Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Star India restricting programming to Sri Lanka

Over the last few days it has been noted that Star Channels have been restricting to programming to Sri Lanka citing territorial rights as an excuse. When it started on Star World Premiere HD with the blocking of "The Blacklist" it was assumed that this was due to AXN Asia also carrying the same programme. However this has now spread to "Sleepy Hollow" on Star World (and probably Star World Premiere) & "The Goldbergs" on Star World Premiere, not forgetting to mention "The Guardian" on Fox Crime. It should noted that these programmes are not available on the Asian feeds of channels on Dialog TV.

It looks certain that Star India is not interested in acquiring rights for Sri Lanka. This started with the pull out of Star Movies citing territorial rights.

Dialog TV should take immediate steps to rectify the issue, like we suggested some time back, lets kick Star India out of Sri Lanka for good. Dialog should approach Fox International channels and  do the following replacements
  • Bring in Fox Movies Premium SD & HD to compensate for the loss of Star Movies.
  • Replace Star World India with Star World Asia.
  • Replace Fox Crime India with Fox Channel Asia.
Already the Hindi channels on Star on Dialog TV are the Asian versions so it's best to extend this to the English channels as well.

Very soon at this rate Star Sports will stop acquiring rights for Sri Lanka when it comes to sporting events then it's time to move to Fox/Star Sports Asia.

Either Star India is not happy about Asian feeds being available to Sri Lanka or they have suddenly employed someone who doesn't like Sri Lanka. Anyway this maybe a blessing in disguise with the ability to break free of Indian feeds altogether.

The question is, what will Star do on their channels which may be available on the Indian operated competitor to Dialog TV who will enter the market soon. Most likely the same or give them an unfair advantage.

It's time to start a campaign #kickStarIndiaoutofSriLanka 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cartoon Network feed switched

With effect from yesterday Dialog TV have reverted to the India feed of Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network feeds have been switched before too but this time it looks permanent. This is probably not a decision of Dialog TV rather seems to of Turner broadcasting that runs the channel. Cartoon Network Asia website has been blocked too & redirects to the Indian website.

The other channel from the same operator Pogo was Indian & will always be Indian since the channel is available only in India, Toonami has a Indian feed too but we still continue to receive the Asian feed. The difference between the two being that the Asian feed broadcasts Marvel & DC comic toons whereas the Indian one concentrates on DC comic toons & Anime. Marvel comic toons in India are part of Disney XD which is not available in Sri Lanka. Hopefully Turner doesn't switch Sri Lanka to Toonami India.

In other news it seems that the MTV Asia story has not materialised, however it looks like Dialog TV have halted adding new channels until the World Cup is over. We can expect new channels to be added after the World Cup promotion has run it's course.

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

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.