Monthly Archives: September 2013

Are You Next Gen NBN Ready?

What the heck is NBN? In Singapore, it stands for Nationwide Broadband Network. It is essentially, Singapore’s all fibre optic, ultra highspeed broadband network, which is capable of delivering data at speeds of 1Gbps or more to all residential and commercial buildings in Singapore.opennet-ngn
What is the purpose? According to the MDA:

You may have encountered long waiting times when downloading files, or jerky videos when watching movies online or even poor responsiveness when playing online games. Files are also getting larger as the need for more information or higher video resolutions increases rapidly over time. Low speed internet gives you a poor online experience and limits what you can do. In Singapore today, our home broadband network supports connection speeds up to 100Mbps. Although it is sufficient for some, it may not be adequate for many in the future as our need for speed grows.

So who do you contact to get FibreOptic Internet? You need to contact an RSP, Retail Service Provider; they are: M1, MyRepublic, SingTel, StarHub, SuperInternet, and ViewQwest.

How do you know if your residence or commercial office building is equipped with Next Gen NBN? Simply visit the OpenNet website, and enter your address.

Spectacular TV Coverage of Americas Cup

The company behind superimposing informative graphics onto live video feeds for the Americas Cup sailing regatta is called Sport Vision. The purpose of this technology is to make strategic aspects of a given sport easier to see and understand.ac-live-line

The founder of Sport Vision, Stan Honey, provides a behind the scenes interview about their latest incarnation called AC Live Line, specifically designed for the Americas Cup.

Illegal Singapore Set-Top Boxes Seized

The always interesting competitive saga between SingTel Mio IPTV and StarHub Cable TV took on a new twist last month when SingTel urged StarHub to crack down on illegal TV set-top boxes.

SingTel, which said its mio TV service is pirate-proof, has urged StarHub to upgrade to a more secure system to prevent unauthorised access by non-subscribers. Vendors have been seen selling pirated set-top boxes openly and offering EPL content in several shopping centres.The devices are being sold for about S$200, up from around S$90 previously, and some sellers go as far as promoting them through flyers in mailboxes.

By Singaporean Law via the Broadcasting Act, buyers and/or sellers of illegal TV set-top box devices can be fined up to S$40,000 and jailed a maximum of three years if convicted. But this is a tough charge to file much less reach a guilty verdict, because the authorities will need a search warrant to enter someone’s home in order to obtain proof.

While it is not central to this story, it is forth-telling of the Pay TV climate in Singapore by reading the Facebook comments relating to this TodayOnline.com article.

facebook-comments

Well, just two days ago, hundreds of illegal set-top boxes were seized by authorities in a police raid.

These STBs, found in a storage facility, were reported to be used to view StarHub TV channels, which is one of Singapore´s telecommunication and pay-TV provider. The raid was a result of months of investigation to track the syndicate which was distributing sales flyers for STBs that could unscramble StarHub TV content Selling, importing or manufacturing illegal STBs in Singapore. StarHub had destroyed 300 illegal boxes over two years back.

As a result if these developments, StarHub is in the process of moving its pay-TV customers into a new encryption standard that will once and for all prevent the unscrambling of channels by illegal boxes.

StarHub has had a loss of subscribers over the past couple years as it’s customer based dropped from over 550,000 to 532,000 in March of 2013.

Singapore Pay-TV ARPU and Take-Up

StarHub recently announced their mid-year financial statement, and that their quarterly Pay-TV revenue from Q1 to Q2 FY13 had decreased 8% to S$95.6m with Average Revenue Per User (APRU) of S$52 for the quarter.

Pay TV revenue decreased 8% to S$95.6 million from S$103.7 million for the quarter, and 5% lower YoY at S$190.3 million for the half-year period. The UEFA EURO 2012 broadcast contributed to the higher Pay TV services revenue a year ago. The lower advertising revenue and a lower subscriber base also partly affected the reduced revenue. Pay TV ARPU at S$52 for the quarter and half-year periods were comparable to last year after excluding the impact of UEFA EURO revenue earned in 2012.

Nextvasia‘s article confirms these numbers, stating the following:

Singapore´s telecommunication and pay-TV provider StarHub states that their customer base has reached 532 thousand by March 31, 2013. The firm reported a decrease of 4 thousand subscribers from the previous quarter. The company´s pay-TV revenue decreased by 1% to USD 76.42 million. This was attributed to lower advertising revenue which was partly mitigated by higher subscription revenue from both commercial and residential customers. The firm´s pay-TV average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by USD 0.80 to USD 41.83.

