Great news for Sun TV subscribers!

After a long long time Sun TV people have finally woken-up :)

They are not only increasing their channels for real this time but also decided to come up with a bit different thing than others, they are going to introduce MPEG-4 technology. Which will be a key part in channels increase. and i guess they are the first digital tv provider in Pakistan to introduce this technology in any medium.

From last week they have started test channels in new format so i called them up yesterday and the guy on other side said that they are in test phase and will be ready in a month or two. they will increase channels to 70 and will also provide new boxes obviously current boxes can not decode new format.

Im attaching screen caps of channels list in new format. Due to the non supported hardware these channels are without video and appear in Radio list. Audio is also missing in most of them.

it was the first list. but changed later.

second list.

current list.

they are also going to introduce new encryption system which is unknown.

wow! seriously i am amazed that something good is coming out of suntv at last. I haven't subscribed to it for last six months or so but i will definitely get my box ready this time. Thanx shuak for such a great news and congratulations cauz as u know we love this mmds technology. I guess 2011 is the year of consumer u never know. I will scan my kaon receiver today and will provide any updates i get. But one issue will be there is the new receiver that one will have to buy from them which i seriously is insane. Its not gonna be in the range of old days of Rs. 3000 which we bought shuak, its gonna be nearly Rs.8000 to Rs. 10000. But if they replace our old receiver with new one for a reasonable exchange fee then its a good idea cauz they are not gonna making the same mistake all over again as the history will repeat itself. I hope this time things go fine and good.

@shuak

I have tried searching on my kaon receiver but found nothing. I guess kaon receivers do not have radio and its totally not supporting the format that's why no channel in search i found. Pace receiver that u have does support radio channels and that is the reason u r getting those channels in ur radio list, like HD channels are not viewable on SD receiver but they are found in radio list. My coship receiver also does the same with non supported format channels. I will ask suntv about kaon receiver prospects. I hope i don't have to spend money all over again, rather i would fancy a replacement with the new one for a minimum charge. Let's see! Anyways thanx for great news.

Yep bro i was surprised too when i first realized what they are up to and funny thing is when i asked that guy if they are going for mpeg4, he was surprised and replied "aap ko kaise pata chala" :D

Me too haven't recharged it for last 8 months but i keep my box connected all the time to enjoy occasional free treats ;) as u said we love this tech more than any so i also keep myself updated. im seriously very excited.

Thats strange Kaon box doesn't have Radio option i never have a chance to check that box in detail. But are you getting 746MHz signal bcoz thats the frequency they are using for the test.

Yep price is the issue what im curious about and yea im afraid its not gonna be at that goldie oldie price. Im also thinking in between 8-10K. Exchange is what they shud offer with some extra cash or installments plan then its gonna be fine. But im afraid they will repeat the history all over again if their silly management is still in favor of money than loyal subscribers.

Ok some update. They are now using the both encryption systems i.e Conax the the new Unknown.

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THis is actually pretty decent news... considering nothing nice is on cable anyway after Orbit and DSTv moved out of the Asian hemisphere, 70 channels isn't that bad!

And even though MPEG4 won't make a huge difference to the end-user (although there are technical benefits in compression) cause all the end-user wants is a clear audio/video stream, they will welcome the 70 channels bump.

Oh - and speaking of which, I do recall someone flipping through their Sun TV box and the channel list went to 70ish - with a few repeats in between. I _think_ it's the MPEG4 testing that triggered the repeats.

@shuak

The reason that suntv rep got surprised is that most of their subscribers or fair to say most of the people don't know what digital really means. So figuring out mpeg-4 before they even said themselves was a surprise for them. Also kaon receivers are in abundant than the pace cauz its been seven years now i guess since they started so almost everyone won't find the test channels as i am also surprised by the kaon receiver not showing any extra channel rather the mark has gone down from 54 to 48. I will check 746mhz frequency today and let u know what the status is. More importantly i have pace receiver too which my uncle gave to me when he left islamabad. I don't have remote control of pace receiver that's why its not powering on. I will get the remote at the weekend and let u know about my findings.

The main advantage of MPEG-4 is compression which is directly proportional to the quantity, but inversely proportional to the quality, more compression gives you more channels but degrades the quality. like currently Sun TV can not put more than 8 channels per frequency in MPEG-2 format without effecting the quality whereas in new compression they can double the number of channels and quality will remain the same which is a good advantage of MPEG-4 format. Right now they are using only one frequency 746MHz and put 17 channels on it in new compression which is a decent number. But again if they try to put more channels they will ruin the quality. Shaheerk you are absolutely right end user wants quality but they also demand for quantity, so this new compression makes a huge difference to end user and i think it is a great step taken by Sun TV.

Santa, number of channels in old format has gone down to 49, but if you add those 17 channels in new format then they are actually 66 in total. i guess its time to retire Kaon and put the Pace on duty :) you can get the remote from Zaib Elec in Imperial Market.

I visited Sun TV office in Islamabad today and the guy told me that new service will start in two weeks time and it will have 70 channels. Decoder will be new with 250 GB hard drive. He was not sure about the price of the new decoder and new plans.

Which office you visited? 2 weeks is pretty exciting :) so new decoder will be a PVR thats cool seems like they have big plans for future.

^^^I talked to my friend in suntv today who is working in Damn-e-Koh their head end, he said that new box is not available in market and it can be only purchased through their office in F-10. Currently they are providing channels on mpeg-4 format which shuak showed earlier and they can be viewed on their new box which will be available in couple of weeks time from their office. They are upgrading the whole system towards mpeg-4 format and once they are done then they will provide boxes to customers. Interestingly rather a good news is that suntv which i suspected will replace old boxes with new ones for a price pretty less than that bought separately. He told me that in first phase they gonna provide up to 70 channels and they have plans to increase them over 100 in near future. I guess u r right shuak may they have decided to go for pvr as ptcl iptv is in competition and only introducing new box with previous features was not making any sense. I guess they are up to big plans for atleast next couple of years who knows. wow! i m pretty excited.

