ASTRO selects Pace set-top box for Malaysia's first HD service

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 
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Malaysian deal marks Pace’s first HD deployment in Asia

Pace plc (LSE:PIC), the leading developer of digital TV technologies for the payTV industry, today announces it is providing the set-top box technology to support the launch of Malaysia’s first high-definition (HD) service. ASTRO ALL ASIA NETWORKS plc (ASTRO), Malaysia’s leading cross-media broadcaster and direct-to-home (DTH) satellite payTV operator, has selected Pace for the premium service, which launched in December 2009. ASTRO is Pace’s first HD customer in Asia.

ASTRO TV currently broadcasts over 100 payTV channels across Malaysia and Brunei to over 2.8 million subscribers in multiple languages. With Pace’s DS830NA set-top box, ASTRO was able to add five new HD channels initially to its existing line-up of programming that includes HBO HD, ESPN HD, Astro Supersports HD, History HD and National Geographic HD. Offering full MPEG-4 support and integrated ethernet capability, the DS830NA will be core to ASTRO’s long term expansion plans, providing the operator with the flexibility to develop its digital portfolio through the rollout of new HD services and other interactive service applications.

Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, CEO of MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems (ASTRO) commented: “Launching Malaysia’s first high-definition service is an important milestone for the country and a significant achievement for us as a company. Pace’s proven track record in developing innovative HD payTV technology gives us the confidence to launch this important new service, which will contribute positively to the growth of the payTV industry in Malaysia. Choosing Pace as our technology partner means that we can stay focused on raising the bar for digital television as we provide our subscribers with the finest viewing experience possible.”

“Pace has unparalleled expertise in delivering new, advanced high-definition products that create business benefits for operators while enhancing the viewing experience for the subscriber,” said Neil Gaydon, Chief Executive Officer, Pace. “We are very proud to be working with ASTRO, the leading Malaysian operator, for its exciting launch of high definition. This in turn has expanded our presence into the Asian market, extending the global penetration of Pace technologies and providing further evidence of Pace’s leading global position as a key partner to the payTV industry.”

ASTRO is Malaysia’s only DTH satellite provider, Pace will be using several local businesses – including sourcing and manufacturing – to bring the product to market.

Deployment of the DS830NA set-top box began with the launch of the service in December 2009. The unit incorporates NDS MediaHighway middleware and NDS VideoGuard conditional access. The DS830NA will be ASTRO’s only HD-capable set-top box at launch.