based sport network.[10]

On 15 October 2016, TrueVisions suspended the transmission of some of its entertainment and information channels to accord with 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]

Channels cancellation and misinformation[edit]

On 1 April 2013, TrueVisions dropped Star World along with Channel M from its platform, with the announcement only being made to viewers on 30 March. This was because Fox International Channels no longer offered them on an exclusivity basis. The slot formerly occupied by Star World was replaced with Life Inspired.[11]

On 1 December 2015, TrueVisions dropped Food Network from its platform informing its customers that the creator has discontinued broadcasting in Asia.

On 1 November 2016, Discovery Science, DMAX, eve and Discovery Kids were removed from the platform. TrueVisions has informed its customer that Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific has stopped broadcasting those channels in Asia. The channels were continued broadcasting in several countries in Asia.

On 26 December 2016, TrueVisions has reported it was seeking an approval to drop HBO Asia's channels including HBO HD, HBO Family, HBO Hits, HBO Signature, Cinemax and RED by HBO from its platform on 1 January 2017 claiming the company cannot reach an agreement with the content provider. It was revealed by Supinya Klangnarong, a commissioner of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission who said in tweets that TrueVisions broke the regulation by has not notice the regulator within 30 days and also not informing its customer. The board of commission has approved TrueVisions' request on 27 December. HBO channels were replaced by Warner TV, Sony Channel, Paramount Channel, Fox Action Movies, Celestial Classic Movies and True Film HD2. Food Network also returned to the platform.[12] According to an assistant executive of True Corporation, this was 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]

As of the fourth quarter of 2008, 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]

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

HD set-top box[edit]

TrueVisions launched HD descrambler—all in one set-top box called "HD Plus" in October 2011 after it launched HDTV service. The HD Plus was manufactured by Samsung and Humax. HD Plus also has PVR feature which was recorded using an external eSATA hard drive.

At first, customers who wish to use the PVR service has to pay an extra monthly fee above the normal subscribed rate. It was announced on 22 September 2014 that the premium packages subscribers are allow to use the service free of charged.[17][18]

High-definition channels[edit]

In November 2007, TrueVisions started testing its high definition (HD) broadcasts as well as the new HD PVR set-top box. The system also has a test run showcase at Bangkok ICT Expo in November 2007.[19][20]

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.

In 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.[21]

On 16 July 2012, TrueVisions expanded their HD offerings to 17 channels, making all HD channels available to both DSTV and CATV subscribers.[22]

In 2013, TrueVisions announced its intention of increasing its HD offering to 50 channels.[23]

In September 2016, TrueVisions offered 56 HD channels with its flagship package.

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".[24]

3D broadcasts[edit]

TrueVisions has tested 3D broadcasting during 2008, showing short European-made vignettes filmed using the Pulfrich effect, and again in 2009, with segments of Academy Fantasia broadcast live using the Pulfrich effect, along with the vignettes from the previous airings.[25] Since 2013, the True Film HD channel has aired selected movies in Side-By-Side 3D format.[26]

TrueVisions Anywhere[edit]

True Visions Anywhere Logo.svg

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.[27] 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banerjee, Indrajit; Logan, Stephen. Asian Communication Handbook 2008. AMIC. ISBN 9789814136105. 
  2. ^ Atkins, William. The Politics of Southeast Asia's New Media. Routledge. ISBN 9781136860553. 
  3. ^ Ayutthaya, Chanansara Oranopna (23 December 2011). "A Content Regulatory Framework of Thai Pay-TV Under Convergence". Social Science Research Network. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Glen. Virtual Thailand: The Media and Cultural Politics in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Routledge. ISBN 9781134217663. 
  5. ^ Staff, Variety (27 November 1995). "Thailand Finally Gets 'Real' Cable". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "THAILAND: True Corp set to take over UBC". www.international.ucla.edu. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "True Corp has eye on free TV". www.nationmultimedia.com. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "True Visions scores licence for football". www.nationmultimedia.com. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Cracking the code - The Nation". The Nation. 
  10. ^ "TrueVisions to show Premier League games in Thailand". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Truevisions in talks over Star World, Channel M renewal - The Nation". The Nation. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  12. ^ PCL., Post Publishing. "TrueVisions to drop HBO, Cinemax". Bangkokpost.com. Bangkok Post. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  13. ^ PCL., Post Publishing. "TrueVisions defends customer relief plan". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  14. ^ http://www.truecorp.co.th/refweb/downloads/investors/4Q2008/4Q08%20Quarterly%20Bulletin%20_ENG.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.truevisionstv.com/thai/subscriber_growth2.aspx TrueVisions Subscriber Growth
  16. ^ "ทรูวิชั่นส์เชื่อPVRโดนใจลูกค้า คาดสิ้นปีมีคนใช้กว่า3หมื่นราย". Manager Online (in Thai). 
  17. ^ "TrueVisions Products". truevisionsgroup.truecorp.co.th. 
  18. ^ "TrueVisions allows Platinum, Gold subscribers to use free recording service - The Nation". The Nation. 
  19. ^ PLC., True Corporation. "True Corporation - Press Center". www2.truecorp.co.th. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  20. ^ Duffy, Louise. "TrueVisions rolls out HD TV in Phuket". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  21. ^ Thailand, Nation Multimedia Group Public Company Limited, Nationmultimedia com. "TrueVisions in major expansion of HD services". The Nation. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  22. ^ Thailand, Nation Multimedia Group Public Company Limited, Nationmultimedia.com,. "TrueVisions to increase number of HD channels to 17 on July 16 - The Nation". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  23. ^ http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/TrueVisions-expanding-HD-channels-to-50-plus-30208674.html
  24. ^ http://www.truevisionstv.com/news_detail.aspx?news_id=391
  25. ^ "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". truecorp.co.th (in Thai). Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  26. ^ "The 3D experience in your living room - The Nation". The Nation. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "TrueVisions Anywhere TV on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 

External links[edit]