Astro (television)

All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator (or better known as Astro) is a Malaysian direct broadcast satellite (DBS) Pay TV service. It transmits digital satellite television and radio to households in Malaysia and Brunei and has operations at the All Asia Broadcast Centre located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and MEASAT in Cyberjaya. Astro was granted an exclusive license as a sole Pay TV provider by the Malaysia federal government until 2017. It competes with HyppTV, a IPTV service by Telekom Malaysia (TM). As of September 2014, Astro has provided services to over 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.

Astro launched the first High Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia in December 2009 under the brand Astro B.yond. Following the launch of HD, Astro B.yond PVR (Personal Video Recorder) was introduced in June 2010 and Astro B.yond IPTV in April 2011 followed by Over-The-Top service, Astro on the Go in 2012.

On 18 February 2012, Astro introduced NJOI as an entry-level DTH satellite TV service. It is the first non-subscription-based satellite TV. As of February 2015, NJOI has 24 SDTV channels, 5 HDTV channels and all radio channels.[4]

Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd
Subsidiary
IndustryBroadcasting, Mass Media
Founded29 September 1996
HeadquartersAABC, Lebuhraya Puchong-Sg. Besi, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Area served
Malaysia
Key people
Zaki Azmi (Chairman)
Rohana Rozhan, CEO
ProductsDirect broadcast satellite
IPTV
Mobile TV
Internet TV
RevenueIncrease RM 5.613 million (Q1 2017).[1]
Decrease RM 777.71 million (2014)[2]
Increase RM 447.95 million (2014)[2]
ParentAstro All Asia Networks plc
Websitewww.astro.com.my

Services

On 29 September 1996, Astro was officially formerly known as "Philips ASTRO". It was officially launched by the digital video broadcasting – satellite form of the family variety light entertainment programme translated into Malay (Malaysian) on Astro Ria, Cantonese on Astro Wah Lai Toi and Tamil on Astro Vaanavil.

Astro B.yond

Astro-B.yond-Logo
Astro B.yond logo

ASTRO launched Malaysia's first high-definition television service branded Astro B.yond on 11 December 2009. The roll out of these services is estimated to cost some RM200 million, including marketing and operating costs of approximately RM150 million, over the next financial year, ahead of revenue and earnings from these services.[5]

Astro B.yond also introduced a Digital Video Recording (DVR) service, available through the Astro B.yond Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and an external hard disk drive connected to the Astro B.yond decoder. The Astro B.yond 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 services through Astro B.yond IPTV a collaboration with TIME dotCom Berhad (TIME) to deliver IPTV. Since December 2010, this provides a wide choice of Astro channels in HD (High-Definition) with personal video recording and video-on-demand services delivered via TIME's 100% fibre broadband. Astro B.yond IPTV will be progressively available in Klang Valley and Penang. At present, Astro B.yond IPTV is available at 60 high-rise condominiums within Mont Kiara, KLCC, Bangsar and Penang.[7]

The first generation Astro B.yond box is a rebranded Pace plc DS-830NA. The latest and current B.yond set-top-boxes are now manufactured by Samsung.[8]

Astro IPTV

Astro IPTV is an Internet Protocol Television service by Astro. Launched on 20 April 2011 as Astro B.yond IPTV, its subscribers were entitled to high definition Astro channels, personal video recording, video-on-demand, high-speed internet, and voice services. Astro’s initial target audiences were residences of high-rise buildings that having difficulty accessing HD and PVR services due to several technical limitations of the centralised dishes installed at building's rooftop. By including HD and PVR services with its IPTV, Astro was able to offer HD services to selected high-rise residences and buildings.[9] This was made possible by partnering with Time dotCom Bhd and later on Maxis Berhad (April 2013). Astro B.yond IPTV was rebranded to Astro IPTV in February 2014.

Astro NJOI

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

Currently, NJOI offers 26 SDTV channels, 5 HD channels and 26 radio channels.[10]

List of channels currently available on Astro

[11]

^Also available on Astro Go ^^Astro GO or NJOI Now exclusives

List of radio stations

All stations available to all Astro and NJOI customers.

