Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PAS 12 to become IS 12

The satellite on which CBNsat operates which is called PAS-12 (Panamsat-12) is to be renamed to IS-12 which stands for Intelsat-12 on February 1st 2007.

This is as a result of some mergers and acquisitions that have taken place over a period of several years.

The PAS-12 satellite was initially known as Europestar and after Panamsat took over in July 2005 from Alcatel Space the satellite was renamed to PAS-12. However as a result of a merger between satellite giants Panamsat and Intelsat on July 3rd 2006, PAS-12 will be renamed to IS-12.

There are several satellites that are owned by Panamsat that will undergo a name change.

The PAS-12 satellite is supposedly more reliable compared to the satellites used by some Indian DTH providers such as Tata Sky. A few weeks ago it was reported that due to solar flares the Tata SKY signal was disrupted for more than 30 minutes. This solar flare did not affect PAS-12. Tata SKY uses INSAT4A which is operated by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). Soon to be launched DTH providers in India such as those to be operated by Airtel, Sun Tv, Reliance are expecting to launch on Indian satellites. Dish Tv and DD Direct DTH services are the only Indian DTH providers using non Indian satellites at present.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Transponder Space Wastage

Ever since CBNsat started commercial operations, it seems that they are still having three locations reserved for Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN. We understand that it is important to have the local channels also on their lineup but what is happening now is such a wastage.

If Rupavahini, Channel Eye & ITN have to get approval from an authority for coming aboard the CBNsat platform then it is better for CBNsat to introduce some international channels and allocate the three state channels to transponder 3 which we hear will be available by end February or early March.

As a pay television operation priority has to be given to satellite channels over local channels. They have already signed up with Disney Channel and Toon Disney, so these channels can be allocated to those frequencies. In addition with the Sri Lanka-India Cricket series coming up they must make Neo Sports a priority since this can be used for marketing new connections prior to the series commencement. It should be noted that LBN has launched Neo Sports and will be making use of it to market it's new connections.

We hope that CBNsat gets SET Max before the World Cup starts. In fact CBNsat does not have to wait until the third transponder is active to launch SET Max. They could replace the present SET channel with SET Max in order to prevent the unnecessary increase of hindi channels on their lineup.

We are getting reports that even though TNL Radio, Lite and Asura are being indicated on the lineup it seems that they have not be activated as yet. We are unable to confirm this though.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

CBNsat now at Singer Mega

Singer Mega is also selling CBNsat connections these days since previously it was only the normal Singer outlet (now called Singer Plus) that were selling these connections.

We have also got news that CBNsat has been telling it's prospective customers that Star Tv package and Ten Sports will be available during the month of February and also that Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN will also be available by the end of this month. This is according to a few people who have inquired about CBNsat connections. In fact a blogger has also commented in our previous post about this.

It does seem probable since CBNsat will be acquiring their third transponder during february and it may just come to pass and Star Package, Ten Sports, Disney Channels and SET Max channels may be made available during february.

If it takes place as said then there will definitely be a massive increase in the subscriber base of CBNsat considering the fact that the ICC World Cup is in March and the first Twenty20 Cricket World Cup will be also held later this year.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Some Problems....

It seems that there are some minor problems present in the CBNsat broadcast that is taking place over the last few days.

  • One is that mostly all channels on Transponder 2 are not able to update the time and therefore the EPG on VH1 and Nick does not update as well. This has been highlighted several times via this blog but nothing seems to be happening so far.
  • Another one being that on Saturday night the football matches on Star Sports seem to have had Hindi commentary instead of the English one. Usually the feed on Star Sports carries dual language for major events. So somehow or the other CBNsat seems to have selected the wrong language feed resulting in Sri Lankan's having to put with up a feed that they do not understand.
We hope that CBNsat would check into the above problems and sort them out as soon as possible so that the subscriber will have a pleasurable viewing experience.

VH1, Nick, HBO Signature gets EPG

Things seem to be speeding up on the EPG front for CBNsat since over the weekend they seem to have activated the EPG for VH1, Nick and HBO Signature. However this is not the full EPG but contains the information about the present programme and the next programme only.

We hope the a fully fledged EPG with at least 7 days programming information is made available. Well at least it is nice to know that the management of CBNsat have realized that the EPG is a very essential part of their service and are taking steps to provide it as soon as possible.

Friday, January 19, 2007

AXN Electronic Programme Guide Now On

According to some CBNsat Subscribers it seems that the Electronic Programme Guide on AXN is now functional on a similar pattern to what is available on HBO and Cinemax. This only shows the current and the next programme that is scheduled.

We hope that CBNsat will implement a fully functional and detailed EPG soon and will also sort out the problem regarding the time on transponder 2.

In addition there are reports that AXN has been taken off cable television providers for two months in India for transmitting obscene content on a programme called "The Worlds Sexiest Commercials".

For informations sake we would like to point out that the AXN that is being received in Sri Lanka is different and not the feed that is being received by the Indians since India is receiving AXN India. The controversial programme is not being aired on the AXN feed that is being received by local pay television channels. The ban will affect all cable television broadcasters in India only but we are not sure whether Indian DTH providers are also affected by the ban.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Existing Customers and Zee Cinema

According to information received the existing subscribers of CBNsat who purchased their connections before the shutdown will not be getting Zee Cinema in there first or second package but they will continue to receive ESPN and Pogo according to the pre 6/6 package allocation.