But the math doesn’t add up. S$95.6m / 532,000 subscribers = S$180 / 3 months = $60. It seems StarHub’s APRU is being understated by S$8 per month.

For SingTel’s financial year ending March 31st, 2013, they reported an 18.4% year over year growth in revenue from Mio TV, bringing in S$125m in revenue for the year.

During the year, SingTel strengthened its content suite with the addition of FOX International Channels and Disney channels, and lifted mio TV revenue by a strong 18% to S$125 million. Total mio TV customer base reached 404,000 as at end of March 2013, an increase of 9.8% or 36,000 from a year ago.

Digital TV News puts SingTel Mio’s financials as follows: mio-tv-arpu
In the case of SingTel Mio TV, you have an annual revenue of $125m divided by a customer subscriber base of 404,000, which equals S$309 revenue per user per annum, which divided by 12 months in a year, equals S$26.

Singtel MioTV’s $26 APRU is less than HALF of StarHub’s Pay TV ARPU of either $52 or $60, depending on who does the math. And SingTel MioTV’s annual revenue are approximately 1/3rd that of StarHub.

Here are the Per Annum APRU’s calculated in (GBP) British pound sterling:

SingTel = S$26 * 12 = S$312 = 155 GBP
StarHub = S$52 * 12 = S$624 = 310 GBP

Now for the math on Singapore Pay TV’s Penetration rate. There are 5.2 million residents in Singapore and an average of 3.5 people per household, which comes to 1,485,714 households. There are 404k Mio TV household subscribers and 532k StarHub household Subscribers, which comes to 936,000 total Pay TV subscriber households.

There are of course, a variety of other longtail Pay TV operators in Singapore, but then again, there are households that subscribe to both SingTel Mio and StarHub. So, for sake of simplicity, we will offset those two numbers, and calculate the Pay TV Take-Up rate in Singapore to be simply: 936,000 household subscribers divided by 1,485,714 households = 63%.

Here is how Singapore maps out compared to the rest of the world when it comes to Pay TV Penetration rates and annual APRU.

pay-tv-penetration

 

List of All TV Channels in Singapore

Here is a comprehensive list of all 252 FTA and Pay-TV channels offered in Singapore.

