Sun Direct TV, the direct-to-home (DTH) service from Sun TV Network, which has crossed one million subscribers in 200 days, predicts to double its subscriber base to two million subscribers, by the time the company celebrates its first anniversary.
The subscribers of Sun Direct TV are currently spread across Tamil Nadu in a 60:40 rural urban ratio, and in the coming days the company will be soon spreading its wings across the country, through an effective technology and pricing strategy.
On the technology front, Sun Direct uses the MPEG4 technology, which means that the company is able to compress close to 22 channels in a transponder, whereas with MPEG2 (Dish TV and Tata Sky use this) only 12 channels can be compressed.
On the pricing issue, under the basic package, Sun offers 100 channels, a dish, box and an year's subscription at Rs 1,999 (inclusive of Rs 1,000 as installation charges). The company proposes to further drill down its rates to augment more and more subscribers.
When asked about the cost effectiveness of the new technology and its benefit to viewers, Ilan Kumaran, senior manager, corporate marketing, said, "MPEG4 is better than MPEG 2 because the transponder capacity will be reduced to 50% if we use MPEG 4 since it carries double the amount of channels than MPEG 2."
Sun Direct is the only DTH platform to provide HDTV in India. A lot of English channels use high definition (HD) format and Hindi and regional movies are now being broadcast through this technology.
"Apart from the Southern markets, we plan to enter other states in the North as their is an huge market for regional channels there. Presently, we are also in talks with NGC, Fox and others for HDTV content, and are sure to reach the two million mark in 365 days." said Kumaran.