Dialog TV which started testing Sirasa TV/Shakthi TV a couple of days ago, launched both the channels yesterday free of charge for all packages. This comes after over an year of rumours that the channels would be made available on Dialog TV.
The Maharaja organisation which openly stated that pay television in Sri Lanka "will fail" and ridiculed the idea of people paying for television in Sri Lanka just a few years ago when pay television operations were commencing in Sri Lanka have realised that pay television platforms are the future and if not included, it will spell the end of the Maharaja Network in Sri Lanka. In fact they went far as advertising in the media that it is illegal to include Maharaja channels on any pay television platform and action would be taken against any company that retransmits Maharaja channels on their platform. According to sources the Maharaja's are to have said that "they will never allow pay television channels to rebroadcast their television channels".
Now a few years down the road the same people are begging their way onto pay television companies in Sri Lanka due to the negative impact pay television had on the Maharaja network.
Now with Sirasa TV & Shakthi TV firmly onboard pay television platforms, its time for them to capitalise on this new avenue that has been opened up to them. It should be said that the quality of retransmission of Sirasa TV on Dialog TV is one of the best when compared to the local channels. Whilst the quality of retransmission of Shakthi TV leaves much to be desired. Hopefully these will be sorted out quickly, and at times there are problems with Sirasa TV retransmission too, which needs to be ironed out.
Now with many of the local channels onboard Dialog TV, it's time to focus on improving the quality of the international channels on Dialog TV. The "so-called temporary" replacement of MTV India looks rather like permanent. It's hard to imagine Dialog TV letting go of the "Dialog Test Channel" anytime soon, and this leave no space for "MTV India" on the transponders. Hopefully more channels are switched to MPEG4 in order to create space for new channels. We have seen Dialog TV take positive steps towards this by moving some existing channels to MPEG4 and issuing new STB's for those who were subscribers of these channels.
It should be said that there is a big improvement in the quality of channels such as "Discovery Turbo" once it was shifted from MPEG2 to MPEG4. It's hard to imagine that this was only a one time process carried out to enable the inclusion of Sirasa TV/Shakthi TV. It's highly likely that we will see more of these channel shifts in the weeks & months ahead, well hopefully it doesn't take years. Dialog should shift all their channels to MPEG4 DVB-S2, thereby increasing the quality of all channels on Dialog TV.
Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.