Astro, the satellite TV provider in Malaysia, is launching its IPTV services today. The Astro B.yond IPTV offers consumers a combination of high definition Astro channels, personal video recording, video-on-demand, high-speed Internet connection and voice services. For high-speed Internet connection, Astro partnered with TIME dotcom for its Fibre Broadband service. Currently, the IPTV is only available in selected areas, namely Mont Kiara / Sri Hartamas, KLCC / Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Georgetown (Penang). Check service availability here.
According to Shahrul Imran Sultan, Director of Consumer Technology of Astro, the company is targeting to sign-up 40,000 subscribers by end of 2011. Also, it is targeting to make its IPTV services available to 167,000 homes by end of this year. Astro is targeting high-rise residences for its IPTV services, at least in the initial phase. Currently, most high-rise residential units have difficulty of accessing its HDTV services. With IPTV, Astro aims to further expand its HDTV subscribers base and at the same time, gain foothold in the IPTV market space. For Astro, this represents a viable business case for the implementation of IPTV.
To subscribe to the IPTV services, you have to pay for the broadband packages (in addition to your Astro package). Broadband packages start from RM128 for 3Mbps speed to RM298 for 24Mbps.
Astro B.yond IPTV Broadband Packages
Each home will be connected with up to 100Mbps bandwidth. This huge pipeline can “support two concurrent Astro B.yond boxes, each simultaneously watching a HD channel while recording another HD channel and downloading the third VOD programmes in HD. And, still have 30Mbps bandwidth for broadband applications providing Internet access.” (Astro B.yond IPTV FAQs).
At launch, subscribers can watch all titles in the VOD catalogue for free. Astro will start charging from July 2011 onwards, either by pay-per-show basis or fixed subscription fee. Currently, there are 50 titles in the catalog, categorized into Series, Kids and Wellbeing.
Astro B.yond Video On Demand Catalog
Astro B.yond IPTV hardware : PVR Box, Modem, Remote Control
Astro Satellite Broadcast versus Astro B.yond IPTV