Bringing another first to Malaysia – HD
Today, I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of the team that brings another milestone to Malaysia: the first commercial HDTV broadcast. Our New Media & Technology division is deploying the first phase of what we call Astro B.yond. For only RM20 (that’s USD6), we’re delivering a bouquet of 5 channels that showcase the amazing clarity of 720p/1080i resolution with Dolby 5.1 sound. All this, in a new set-top box delivered after only 9 months of official development.
The best part of my new experience here is that I get to see technology power New Media from the back-end and from the satellight point-of-view. The latter itself is a whole new paradigm of delivery thinking but the set-top box (STB) is what the end-user sees and uses. And this is where the future of New Media also resides.
In our second phase, Astro B.yond will be entering the Astro 2.0 phase where we provide VOD content on mobile platforms for the 2010 World Cup. We might be doing that for web too but overall, this is where my responsibilities will lie. I’m totally excited about being able to deploy Astro 2.0 which seeks to be multi-platform in delivering Astro content. Imagine getting up in the morning and getting tweets from StadiumAstro (our sports portal) with all the latest match updates and then linking on to our mobile portal to watch video highlights. You can stream them, download to rent or even download to own. You can choose from different topics like goals or controversies or coaches comments. Best of all, you can do it from wherever you like because it will all be on your phone.
Under the vision and steady command of our CTO Paul Dale, a steady stream of consultants have been trooping in and out of the office from all over the world to help us deploy this objective. And over the next few months I’m going to employ the team that will make this happen. It’ll be another first for Malaysia but that’s nothing new to me. Like Steve Jobs once famously said,
The journey IS the reward.