  • Astro Arena Radio
  • Ai FM
  • Asyik FM
  • Bayu
  • Classic Rock
  • Era
  • Gegar
  • Go Xuan
  • Gold
  • Hitz
  • India Beat
  • Jazz
  • Kenyalang
  • Lite
  • MY
  • Melody
  • Minnal FM
  • Mix
  • Nasional FM
  • Opus
  • Osai
  • Raaga
  • Sabah V FM
  • Sinar
  • Traxx FM
  • Wai FM
  • Zayan

Current channels in other countries

Singapore

Singtel TV:

StarHub TV:

Indonesia

Tribe:

Philippines

Tribe:

Cignal:

Australia

Fetch TV:

Service and technical information

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

The direct-to-home (DTH), is broadcast as high-power Ku-band transmissions 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.

Ku-band signals can be affected by rain attenuation (rain fade), making it susceptible to frequent outages in heavy rainfall areas such as Malaysia, the operators of Astro have employed a tailor-made system to boost power of the satellite delivery system to overcome this problem. The service availability of 99.7%, however, is still a topic of much debate by subscribers.

Initially, the HDMI output on every B.yond boxes is disabled (including Njoi) if the subscriber did not subscribe to HD service. However, later 2014 onwards, HDMI output is now enabled to every customers using B.yond boxes via newly designed firmware with multilingual user-interface.[12]

Encryption

Since its launch, Astro transmits 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 tell 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.[7]

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.[13]

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 http://www.bursamarketplace.com/index.php?ch=ch_themarket&pg=pg_tm_stocksss&ac=2058&sch=ch_stocks_financials
  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. ^ a b [2]. Retrieved on 23 April 2011
  8. ^ "Have Trouble With Our Services | Help & Support | Astro". support.astro.com.my. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  9. ^ [3]. Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services, Greyreview.com, Retrieved 24 September 2014
  10. ^ Astro.com.my. "NJOI – Free Satellite TV from Astro". www.astro.com.my. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  11. ^ http://whatson.astro.com.my/channels?_ga=1.167089336.763985278.1466332359
  12. ^ "Jeff Lee - Why my astro set top box HDMI port output not... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  13. ^ "Astro aims to increase household penetration to 75% next year - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-02-19.

External links

Astro AEC

Astro AEC is a 24-hour in house Mandarin-generic television channel in Malaysia, owned by Astro. The channel broadcasts local productions in addition to productions from Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China.

The HD simulcast channel was launched on 16 November 2014 for Astro subscribers who subscribed to HD service. Subtitles are provided in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese where it's available.

Astro Arena (TV channel)

Astro Arena and Astro Arena HD is a Malaysian television station owned and operated by Astro. It is the first 24/7 Malay language sports channel in Malaysia. This channel can be viewed on channel 801 through Astro' Family Pack. Launched on 26 March 2010, it was the idea from the former Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports YB. Dato' Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, together with the Olympic Council of Malaysia and Astro, to have a sports channel dedicated solely to the development of Malaysian sports.

Astro Arena and Astro Arena HD is a 4-in-one channel featuring live local sports, a comprehensive 7-day-a-week coverage of local and international sports news, informative magazine and information programming and interactive viewer involvement.The channel delivers 700 hours of live, local sports a year, with an additional 2000 hours of replays greatly expanding the amount of local sports available in the country. It also provides coverage of up to 56 hours a week of Malaysians competing at international levels or the best in world sports of a particular interest to the Malaysian audience.Astro Arena is currently available for free-to-view on Astro customers and on NJOI customers in Malaysia on Channel 801 in Standard Definition (SD) format and Channel 802 in High Definition (HD) format (Astro customers only).

Astro Awani

Astro Awani is the in-house rolling television news and current affairs channel providing 24-hour news coverage including news in Malay. Astro Awani presents news and programs including current affairs, lifestyle, documentaries, interview programs and a local and international magazine. Astro Awani started broadcasting on 6 September 2007 as part of the revamp of Astro's news division. The station is targeted at Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Currently, the channel has numerous bases each with their own correspondents, and can also call upon resources and bureaux provided by the Malaysian government such as reporters from Bernama.

Astro Citra

Astro Citra is a 24-hour Malay channel and a Malaysia version of the HBO Asia, showing the local and Asian movies. The channel began broadcasting on 1 June 2009, replacing Astro Kirana (Channel 122) which ceased its broadcasting on 18 May 2009 due to low viewership. Most of the movies are available in Malay and English subtitles. It is only available on Astro Channel 131 on the Mustika package. All movies are also shown on Astro Mustika HD, although during the latter's start of broadcast, only local films were shown. Starting 1 October 2018, Astro Mustika HD will renamed Astro Citra HD and will be renumbering to Channel 126.

