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DTH News: Sun Direct is first DTH operator in India to use HEVC compression technology - Printable Version

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Sun Direct is first DTH operator in India to use HEVC compression technology - nairrk - 09-25-2017

[Image: sun-direct1.jpg]MUMBAI: Sun Direct, the DTH arm of Sun TV Group, has started transmission using next-generation HEVC compression technology. This makes it the first DTH or cable TV operator in India to use this technology.

The Kalanithi Maran DTH company has introduced two high-efficiency video codec (HEVC) channels on its GSAT-15 beams.

HEVC, also known as H.265, requires only 55%-60% of the bandwidth compared to the MPEG-4 compression technology. DTH operators in India currently use MPEG-4 technology for HD transmission.

Sun Direct, which is 80% owned by Kalanithi Maran and his wife and 20% by Malaysian company Astro, will be able to offer more HD channels to its subscribers by using this compression technology.

An area of concern for Sun Direct has been bandwidth constraints. Sun Direct uses four transponders from GSAT 15 and four transponders from Measat 3. Out of the four transponders on GSAT 15, three were added in FY17. The addition of the transponders has enabled the company to increase the number of HD channels its offers to 55. But other DTH operators are offering more HD channels.

“The addition of bandwidth will help Sun Direct to not only retain but also add subscribers while enhancing its ARPU [average revenue per user]. HD bandwidth will enable it to reach out to a wider audience especially in the urban segments and improve its subscriber base,” said a media analyst.

Sun Direct’s net subscriber base has remained nearly stagnant for over four years. The company’s market share has fallen to 9% from 12% in FY14. The total active DTH subscriber base is pegged at 63.61 million, as of 31 March 2017. Dish TV has a 25% share, followed by Tata Sky (23%), Airtel Digital TV (21%), Videocon d2h (20%) and Reliance Digital TV (2%).

For the financial year ended 31 March 2017, Sun Direct posted a maiden net profit of Rs 32.21 crore compared to a loss of Rs 35.30 crore a year ago. Total income stood at Rs 1,211.04 crore, up 8.46% from Rs 1,116.61 crore in FY16.

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