Saturday, 20 January 2007 10:09

Singapore first South-East Asian country to get HDTV

StarHub, one of Singapore’s pay TV services, has launched two new channels in high-definition – Discovery HD and National Geographic HD, giving subscribers with an HDTV the sharpest picture yet.

If you live in Singapore, and you’ve invested in an HDTV, you can finally watch two channels in high-definition – Discovery and the National Geographic channel.

Of course, anyone with an HDTV has been able to enjoy the benefits of HD for some time in different ways – buy using an upscaling DVD player, by watching their own content recorded on the latest high-definition video cameras from Sony and others, by playing games on an Xbox 360 or an imported PS3, or by watching the limited selection of high-definition movies on Blu-ray or HD DVD with a suitable player.

The new HDTV channels are said to be four times sharper than their standard definition counterparts, making nature scenes that much more realistic and detailed to watch.

More HD channels are set to arrive soon, with an emphasis on sports programs, according to Mark Reynolds, the head of StarHub’s ‘Products and Marketing Division’.

While Singapore is the first country in the region to get HDTV broadcasts, with Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang, saying the development is a “significant milestone for the media industry in Singapore”, other countries in the region can’t be too far behind.

Singaporean TV viewers with an HDTV at home wanting to experience the new HD channels will need to outlaying $299.25 Singaporean dollars and will need to pay an extra $15.75 Singaporean dollars per month for the privilege. This compares with a fee of only $4.20 Singaporean dollars to rent the standard definition set top box.

So, while HDTV certainly is a revolution, it’s one that doesn’t come cheap!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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