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Astro (television)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryBroadcasting, Mass Media
Founded1 June 1996; 24 years ago (1996-06-01)
FounderAnanda Krishnan
HeadquartersAABC, Lebuhraya Puchong-Sg. Besi, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Area served
Malaysia
Singapore
Indonesia
Brunei (through Kristal-Astro)
Key people
Zaki Azmi (Chairman)
Henry Tan Poh Hock, CEO
ProductsDirect broadcast satellite
Mobile TV
Internet TV
RevenueIncrease RM5.613 million (Q1 2017).[citation needed]
Decrease RM777.71 million (2014)[1]
Increase RM447.95 million (2014)[1]
ParentAstro All Asia Networks plc
SubsidiariesNJOI
Websitewww.astro.com.my

All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator, doing business as Astro, is a Malaysian satellite television provider. It operates in Malaysia and Brunei and has operations at the All Asia Broadcast Centre located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, and MEASAT in Cyberjaya. It was granted an exclusive license as a sole pay-television provider by the Malaysian federal government until 2017. It competes with Unifi TV, an IPTV service owned by Telekom Malaysia (TM). As of September 2014, Astro has four million subscribers.[2]

Astro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks plc and operated by MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd.

History

On 29 September 1996, Astro was officially launched as "Philips ASTRO", with twenty-two television channels and five radio channels available.

Channel Name Language Group
Television
1 TV1 Malay and English Free-to-air
2 TV2 Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil and Hindustani
3 Astro Ria Malay Variety
4 Astro Wah Lai Toi Chinese (Cantonese)
5 Astro Vaanavil Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Hindustani
6 CNN International News English News
7 CNBC
8 Asia Business News
9 Discovery Channel English (Malay subtitle) Learning
10 NBC Asia Variety
11 ESPN English Sports
12 STAR Sports
13 HBO English (Malay subtitle) Movies
14 STAR Movies
15 STAR Asian Movies Chinese (Cantonese) (Chinese and English subtitle)
16 MGM Gold English (Malay subtitle)
17 TNT & Cartoon Network Kids, Variety and Movies
18 Disney Channel Kids
19 STAR Plus Variety
20 Channel [V]
21 MTV
22 NHK Japanese and English
Radio
41 HITZ FM English Top 40 (CHR)
42 Classic Rock Classic rock
43 Light & Easy Easy listening and Light
44 MIX fm Adult contemporary
45 TalkRadio Talk radio

On 1 January 1997, Astro added one sattelite channel: Astro AEC.

On 1 February 1998, Asia Business News and CNBC Asia was merged with CNBC Asia was initially named CNBC Asia Business News.

On 1 July 1998, CNBC Asia Business News was replaced with CNBC Asia.

On 20 July 1998, NBC Asia was replaced by National Geographic Channel.

On 24 August 1998, Metro Goldwyn Mayer was replaced by Cinemax Asia.

On 21 May 1999, Astro added four sattelite channel: Phoenix Chinese Channel, Nickelodeon, Hallmark Channel and TV3.

On 7 April 2002, Astro added one sattelite channel: ntv7.

In September 2003, Astro Box Office was officially launched as a pay-per-view channel showcasing Southeast Asian movies, games, other sports events. Astro launches exclusive first-run blockbuster movies from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and 24/7 channel, Celestial Movies Asia. It officially introduced a new look, and the logo was formally launched, changed to the lowercase astro, and officially introduced a new slogan, motto, and tagline, Making your life richer. STAR Chinese Movies was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission and replaced by Astro Prima.

On 1 January 2005, Astro added two sattelite channel: 8TV and Phoenix InfoNews Channel.

On 1 March 2006, TechTV ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

On 1 May 2006, NHK World TV was replaced with NHK World Premium.

On 31 August 2006, Astro added seven channels: Astro Aruna, Astro Kirana, Astro Ceria, CCTV-4, WaTV, Zee Variasi and Animax.

On 1 November 2006, Astro News was co-produced with Bernama's national news agency, with the former taking twelve minutes of the programme for general. The news is also translated into Chinese on Astro AEC, Malay on Astro Ria, and Tamil on Astro Vaanavil.

On 28 December 2006, Astro added four channels: BBC Entertainment, ETTV Asia, Al Jazeera English and TV9.

On 1 January 2007, Bernama took over the full half-hour production pending a revamp of the internal news team at Astro, in which Astro Awani was launched on 6 September 2007.

On 1 April 2007, Astro added another nine satellite television channels into its line-up. The nine announced channels were Jia Yu Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Home & Health, E! Entertainment, Astro Vellithirai, Sun Music, Eurosport, and The Golf Channel.

On 24 April 2007, The three satellite television channels were already added into Astro's line-up.

On 1 May 2007, The six satellite television channels became available.

On 1 June 2007, The two satellite television channels such: HISTORY and the Crime + Investigation joined the Astro platform. On the same day, Astro introduced Astro On Demand, a new near-video on-demand channel featuring the latest TVB dramas from Hong Kong.

On 1 July 2007 onward, Astro On Demand Preview was launched, and it is entirely devoted to telling the Astro subscribers about this new channel. A total of thirty-one satellite television channels have been allocated for this new service.

On 13 October 2007, Astro added seven satellite television channels into its repertoire, including the Asian Food Channel, Astro Hua Hee Dai, Astro Oasis, Astro Xiao Tai Yang, Chutti TV, KBS World, and Makkal TV. This addition increased the number of eight hundred-three satellite television channels on Astro.