The new package allocation on the website is applicable only to new connections and has no bearing on connections before 6/6.

CBNsat Subscriber Unite has also taken up the issue of the allocation of ESPN and Pogo to the Premium package with CBNsat and we hope that management will reconsider this move and allocate ESPN and Pogo back into the second package.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Package allocations causing stir

The new package allocations are causing a stir among existing customers mainly due to the fact that ESPN and Pogo have been moved to the Premier Package and they are not sure the status of their connections as time progresses. In addition as said in the previous post the would be subscribers of CBNsat are also weary of this new package allocation due to the fact that ESPN and Pogo being basic pay television channels are being allocated to a high value package which contains commercial free movie channels.

According to unconfirmed sources we hear that CBNsat may review this new package allocation. This would be welcome since then CBNsat would be once again be the pay television provider of choice for many.

According to some comments by CBNsat subscribers it seems that they are contemplating a move to Dish Tv. We would like to keep you all informed that this is a very risky move since Satnet is the only authorized dealer of Dish Tv in Sri Lanka and any purchase outside it may be deemed as illegal. There have been instances where Dish Tv has disconnected certain connections on suspicion that it may be pirating their content. Even if the equipment used is original Dish Tv equipment including a Dish Tv SIM card but used in a region where it is not authorized to operate or not operating through the registered dealer then the connection may be again deemed illegal. So those of you who are contemplating the move please take into account these risks before making the investment.

Coming back to CBNsat it seems that the third transponder will be acquired during the month of February which should bring in more channels. It will be great to have Star World on board soon then CBNsat subcribers will be able to enjoy American Idol Season 6 which is commencing today at 8pm on ETV and Star World simultaneously.

We believe that as in the case of mobile phones Dialog will strive to make CBNsat the most vibrant pay television provider in the region and also the most technologically advanced and as they made mobile phones accessible to the rural masses we hope that CBNsat will also be taken on those footsteps.

There are some subscribers who are saying that they are unable to view Zee Cinema and we would request them to call CBNsat on 4606060 and inform them since Zee Cinema is allocated to the basic package it should be viewable by all.

Please keep us updated on the latest on CBNsat as the days progress.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Unsuitable Package Pricing

The new package pricing structure of CBNsat packages or more than the package pricing it is the allocation of channels in the packages, has caused some displeasure from would be subscribers of CBNsat.

Many people were drawn to CBNsat due to the fact that it was affordable and the package charges were reasonable but what has happened is that for example sports enthusiasts will have to pay Rs 1,600/= (approx with VAT) for the Value 1400 package in comparision to the Rs 1,000/= (approx with VAT) that would have been paid earlier in order to watch Star Sports and ESPN which are more popular than Zee Sports. We believe having Pogo in the Value 1,400 package is absurd since it cannot be considered a channel in the calibre of HBO or HBO Signature.

If Pogo is part of the Value 1400 package then we wonder what package channels such as Star World, Star Movies & Ten Sports will be included into.

We hope that CBNsat management will take steps and make sure that CBNsat does not go out of the reach of the average Sri Lankan. Comet Cable was unable to make an impact in pay television due several reasons such as coverage but more than that due to high prices it was patronized only by the wealthy. Instead CBNsat stepped in and gave connections affordable to the average Sri Lankan who wanted good entertainment and quality sports.

CBNsat should focus continue to focus on the average Sri Lankan in terms of sales since it is only then that they will be able to increase their subscriber base. We know and understand that the company has undergone severe hardship and has to recover the lost revenue but do not do it at the expense of driving the average Sri Lankan away from your quality product which will prove detrimental to the company in the long run.

If CBNsat is to become a successful regional player in the DTH arena then these prices will not help it to achieve its goal because it is much higher that those offered by Tata Sky and Dish Tv.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Still Reserved

Three slots in the CBNsat lineup are still showing reserved. We hear that these are for Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN. However it has been sometime since they were classed as reserved and if these state channels are playing Hard-to-Get then CBNsat might as well forget about these channels and allocate them for some of their contracted channels such as Disney, Toon Disney, etc.

Rather than going behind these state enterprises it is better for CBNsat to improve their customer base and then later on some representatives of these state channels will be knocking on the doors of CBNsat asking them to add these channels to the platform.

CBNsat should also keep in mind that they have some tamil speaking subscribers who have purchased connections from them in order to watch the two tamil channels that were available, Raj and Raj Digital. Since these two have been dropped it is better if CBNsat can replace those two with either Sun Tv or some other tamil channel otherwise they will be in danger of loosing their tamil speaking subscribers.

It will be very good if Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN are made available on the CBNsat platform for the benefit of the outstation CBNsat subscribers but as we said earlier if they are not willing to come aboard then CBNsat should allocate them to others without wasting transponder space.