Astro Hua Hee Dai

Astro Hua Hee Dai (Astro 欢喜台 in Simplified Chinese) is a 24-hour in-house Hokkien-generic TV channel in Malaysia. It is the fourth in-house Chinese channel provided by pay TV provider, Astro, after Astro Wah Lai Toi, Astro AEC and Astro Shuang Xing, and was launched in November 2007 with other channels such as Astro Xiao Tai Yang, Asian Food Channel and KBS World.

During the debut of its HD channel version, only about 50% of the content were simulcast with the SD feed until 2016. Subtitles are provided in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese where it's available.

Astro Oasis

Astro Oasis is a Malaysian television station owned and operated by Astro. The channel broadcasts Islamic-related programmes. Its highest rated program is the reality TV series, Imam Muda.Astro Oasis is currently available for free-to-view on Astro and NJOI in Malaysia on Channel 106.

Astro Prima

Astro Prima is Malaysian television channel owned and operated by Astro. The channel began broadcasting on 9 August 2003, through Channel 8. It broadcasts Malay programmes for the whole family such as local serial dramas and telemovie from 16 April 2007. Preceding this date, it broadcasts foreign language programmes catering to Malay audiences.

The channel was launched on Singtel TV service using on Channel 602 premiere on 1 October 2012 to replace Astro Aruna on its pay television itself. Astro Aruna on Singtel TV was no longer available on 1 October 2012 at 00:00 SST and that slot will be showing programmes on Astro Prima. The launch of Astro Prima proved to be a significant milestone for Singtel TV and Astro, as it is the second channel launched broadcaster area outside of Singapore. It first distributed throughout Singapore on Singtel TV on 1 October 2012. Astro Ria was first launched on Singtel TV on 23 March 2009.

Astro Prima is currently available for free-to-view on Astro and NJOI customers in Malaysia on Channel 105 and on Singtel TV customers in Singapore on Channel 602.

Astro Prima HD is the simulcast HD version of Astro Prima. It was launched on 14 January 2019 for all Astro customers on Channel 121.

Astro Quan Jia HD

Astro Quan Jia HD (Astro 全佳 HD in Simplified Chinese) is a Mandarin HD TV channel owned and operated by pay TV provider, Astro in Malaysia. The channel line up consists of exclusive dramas, documentaries and variety shows mostly imported from mainland China.

Astro Vaanavil

Astro Vaanavil (Tamil: அஸ்ட்ரோ வானவில்) is Malaysia’s first 24/7 Indian general entertainment and infotainment channel in Tamil and other South Indian dialects, targeting the Indian community in Malaysia. The channel offers popular Tamil programmes, Telugu and Malayalam blockbuster movies, top-rated drama series and a variety of general entertainment programmes for the whole family such as 'Vizhuthugal' (Morning Talk show), '360 degree' (weekly magazine showcase the happenings and events), and talent programmes that target Tamil audience segments such as 'Maanavar Muzhakkam' and 'Pesu Tamizha Pesu'. These edutainment programmes are specially created to give importance for Tamil language among the Tamil speaking students.

There are new Tamil programmes such as 'Naan Kabali Alla', an action packed drama series, 'Vaanga Padam Paarkalam', an infotainment content to expose Malaysian Tamil talents and 'One Step Higher', a special healthy lifestyle programme about mountain hiking. We also have a daily Tamil news titled 'Astro Seithigal' on Astro Vaanavil. In addition, we also telecast Malaysian Tamil feature films every month and also produce our own Tamil Telemovies. For more information on Astro Vaanavil kindly login to https://whatson.astro.com.my/.

Astro Vinmeen HD

Astro Vinmeen HD (Tamil:ஆஸ்ட்ரோ விண்மீன்) is a Malaysia Tamil language High-definition entertainment free-to-view commercial satellite channel television network that is co-owned by South East Asia's second richest man, Ananda Krishnan and Astro Malaysia Holdings. It is South East Asia’s first 24-hour general entertainment Tamil HD channel. This channel features a variety of programs ranging from reality shows, English talkshows, travelogues, lifestyle programs, magic shows, Documentaries, celebrity cooking shows, classical Carnatic music shows, original Astro productions and blockbuster movies. It began broadcasting on 18 October 2013. Astro Vinemeen HD is part of the Basic HD Pack and Maharaja Pack available to all B.yond HD customers.

