Sun Direct is a company based in India that provides direct broach satellite television. The service was launched in 2007 and since then, Sun Direct has provided direct broadcast satellite television to thousands of household in India. The digital compression technology used by Sun Direct is MPEG-4 and it transmits HD channels at 93.5˚ E through satellite INSAT 4B. SD channels are transmitted at 91.5˚ E on the satellite MEASAT-3. It is the first company in India to provide MPEG-4 direct-to-home services. It is also the first service provide to transmit Tamil HD channels. It is the largest DTH satellite television service provider in South India.
History of Sun Direct
A joint venture between Astro Asia Group (based in Malaysia) and Maran’s Sun Network lead to the establishment of Sun Direct. On January 27th 2007, Sun TV and Astro had entered an MoU, before the establishment of Aircel. However, at the time the government of India did not allow KU band transponders to be used to provide DTH services. Hence the project did not go through, according to a statement issued from the firm. The DTH policy was approved by the government in December 2007, and Astro accordingly bought a 20% in Sun Direct. The investment was reported to have cost $ 115 million. Sun Direct TV was officially registered on February 16th, 2005. But the satellite INSAT 4C had failed to lauch and this delayed the launch of the company, due to a lack of transponders. Sun Direct eventually acquired transponders from INSAT 4B, and thus it was able to launch its operations on the 18th of January 2008.
Subscribers at Sun Direct are given a set-top box and a satellite dish for free. The monthly charge is had started at 75 INR. Currently, under the basic plan the monthly charge is 200 INR.
Since its inception, Sun Direct has experienced an impressive growth in its customer base, mostly due to the fact that it is the DTH service provider with the lowest retail price of products. Sun Direct was launched in Mumbai in December 2009, and the company soon announced its plans to launch services across India.
Glitch in INSAT-4B
A glitch in power occurred in INSAT-4B on 4th July 2010. This caused the DTH services to be partially down, and the company announced that all its services would be free until the full DTH service was restored. The service were restored partially on INSAT-4B, and SD channels were transmitted in MEASAT-3.
Sun Direct HD
Sun Direct TV offers HD channels to subscribers all over India. The HD beam is transmitted from MEASAR at 91.5.
Sun Direct HD PVR
In addition to HD services, Sun Direct also offers the option to record live TV programs with its HD PVR.
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