On 1 December 2007, Australia Network started transmission on the Astro platform.

On 1 January 2008, Bernama TV as Bernama's 24-hour clock news channel was started transmission on the Astro platform.

In October 2008, Discovery Real Time was replaced with Discovery Turbo due to its rebranding in October 2008.

On 1 March 2009, Astro News (carries program from DWTV, Al-Jazeera & Australia Network) were terminated and replaced with Astro Ria from Mio TV on 23 March 2009 while DWTV programmes carried by Bernama TV.

On 1 May 2009, Astro launched the Mustika Pack, which is a new pay television package comprising three new channels named Astro Citra, Astro Warna, and B4U. Astro Warna offers comedy, while Astro Citra is the Malay version of the HBO Asia channel, providing Southeast Asian blockbuster movies, Malay premieres, Malay epic series, and B4U provided latest box-office Bollywood movies and music with Malay subtitles. Astro Bella was replaced B4U in early 2012. On the same time, Astro @play ceased service due to the insignificant number of subscribers.

On 18 May 2009, Astro Kirana was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission to replaced by Astro Citra on 1 June 2009.

On 1 November 2009, Astro was launched as sports channel names Astro SuperSport 2.

On 23 November 2009, Astro started transmission of the first high-definition channels in Malaysia, Astro SuperSport HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD was followed by ESPN HD on 11 January 2010.

On 1 December 2009, BBC Entertainment was replaced with Bio. Channel and Granada TV was added to the Astro platform on 21 December, featuring many of the United Kingdom's best shows. Granada TV was subsequently renamed to ITV Granada on 1 November 2010.

On 1 January 2010, ETTV Asia was replaced with CTi TV.

On 1 February 2010, Astro Aruna ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission due to low declining viewership and replaced by Bintang and Pelangi on 11 July 2011 until it ceased broadcasting on 1 June 2020.

On 26 March 2010, Astro Arena as Malaysia's first local sports channel was launched. Astro Arena a 24-hour clock local sports channel, will be delivered predominantly in Malaysian language and available to all Astro customers under its Family Pack.

On 1 April 2010, Astro began transmission of the TVB Classic Channel, a drama channel in Cantonese, featuring memorable and highly rated dramas from the 1970s and 1980s. TVB's much-coveted vault of library titles covers varied genres, such as romance, costume, action, and comedy.

On 1 May 2010, Astro started transmission of ESPNews a sports news channel from ESPN STAR Sports, showcasing the latest international and local sports news. This channel is a rolling news service featuring highlights, interviews, results, and lead-up stories.

On 16 June 2010, Channel [V] ceased broadcasting and replaced by FOX Asia. In conjunction with the launch of Astro B.yond PVR, Astro launched 3-new high-definition channels such: AXN HD, Astro Zhi Zun HD – a Chinese general entertainment high-definition channel – and FX HD were joining Astro B.yond's HD line up. Also, FOX replaced Channel V from its channel listings. All these new channels started transmission.

On 1 July 2010, Astro started transmission of Astro SuperSport 3. Astro SuperSport 3 broadcasts 'LIVE' coverage of English Premier League games and feature highlights, previews, and magazine programs around the English Premier League. Astro SuperSport 3 also broadcasts other football plus a variety of different sporting genres. On the same time, TVB8 was replaced with TVB Entertainment News.

On 11 August 2010, Astro started transmission of Nat Geo WILD. Nat Geo Wild is available in Malaysian, English, and Mandarin language tracks for all programs.

On 17 August 2010, Astro started transmission of AXN Beyond HD as well.

On 19 September 2010, Hallmark Channel was replaced by Diva Universal on 19 September 2010.

On 1 October 2010, Astro launched three additional HD channels; ONE HD provides Asian general entertainment, focusing on Korean content. While STAR Movies HD brought movies in HD and Astro Lifestyle HD channel, which aired programmes from both Food Network Asia HD (9:00 am to 9:00 pm) and Life Inspired (9:00 pm to 9:00 am), but on 1 October 2012, the two programmings were split at the Channel HD to ch. 727, and ch. 728.

On 9 December 2010, Astro Tutor TV UPSR returned as a permanent channel on Astro with a programme line-up include Mathematics, Science, English, and Bahasa Malaysia with full interactive 'red-button' features to make revision even more engaging and fun.

On 14 January 2011, Astro launched Astro First, a first of its kind movie-on-demand service. Astro customers are able to watch films within two weeks after the cinema release.

On 11 April 2011, Astro added one satellite channel: TVi. TVi was subsequently renamed to TV Okey on 21 March 2018.

On 1 May 2011, Astro started offering Astro Tutor TV channels for PMR and SPM versions, with the newest line-up programmes including Mathematics, Science, English, History, Malay, and Additional Mathematics (only for SPM) with full interactive 'red-button' features to make revision even more engaging and fun.

On 1 June 2011, Astro added one sattelite channel: TV Alhijrah.

On 1 July 2011, Astro launched another new package called Indo Pek, comprising two new Astro branded channels named Bintang and Pelangi. Bintang provided Indonesian lifestyle entertainment such as music videos, gossips, and more. Pelangi showed Indonesian movies from the 1970s and later.

On 1 January 2012, STAR Movies was rebranded to Fox Movies Premium.