Please update us on the latest regarding CBNsat as the days progress and also whether the TNL Radio Network is now activated on CBNsat.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Part EPG Activated on HBO, Cinemax

From last night it looks like CBNsat has activated part of the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) on HBO and Cinemax. When we say part of the EPG what we mean is that this only shows the current program and the next program. The actual full EPG will contain a list of programs on the channel from 4 days to One week in advance.

We hope that CBNsat will deploy a fully functional EPG on all channels soon since most of these channels decide on their lineup of programs in advance of one month to one week before a month begins.

Monday, January 08, 2007

CBNsat New Package Structure

According to information that has been received by us CBNsat have now commenced commercial operations and therefore all customers will be billed commencing this month.

It is confirmed that the Zoom, Goal and Raj channels will not be returning however these may be replaced by Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN. We have also received detailed information about the new package structure of CBNsat which is applicable for all new customers. Existing Customers will be billed according to their original package.

Super 500 - Monthly Rental Rs 500/=
  • CNN
  • Cartoon Network
  • National Geographic Channel
  • History Channel
  • AXN
  • MTV (Music Television)
  • Discovery
  • Animal Planet
  • Zone Reality
  • Zee Cafe
  • Zee Studio
  • Zee Cinema
  • Zee TV
  • Zee Music
  • Zee Sports
Great 900 - Monthly Rental Rs 900/=
  • All the Channels in the Super 500 Package plus
  • A1 (Adventure One)
  • Animax
  • VH1
  • SET/SETmax
  • Discovery Travel & Living
  • BBC
  • Star Sports
  • Cinemax
  • Zee Trendz
Value 1400 - Monthly Rental Rs 1400/=
  • All the Channels in the Super 500 Package & Great 900 Package plus
  • Pogo
  • ESPN
  • HBO Signature
  • HBO
** Local television and radio channels will be given free with all the above packages

Initial Cost - Rs 17,900/= All Inclusive

It is not confirmed whether CBNsat will be rebranded however it should be noted that CBNsat has commenced sales of their connections and interested individuals can call their hot line on (011) 4606060 or visit CBNsat Web Site for a download of the Application form.

Please keep us updated on the latest regarding CBNSat as the days progress and a big thank you for CBNsat Subscribers Unite for providing us with the above information.

Friday, January 05, 2007

CBNSat now almost fully operational

Thats right people. Now CBNsat is at least 95% operational and continuing to move upward. Looks like the free viewing of HBO, HBO Signature and Cinemax are now over since CBNsat have broken their channels into packages and we hear that Zee Cinema is also in the premium package since most of the non premium customers who keep in touch with us do not seem to be receiving Zee Cinema. Please confirm this.

News is also coming in that Zoom, Raj TV and maybe Raj Digital have been dropped from the lineup and Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN will come aboard CBNsat very soon for the subscribers who require these channels due to coverage problems of the local channels. It is confirmed that Goal TV 1 and 2 have been dropped but Fashion TV may come back or not and this has not been decided as yet. However we wish all the local channels come aboard CBNsat since no one is going to be bothered to keep the booster (only applies for anyone using boosters) and the decoder switched on at the same time and waste precious electricity. Usually the booster is off when the decoder is on and to check what is being broadcast over the local channels mean to get up from the seat and walk towards the television and turn on the booster to check what the local channels are showing, what a hassle. So if the local channels want to keep viewership among CBNsat customers you have GET ABOARD CBNSAT this includes all the local English Language TV Stations too.

We are also getting reports that the subscribers will be billed from this month onwards. This means that all operations have started and all that has to happen is for CBNsat to relaunch officially and start selling connections. In addition the ICC Cricket World Cup is around the corner and it seems that SET MAX will also be available on CBNsat soon and probably that is why the channel called RESERVED is there or the CBNSAT PROMO channel.

Further Disney and Toon Disney Channels will come aboard once CBNsat secures the third transponder together with a host of other channels and hopefully Star World, Star Movies and Ten Sports are among those channels.

Please keep us updated on the latest regarding CBNsat as the days progress.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On Media Ministry Announcement

A reply to another blogs concern on whether the Media Ministry announcement recently is a threat to CBNsat

Refer Link "On Media Ministry Announcement"

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Discovery Network, Zee Network, ABC Radio Network back on Air

We have received confirmation that Discovery Network Channels (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet & Discovery Travel & Living) and the Zee Channels (Zee Cafe, Zee TV, Zee Trendz, Zee Studio, Zee Sports, Zee Music, Zee Cinema) are now activated and functional on CBNsat.

There seems to be some confusion regarding the Disney Channels since they have been dropped from the lineup of unactivated named channels and has been replaced by Raj Tv which is named but not activated. We are still unable to confirm what the status of these channels are?

In addition it seems that Sha, Hiru, Sun, Gold, Sooriyan from the ABC Radio Network are all available on CBNsat from yesterday. In addition it seems that some Radio Channels (TNL, Lite, Asura) are appearing in the television mode of the decoder too but they are not activated still.

Looks like most of the sound problems of sound coming on one channel have now been sorted out but some of the picture freezing problems are still there which we believe will be sorted out soon.

We keep us updated on the latest regarding CBNsat as the days progress and we once again wish all of you "A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2007".