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12 December 2009

Astro launches HD programming

Astro launches HD programming
12-Dec-2009 07:03:41

KUALA LUMPUR: Astro has launched its new HD programming, called Astro B.yond, which will go live on Dec 18.

The new high-definition broadcast will initially start with four channels, namely Astro Supersport HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and History HD which will be available at launch date, while ESPN HD will start in January, said Astro chief operating officer of Strategy, Content & Marketing for Astro Henry Tan at the launch here yesterday.

Much like the switch from black-and-white television broadcasts to colour, high-definition (HD) television broadcasting is said to be the next big step in television programming.

The technology offers up to 10 times the detail of current standard-definition television broadcasts and HD broadcasts will be in the wide screen aspect ratio of all high-definition televisions (HDTVs).

Tan said that a treat for subscribers of Astro B.yond is that the World Cup 2010 would be broadcast in HD.

Existing subscribers who own HDTVs can upgrade to Astro B.yond for an extra RM20 per month to get the HD channels on top of their current subscription package.

New subscribers will have to pay for the standard installation and subscription fee of the non-HD Astro service before upgrading to the HD service.

The price includes a new decoder, satellite dish and remote control, all of which have to be replaced to get the new HD channels.

According to Astro chief executive office Datuk Rohana Rozhan, the company has spent about RM200mil to upgrade nearly every aspect of the company’s hardware and infrastructure in preparation for high-definition programming.

Subscribers who wish to upgrade to Astro B.yond can call 1-300-82-3838 or log on to to apply.

HD programming will only commence on Dec 18.

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