This is a great transition phase for suntv and it will not only stabilize their current customer base but will add new ones too. Worldcall has issues in its digital system and they are only upto 60 channels moreover as i already mentioned their half of channels have poor picture quality. Nayatel is limited to certain areas where they intend to operate in other words where they will get permission to lay down fiber optic. Ptcl iptv too has issues and i have seen its quality is no match for suntv. I really wish suntv go beyond what we r expecting.

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Which office you visited? 2 weeks is pretty exciting :) so new decoder will be a PVR thats cool seems like they have big plans for future.
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I visited their F-10 office in Islamabad.

I haven't visited their office for ages infact last time i visited in their blue area office. :P

Hey santa that is a good news if they replace old boxes for 3K even 5K is JAIZ but im not sure if they have hard drive installed then its gonna be more than 5K.

Do ask ur friend if they can provide new boxes for test period like they did in the beginning. and one more thing do ask him if they need any assistance u know what i mean ;)

Oh - and if there are any allowances for test cases, I raise BOTH of my hands.

Heck, I'd raise my feet and stick my head up in the air if I could... but alas, physical and social limitations prevent me from looking like a retard and potentially, a dumbass :P

^^^I called suntv office pretending as a new customer and asked sales rep for the new equipment price. He replied by quoting as Rs 10,500. When I asked him about the new upcoming receiver and my 10,500 would be ruined for nothing and he said that there are no confirmations about new receiver but they will upgrade the old ones. Are u kiddin me? Upgrade! wow a new science. lol. Anyways my first question is that it would be possible to upgrade our old receivers? Moreover he said that chinese are working at our headend for this upgradation. Chinese are all over the place cauz we couldn't figure out ourselves for last seven years. However strangely headend guy told me that current receivers will continue to receive 50 channels whereas new receivers will be used for new separate channels (as a new package) apart from those currently coming 50. I seriously have no clue what they are upto and what they are going to do. If by any means they upgrade our receivers then there is nothing like it but if they start as a new package receiver like worldcall is doing - analog channels separately and digital channels with digital box, then there would be higher prices and further downfalls as only to get 15 to 20 odd new channels for more than 10,000 would be a lame idea. Worldcall has no success so far in this regard and they too will disappear in the ashes of history. I am going emotional, shouldn't be.

hmmmm upgrade is kinda tricky thing. one thing they can do is to upgrade the stb software over the air or ask subscribers to bring their boxes to the office and get an upgrade but i have no idea if only software upgrade is sufficient enough to watch MPEG-4 channels. i think its not possible. its not a codec matter you need a complete hardware makeover. anyway we will definitely need new receivers to get all the new features. so their should be no confusion. about new receivers for new services and old for bla bla, they are nutts. they definitely have no clue what they are doing.

So chinese are behind all this, i see, they really care for us i must say. long live china :)

@shuak

I purchased the remote control of pace receiver yesterday from imperial market and searched for the channels. Yup they are providing 17 channels on 746Mhz frequency and they are all different than the regular 50 as your pics above clearly mention them. Its a good thing that we will get more channels probably those that are not strictly speaking legal but confusion about receiving them still stays on. I seriously doubt their competency in mmds technology as they keep on making mistakes whenever they are up to something different. I hope that this time they don't make a mess out of it.

Hey guys I have finally confirmed that suntv gonna introduce new receivers for their upcoming mpeg-4 technology planning in february most probably. My friend at headend said that there gonna be no upgrades as it is not possible. For the time being suntv regular 50 channels will continue on our current receivers and new extra channels shall be available on new one. Suntv will replace old with new receiver against exchange fee which will be decided by management. It will be a step by step process as they will advertise and inform their customers about new receiver in order to bring each and every customer onto new receiver. When they will see they are done then they will convert all of their channels and frequencies to mpeg-4 and only new receiver will be accessible which also will allow them to reach 100 mark. That seems like a plan to me and I believe that this time its gonna work for them. On new receiver, it won't have any hard drive so don't get fooled by it. But good thing about that receiver is that it has a usb slot that will allow users to attach their own external hard drive for recording purposes. This also guarantees that receiver won't be very expensive what we actually thought in the first place. Fingers crossed!

Seems like a decent plan indeed if they follow the exact same way. :)

I also called their office and lady told me that exchange price wud be 4K and it'll be available next month. They dont have new receivers now so no test thingy. :(

Yaar they can cross the 100 mark very easily by just using only 6 frequencies if they put 17 channels each. This MPEG-4 transition is great step forward.

@shuak

Yup it does, hopefully it goes well. I guess they have got few for test purposes, one receiver is currently running as a test in their manager's room in F-10 office. May be after doing successful tests they will provide new receivers. Yup u r right there by using only 6 frequencies they can easily cross 100 which is a competitive number nowadays and beyond that will be nothing like it. I have a question shuak, how many frequencies actually they can use for their transmission as their are so many frequencies and if they use more than 8 frequencies whether they can easily cross 150 and beyond? What if they use more frequencies and not only 8, what will happen then, is it possible?

30 UHF frequencies can be used for MMDS ranges from 470-862MHz. Sun TV have programmed their receivers for 15 frequencies (722-834MHz) i still have no clue why Sun TV is not using more than 8 frequencies. Even cable ops are not using more than 8 for their digital service. May be a restriction from PEMRA. :/

Offcourse they can reach 200 mark even using MPEG-2 standard. but question is why they can't?