Astro will go HD
Astro will go HD tomorrow. I was sitting in the car to office this morning when I heard the news on the radio that Astro will launch HD service tomorrow. Well, it’s just time, and just a very perfect time since I also just recently getting obsessed with HD World when purchasing my Sony Full HD LCD TV.
After the launch of Measat 3A satellite, Astro been quietly upgrading their system to support HD broadcast. Well, they are doing a good job of keeping that quite as I only get to know that today despite several articles on the local newspaper already about this.
From the digging that I do, I found out that the broadcast will be in 1080i resolution. What? I thought that it will be in 720p. 1080i can be thought as 540p, which is below 720p. There’s also interesting rumors about the new decoder as well. The new decoder will be eqquiped with HDMI port, ethernet port, usb port and digital audio output.
(Images via Miri Community Forum)
But I don’t see any HDMI port from the new decoder that comes with any new Astro subscription.
But seeing the USB port and Ethernet port at the back of the decoder rather excites me (current model only have phone jack port for the modem). Having USB port can mean that you can connect portable external hard disk to it, and use Astro decoder as PVR (Personal Video Recorder) to programatically the whole season of Akademi Fantasia (LOL!), and watch it at your own leisure time.
With broadband internet is now connectable to Astro decoder, I hope this will be first Malaysia version of TiVo. As a matter of fact, in the past I have touched twice about Malaysia version of TiVo. Firstly, when MiTV first launched, which MiTV turn out to be not close to TiVo at all, and the launched of Astro Max after that (which the production has been ceased now)
During the launch, only a few channels will be broadcast in HD. Which channels then? Measat website has a good hint for this.
Local programs will be in HD in the next phase as Astro has to upgrade the video camera and other equipments. I just can’t want to watch Akademi Fantasia in HD (LOL).
The 2 things that still have big question marks on them are, i) how much the new decoder will cost, ii) what’s the price will be for the HD channels package. Everything will be unveiled soon.
It’s time for me to reconsider upgrading my package which currently I’m under protest by switching to the basic RM37.95 package due to the price hike that they announce to the Sports Channel last time.
Astro website will definately be the first website that I’ll be visiting first thing tomorrow.