Thursday, February 26, 2015

MTV Asia headed your way

According to reports Dialog TV will test MTV Asia on Ch. No 48 commencing today or within the next few days. Subscribers have been asking for good quality English Music channel for a long and it looks like those requests are bearing fruit.

MTV Asia will exist alongside MTV India. MTV India on Dialog TV is a non Indian feed since the Indian feed is moving away from music to be a general entertainment channel. MTV Asia also has music content alongside from reality programming.

In other news the test transmission of new channels introduced on reshuffling day will end on Feb 28th. However channels introduced this thereafter might continue testing for just a bit longer.

Please continue updating us on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Disney Junior, Star Gold & CNBC....

As of yesterday Dialog had another 3 channels on test, namely Disney Junior, Star Gold & CNBC. The Disney Junior feed is Indian while the Star Gold & CNBC feeds are non Indian & most likely to be Asian. We are unable to confirm whether all three channels will be made available to existing packages, although that would be the wise thing to do. 

Previous experience tells that if a channel is allocated as an add-on the number of people activating it will be less unless it's a specialized sports channel. The add-on system was tested with Discovery Turbo & Discovery Science ultimately due to lack of subscriptions Dialog had to add them to existing packages. It worked with Setanta Sports since it's a specialized sports channel, the same thing is to be tried with Ten Golf & it may not be as successful as Setanta. 

Earlier even Bloomberg was an add-on and due to low subscription the channel was added to existing packages.

It's sad to note that there is a small segment that is of the view that local FTA channels is the way forward for Dialog TV. That way is the way forward to the grave for Dialog if they decide to listen and take that route. Eventually we believe that Dialog will have all the local FTA channels, however with present capacity issues that is not the priority and should not be made the priority. 

It's actually great work by Dialog to add 120 channels with relatively small subscriber base, we usually compare Dialog with these Indian DTH providers who have a base of over a million. We know that we tend we to be very hard critics of Dialog TV but lets give credit where it's due and this time they did good and kuddos to Dialog TV for the steps taken to improve service quality. 

That being said Dialog should add all new channels to existing packages and taken quick steps to improve the quality of Varnam TV which is quite bad at present.

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Disney Junior testing & more

According to reports it seems that Disney Junior is now testing on channel number 55. We are not sure whether this is the Indian feed or Asian feed as yet. Also Siyatha TV & Varnam TV were added to all packages even old ones that are not promoted by Dialog TV anymore. This is good since they have been taking some heat over the last few days for with holding the channels from those packages.

It seems that gradually the advertised CNBC, etc will be coming on board. The movie channel with content similar to Star Movies is missing yet. Hopefully it's Fox Movies Premium but nothing is certain. 

Also Dialog should not waste this valuable transponder space on any more local FTA channels since they will take the road that will end up in total loss. There are some requests but the business from local FTA ones will be less. If Dialog have no capacity then they can add those channels but Dialog has capacity issues like any other DTH provider. 

There is no point in starting local channels specifically for the platform unless some sort of quality can be maintained, as we have seen in the recent past that's hard to do. Most of those who request for loads of local channels either do not have a Dialog TV connection or subscribe to per day TV which represents only a small portion of the DTV subscribers.

Please update us on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

MPEG4, reshuffling & new additions

It has been quite a day for Dialog TV & their subscribers, since today after several years of waiting Dialog TV fully converted broadcast systems to MPEG4. Now they are running MPEG4 DVB-S1 for SD channels & MPEG4 DVB-S2 for HD channels. This has naturally resulted in a increase in capacity which results in free space forn many new channels. And yes they did deliver by adding. The following channels have been added.
  • Dialog Now
  • Siyatha TV
  • Varnam TV
  • HTV
  • NGC Wild
  • Neo Prime
  • Outdoor Channel
  • Ten Golf
  • Sundance Channel
  • Zoom
  • TLC HD World
  • Ten HD
We see one promo channel right at the top of the list. The most notable new channels are Varnam TV, Outdoor Channel, Ten Golf & TLC HD World since the others have been on Dialog TV at one time or the other before being booted out in favour of some other. However they do have some more empty channel slots which we believe maybe reserved for some the other channels they advertised such as Disney Junior, CNBC & Star Gold. In the Dialog facebook page we did see that Dialog are also planning to introduce a movie channel with similar content to Star Movies, it maybe Fox Movies Premium or something else.

At the moment all the new channels are freely available to all packages for a period of one week. These channels except Ten Golf are being added freely to the Gold package and will be distributed to a few of the other packages too. Regarding Ten Golf, Dialog will have to tread carefully since information coming out the the Zee-Ten camp indicates that they are going in for a Star style rebranding and will also rebrand specialty channels such as Ten Cricket, Ten Action & Ten Golf making the Ten Sports 1 to 4. Ten HD will remain until they launch 4 HD channels to mirror all existing channels. Ten Golf is being Rs 299/= which is much more than Setanta and also more expensive that any HD channel.

