Dialog went public with the HD pack details which was leaked publicly first on this blog. As per the details released, they are the same to what was leaked a couple of days ago by a fellow blogger who shared the details with us.
Whilst appreciating the fact that a major Sri Lankan company has taken steps to launch HD channels to our tiny island nation, we wish that the product pricing was better suited to the Sri Lankan market. Dialog have tied their own hands thanks to short sighted use of new technology by them. We know that there are many non HD television owners in Sri Lanka who will be happy to add Fashion TV, History TV18, Ten Action & BBC Entertainment channels which are included in the HD package as Non HD channels, to their existing packages. It's hilarious that Dialog includes non HD channels in a pack containing HD channels, makes you wonder if the one's who priced the product actually knew the difference. It's a total ripoff to ask subscribers to purchase the HD pack to view a bunch of basic non HD channels.
There have been rumors about a special promotion by Dialog issuing the HD decoder FOC to Gold package subscribers until July 15th under the condition that they will subscribe to the "HD" pack. A good incentive for those who have HD televisions but not at all favorable to those who just want to view the non HD channels. Although we haven't been able to confirm this yet and if it's true they will probably release it to the public when they find out that yet again we leaked it to the public from right under their noses thanks to our fellow bloggers.
The addition rental which exceeds Rs 1000/= with the inclusion of taxes for the HD pack is way beyond the means of ordinary middle class Sri Lankans & like one of our fellows bloggers put it, one "has to be born a Maharaja" to subscribe to this pack.
As per the information gathered by us, the pack is activated as a set plan, and they will issue the decoders to the subscribers site which should take a couple of days. It's actually a pity that all of Dialog MPEG4 decoders that were issued to the subscribers were never fully utilized. Maybe Dialog TV can do some form of software upgrade to make use of the MPEG4 decoders at least to watch these non HD channels in the HD pack. However it is highly unlikely since the major stars of the HD pack are actually the non HD channels namely "Fashion TV" and "Ten Action".
Another point worth mentioning is that the content of the HD channels is the same as their SD counterparts which are available in other lower priced packages on Dialog TV. For example Star Movies India SD & Star Movies India HD have the same content, AXN Asia SD & AXN Asia HD have the same content, Nat Geo India SD & Nat Geo India HD have the same content, Ten HD is a mix of the content of their SD channels Ten Sports, Ten Cricket & Ten Action. Therefore you will not watch anything different from the SD version in the HD version apart from far more clearer sounds & pictures.
As a matter of fact the non HD History TV18 channel on the HD pack is originally a HD channel which Dialog converts to SD and broadcasts. So elevating History TV18 to HD makes sense plus they should have added Discovery HD World plus some non Indian feed HD channels to which Dialog doesn't have the SD counterpart would have made the HD pack far more appealing. Well one thing is for certain, it would be very interesting to watch when Star Movies HD interrupts the movie to telecast HD advertisements in Dolby Digital sounds.
Well it wouldn't be fair if we didn't say "Congratulations Dialog" on being the first in Sri Lanka to introduce HD but it's a "boooo" when it comes to pricing & channel selection, basically a "boooo" for the way the entire thing was handled. Dialog went from "Hero" when we first announced the rumored HD to "Zero" when the pricing got leaked. They have no one else to blame except themselves.
It's still not too late for Dialog to rectify the matter if they want. Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.