Channel Operator Name
FTA MediaCorp HD5
103 FTA MediaCorp Channel 8
104 FTA MediaCorp Suria
105 FTA MediaCorp Vasantham
106 FTA MediaCorp Channel NewsAsia
107 FTA MediaCorp Channel U
108 FTA MediaCorp Okto
102 FTA MediaCorp Channel 5
FTA 8TV
FTA NTV7
119 FTA RTM TV1
FTA RTM TV2
FTA TV3
FTA TV9
FTA SCTV
FTA Trans TV
FTA TVRI Nasional
FTA ANTV
FTA Global TV
FTA Indosiar
FTA Metro TV
122 FTA MNC TV
FTA RCTI
??? Zee TV
??? CNBC Singapore
Mio Recorded TV
101 Mio Mio Stadium Channel 101
102 Mio Mio Stadium (HD)
103 Mio Mio Stadium 103 (HD)
104 Mio Mio Stadium 104 (HD)
105 Mio Mio Stadium 105 (SD)
106 Mio Mio Stadium 106 (SD)
107 Mio Mio Stadium 107 (SD)
108 Mio Mio Stadium 108 (SD)
109 Mio Mio Stadium On Demand
110 Mio Mio Stadium SD
111 Mio Mio Sports 1
112 Mio Mio Sports 2
113 Mio Mio Sports 3
114 Mio FOX SPORTS
115 Mio STAR Sports
116 Mio FOX SPORTS NEWS
117 Mio FOX SPORTS PLUS HD
118 Mio Goal TV 1
119 Mio Goal TV 2
120 Mio Setanta Sports HD
122 Mio TEN Cricket
123 Mio STAR Cricket HD
124 Mio STAR Cricket Extra
129 Mio All Sports Network (ASN) HD
133 Mio mio Sports on Demand
140 Mio Goal TV 1
141 Mio Goal TV 2
151 Mio Sky News HD
155 Mio CCTV News
159 Mio France 24 (English)
163 Mio Russia Today (RT)
161 Mio Deutsche Welle (DT) (English)
165 Mio Fox News Channel
171 Mio Bloomberg Television
201 Mio National Geographic Channel
202 Mio National Geographic Play
203 Mio National Geographic Channel HD
207 Mio Nat Geo Wild HD
251 Mio Australia Television International
253 Mio Travel Channel HD
255 Mio Nat Geo Adventure HD
257 Mio Trace Sports HD
259 Mio WE tv HD
260 Mio WE tv On Demand
265 Mio Li HD
271 Mio Fashiontv HD (rated M18 for nudity)
272 Mio Fashiontv On Demand
301 Mio STAR World HD
302 Mio Star World Play
308 Mio KIX HD on Demand
309 Mio KIX HD
310 Mio FX HD
311 Mio FX Play
313 Mio FOXCRIME HD
314 Mio FOXCRIME Play
320 Mio Sony Entertainment Television (SET)
330 Mio FOX HD
331 Mio FOX Play
340 Mio US TV Crime
341 Mio US TV Drama
342 Mio US TV Entertainment
343 Mio US TV Thriller
350 Mio MTV Asia
352 Mio Channel [V]
354 Mio Nat Geo Music HD
401 Mio Sundance Channel HD
402 Mio Sundance On Demand HD
406 Mio FOX Family Movies HD
408 Mio FOX Action Movies HD
409 Mio FOX Movies Play
414 Mio FOX Movies Premium HD
415 Mio thrill
416 Mio thrill on Demand
417 Mio FOX On Demand
418 Mio PictureBox
419 Mio The Film Factory
Mio Mio Home Movies
Mio SingTel Movies
458 Mio Discovery Kids
462 Mio BabyFirst TV
464 Mio BabyTV HD
465 Mio BabyTV on Demand
474 Mio KidsCo
480 Mio ETTV Yoyo
502 Mio Jia Le Channel
503 Mio Jia Le on Demand
507 Mio STAR Chinese Channel
509 Mio mobtv Select
512 Mio Jiangsu Satelite Television
513 Mio ONE HD
516 Mio Xing Kong
518 Mio ch M (HD)
519 Mio ch M Play
521 Mio ETTV Asia
523 Mio KBS World HD
524 Mio Yoshimoto Azio
547 Mio Channel [V] China
549 Mio Channel [V] Taiwan
551 Mio Phoenix InfoNews
553 Mio Phoenix Chinese Channel
555 Mio CCTV-4
561 Mio ETTV Asia News
571 Mio STAR Chinese Movies
572 Mio STAR Chinese Movies Play
573 Mio STAR Legend Movies
574 Mio STAR Legend Movies Play
577 Mio Mei Ah Movies Channel (Asia)
578 Mio Mei Ah Movies Channel (On   Demand)
580 Mio Celestial Classic Movies
581 Mio Celestial Classic Movies On Demand
585 Mio Celestial Movies
586 Mio Celestial Movies On Demand
602 Mio Astro Prima
604 Mio ONE HD
606 Mio KBS World HD
608 Mio Astro Ria
609 Mio Astro World
622 Mio Sun TV
628 Mio Adithya TV
630 Mio Kalaignar TV
632 Mio Jaya TV
634 Mio Vijay TV
644 Mio SET (Hindi)
648 Mio SAB TV
652 Mio Colors
654 Mio STAR Life OK
656 Mio Star Plus
658 Mio MTV India
660 Mio Channel [V] India
662 Mio STAR Gold
665 Mio EROS Bollywood
668 Mio SONY MAX
676 Mio Times Now
686 Mio France 24 (French)
688 Mio GMA Pinoy TV
701 StarHub BBC World News
722 StarHub CCTV News
707 StarHub CNBC
711 StarHub CNN
712 StarHub CNN Headline News
702 StarHub Fox News Channel
703 StarHub Sky News
757 StarHub Sky News HD
424 StarHub Animal Planet
422 StarHub Discovery Channel
427 StarHub TLC
401 StarHub History
413 StarHub Nat Geo Wild
407 StarHub BBC Knowledge
411 StarHub National Geographic Channel
403 StarHub Crime & Investigation Network
412 StarHub Nat Geo Adventure
535 StarHub Nat Geo Music
461 StarHub Discovery HD World
455 StarHub History HD
459 StarHub Nat Geo Wild HD
457 StarHub National Geographic Channel HD
532 StarHub Animax
511 StarHub AXN
505 StarHub Fox
522 StarHub DIVA
533 StarHub MTV Asia
501 StarHub Star World
525 StarHub beTV
531 StarHub Channel [V]
503 StarHub FOXCRIME
512 StarHub Universal Channel
516 StarHub Comedy Central
526 StarHub Syfy
515 StarHub WarnerTV
559 StarHub AXN HD
558 StarHub FOX HD
580 StarHub MTV LIVE HD
555 StarHub Star World HD
563 StarHub Comedy Central Asia HD
557 StarHub FOXCRIME HD
569 StarHub Syfy HD
560 StarHub Universal Channel HD
316 StarHub Cartoon Network
312 StarHub Disney Channel
314 StarHub Nickelodeon
311 StarHub Disney Junior
302 StarHub Baby TV
303 StarHub Cbeebies
308 StarHub Discovery Kids
304 StarHub Nick Jr
315 StarHub Toonami
845 StarHub MTV China
805 StarHub Phoenix Chinese Channel
827 StarHub CTI TV
828 StarHub TVBS Asia
833 StarHub Asia Travel
848 StarHub Channel [V] Mainland China
847 StarHub Channel [V] Taiwan
806 StarHub Phoenix InfoNews Channel
821 StarHub Xing Kong
823 StarHub ONE
822 StarHub STAR CHINESE CHANNEL
829 StarHub TVB8
808 StarHub TVBS-NEWS
824 StarHub channel M
858 StarHub TVB Classic Channel
859 StarHub TVB Xing He Channel
115 StarHub KBS World
874 StarHub channel M HD
876 StarHub ONE HD
875 StarHub KBS World HD
435 StarHub Asian Food Channel
425 StarHub Discovery Home & Health
423 StarHub Discovery Science
507 StarHub FX
426 StarHub Discovery Turbo
441 StarHub E! Entertainment
433 StarHub Food Network Asia
404 StarHub The Biography Channel
521 StarHub BBC Entertainment
523 StarHub ITV Granada
615 StarHub MGM
446 StarHub TruTV
616 StarHub Turner Classic Movies
432 StarHub BBC Lifestyle
556 StarHub FOX HD
468 StarHub Food Network Asia HD
475 StarHub Ginx (HD)
473 StarHub Travel Channel HD

