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DTH satellite is a Dream come true

First local firm to offer premium cablers

MANILA — After a nightmare economy placed business ventures on hold, the Philippines is finally waking up to DTH.

Dream Broadcasting System, the first direct-to-home satellite television service from Philippine Multi-Media Systems, will be inaugurated later this month.

Its multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art facility can receive 52 viewable channels and 10 additional audio channels. PMSI has beaten four other competitors, including H. Thomas Telesis, GVB and Altimax, to the punch.

Barbara Pardo, marketing services manager, says Dream’s programming resembles cable but “improves” on it: It will be the first locally to offer HBO2, CNN-FN and the Golf Channel, along with others.

“Studies show movies rank a strong No. 1 with the Filipino market,” Pardo notes. Dream will have 11 movie channels, the most among the providers, and plans to add more.

Dream will also carry musical, documentary, news, education, sports, special interest and variety channels. Pay-per-view access is available now and video-on-demand – Impulse Pay Per View – will come later, Pardo says.

Signals will be beamed by an uplink satellite antenna to four Ku-band transponders of the Mabuhay Satellite’s Agila II and bounced back to subscribers’ homes in real time. The PMSI satellites cover the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Hainan in Mainland China.

“We’re targeting people whom cable cannot reach, and these are homes in the provinces. We look at DTH as an enhancement of what cable offers,” Pardo said. Apart from entertainment, PMSI will also offer convergence technology and provide services like high-speed Internet, home shopping and text messaging.

Philippine Long Distance Co., which has recently bought two-thirds of the country’s second biggest network (GMA), is keen on buying a DTH video firm to complete its convergence dream. PMSI is said to be its recurring Dream.

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