Astro has just launched its new HD service called Byond. It is nice that we are finally getting some HD channels in Malaysia even if it is only 5 channels – Astro Supersport, ESPN, HBO, National Geographic and History. It is also fine that it will only be broadcast in 720p. However, it will cost an additional RM20 extra. Knowing how Astro works, this RM20 is only for now.
So, the question for me is whether or not I should go Byond or not?
At present, I am not an Astro subscriber. I don’t really care much for its programming and the fact that it is standard definition channels just doesn’t interest me. However, it may interest me to subscribe to the HD channels. But I will need to first subscribe to an existing package because Astro is not selling the HD channels on their own, which does not make sense to me.
According to what I understand, I would need to first subscribe to regular Astro – i.e. the minimum of RM38 per month package. Then, a contractor will come and install the old Astro dish and decoder for me. Then, I will need to convert my subscription to the HD package for an additional RM20 per month. Then, a contractor will come again and install the new Astro dish and HD decoder for me. All in all, I will need to drill multiple holes into the walls and pay RM58 per month for this luxury.
The question for me is whether or not it is worth forking out the RM58++ each month for the channels. One way of looking at it is that I will be getting all the local channels as well. At present, I do not have any terrestrial TV because I cannot get a good signal at home. The only channels that I am interested in on Astro is mainly AXN and possibly AFC. Then, getting just HBO-HD for RM20 is okay because it is only the cost of two cinema tickets.
I need to think about this a bit, but I have this sinking feeling that I will take the plunge.