M1 MiBox Displaces 1Box

M1, the third largest Telco in Singapore after SingTel and StarHub has announced its successor to  the softly received television platform 1Box. The new TV device is called MiBox, and it doubles the amount of paid online content previously offered.
mibox-448x198

The MiBox Set-Top box TV device allows customers to stream online content to their TV. MiBox will replace the telco’s current service 1box, which was released back in 2010.

MiBox offers 18,000 videos-on-demand, 116 TV channels, 1,200 e-books and 370 apps, some of which are free. The service is priced at S$8 (US$6.33) a month with a two-year contract for M1 fiber customers, bundled with an Android set-top box, a selection of free shows and other content. For non-fiber customers, the service is priced at S$12 (US$9.50) per month.

“Media consumption habits are shifting towards an on-demand, a-la-carte model. M1′s MiBox aims to enhance this experience by delivering convenient and affordable access to an exciting library of entertainment, e-learning, and gaming content optimised for the TV screen,” P. Subramaniam, M1′s chief marketing officer, said in the release.

Full story at ZDnet.

Netflix Threatened if Net Neutrality Dismantled

Can fixed broadband providers control what services flow through their networks? Verizon, One of the largest US internet providers is challenging the Open Internet rule adopted in 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission called “Net Neutrality”, which forbids Internet broadband providers from blocking or discriminating against services or content.

net_neutrality

Here is some of the dialogue taking place about his debate:

Sohn said that if Verizon has its way, it and other providers like Comcast or AT&T could “play favorites,” by blocking or degrading services such as YouTube or Netflix to promote their own offerings or that of their partners.

“Every user every day benefits from this rule (Net Neutrality) for the services they use, whether it’s YouTube or Twitter or something else,” Sohn told AFP.

