DTH Interactive signed its license to provide satellite pay-TV service on Wednesday, September 3. The license fee is 370,000 BRL (120,000 USD). The service will trade as AstralSat, says owner-manager Helio Cezar Barroso. Transmission will begin on a trial basis in 30 days and commercial delivery is scheduled to launch in November.
Based in São Paulo, AstralSat will use Brasilsat B1, transmitting on C band and targeting upper-middle income consumers. It plans to charge 25-30 Brazilian Reals per month (now about 8-10 US Dollars)¸ a lot less than existing DTH carriers. It will have eight pay-TV channels besides the usual 24 must-carry channels.
According to a report in the April issue of PAY-TV magazine, AstralSat won?t offer predefined packages. The subscription system will be prepaid, enabling customers to decide how much they want to spend each month.
DTH Interactive has initially purchased set-tops from Zinwell. They will be sold off the shelf by antenna installers and won?t be subsidized, Mr Barroso told PAY-TV magazine. Other IRDs may be used at a later stage, possibly supplied by domestic vendors. ?We use Irdeto encryption, so there?s a range of compatible IRDs,? he explains. Customers will probably pay about 100 USD for the set-top initially, perhaps a good deal less later on.