Monday, April 7, 2014

Day Pass Activations fail... some subscribers miss T20 Finals

According to reports reaching us Dialog TV subscribers who activated the "day pass" to watch the T20 Finals were in for a rude shock when channels didn't get activated as per their request. It seems that Dialog TV Customer Care accepted that this occurred due to a technical fault. Hopefully the charges are refunded to the subscribers if it has already been billed.

It's sad to note that in the light of important sporting events, subscribers are unable to watch the matches due to "technical faults". Whilst it is accepted that technical faults do occur without prior notice, however they should be rectified in a manner that doesn't effect the subscribers viewing.

In other news, it looks like "temporary" Russia Today channel has become "permanent". One sports channel is now out of Dialog TV and with the FIFA World Cup to be telecast on Sony Six & Sony Six HD, it's yet to be seen whether we are deprived of this important sporting event. Dialog TV is relying too much on "temporary" fixes to "permanent" problems.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

THE FUTURE - looks bleak - TODAY

Dialog TV's future may not be as firm as they hoped it would be. We have reports of subscribers eagerly awaiting the launch of Sri Lanka's newest DTH service provider "Dish TV Sri Lanka", which will launch soon. Dish TV Sri Lanka will pose the strongest competition to Dialog TV yet. Competition from Peo TV & LBN cable TV haven't been strong enough, causing Dialog TV will play high handed tactics with subscribers.

Channels substituted as and when management sees fit, channels time shared, etc, etc. The recent example being the replacement of Neo Sports with Russia Today, the removal of MTV India, the inability to add the channel that broadcasts the FIFA World Cup - Sony SIX & Sony SIX HD. Yes, Dialog TV would probably add Sony SIX & Sony SIX HD for the duration of the World Cup but temporary is not what people want, rather people want permanent additions. The sluggish switch over to MPEG4 from MPEG2. All of these have contributed to the decision of many subscribers to switch over once a viable option is available. Not to mention the high costs of the top package and the even higher cost of the HD options. Now it seems that Dish TV Sri Lanka may somehow be that "viable" alternative that subscribers were waiting for.

At the moment Dish TV Sri Lanka is on test mode. It's not still too late for Dialog TV, however the changes must place now before a few thousands, ten thousands or even hundreds of thousands switch over if Dialog TV delays until the competitor launches services.

Dialog TV should immediately put into motion the plan to switch to Supreme SAT, launch channels straight away as MPEG4 DVB-S2 and switch all boxes to MPEG4 DVB-S2 when technical personnel visit home to realign the dish. If not Dialog TV must take immediate steps to acquire more transponders and ramp up the quality of service.

Dialog has in the past switched into high gear in the face of competition and come out on top, however those service were not as half bad as the way Dialog TV has been handled. We reiterate that it's not too late, if Dialog TV improves the quality of service, there may just be a glimmer of hope and subscribers may not move out as planned. However there are those that are so sick of Dialog TV's handling of its subscribers that even if Dialog TV pays them a rental for watching the service, they may not do so.

The ball is in your court Dialog TV, make the best and first move or it just may become a case of what happened with the Titanic, the builders thought it was unsinkable but it did sink, Dish TV Sri Lanka may just be the iceberg that the Dialog TV Titanic hits.

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Neo Sports replaced with Russia Today

Dialog TV carried out a channel replacement yesterday that takes stupidity to a whole new level, pay sports channel "Neo Sports" has been replaced by free-to-air news channel "Russia Today". The move comes as a surprise since there was no indication to the subscribers that this was due to happen. The replacement took place all of a sudden last evening to the frustration of many subscribers. The reasons given by Dialog range from "Neo Sports carrying out an upgrade", "System Upgrade" & "In light of recent events on the political front in Russia". If the last one is anything to go by then we should see pay sports channels vanishing and being replaced by news channels the next time someone farts in countries, maybe if someone farts in Iran - Dialog will add "Press TV", if someone farts France - Dialog will add TV5 Monde or France 24, if someone farts in Germany maybe we will get DW TV, if someone farts in Egypt we will get Egypt TV.

The move is being called "temporary", whilst its not clear if subscribers will get their rentals waved off on a "temporary" basis too, or if subscribers can avoid paying rentals altogether.

We feel for those who pay for individual channels/packs containing these channels, since even though they pay for the sports channels, they have lost one to a FTA channel but must still continue the payment the same amount.

At a time when Dialog is facing a capacity crunch and with the FIFA World Cup to be broadcast on a channel which at the moment isn't available on Dialog TV, Dialog makes the stupid decision of removing a sports channel. 

This actually begs the question if somehow a majority of Dialog's share have been purchased by the Kremlin or remnants of the KGB, or if a senior executive of Dialog TV is of Russian origin or a Russian fanboy or whether Dialog TV were forced to add Russia Today by the powers that be in order to show the Russians that we are on their side during this time and be in their good books. If any of it was the reason, then an existing news channel should have been sacrificed instead of a sports channel.

We urge Dialog TV subscribers to express their displeasure by calling their hotline & urge Dialog TV to refrain from these unfair & unethical business practices & risk losing subscribers.