On 1 March 2012, WaTV was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission to replaced by Celestial Movies HD and KIX HD while Programs broadcast by the channel is now carried by Astro AEC.

On 5 March 2012, B4U was replaced by Astro Bella.

On 1 May 2012 at midnight stroke, Astro @15 was ceased broadcasting and replaced by Astro Mustika HD on 21 May 2012 to while programs broadcast by the channel carried by other Astro's Malay channels.

On 15 September 2012, Astro launched Disney's extreme channel in SD and HD, Disney XD on channel 617 and 637 (HD). These channels went to the Astro Family Pack.

On 1 January 2013, Astro Stocklink was ceased service.

On 13 January 2013, Astro launched the second Chinese HD channel named Astro Quan Jia HD for all Astro B.yond customers. The first Chinese HD channel Astro Zhi Zun HD was revamped to a Cantonese HD channel, a sister channel of Astro Wah Lai Toi.

On 28 January 2013, ESPN Asia was replaced with FOX Sports Asia. ESPNews and ESPN HD were renamed FOX Sports News and FOX Sports Plus HD respectively.

On 9 February 2013, Radio Mosaic was ceased service due to same broadcast of radio channels.

On 3 June 2013, Astro launched the third Chinese HD channel named Astro On Demand HD for Astro B.yond customers who subscribe to the Astro On Demand Dragon Pack or Super Pack 3 with no extra cost. In the same day, the SD version of Astro On Demand renumbered CH 351–354 at 8.30 pm and CH 361–364 at 9.30 pm.

On 14 June 2013 at midnight stroke, Bio. Channel was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission and replaced by Lifetime.

On 24 June 2013, Astro launched the second Malay HD channel named Astro Maya HD for all Astro B.yond customers as the success of the first Malay HD channel Astro Mustika HD. Astro Mustika HD would continue broadcast the newest Malay shows in HD. In the same day, Astro launched the fourth Chinese HD channel named Astro Hua Hee Dai HD for Astro B.yond customers who subscribe to the New Emperor Pack, Gold Pack, Wah Pack, or Super Pack 3 with no extra cost.

On 26 August 2013 at midnight stroke, BeTV HD was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission was replaced by HITS TV on 16 November 2014 at the same channel number (Channel 720) then moved to Channel 706 on 1 April 2020.

On 18 October 2013, Astro launched the first Tamil HD channel named Astro Vinmeen HD on channel 231 for Astro B.yond customers who subscribe to the Maharaja Pack or Namma Pack or Super Pack 2 with no extra cost.

On 1 April 2014 at midnight stroke, Jia Yu was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission. A temporary channel was broadcast for a month before being replaced by Kah Lai Toi on 1 May 2014 at 6:00am.

On 16 June 2014, DIVA Universal was replaced with DIVA until it ceased broadcast on 1 January 2020.

On 7 July 2014, Discovery Turbo was replaced by DMAX on 7 July 2014.

On 11 July 2014, Astro incorporated Astro On Demand into the upgraded version of the Dynasty Package. This channel was made available to all existing Dynasty Package subscribers on the Astro B.yond platform.

On 1 August 2014, Discovery Home & Health Asia, changed its name to Eve on 1 August 2014.

On 15 August 2014, Fox Sports News was replaced by Fox Sports 3 on 15 August 2014. Fox Sports News will broadcast on Astro Go until it ceased broadcasting on 29 April 2017.

On 6 October 2014, Astro's first Chinese HD channel Astro Zhi Zun HD, became Astro Wah Lai Toi HD on channel 310.

On 1 November 2014, Astro's first home shopping channel, GO Shop was launched.

On 16 November 2014, Astro's second Chinese HD channel Astro Quan Jia HD, which shows local programmes and Singapore dramas, with Astro AEC, was moved to a new Chinese HD channel, Astro AEC HD on channel 306. And the Chinese Drama HD channel, Astro Shuang Xing HD on channel 307, which shows all drama in the SD version of Astro Shuang Xing, along with eight new media such as FOX Action Movies HD, FOX HD, FOX Family Movies HD, FYI HD, HITS HD, Celestial Classic Movies, ZooMoo, and DIVA HD. All of 8 new HD channels and ZooMoo were available for preview to all Astro customers from 16 November 2014 until 28 February 2015. At the same time, Astro chose to discontinue FOX in the SD version on channel 710 upgraded to FOX HD on channel 724.

On 18 November 2014, Astro Shuang Xing and Astro Shuang Xing HD showed the hottest HKTV drama for the first time with Chinese & Bahasa Malaysia subtitles until English subtitles for the second HKTV drama starting the end of 2015.

In the end-year 2014, Astro launched the first Korean channel in the SD version only for preview from the end of 2014 to 16 February 2015, Channel M, until the HD version launched.

On 12 January 2015, iView ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission on Astro version and replaced by NJOI version to continue on 20 January 2015.

On 1 February 2015, Astro launched the first free Chinese HD channel named Astro Xi Yue HD for all NJOI customers. However, this channel was also available for all Astro B.yond customers when 88% of the customers who have watching HD channels. NJOI has now had 25 SDTV channels, 20 Radio channels, and 1 HDTV channel. However, Astro has already had 49 HDTV channels, and the HD Service fee is not changed.

On 16 February 2015, Astro launched an all-new Korean Pack for K-pop fans. This pack included Oh!K HD and Channel M HD. These channels were now available on complimentary media from 16 until 28 February 2015. At the same time, Channel M in SD ended the preview on 15 February 2015, and Golf Channel HD launched.

