Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 18-07-2011

Thailand's main satellite and cable TV operator TrueVisions is to roll out its high definition (HD) TV service in Phuket. In 2007 TrueVisions first revealed it was testing HD TV. The initial test run included Barclay's Premier League HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic Channel HD, History Channel HD, and some HD programmes on True Series. However, since then progress has been slow.

Finally, in November last year the company started broadcasting three HD channels - Reality HD, HBO HD and TrueSport HD - but these were only available to cable TV subscribers.

Now, TrueVisions has added 11 more channels to the service: TrueSport HD2, National Geographic HD, Discovery HD World, Star Movies HD, Fox Family Movies HD, AXN HD, KMTV HD and iConcerts HD.

Initially, the new service will only be available in Bangkok, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Rayong, Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Lampang, Nakhon Sawan and Ubon Ratchathani. But the broadcaster aims to introduce HD to a further 10 provinces in Thailand by the end of 2011.

Although the new HD channels are only available to cable subscribers at the moment, TrueVisions said its satellite subscribers will be able to receive the service starting in 2012: “Though the new service remains limited to subscribers to the fibre-optic cable network [currently], it will also be available to satellite customers next year,” confirmed chief commercial officer Ongard Prapakmol.

The TV provider is hoping to convert more than two million Thai households to the new service over the next two years.