What is Astro B.yond?

Astro B.yond is a multi-phased innovative service starting with the first ever High-Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia. Incorporating best in class technologies, the newly launched Astro B.yond offers consumers more innovative services which will be introduced in phases. Starting with the first ever High-Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia, Astro B.yond will change TV viewing experience with richer colours, picture-perfect clarity and cinematic surround sound. Along with this, a new Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) designed for better viewer interface will be introduced. As the technology infrastructure and hardware around Astro B.yond is future-ready, more innovations will follow. In 2010, ASTRO aims to be the first in the world to offer video recording through external hard drive. With this service, customers can record their favourite programmes and personalize their TV viewing schedules. Astro B.yond will also introduce Digital Video Recording (DVR), Video on Demand (VOD) and IPTV connectivity in phases over the next 24 months.
What is included in the Astro B.yond set?

Astro B.yond set comes with a new box, new smart card, HDMI cable, new remote control, new outdoor unit (dish).
Can I still use my Standard Definition television set to watch High-Definition channels with the Astro B.yond Box?

We recommend that you switch to a High-Definitiontelevision to enjoy a full High-Definition experience on Astro B.yond. In any case, if you remain on a non-HDTV or a standard definition television, your current Astro programming choices will not be affected in any way.
My current television does not feature an HDMI port. Would I still be able to use my TV with the new Astro B.yond Box?

This probably means that you have a standard television which does not support High-Definition broadcast. The High-Definition viewing experience requires an HDMI connection. Without the HDMI port, you will still be able to channel audio and video through conventional cable and ports of your standard television to your Astro B.yond Box but you will only be able to watch standard definition television quality.
Can I still order pay per view (PPV) of the standard definition channels using the new Astro B.yond Box?

Customers can order PPV via the phone but the back channel application is not available at the moment. We will make an announcement when the service is available.
Does the High-Definition service support surround sound?

Only certain High-Definition channels and programmes will be available in surround sound and compatible to Dolby Digital. Customers may need to connect the digital audio output from the box directly to their home theatre system that has a Dolby digital box.
Can I swap my Astro MAX box for anwith the Astro B.yond Box?

At the moment, the Astro B.yond Box doesn't have recording function unlike Astro MAX. We will make the necessary announcement when the recording function is available. However, if you are still keen to upgrade to Astro B.yond Box without the recording function, we will be more than happy to process your request.
I have 2 (or more) Astro boxes. Can I change all of my current Astro boxes for free?

You can request to swap out all your current Astro boxes with the new Astro B.yond Boxes on the condition that the swap out request must include your Primary Subscription. Click here to subscribe online or call our customer service at 1 300 82 3838.
Can I get the Astro B.yond Box without subscribing to the High-Definition channels?

It will not be possible as the Astro B.yond Box is bundled with the High-Definition channels.
Which HD resolution is Astro B.yond broadcasting: 720p or 1080i?

High-Definition TV programmes are currently being produced in 720p and 1080i, depending on which one the programmes producers decide is best for their show. We will be broadcasting Astro B.yond HighDefinition channels in 1080i, which is in line with international industry standards.
What is High-Definition?

High-Definition Television (HDTV) is the latest in a long line of major improvements in television technology, which has moved from black-and-white analogue to widescreen colour digital over the last 50 years. It offers you details and resolution like never before. To be precise, you’ll experience twice the resolution and five times greater detail, sharpness and clarity than standard definition television. You’ll also experience cinematic surround sound and vibrant colours.
What is the difference between HDTV and SDTV?

HDTV produces a far more superior picture quality. It also gives a cinematic surround sound effect with the Dolby Digital technology.
hat are the key features of High Definition TV?

Wide screen movie viewing (16:9 aspect ratio) All flat panel televisions have an aspect ratio of 16:9. Standard definition television usually broadcast only in 4:3 aspect ratio. This means that the picture is usually stretched or distorted on modern televisions. HighDefinition television on the other hand, broadcasts images in a native 16:9 aspect ratio, enabling you to enjoy panoramic widescreen viewing that most closely emulates the human field of vision. Crisp and Crystal Clear Images The sharpness of your television image, or its screen resolution, is measured by the number of horizontal lines and vertical lines displayed on the TV screen. The more lines and the higher resolution, the sharper the images are on your TV screen. High-Definition-ready TV set offers at least twice the resolution and 5 times greater detail, sharpness and clarity than the standard TV. True-to-life Colour HDTV displays lifelike images with greater true to life colours. Cinematic Sound (Dolby Digital audio) HDTV has the capability to deliver high quality audio via Dolby Digital audio surround sound. Properly decoded, each audio track can be isolated to individual speakers around your TV viewing area to recreate the multi-dimensional audio experience you get in the cinema, right in your living room.
I see two different types of High-Definition television sets at the retailers. Some have the label HD-Ready and some have Full HD; which one should I buy?