On 26 February 2015, Golf Channel HD was no longer available on Sports Pack and becoming an ala carte channel. At the same time, Golf Channel in SD ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

On 1 May 2015, Astro's new Value Pack called "Stars Pack" for Astro customers came with HD Service and Astro On The Go.

On 29 May 2015, Astro's first Malay HD channel Astro Mustika HD and second Malay HD channel, Astro Maya HD, and Astro Ria were moved to a new Malay HD channel, Astro Ria HD channel 123. At the same time, Astro Maya HD became available for all NJOI customers because of 1 million customers celebration.

On 2 June 2015, a new Southeast Asia travel channel Go ASEAN launched on CH 737 on Astro and NJOI.

On 1 July 2015, Astro Vinmeen HD on channel 231 became available to all Singtel TV customers for Singaporeans on channel 626. This channel is available to Kondattam Starter, Trio, Variety, and Value Pack.

On 15 July 2015, Astro added three new sports channels: WWE Network (this channel broadcasts WWE shows and events and which also in HD) on track 820 and 840 (HD) and Setanta Sports HD (this channel broadcasts international events) on channel 839. At the same time, these new channels went to the Premium list, and the SD version of WWE Network went to NJOI Prepaid.

On 31 August 2015, Astro added four new channels: STAR Chinese Channel on channel 315, Nat Geo People HD on channel 725, HGTV HD on channel 731, and Astro Cricket HD on channel 838.

On 19 October 2015, Astro's first home shopping channel, GO Shop launched its Mandarin version in HD on channel 318. This channel is available for all Astro and NJOI customers only.

On 1 November 2015, Astro's first home shopping channel, GO Shop in Malay version, was now upgraded to HD version on channel 118.

On 1 May 2016, Astro launched all-new Jade Pack for TVB fans. This pack included TVB Jade HD, TVB Classic, TVB Classic Movies, TVB Xing He, TVB Entertainment News, TVBS-Asia, and Asian Action Channel. TVB Jade HD, TVB Classic Movies, and Asian Action Channel were available for preview to all Astro customers from 1 May 2016 until 15 May 2016 (TVB Classic Movies and Asian Action Channel is ceased broadcasting on 5 April 2020, Same Day, Jade Pack is no longer available).

On 16 May 2016 at midnight stroke, Astro Hitz waa ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission due to low viewership and declining its popularity.

On 7 June 2016, Astro launched a unique channel for gamers, and fans of eSports were thrilled to know eGG Network channel 808, also known as Every Good Game, Southeast Asia's first 24/7 eSports and gaming entertainment.

On 1 July 2016 at midnight stroke, Sundance Channel HD was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission due to low popularity was replaced by BOO on 31 October 2016.

On 1 August 2016, Astro added a new sports channel name beIN Sports channel 837, which offers comprehensive coverage of La Liga.

On 13 September 2016, Astro Hua Hee Dai began simulcast in both SD and HD.

On 1 October 2016, Zee Variasi was no longer available on Astro from 30 September 2016 but was replaced by a new Hindi HD channel called Tara HD on 19 October 2016 until it ceased broadcasting on 1 October 2019.

On 31 October 2016, Astro added a new track called Boo, showcasing local and international horror films.

On 1 December 2016, Lifetime (CH 709) was upgraded to High Definition (HD) for a better viewing experience. Variety Pack customers on HD enabled setup-boxes (B.yond box) would still enjoy a preview of the channel until 31 January 2017.

On 2 December 2016, FYI went downgraded from HD to SD quality.

On 16 January 2017, Astro removed the ITV Choice channel 12.15 am due to low viewership.

On 1 April 2017, TVi was replaced with TV5 due to its rebranding on 1 April 2017.

A week later, on 8 April 2017, TV5 was replaced with TVi due to its relaunching on 8 April 2017.

Astro On The Go changed its name to Astro GO. All Astro subscribers (excluding Astro NJOI) access everything that Astro Go offers, including all 71 live channels, over 23,000 on-demand content from Hollywood, Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, and also live sports from 1 April to 31 May 2017 for free, excluding Pay Per View (PPV) and premium ala-carte sports content.

On 1 May 2017, Astro added a new channel called Warner TV (CH719) in High Definition (HD). This channel was available for preview to all Astro customers from 1 May 2017 until 31 May 2017.

On 11 May 2017, Astro's first Malay HD channel Astro Mustika HD, which shows some comedy programmes in HD and Astro Warna, were moved to the new Malay HD channel, Astro Warna HD channel 124. This channel was available for preview to all Astro customers from 11 to 17 May 2017. At the same time, Astro and the Government of Malaysia launched a new streaming service called NJOI Now. This streaming service allows all Malaysians to access over 2,000 titles of movies and drama box sets that may be downloaded and view offline. Varieties of entertainment programmes, news, live sports events, and selected Astro to live TV channels.

On 10 June 2017, Fox Movies Premium was replaced by Fox Movies.

On 12 June 2017, Go ASEAN channel provider decided to cease transmission on Astro at 2.00 am. Go ASEAN remains its programmes on Tonton and DimSum.

On 1 August 2017, Astro launched the first Korean movies HD channel named tvN Movies HD for Astro B.yond customers who subscribe to the Movies Pack or Stars Pack or all Super Pack or all Super Pack Plus with no extra cost.

