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StarHub launches HDTV in Singapore

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MUMBAI: Singapore, through pay TV platform StarHub, is the first country in Southeast Asia to launch High Definition Television (HDTV).

This launch follows StarHub’s successful HDTV trial that kicked off with the 2006 Fifa World Cup on 10 June 2006 and ended at the close of the year. During this trial, 1000 StarHub Digital Cable customers enjoyed all 64 World Cup matches as well as quality programmes from Discovery and National Geographic Channel in full high-definition (HD) splendour.

With HDTV, StarHub says that viewers can expect up to four times greater picture clarity. The 16:9 screen ratio will also provide a panoramic view that can be up to 33 per cent more than what they can enjoy on the standard 4:3 TV screen. As many HD programmes contain Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, viewers with a Dolby Digital Home Theatre system can also be treated to superior audio quality, not unlike the quality available at the cinemas.

In addition to an enhanced audio and visual experience, customers using the HD set-top box will also enjoy all innovative features that users of StarHub’s digital set-top box currently have access to. These include the Onscreen TV Guide, Programme Alert, Auto-Tune, Video Mosaic, Info Bar, Quick Surf, Chat, access to Demand TV and complimentary FunZone games.

StarHub president and CEO Terry Clontz says, “We are very excited about our HDTV launch, and are proud that we are the first operator in Southeast Asia to introduce the service.

“StarHub is constantly enhancing its customers’ TV viewing experience. Our introductions of Digital Cable in 2004, Demand TV in 2005 and Smart TV in 2006 are examples of how we give customers more control over what they watch, and when they watch their favourite programmes. And who knows, maybe someday we can even give customers choice on where they can view their favourite programmes too. ”

With StarHub’s launch of its HDTV service, a new content group named “HD Plus” will be introduced. HD Plus, with a subscription fee of $15 comprises two new HD channels – Discovery HD and National Geographic Channel (NGC) HD.

Clontz adds, “Discovery and National Geographic Channel are longtime content partners of StarHub, and both are very well-known for their production of high-quality programmes. We know that our customers will be delighted with the quality of the content, and with the superior viewing experience that HDTV brings.”

Discovery HD Channel showcases on the channel include science, world culture, natural history, wildlife, engineering, travel and lifestyle.

Discovery Asia MD, executive VP Tom Keaveny says, “Discovery is once again happy to be pioneering HD. We were the first international HD channel to launch in Japan in 2005, and with this launch in Singapore, Discovery HD is now available in 15 international markets and over nine million households. Discovery is committed to providing our viewers with the highest quality content available and Discovery HD will deliver an audio and visual experience that is richer, deeper and more expansive than ever before”.

NGC HD takes viewers into the heart of the action from science, the modern world and investigations to lost cultures and natural history, National Geographic Channel in high definition will bring viewers unique insights, groundbreaking new findings and unforgettable television experience.

NGC International executive VP, group MD– Asia PacificWard Platt said, “Today is a heartwarming moment as we witness the launch of the brand new National Geographic Channel HD in Singapore. We congratulate Singapore and StarHub for being the most innovative country and the first operator in Southeast Asia to launch a commercial high-definition television service. Singapore viewers can now truly enjoy National Geographic Channel’s unsurpassed quality programming and compelling stories in stunning visuals and cinematic surround sound.”

Consumers must subscribe to a minimum of three Basic Groups and HD Plus, and own StarHub’s HD set-top box and a HD-ready TV set in order to enjoy StarHub’s new HDTV service.

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