Both HD-Ready television and Full HD television are capable of displaying standard definition and high definition broadcast. You should buy a television set that meets your budget requirement.
Why are there 3 different formats - 720p, 1080i and 1080p?

The numbers represent the amount of scan lines in your TV; the more the lines, the better your image looks. 720p means there are 720 lines of pixels. The "p" stands for progressive scanning, a technique that scans and displays all of the lines in one frame. 1080i means 1080 lines are used, but "i" stands for interlaced scanning, where half the lines are displayed in one frame and the other half in the frame that follows. 1080p means 1080 lines are used to create your TV picture. The format is currently being used to produce Blu-Ray discs but not TV broadcasts.
What should I look out for when buying a HD TV?

The format, aspect ratio and contrast ratio. Your new High-Definition TV should at least be able to support the 720p format and an aspect ratio of 16:9 to avoid pillar/letter boxes getting in the way of your viewing experience. It should also have a contrast ratio of at least 10,000:1. And if you have other entertainment systems, like a stereo or gaming console, you should consider a TV with multiple HDMI ports.
Does my TV screen size matter?

Screen size does not drastically affect the visual quality of your High-Definition experience although a larger screen does give you a greater amount of detail. As long as your television is High-Definition ready, your viewing experience will remain enjoyable regardless of screen size.
What is aspect ratio? And what are pillar/letter boxes?

Aspect ratio represents the width against the height of your TV screen. An aspect ratio of 16:9 represents a wide-screen display. Pillar/letter boxes are the black bars seen when the aspect ratio of the TV does not match that of the broadcast signal. For instance, when you watch High-Definition content (16:9 ratio) in a TV display ratio of 4:3, you will experience black bars at the top and bottom of your screen, disrupting your viewing experience.
What equipment do I need to receive HD quality entertainment?

You will need a High-Definition television set and the new Astro B.yond Box which comes with a new smartcard, new remote control, outdoor unit dish, HDMI cable and of course, the High-Definition channels from Astro B.yond.
When I upgrade to Astro B.yond, does it mean that all the existing channels will be converted into HighDefinition?

Not all programmes are available or produced in High-Definition broadcasts at the moment. Just like the transition from black and white television broadcast to colour television broadcast, it will take a little while more before we get to a stage where all channels are in High-Definition.
What are the HD Channels available on Astro B.yond?

You can experience sports, movies and documentaries - all in stunning High-Definition. At the launch of Astro B.yond, there will be five High-Definition channels and these are:

• • •

Astro SuperSport HD

ESPN HD (However the number of programmes in ESPN HD will start with selected Barclay Premier League (BPL) matches in High-Definition and this will increase over time. National Geographic Channel HD

• •

HISTORY HD HBO HD.

More High-Definition channels will be added in the near future.
How much is the Astro B.yond High-Definition channels?

At an additional service fee of RM20 and a commitment of 12 months, customers can sign up for this new set-up and access to the HD service. New set-up installation fee will be waived in exchange for the existing box. The high definition channels you receive through Astro B.yond are based on your current Astro (standard definition) packages. For example If you have the Sports Pack as part of your package, you will be able to watch Astro SuperSport HD and ESPN HD. If you have the Sports and Movies Pack as part of your package, you will be able to watch Astro SuperSport HD, ESPN HD and HBO HD. If you have the Sports, Movies and Documentary packages, you can enjoy all the 5 High-Definition channels, namely Astro SuperSport HD, ESPN HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD.

What if I am not a sports package subscriber? Will I get ESPN HD and Astro SuperSport HD by paying the access fee?

No. The High-Definition channels are bundled within our existing packages. So if you're not a sports package subscriber, you will not be able to watch ESPN HD and Astro SuperSport HD. To watch your favourite sports in High-Definition, you will have to subscribe to our Sports package on top of the RM20 per month access fee.
Is there a big difference in content and programmes between the standard definition and High-Definition channels?