On 1 October 2017, Kah Lai Toi ceased transmission because of low viewership. The same day, Star World was replaced by Fox Life.

On 7 October 2017, Life Inspired ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission due to migrating further losses by the company.

On 21 March 2018, TVi was replaced with TV Okey due to its officially launching on 21 March 2018.

On 1 April 2018, ZooMoo ceased transmission due to migrating further losses by the company. The first Kids channels to ceased on Astro.

On 1 August 2018, Astro launch Channel NewsAsia Channel 533 (Now Channel 515 On 1 April 2020) and beIN Sports MAX Channel 841 (Now Channel 819 On 1 August 2019).

On 7 August 2018, Astro added a New Channel Called Hello showcasing International, Kids, News, Malay, China And Korean Series And Exclusively On Channel 110 (Now Channel 702).

On 1 October 2018, Astro Mustika HD rebranding its name to Astro Citra HD on 1 October 2018. The channel number was moved to 126 from 134. On the same time at midnight stroke, Astro Bella was discontinued due to low viewership, but was replaced by Naura HD on the same package, but with completely different content.

On 1 November 2018, Eve channel was ceased transmission.

On 14 December 2018, Lifetime and FYI was ceased transmission (But Lifetime Channel Programming Block reviral on Hello Channel 702).

On 14 January 2019 at midnight stroke, Astro Maya HD ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission and replaced by Astro Prima HD and Astro Oasis HD.

On 1 March 2019, The SD version of Disney XD ceased transmission. On the same time, Zee Tamil HD was ceased Broadcasting on Channel 232 in Samrat pack. because this channel is launching on Astro without Unifi TV permission on 19 September 2018. The chakravathy pack offerings will launch on 1 June 2020 on Channel 235.

On 1 July 2019 at midnight stroke, Astro Xi Yue HD was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission. The first Chinese HD channels to be ceased on Astro and replaced by iQIYI HD starting 17 July 2019 on the same channel number (Channel 300).

On 1 August 2019, Astro renumbering the Sports channels called Channel 801-842 to Channel 800-841.

On 2 August 2019 at midnight stroke, A-List HD was ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission because due to low viewership but Astro OD (On Demand) service continued reserved.

On 1 October 2019, Tara HD ceased broadcasting and replaced by Colors TV.

On New Year's Day (1 January) 2020 at midnight stroke, DIVA and E! Entertainment was officially ceased transmission and ceased broadcasting to replaced with Comedy Central.

On 29 January 2020, Setanta Sports was replaced by Rugby Pass TV.

On 1 April 2020, Astro renumbering the channels. At the same day, The SD Version of Astro Wah Lai Toi was ceased transmission (During Merged with TVB Jade HD, On 1 May 2020, Astro Wah Lai Toi HD was transitioned to VOD).

On 5 April 2020, The broadcasts of TVB Classic Movies and Asian Action Channel were discontinued on Astro at 12:15am and 12:30am respectively was Under Jade Pack.

On 1 June 2020 at midnight stroke, Bintang and Pelangi (offered under Indo Pek) ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission because Astro combined two new channels under Indo Pek offerings, Astro Rania HD and Astro Aura HD which were launched on 23 May 2020. On the same time, Jaya TV, Raj TV and Kalaignar TV ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission and replaced by Zee Tamil HD at 12:05am which is rebroadcast back at same date.

On 1 July 2020 at midnight stroke, Phoenix Chinese Channel (Channel 318 HD/Channel 358 SD) and Phoenix InfoNews Channel (Channel 323 SD) ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission at midnight, 1 July 2020 due to unable renewal contract. The second Chinese HD channels and second historic channels to be ceased on Astro and replaced by TVB News Channel HD (Channel 318 HD) and TVBS News HD (Channel 323 HD) on 6 July 2020 at 6:00am and relaunched on new channels on 9 July 2020 on Phoenix Chinese Channel HD (Channel 325 HD) and Phoenix InfoNews Channel HD (Channel 326 HD) respectively. On the same day, The SD version of Astro First ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission. Astro Vellithirai and Astro Vinmeen HD ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission from Singtel TV was replaced by KTV HD and Sun Music.

On 29 July 2020, The SD version of Astro Best ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

On 16 November 2020, The SD version of Fox Sports channels and Eurosport ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

On 30 November 2020, The SD version of Astro SuperSport channels ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

On New Year's Day (1 January) 2021 at midnight stroke, Disney Channel and Disney Junior HD ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission due to arrival of Disney+ in Malaysia and replaced by Nick Jr. HD and Boomerang HD which launched on 15 December 2020 on the same package (Kids Pack). The first HD Kids channels to be ceased on Astro.

On 11 January 2021, Astro added one sattelite channel: TV Sarawak.

On 18 January 2021, Astro added one sattelite channel: Awesome TV.

On 1 February 2021 at midnight, Comedy Central Asia was officially ceased broadcasting and ceased transmission.

Astro B.yond

Astro B.yond logo
Astro B.yond logo

ASTRO launched its own high-definition platform called Astro B.yond on 11 December 2009. Its rollout costed RM200 million, including marketing and operating costs of approximately RM150 million.[3]

It introduced a PVR with an external hard disk drive connected to the decoder. The 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 are also available through Astro B.yond via a compatible external hard disk drive and activation of the recording service by Astro.[4]

In April 2011, Astro B.yond introduced its IPTV platform, in association with TIME dotCom Berhad.