We see some blank slots being strategically placed among the channel categories such as Music, Movies, Hindi, Kids, local, etc. These seem to indicate we will see more channels added in these areas soon. 

There are some concerns that recording for some channels is being disabled such Star World Premiere HD, hopefully this was a mistake and will be sorted out. Addition we are told that Star Plus was named Zee TV & vice verse, hopefully thats corrected too. 

What's next for Dialog? Well sooner or later, Dialog is going to run out space again and this time round they will need to acquire new transponder space. We believe Dialog TV will try to negotiate with local satellite company SupremeSat and switch satellites. However that's likely to take a year or two judging by history or they may just simply make use of a free transponder on the existing one. We however are told that the present satellite is full.

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dialog TV "urgent upgrade"

Dialog informed subscribers yesterday of a urgent upgrade commencing from today Feb 6th right upto Feb 9th. Due to this urgent upgrade the channels History TV18, Discovery Turbo and Fashion TV will not be available during the above mentioned dates. Further Setanta & E channel will shift to different channel positions during this time. 

So what is this upgrade, we haven't the faintest clue but it seems that it has something to do with the world cup. With Star launching another 2 HD channels and taking their HD channel tally to 4, basically mirroring HD versions of all 4 Star Sports SD channels, Dialog will have a tough time keeping up with trying to broadcast the matches in HD. So maybe Dialog is planning to time share a few more HD channels with a Star Sports channel during "LIVE" cricket.

Any regardless Dialog should take serious steps to expand their channel base since sometime in the next few months, Ten Sports is going to rebrand all it's channels. Basically there will no longer be Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action, Ten Golf, it's rumoured they will follow a Star Sports style Ten Sports 1, 2, 3 & 4 and follow it up quite soon with a Ten Sports set of HD channels.

It's frustrating to see a local operator such as Dialog TV, several steps behind when it comes to regional DTH broadcasters. When Dialog is working on HD LIVE cricket feeds, other regional broadcasters are talking of 4K broadcasts.

Wait is Dialog doing a 4K upgrade? A laughable thought though. We hope that these steps are actually taken to switch the entire platform to MPEG4 which should give some breathing capacity to add a few more channel until the transponder bug rises again. So Dialog you urgently need new transponders & a total switch to MPEG4. What ever happened to their plan to switch to SupremeSAT.

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialop TV as the days progress and we hope we see visible results of this "urgent upgrade" soon. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Australia Plus back & Verbum TV launches

As of last Australia Plus is back on Dialog TV, the channel returned after a lapse of several weeks. In other recent developments Locally operated Catholic TV channel Verbum TV is to hit the airwaves time shared with EWTN. 

The time sharing method isn't clear for this but it is probably 12 hours per channel, you can check the Verbum TV schedule for more on this.

Today is effectively the last day for Star Movies SD & HD in Sri Lanka. From tomorrow onwards it will be MGM Channel & Star World Premiere. 

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

MGM Channel, Star World Premiere HD, Australia plus.....

With effect from 1st Feb Star Movies India will no longer be available in this region on licensed pay TV service providers. This means that many viewers in Sri Lanka will lose access to the movies that are broadcast on Star Movies India. However these same movies are broadcast on Fox Movies Premium which is available in Maldives and not in Sri Lanka.

We hope Dialog TV appeals along with the other licensed providers to Fox International Channels to allow Fox Movies Premium SD & HD in Sri Lanka.

We are not sure how the inclusion of Star World Premiere HD will play out since Warner TV Asia, AXN Asia & Universal Channel Asia have access to some programming available on Star World Premiere too. In a matter of time maybe we will know who pulls out owing to this clash in territorial rights.

Star World Premiere HD is good but this leaves Dialog TV without a HD movie channel, if they couldn't get hold of Fox Movies Premiere HD maybe they should have gone with HBO HD. Just saying.

However the replacement of Star Movies India SD with MGM Channel isn't a good move, originally it was supposed to be Sundance Channel, MGM is better of course. This has got to be MGM India, since everywhere else MGM is known as AMC. This channel is available in India too on one DTH service provider whereas the rest carry MGM India. 

MGM Channel India carries older movies unlike Star Movies which at least premieres a movie once a month if not a week. For those who like to watch the newer box office hits we are left with good old HBO Asia. Guess it's back to torrents for many of us, Fox/Star should be responsible for this rise in piracy.

The other blank space is Australia Plus, this channel is off air for the longest time and probably has called it quits for this region. Dialog should now move on to some other channel, it's time to let go. Anyway this channel lost all class after it was rebranded to Australia Plus from being known as Australia Network.

We hope we will see Fox Movies Premium in Sri Lanka on Feb 1st at least the SD version, if the HD version is too expensive. Hopefully Star will make the website accessible in this region now at least.

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.