But Verizon and its allies argue the FCC lacks authority to interfere with their business, and that Congress never decided these companies were regulated utilities or “common carriers.”

“It is not up to the FCC to decide these issues on its own,” said Verizon lawyer Helgi Walker, arguing the case before the US Court of Appeals in Washington earlier this month.

“It has no implied authority, no express authority…and it’s highly unlikely that Congress would have delegated authority in such a convoluted way.”.

The 2010 Net Neutrality decision only won by a 3-2 vote. It is therefore conceivable that as this new debate heats up, it could possibly be overturned. The ramifications could have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the world.

The European union is already also having it’s own debate. According to the New York Times:

European countries are similarly struggling with whether and how to regulate Internet service. The Netherlands has some wireless regulations in place, and France this year introduced strict anti-discrimination measures. But while European Union officials have voiced support for what is known as net neutrality, a recent proposal gives Internet providers great leeway.

Here is Wired Magazine’s article about the original suit filed by Verizon, and here is a recent article by Raw Story concerning where the issue resides.

Singapore Hotel Television Solution at-visions

Last year, the German company at-visions sparked a deal with Singtel for its ONEvision suite of services, to sell television solutions to hotels throughout Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. SingTel Group is Asia’s leading communications firm with operations and investments in more than 20 countries.

XIOS_DS_main1_t

According to the press release posted at the at-visions website:

With the partnership, at-visions and SingTel hope to bring even greater synergy to the hospitality markets that they both serve. This partnership will translate into greater value and savings for its customers. And we would offer greater variety and integration of content, especially for hotels in the (Singapore) market.

XIOS_DS_main2_t

How has this partnership manifested?

We had the chance to utilize the hotel TV product in one particular Singapore venue, and found that, the product platform hardware is actually from a company called Pivos, located in Fremont California. Specifically, the product platform is an IPTV set top box called the Pivos XIOS DS Media Play, which is essentially an android app device.

XIOS_DS_main3_t

The Gadgeteer wrote a good comprehensive review of the Pivos XIOS DS Media Play after having put it through the wringer for over a month. In summary, they conclude the following:

If you’re looking for something to play your media on a TV, there are better  options available.  We’ve reviewed several here at The Gadgeteer.    This box is not for the technically challenged and is definitely not  plug-and-play.  However, there may be a market for the DS  Media Player.  The device could be a platform for techies that want to  experiment with Android in a box, and it can be used as an XBMC device by  downloading the Linux XBMC firmware.  Just be prepared to spend a lot of  time on the vendor’s forums and website.

XIOS_DS_tri_t

The remote control however is from at-visions, and while it is a sleek, elegant, precision engineered, finely crafted remote. It is however a bit complex, with many buttons that don’t function (or are not activated). It is also not easy to know what buttons you are pushing in the dark, and unable to read the labels.
20130915_192634

The channel content changed in just the five days we test drove device. Currently, the channels available are 6 MediaCorp FTA channels: Ch 8, CNA, Okto, Ch U, Suria, and Vasantham, and also 3 sports channels Fox Sports, Mio Stadium and Star Sports.

However, three days ago, it also contained MediaCorp Channel 5, Asia Travel Channel and Bloomberg. All 3 of those channels just vanished a couple days ago.

The picture quality is good, but often “jumpy”, like as though it is skipping an occasional few frames. There is a long delay between switching channels, perhaps 4 seconds on average. And on occasion, the picture freezes, requiring the box to be rebooted. But this is not clear if it’s a problem with the box, or the internet connectivity, I suppose the latter.

Powerful Thailand TV Commercial

Three minute long TrueMove H commercial in Thailand is better than many Hollywood motion pictures. This superbly done commercial exemplifies the beautiful nature of Thai culture.

Transliterated from the YouTube description:

TrueMove H always believes that “communication is best “. We communicate through television commercials. The story in this film reflects the concept of the TrueMove H brand that believes … giving without hope of return is the beginning of the real….The plot was inspired by stories from social media. It tells a story of hope, miracles and consideration, which is communication at it’s best. The most powerful communication can be achieved without even saying a word. TrueMove H believes in the power of giving, without expecting a return, and is committed to developing new communications technologies for Thailand to create opportunities and improve the quality of life Thailand. Every communication is a connection to each other endlessly.

TrueMove H on Facebook.