Astro IPTV

Launched on 20 April 2011 as Astro B.yond IPTV, it featured HD channels, a PVR, VOD channels, high-speed internet and voice services. Astro's initial target audiences were residences of high-rise buildings that were having difficulty with the installation of dishes from Astro's satellite service.[5]

Astro NJOI

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

Currently, NJOI offers 26 SDTV channels, 5 HD channels and 26 radio channels.[6]

Ultra Box

Astro Ultra is Malaysia's first UHD pay TV service that delivers content to customers through their internet connection. The service was launched in early 2020 and it gave access to Malaysians a taste of 4K resolution broadcast TV. As part of the launch, Astro currently has 1 UHD channel which also premiered a live EPL match in 4K for the very first time in Malaysia. Astro Ultra is also the gateway to cloud recording, with a monthly subscription if customers need more recording space.[7]

Service and technical information

Old (bottom) and new (top) Astro 60cm satellite dishes
Old (bottom) and new (top) Astro 60cm satellite dishes

Astro broadcasts on Ku-band using the transponders of the MEASAT satellite system. The 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.

Initially, the HDMI output of the B.yond PVR was disabled (including NJOI) if the user was not subscribed to the HD service. However, since late-2014, the HDMI output is now enabled to every customer with the release of firmware updates featuring multilingual user-interface.[8][unreliable source?]

Encryption

Since its launch, Astro distributes 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 tells 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 is 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.[9]

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% of household penetration.[10]

Channel listing

Channel numbers for Genre/Language

100s for Malay Variety

200s for Indian Variety

300s for Asian Variety

400s for Movies

500s for News

550s for Learning

600s for Kids

700s for English Variety

800s for Sports

Malay Variety

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
104HD 124 Astro Ria Yes Yes
105HD 125 Astro Prima Yes Yes
106HD 126 Astro Oasis Yes Yes
107HD 127 Astro Warna Yes Yes
108HD 128 Astro Citra No Yes
109HD Naura Yes Yes
111HD GO Shop Yes Yes
112HD Astro Rania Yes Yes
113HD Astro Aura Yes Yes
115HD Astro Box Office Movies Tayangan Hebat No Yes
118HD GO Shop Ruuma Yes Yes
120HD GO Shop Gaaya Yes Yes
122HD TVS Yes Yes
123HD Awesome TV* Yes Yes
101 TV1 Yes Yes
102 TV2 Yes Yes
103 TV3 No Yes
114 TV AlHijrah Yes Yes
129 ART Variety No No
140 NJOI No Yes
146 OKEY No Yes
147 NTV7 No Yes
149 TV9 No Yes

*Confirmed by astro, Awesome TV to be carried on it's platform from 18th January 2021 onwards.

Indian Variety

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
116HD Colors Yes Yes
201HD Astro Vaanavil Yes Yes
212HD Sun Music Yes Yes
231HD Astro Vinmeen Yes Yes
232HD 224 Star Vijay Yes Yes
233HD Colors Tamil Yes No
234HD 211 Sun TV Yes Yes
235HD Zee Tamil Yes Yes
241HD Astro Box Office Movies Thangathirai No Yes
251HD Astro Box Office BollyOne Yes Yes
202 Astro Vellithirai No Yes
203 Makkal TV Yes Yes
213 Chutti TV Yes Yes
214 Adithya TV Yes Yes

Asian Variety

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
300HD iQIYI Yes No
303HD GO Shop Chinese Yes Yes
304HD 344 Astro Xiao Tai Yang Yes Yes
305HD TVB Classic Yes Yes
306HD 346 Astro AEC Yes Yes
307HD 347 Astro Shuang Xing Yes Yes
308HD Astro Quan Jia Yes Yes
309HD 349 Celestial Movies Yes Yes
310HD TVB Jade Yes Yes
311HD 351 Astro AOD (HD) Yes Yes
315HD Star Chinese Channel No No
316HD CTi Asia Yes Yes
317HD TVB Entertainment News Yes Yes
318HD TVB News Channel Yes Yes
319HD 359 TVB Xing He Yes Yes
320HD 360 TVBS Asia Yes Yes
323HD TVBS News Yes Yes
325HD Phoenix Chinese Channel Yes Yes
326HD Phoenix InfoNews Channel Yes Yes
333HD 373 Astro Hua Hee Dai Yes Yes
335HD 375 CCTV-4 Yes Yes
392HD 391 KBS World Yes Yes
393HD ONE Yes Yes
394HD Oh!K Yes Yes
395HD tvN Asia Yes Yes
398HD NHK World Premium No No
416HD tvN Movies Yes Yes
719HD Animax Yes No
148 8TV No Yes
321 Celestial Classic Movies Yes Yes
352 – 355 Astro AOD Yes Yes

Movies

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
401HD HITS Movies Yes No
404HD BOO No Yes
411HD 431 HBO Yes Yes
412HD 432 Cinemax Yes Yes
413HD 433 FOX Movies No No
414HD FOX Family Movies No No
415HD FOX Action Movies No No

News

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
503HD CGTN Yes Yes
511HD 531 CNN International Yes No
512HD 532 BBC World News Yes No
513HD 533 Al Jazeera English Yes Yes
514HD Sky News Yes No
515HD CNA Yes No
517HD Bloomberg Television Yes No
501 Astro Awani Yes Yes
502 BERNAMA TV Yes Yes
516 CNBC Asia Yes No

