TrueVi­sions of­fers HD satel­lite box


TrueVi­sions, the coun­try’s lead­ing pay-TV op­er­a­tor, has stim­u­lated the satel­lite TV mar­ket by launch­ing its C-band set-top box yes­ter­day to broaden the free-view sub­scriber base and meet its tar­get of 6 mil­lion house­holds within three years.

“The C-band satel­lite dish is our pi­lot project this year to cash in on the mass mar­ket,” said Bi­rathon Kasem­sri Na Ayud­haya, head of com­mer­cial and business de­vel­op­ment.

Some 70% of Thai house­holds use satel­lite to watch TV, of which 20% view us­ing KU-band satel­lites and 80% the C-band sys­tem. KU-band view­ers are mostly in ur­ban ar­eas, while ru­ral res­i­dents pre­fer C-band satel­lite dishes.

TrueVi­sions in­tro­duced a high-def­i­ni­tion (HD) set-top box called True Dig­i­tal HD that has no monthly fees. The box is priced at 1,690 baht.

Mr Bi­rathon said TrueVi­sions rented a C-band transpon­der on Thaicom 5 satel­lite, which now broad­casts more than 200 free-view chan­nels and nine HD chan­nels, in­clud­ing TrueVi­sions-pro­duced chan­nels and some dig­i­tal TV op­tions such as Thairath TV, Chan­nel 7, TNN24, True Sport HD2 and True Film HD.

C-band tech­nol­ogy pro­vides more ca­pac­ity so True Dig­i­tal HD can of­fer a va­ri­ety of chan­nels, in­clud­ing those from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, al­low­ing TrueVi­sions to ac­com­mo­date di­verse sub­scriber de­mand. Sub­scribers can also top up with ad­di­tional pack­ages for an ex­tra 90 baht monthly fee.

Mr Bi­rathon said True Cor­po­ra­tion’s con­ver­gence strat­egy was suc­cess­ful in draw­ing in new free-view sub­scribers last year. It plans to con­tinue the strat­egy, al­low­ing TrueVi­sions sub­scribers to turn their pack­ages into True Move H’s data pack­ages as well as watch TV via its over-the-top ser­vice TrueVi­sions Any­where for free.

Only two satel­lite TV net­work providers, PSI Hold­ing and CTH, used to sell HD boxes for the C-band sys­tem. How­ever, their sales last year missed their tar­gets, with only 200,000 such boxes cur­rently avail­able in Thai­land.

TrueVi­sions is op­ti­mistic about HD tech­nol­ogy, see­ing it as the fu­ture of broad­cast­ing. HD TV will grad­u­ally re­place stan­dard-def­i­ni­tion TV, so TrueVi­sions wants to act now.

It set an ag­gres­sive sales tar­get of 6 mil­lion True Dig­i­tal HD boxes over three years.

“This is just the be­gin­ning of TrueVi­sions shak­ing up the TV in­dus­try this year,” he said.

The company has out­lined its pol­icy of launch­ing three new set-top box mod­els this year to suit dif­fer­ent tar­get cus­tomers. It aims to have 5 mil­lion sub­scribers by the year-end, up from 3 mil­lion cur­rently.

Bi­rathon Kasem­sri Na Ayud­haya (sec­ond right), TrueVi­sions’ head of com­mer­cial and business de­vel­op­ment, poses with other ex­ec­u­tives and ac­tor Je­sada­porn Pholdee (cen­tre) to in­tro­duce the True Dig­i­tal HD box for C-band satel­lites.

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