Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pay TV Guide: Who offers the best deals?

For many years in Malaysia, a single pay TV service controlled the market. Offering what they claim to be better service, better channels and, most importantly, better deals, a few more are making their presence known in Malaysia pay TV industry.

Marketing brochures aren’t the best place to get the truth as we know; so we decided to explore into the thrilling world of pay TV to seek the truth who really gives you the best deals.

Astro Malaysia

Sources: Courtesy of Astro

Astro is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) Pay TV service that is well established due to the fact of being the single provider in the market for so many years. Undoubtedly, Astro have many packages and the varieties can occasionally make you cross-eyed with confusion. Here are some of the packages offered by Astro:

Basic TV channels

It offers various packages; it would cost you RM42.30 (inclusive of a 6% government tax) if you’re looking for the most basic package which has 40 channels. An extra of RM32 would be charge for additional prime packages, and mini packages cost RM9 although they would encourage you to subscribe two mini packages. Let say you opt for one basic package, one prime package and two mini packages, your bill can fetch up to over RM90 easily. If you want HD channels that would be an additional of RM20, and recording service (PVR) would cost another extra of RM30.

Existing packages such as the Bundle Deals, Value Pack and Super Pack, the deal prices range from RM51.95-RM133. Meanwhile, the value packs only include the HD service, however, the Super Pack offers HD & PVR services, together with Astro on the Go and Video on Demand.

TV, Broadband and Phone

Astro has also introduced Astro IPTV where you can have internet and a phone line in one package. There are varieties of prices to choose for as they come in various packages. For the Super Pack, the TV packages prices range from RM133-RM155 with basic internet cost RM123. The basic TV packages cost about RM39.95 and the rest cost around RM75, and its basic internet starts from RM148. If you require additional home phone package, you’ll need to add on another RM20-RM30. Select each one and you’ll get your final price for your monthly subscription.

Let say you want the cheapest package available, this is how it would cost you:
RM39.95 (TV) + RM148* (Broadband) + RM20 = RM207.95
*Cheaper broadband price of RM138 is available but you will have to choose a basic super package of RM133 at least.

Tip: You may want to take into account the final price that will come up with an additional 6% tax.


Sources: Courtesy of Telekom Malaysia

HyppTV has gradually risen in popularity in the pay TV industry as it comes together with the broadband service as more people using Unifi and Streamyx by TM. The great news is the service also comes with an additional phone line too! However, there’s no way of having only HyppTV as you must have an internet connection plan with Streamyx to have access to HyppTV.

As both Streamyx and Unifi offer HyppTV; it offers to the kind of service that you want. Both Unifi and Streamyx are broadband services, each with various packages deal. To have access to HyppTV for Streamyx for an example, it would be greatly advised to go for the 8Mbps package for RM160 a month, as it comes with the 17 HyppTV basic channels. However, there is a 4Mbps at RM140 package, but you won’t get the channels until you add on one of their packages ranging from RM30-RM50.

All Unifi subscriptions come with HyppTV, so if you’re searching for cheaper package it would be the VIP5 that cost RM149.00. If you want to add more channels, you will have to select a package which cost between RM30-RM50.


Sources: Courtesy of ABN Xcess

Presently, ABNxcess is the only digital cable television operator in Malaysia, and was recently launched back in June 2013. Consider fairly new, it currently claims as Malaysia’s most reasonable price internet + TV package. However, it doesn't come with a phone line though.

If you just want the digital TV service alone, you already start with RM29.99 monthly which is consider absolutely affordable. It basic internet of 5 Mbps with 50 TV channels would cost RM69.99 while if you want the 10Mbps with your 50 TV channels, that will cost you RM98.99, but remember, this is only applicable during the promotion period as the usual price would be RM129.00.
So who wins in the Battle of the Pay TV Providers?

Pay TV packages in Malaysia are complicated business. Information isn't readily accessible on websites as most packages are highly customisable depending on the channels you select however we try to get you answers anyway.

If you’re a basic TV package and aren't into extreme sports; super new movies and marathon episodes of Queen Divas on TVBE, this is what you can choose to pay for your TV subscription.

Pay TV
Basic TV package only
Basic TV + Internet package only
Basic TV + Internet + Phone line package only
*All prices may include tax.

We may say Astro remains pretty costly, while Unifi and ABNxcess are inexpensive in their respective categories. But do they really offer you the entertainment thrill you need? Are your favourite TV shows on the package you’ve selected or are you pick it simply because it’s cheap? Paying a cheap price for a package you don’t want is even more wasteful than paying more for something you’ll truly enjoy so make the decision based on your interests. At the same time if you are an internet junkie, then get the one with a broadband connection included. Packages are customisable for a reason.

Unquestionable, value is relative and you’ll only know this if you’re subscribed to the right channels so get the right channels for you. The pay TV industry in Malaysia is set to expand even more based on the way things are looking right now. Competition will influence prices but so will your choices. In the end, as with anything you choose; make sure it’s within your means. It’s futile being up to date with having most channels and expensive subscription if you can’t even pay the mortgage.

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