Learning

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
550HD 570 Nat Geo WILD Yes Yes
551HD 571 National Geographic Yes No
552HD 572 Discovery Yes Yes
553HD Discovery Asia Yes Yes
554HD 574 Discovery Science Yes Yes
555HD 575 HISTORY Yes Yes
556HD 576 Animal Planet Yes Yes

Kids

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
611HD 631 Astro Ceria Yes Yes
615HD 635 Cartoon Network Yes Yes
616HD 636 Nickelodeon Yes Yes
617HD Nick Jr. Yes Yes
618HD BabyTV No No
619HD Boomerang Yes Yes
601 Astro Tutor TV UPSR Yes Yes
602 Astro Tutor TV PT3 Yes Yes
603 Astro Tutor TV SPM Yes Yes
610 Astro TVIQ Yes Yes

English Variety

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO

NJOI

701HD 721 AXN Yes No
702HD Hello Yes Yes
703HD 723 FOX Life No No
704HD FOX No No
705HD KIX Yes Yes
706HD HITS Yes No
707HD 727 TLC Yes Yes
708HD Food Network Yes Yes
709HD 729 Asian Food Network (AFN) Yes Yes
710HD Nat Geo People Yes No
712HD Warner TV Yes Yes
713HD FX No No
714HD 734 Crime + Investigation Yes Yes
715HD HGTV Yes Yes
716HD 736 DMAX Yes Yes
717HD Comedy Central* Yes Yes
718HD MTV Asia Yes No
518 ABC Australia Yes No

*Will cease its broadcast on 1 February 2021.

Sports

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
800HD eGG Network Yes Yes
802HD 801 Astro Arena Yes Yes
811HD Astro SuperSport Yes Yes
812HD Astro SuperSport 2 Yes Yes
813HD Astro SuperSport 3 Yes Yes
814HD Astro SuperSport 4 Yes Yes
815HD FOX Sports Yes Yes
816HD FOX Sports 2 Yes Yes
817HD FOX Sports 3 Yes Yes
818HD beIN Sports Yes Yes
819HD beIN Sports MAX Yes Yes
820HD Eurosport Yes No
821HD 841 WWE Network Yes Yes
822HD Golf Channel Yes Yes
823HD RugbyPass TV Yes Yes
824HD Astro Cricket Yes Yes

Additional Channels

Channel No. Channel Name Astro GO NJOI
472HD – 479HD Astro First Yes Yes
482HD – 489HD Astro Best Yes Yes

Special channels

  • Viewed for free or paid for a limited time.
Channel No. Channel Name Release Time Astro GO
100HD FAMtv 15 Dec 2020 – 31 Jan 2021 Yes
242HD Kamal Haasan* 1 - 31 Jan 2021 Yes
  • Movies available 'ON DEMAND' on astro GO

4K channels

Channel No. Channel Name
780UHD Astro UHD

Astro GO Exclusive channels

Channel No. Channel Name On Demand
396HD K-PLUS Yes
521HD DW No
522HD France 24 English No
720HD ANIPLUS Yes

Radio channels

Channel No. Channel Name SYOK App
852 HITZ Yes
853 MY Yes
854 Lite Yes
855 Mix Yes
856 ERA Yes
857 Sinar Yes
858 Melody Yes
859 Raaga Yes
860 SYOK Classic Rock Yes
861 SYOK Gold Yes
862 SYOK Opus Yes
863 Gegar Yes
864 SYOK India Beat Yes
865 SYOK Jazz Yes
866 SYOK Osai Yes
867 SYOK Bayu Yes
868 SYOK Kenyalang Yes
869 Nasional FM No
870 Sabah V FM No
871 Wai FM No
872 TraXX FM No
873 Minnal FM No
874 Ai FM No
875 Asyik FM No
876 Zayan Yes
877 GOXUAN Yes
882 Astro Arena Radio Yes

Interactive services

Channel No. Channel Name
200 Astro Self Service
480 Astro First Portal
481 Astro Best Portal

Criticism and controversies

Monopoly over paid television market

Astro has been criticized over its monopolistic practice where it has become a dominant paid television in Malaysia while its competitors such as ABNXcess, Mega TV and MiTV are not able to compete against Astro and become defunct few years after its launch.[11][12] Previously Astro used to be the sole paid television operator in Malaysia until 2017 when another competitor, Telekom Malaysia's Unifi TV, has reportedly leading up to become the stronger cord-cutting alternative paid television to Astro as subscription revenue for Astro has fallen 2.7% in the first quarter of 2017, while Unifi TV gains subscription revenue by 58% in 2016, and the decline of Astro subscribers were attributed by Telekom Malaysia's decision to bundle Unifi TV with their own broadband internet, landline telephone and mobile network.[13]

While their exclusive rights and privileges to broadcast exclusive contents were ended on 28 February 2017, however, Astro continued to have rights to broadcast on a non-exclusive basis as their Network Facilities Provider Individual Licence and Network Service Provider Individual Licence provided under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and Content Applications Service Provider (CASP) individual licence, will expire on 1 February 2020 and 28 February 2022. At the same time, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission would instead provide CASP individual license to 35 broadcasting companies to give customers more choices on content, in which 4 of the broadcasting companies are approved to broadcast their content through satellite television.[14]