Will the fate that befell "MTV India" fall on "Neo Sports"? Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Rumoured parallel uplinks to SupremeSAT

According to unconfirmed information reaching us, Dialog TV have commenced parallel uplinking to locally operated SupremeSAT also known as ChinaSAT. We believe it's still on the testing phase and upon testing Dialog TV will commence the process of aligning subscribers to the new satellite. It is said that Dialog TV's agreement with Intelsat will expire soon and Intelsat 12 is nearing the end of it's service period and a new satellite is due to take it's place, which could prove to be more expensive for Dialog TV.

The parallel uplinks will be maintained until Dialog switches over all subscribers to the new satellite. The advantages of using the new satellite will mean that Dialog TV's overheads will reduce which in turn could translate to reduced rentals/higher profits, the latter being more likely.

However Dialog TV will be able to purchase more transponders and expand capacity, and prepare for competition from soon to be launched Dish TV Sri Lanka.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Watch Out... Here comes competition

It's crunch time for Dialog TV. It has been announced that Dish TV will officially launch services in Sri Lanka through their joint venture Dish TV Lanka formed in partnership with Satnet. Dialog TV has been swapping, time sharing, replacing channels despite complaints from subscribers to suit their own whims and fancies. Just yesterday "Setanta Sports" was replaced by "MTV Sports" to telecast "Dialog Rugby", all this while Dialog TV wastes a channel slot labelled as "Dialog Test".

With delays in switching from MPEG2 to MPEG4 DVB-S2, no actual additional channels (only those that are permanently replaced), High HD rentals, increasing subscriber frustration, etc, Dialog TV will be decimated unless they take steps to rectify these problems before Dish TV becomes operational.

With rumors flying around of a satellite switch over, the lack of transponder capacity has been Dialog's Achilles Heel plaguing it from time immemorial. Dialog TV promised switch over the MPEG4 DVB-S2 but apart from a few, none of the others have been upgraded as yet.

Some subscribers are sticking to Dialog TV due to lack of choice, a problem that will no longer exist with the launch of Dish TV. This launch will definitely see a mass exodus from Dialog TV to Dish TV unless Dialog TV takes steps to rectify problems and prepare to face the stiff competition.

The only silver lining in the cloud for Dialog TV is that it has Asian feeds of channels such as HBO, AXN, Cartoon Network, Toonami, etc instead of ad infested Indian feeds. Its not clear what Dish TV's choice of feeds will be for those channels that allow Asian feeds into Sri Lanka. However with rumors that Dish TV has already completed their satellite up-linking station in Sri Lanka, Dish TV would probably uplink Asian feeds of channels where ever available & also uplink local channels.

Dialog TV's dominance of the local pay television market is under threat, in the past Dialog's services such as Broadband & Cellular services have reacted positively to competition and have come out on top. It's yet to be seen how Dialog TV will fare against the threat posed by Dish TV India. It should be stated that a wait and see attitude will be disastrous, rather Dialog TV should act now.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Discovery Kids launched, R.I.P Kidsco

With effect effect from yesterday, Discovery Kids in now available on Dialog TV & replaces the soon to be defunct Kidsco channel. As mentioned in our previous blog post, Kidsco which shutdown its European feed at the end of December will be ceasing all their other remaining feeds which are Asian & African feeds in the next few days.

The Discovery Kids that has been launched in this region is quite different to the Discovery Kids channel elsewhere, since this Discovery Kids is mainly a cartoon entertainment channel which is expected to introduce educational programming in the future. The choice of Discovery Kids is commendable since it makes a worthy replacement to Kidsco & so far it has been premiering some high profile cartoon serials such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, etc.

Dialog TV should now look at returning MTV India which was replaced last year and look into adding a few channels and increasing their offerings instead of replacing existing channels with new ones. Since Kidsco is a channel that is to be shutdown in a few days time, its okay with replacing it with another, otherwise this replacement would have been considered unacceptable.

Dialog TV hopefully is capable of switching fully to MPEG4 DVB-S2 soon and cutting down on the cost per channel by adding more channels to a transponder.

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kidsco to close, replaced with Discovery Kids

According to information coming in, Dialog TV has replaced/or will be replacing Kidsco with Discovery Kids India following reports that the Kidsco channel will be closing down their Asian feed at the end of this month.

Kidsco which has been on Dialog TV for a number of years has constantly struggled against competition from Cartoon Network, Toonami and the likes not only in this region but internationally too. The Kidsco channel European feed closed at the end of last year and the South African & Asian feed will close end February 2014. Source: "Kidsco set to cease broadcasts".

Discovery Kids India mainly telecasts cartoons as opposed to the traditional educational programming that "Discovery" is known for. The channel is expected to introduce more educational programmes in the future. This channel telecasts cartoons such as "Transformers", "G.I Joe", etc entered the Sri Lankan market sometime last year.

We are still unclear whether the replacement has been carried out already, it is however expected either during the course today or in the coming days. Please keep us updated on the latest regarding the replacement of Kidsco with Discovery Kids & other information regarding Dialog TV in the days to come.

Update Feb 11th 2014 @ 1:55pm