Most of the content is similar. However, we are planning to bring in new and exclusive High-Definition content on programmes such as National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD.
Will there be changes to the SD channels now that Astro B.yond is here?

No. The current SD channels will remain unchanged. We've designed Astro B.yond to be an additional offering to give you more options in the world of entertainment.
Will I need 2 separate boxes to watch standard definition channels and High-Definition channels?

The new Astro B.yond Box will enable you to watch BOTH standard definition and High-Definitionchannels. The current Astro box only allows you to watch standard definition channels.
Can I just pick individual High-Definition channels instead of the whole package?

The Astro B.yond High-Definition channel line-up has been carefully designed to give you the best of HighDefinition content covering sports, learning and movie genres. We currently do not offer programmes on a pay-per-channel/ala carte basis.

How do I know that I am watching a HD channel?

You can tell if the channel you are watching is a High-Definition channel by looking out for the logo of the channel, which will bear 'HD' at the end of the channel's logo; for example National Geographic Channel HD.
Will my standard-definition channels change or disappear because of the new High-Definition channel line-up?

No. Your current standard-definition service will continue unaffected. The new High-Definition offerings will appear on new, separate channels, which you can add to your existing package by contacting our call centre at 1300 82 3838.
How do I sign up for Astro B.yond Box?

You may click here to subscribe online, call Astro Customer Service at 1300 82 3838 or visit an Astro service centre, to get the new Astro B.yond Box and subscribe to Astro B.yond High-Definition channels. Existing Astro Customers: Astro customers can swap out your current Astro box with the new Astro B.yond Box by clicking here to subscribe online or by calling Astro customer Service on 1300 82 3838. You will receive the Astro B.yond Box, a new smartcard, a new outdoor dish unit (ODU), new remote control, and HDMI cables free of charge, on the condition that you return your current Astro box and commit to take up the high definition channels at RM20.00 per month, for a minimum of 12 months, which will allow you to enjoy the high definition channels of the standard definition channels available on your current subscription. If you want to keep your current Astro box, you are required to pay a RM80.00 standard installation fee. Once you have confirmed your interest and agree to the Terms & Condition, we will process your requests accordingly on a first come, first served basis.Please note that Astro Max will not be swapped out. New customers: If you are new to Astro and would like to get the new Astro B.yond Box and subsequently view the high definition channels, you will have to sign up to the current Astro standard definition packages while we process your application for the new Astro B.yond Box. You will be given the standard definition Astro box, complete with the free standard installation, while waiting for the new Astro B.yond Box. Once the Astro B.yond Box is available, we will call you to arrange for an exchange. You will receive the Astro B.yond Box, a new smartcard, a new outdoor dish unit (ODU), a new remote control, and HDMI cables free of charge on the condition that you return the other Astro box, remote control, smartcard, ODU and commit to take up the high definition channels at RM20.00 per month for a minimum of 12 months, which will allow you to enjoy the high definition channels of the standard definition channels available on your current subscription.
Can I swap my Astro MAX box with the Astro B.yond Box?

At the moment, the Astro B.yond Box doesn't have recording function unlike Astro MAX. We will make the necessary announcement when the recording function is available. However, if you are still keen to upgrade to Astro B.yond Box without the recording function, we will be more than happy to process your request.
How long will it take to process and install the new Astro B.yond Box?

It will be on a first come, first served basis.
Can I get the Astro B.yond Box without subscribing to the High-Definition channels?

Sorry, you can't. The Astro B.yond Box is bundled together with the High-Definition channels.
I am living in a condominium/apartment. Will I be able to enjoy Astro B.yond's High-Definition broadcast service?

If you are currently subscribed to our standard definition broadcast service and you have your own dish, it means that your condominium/apartment does not have a centralised dish. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy this service. However, if you are currently subscribed to our standard definition broadcast service but you do not own a personal dish, it means that your condominium/apartment has a centralised dish. In this case, we might have to do an upgrade before you can enjoy Astro B.yond’s High-Definition broadcast service. The upgrade can be as small as a chip or gadget, or as big and complex as the entire infrastructure. We are currently liaising with property developers to expedite this process. Developers for new properties have been advised to that ensure their building infrastructures are compatible with our High-Definition requirements. We expect to have condominiums/apartments in major cities to be re-cabled within the next 18-24 months. However this is subject to agreement with the building management.

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