Malaysian government's proposed plan to cracking down on Android set-top box in 2019 similar to the action taken by government of Singapore has raised concern that Astro could benefits from this crackdown and continue to control Malaysian television market should the crackdown proceeds.[15]

Sports content dispute

Astro also currently having greater control over broadcasting rights on sports events has prevent competitors from broadcasting similar sports events which Astro currently broadcasting,[14] especially all Liga Super, Piala Malaysia, FIFA World Cup 2014[16] and 2018 contents broadcast in Radio Television Malaysia's free-to-air television channels were blocked on Unifi TV.[17] The similar situation were also occurs on Media Prima when Media Prima had forced to abandon broadcasting FIFA World Cup 2014 on their television channels.[18] The unavailability of these contents on competing services were attributed to Astro demanding Telekom Malaysia and Media Prima to pay royalty fees which were too high for these companies to afford.[16] However, Telekom Malaysia had paid some royalty fees to Astro to allow Thomas Cup 2014 event broadcasts on RTM's TV1 to be allowed to shown on Unifi TV.[16] The decision to charge high royalty fees were criticized by Jeremy Kung, executive vice president of TM New Media, who believe that sports contents broadcasts on free-to-air television channels should make it available to public for free.[16] Former Information, Communications, Arts and Culture minister Rais Yatim urged the media groups who had exclusive rights to major sports events should share their contents to free-to-air television channels.[18] Pakatan Harapan's youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad expressed that the rights to broadcast English Premier League should be co-licensed with Radio Television Malaysia instead of restricted to only available on Astro.[19]

Overcharging

Astro has also been criticized over its decision to raise its services price and impose penalty fees multiple times.

In June 2007, Astro raised the service fee for about 15% and on November the same year, Astro has converted some previously free channels that they carried including Bloomberg, Al Jazeera English and CGTN into paid channels by bundling into channel packages. This makes movie channel and Chinese language television channel packages to become prohibitively expensive. Anyone who perform package downgrade or removal of some paid channels will be imposed additional RM 10 surcharge.[20] Malaysiakini writer, Cheah Kah Seng, had encouraged the readers to protest against price hike and provide instructions on how to do so.[21]

Despite the protest from subscribers, Astro continued the practice of raising the subscription fees two years later in 2009, and again in 2011, 2013 and 2014 respectively. This was due to Astro's exclusive rights to broadcast some contents through contract agreement with international television networks, which result to leave many customers without other cheaper and stronger alternatives.[22]

Astro MAX

Customers who uses Astro own personal video recorder (PVR), Astro MAX, reported that the device performance were slow and lagging, and may occasionally experience some recorded contents being lost or corrupted.[20] Other issues such as certain channels cannot be recorded were also reported.[23]

Advertising on pay television channels

Paid channels carried on Astro usually carries traditional commercial advertising that will be shown on commercial break, despite customers had paid for the paid television channels.[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Goh Thean Eu, (22 September 2014) Astro scores in all major indicators, malaymailonline.com
  3. ^ Astro to launch HDTV services on Friday Archived 13 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 December 2009
  4. ^ [1] Archived 18 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 April 2011
  5. ^ [2] Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services, Greyreview.com, Retrieved 24 September 2014
  6. ^ Astro.com.my. "NJOI – Free Satellite TV from Astro". www.astro.com.my. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Astro Ultra Box - Crystal Clear Picture Quality With 4K UHD". astro.com.my. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Jeff Lee - Why my Astro set-top box HDMI port output not... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  9. ^ [3] Archived 15 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 April 2011
  10. ^ "Astro aims to increase household penetration to 75% next year - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  11. ^ Sharil (18 August 2017). "New Satellite TV Service Emerges, Ending Astro's Monopoly". Lowyat.net. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  12. ^ Wong, Alexander (19 November 2018). "There are 5 satellite Pay TV providers in Malaysia but nothing has changed". SoyaCincau. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  13. ^ Siew Li, Kang (18 August 2017). "Tech: HyppTV more than just complementary to TM". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  14. ^ a b "No more monopoly for Astro overpaid TV broadcasting, Parliament told". Malay Mail. Kuala Lumpur. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  15. ^ Syed Jafaar, Syahirah (8 February 2019). "Proposed clampdown on Android TV box would boost Astro". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d Chapree, Chef (29 May 2014). "World Cup 2014 RTM Black Out: Contents On Free To Air Channels Should Remain Free Says HyppTV's Chief". Lowyat.net. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  17. ^ Wong, Alexander (11 June 2018). "You won't be able to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Unifi TV". SoyaCincau. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Media Prima drops Fifa ball". The Sun. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  19. ^ Khoo, Daniel (31 May 2018). "Astro shares continue on downtrend". The Star. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  20. ^ a b Kah Seng, Cheah (11 September 2007). "Malaysiakini: How I save RM30 on Astro a month". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  21. ^ Kah Seng, Cheah (27 July 2007). "Here's how to protest against Astro". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  22. ^ bin Md. Dawam, Zairul Anuar; Sareya, Rosli; Bromeo Bianus, Adley; Hisham, M. Fazmi; Ali, Shahizan (November 2015). "MONOPOLY IN MALAYSIA TELEVISION MARKET:  EFFECT ON MALAYSIAN FILM PRODUCERS". ResearchGate. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  23. ^ Adrian (5 November 2006). "Astro MAX". ourplaypen.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  24. ^ Xavier, Joachim (14 June 2007). "Astro suffering from monopoly syndrome". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

External links

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