Selected programmes also aired on Astro Vaanavil. It also broadcast content from Puthuyugam TV and Vendhar TV.The channel holds the Guinness World Records for the Longest Live Streamed festival, with 55 hours non-stop live streaming of Thaipusam festival on 22 to 25 January 2016.

Astro Wah Lai Toi

Astro Wah Lai Toi is a Cantonese-generic subscription TV channel owned and operated by Astro in partnership with Hong Kong's TVB. The channel offers mainly TVB programming, alongside some local content.

To satisfy a greater audience, selected programmes are available in dual audio, in which viewers can select either to watch the programme in Cantonese or Mandarin (or original language of the programme). Subtitles are also available with Bahasa Malaysia & Chinese languages by pressing the subtitle button.

Astro Xi Yue HD

Astro Xi Yue HD (Astro 喜悦 HD in Simplified Chinese) is a free TV channel for NJOI and Astro's pay and free subscription platforms. The channel was launched during Chinese New Year festive month on 1 February 2015. It broadcasts mostly East Asian programming such as dramas, movies, documentaries, music and variety shows.

Astro Xiao Tai Yang

Astro Xiao Tai Yang is a 24-hour channel targeting Mandarin speaking children aged 4–12 years old, providing educational and entertaining programmes. The channel line up consists of preschool learning, animation, music, science and arts.

Selected programmes are also showing on Astro Quan Jia HD and Astro Xi Yue HD.

Astro XTY is currently available for free-to-view on Astro and NJOI customers in Malaysia on Channel 325.

Astro Xiao Tai Yang HD is the simulcast HD version of Astro XTY. It is to be launched in April 2019 for all Astro customers on Channel 371.

Bernama News Channel

Bernama News Channel, also known as BNC, is a 24-hour international news and current affairs television network in Malaysia. It is owned by Bernama, a government news agency. This channel airs news programmes that are related to local and international business, lifestyle, sports and entertainment. It is broadcast on the Astro satellite television platform via Channel 502, HyppTV via Channel 410 (previously channel 120, prior to April 2013) and the Fine TV IPTV-based network via Channel 12. Bernama News Channel's slogan is Baru & Benar (Malay for "Right & Now").

Bernama's news bulletins were initially aired on Astro Ria, Astro Prima, Astro AEC, Astro Wah Lai Toi and Astro Vaanavil, but they have since been integrated to this network. The news content on this channel is primarily broadcast in Malay, which is the official language of Malaysia. However, there are news programmes in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil as well, in line with the News@Bernama, Xin Wen@Bernama, Sen Men@Bernama and Seithigal@Bernama segments respectively. Other shows that are broadcast on Bernama TV include STAR TV Biz@The Star, Sports@The Star and "Helo Malaysia" is a talk show hosted by Sherkawi Jirim.

On 25 May 2016, this channel went into a major re-brand, re-branding itself as Bernama News Channel (BNC).The re-branding exercise includes the changing of the ID, logo and colour scheme of the channel. This change will also let BNC develop original programmes such as magazines, documentaries and human interest programming, in addition to news, to cater to its multi-level audience.

Bintang (Channel)

Bintang ( means Star in English) is the 24-hour Malay language channel which broadcasts Indonesian programmes. This channel was formerly called Astro Aruna, which previously available on the Astro satellite television service. This channel is only available on Astro in the Indo Pek package. Most of the programmes are available in Malay subtitles.

The channel is a collaboration between Astro and Trans TV from Indonesia, and as such, Trans TV programs comprises for 80% of the channel's contents.

EGG Network

eGG Network (formerly known as Astro SuperSport Plus) is a Malaysian pay television channel that was launched on 7 June 2016. This channel focuses on e-sports and broadcasts electronic games tournaments live around the world. Its first tournament broadcast was the International Dota 2 Championships 2015.

Naura HD

Naura HD is Astro's first Islamic HD channel. It was launched on 1 October 2018 to replace Astro Bella. This channel will have curated international factual titles and locally produced lifestyle titles that are globally appealing.

Pelangi

Pelangi ( means Rainbow in English) is the 24-hour Malay language channel which broadcasts Indonesian movies and dramas. This channel is only available on Astro in the Indo Pek package. Most of the programmes are available in Malay subtitles.

The channel is a collaboration between Astro and Trans TV from Indonesia, and as such, Trans TV programs comprises for 80% of the channel's contents.

Shuang Xing

Astro Shuang Xing is a 24-hour Mandarin commercial-free drama TV channel owned and run by pay TV provider, Astro. The channel provides premiere dramas mainly from China.

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