Astro - A Shattered Dream

Many television viewers, including me, were excited to learn that we could now get access to over 20 satellite TV channels through ASTRO's satellite broadcasting transmissions. At a cost of less than RM 1,700-00 for all equipment and installation, it is affordable to many. It was indeed a dream came true.

But unfortunately, my recent encounter with ASTRO had dispelled all my euphoria and high expectation.

Though I registered through ASTRO's homepage in the Internet, I had to go through quite a hassle before the system was finally installed in my house. However, no sooner than it was installed, it was removed when I insisted that all my TV sets in the house, other than the one in the living room, were to be connected as well. The reason for the removal was that I did not made prior arrangement with ASTRO for the additional installation.

Initially, I was of the opinion that since there would be over 20 channels available for viewing, it would be a waste if only one TV is connected to ASTRO because other members of my family, each having different interests, can view their favorite programs through other TV sets. This was a misconception as I later found out that only one channel could be viewed at any one time even if more than one TV set- is connected to ASTRO in one location!

The public has been informed that Phillips was given the sole right to supply the satellite disks and decoders because it has to spend large sums of money in R & D to develop a suitable system for use in Malaysia. However, judging from what is available at the present moment, it must be the result of a very poor research! Surely, much development has already been done and available in this area of technology and one is made to wonder why Malaysians must be given the Hobson's choice to accept the out-dated technology.

It is important that one must be given a choice to suit one's requirements. If one system of decoder can be made to view one channel at only one time, I believe it would not be too difficult to modify it to make it more flexible for viewing different channels at any one time using different TV sets.

To be fair to the general public, ASTRO should make known the current limitation of their equipment and what it would cost if one should decide in future to upgrade the system if it is possible. 2008