21 July 2007

Will you subscribe to Singtel Mio TV ?

Will you subscribe to Singtel Mio TV ?

Singtel launched their PAY TV service yesterday. I took time to check out their offerings online and check out their pricing.

In contrast to Starhub TV which bundles channels into basic tiers, Singtel MIO TV charges monthly from $16.05(with GST). That is to say, your minimum purchase will be S$16.05. Thus, you got to mix and match some of the channels to match S$16.05 or exceed S$16.05.

Something that MIO TV didn't mention is that you need to own a ADSL2+ modem for this service. For current subscribers to Singnet broadband, this is not a problem. For those who are not, you would need to purchase it at $64.20. With an addtional S$53.50 activation fee. You have to pay an initial amount of $117.70. This one time payment is a bit too steep I would say. Imagine if do not require rewiring of your phone lines, why pay S$53.50 for the technician to plug the ADSL2+ modem to the set top box and connect the STB to your HDTV? The STB has no monthly rental fees.

To subscribe to Starhub, you wouldn't need to go through all this hassle. Just get the set top box, plug the set top box in and you are done. There is no need to meddle with 2 devices just to watch pay tv.

Secondly, the programme line up. Starhub being the incumbent already have exclusive contracts with lots of operators. For example, in terms of news, starhub has CNN, BBC, CBNC while Singtel Mio TV has none of these international news channels. Chinese infotainment channels wise, Starhub has a lot more as compared to what Singtel has to offer.

Although Starhub's Cable do not offer a la carte selection, the 3 Basic Tier sold at S$29 already comes with at least 9 channels (depending on which groups you pick). In addition, you get the free to air MediaCorp channels + 5 International Channels for FREE. In my case, I pay S$29 a mth and I get 6 local channels (5,8,U,CNA,Suria,Central) and 14 other channels
Ch 50 - Phoenix, Ch 51 - MTV Mandarin, Ch 52 - CTI TV, Ch 54 - TVBS-ASIA, Ch 13 - BBC World, Ch 14 - CNN, Ch 15 - CNBC, Ch 25 - Bloomberg Television, Ch 97 - CCTV-9, Ch 46 - Star Chinese Channel, Ch 49 - Asia Plus, Ch 53 - TVB 8, Ch 56 - E City,
Ch 256 - E City (+2). For the same price of S$29, you can hardly get so many channels. Taking an average subscription price of S$5 per channel, you would only get 5 to 6 pay tv channels in addition to the free-to-air MediaCorp channels.

In terms of programming, Singtel Mio TV lacks EPL which everyone watches. The good thing is about Singtel MIO TV is that it has acquired 3 channels broadcasting in Dual Sound in Cantonese and Hokkien. That is something that Starhub should consider offering CH 55 in Dual Sound (Cantonese, Mandarin). This will appeal to the older generation of Singaporeans who has missed all the dialect programming on local TV. Both Starhub and Singtel offers on demand movies/programmes. MIO TV also has 4 HD channels (MediaCorp HD5 is free) but priced at S$12 per channel which is very steep.

For the busy professionals, you can also pay an additional S$10, you get a PVR which you can record your favourite programmes. You no longer need to purchase a PVR just for this purpose or buy another just for watching HD as Singtel Mio TV box is already equipped with HD received.

Will you switch camps or will you wait ? Post your comments.

Price plans of Singtel Mio TV - http://home.singtel.com/miotv/price-plan.asp
Content Pricing of Singtel Mio TV - http://home.singtel.com/miotv/channels-on-demand_channels.asp
Price plan of Starhub Cable TV - http://www.starhub.com/portal/site/CableTV/menuitem.227318645a7b5eb3f75eb1109b1000a0/?vgnextoid=3e292a0a19134010VgnVCM100000b901000aRCRD


Anonymous said...

After reading your review, i will think twice. Thanks for the info. I will not sign up for starhub also. So inflexible and so expensive.

Anonymous said...

If u are not Singtel fixed line subscriber u need also to pay additional $8.50 ? per month.
So as a Starhub Digital voice subscriber i am out.

Alvin said...

Hi, got your comments on my blog to come here .. nice blog you have here ..

Anyway to add to the discussion, I would quite agree with what you are saying, in that since Starhub is the incumbent party and have a first mover advantage, they of course have the larger share of the market and the larger share of the contacts. But I was just wondering if Singtel attempt for PayTV is an open out challenge to Starhub in the first place, or just simply Singtel trying to leverage on their Mio brand name and try to bundle PayTV as part of the Mio subscription package. Because the way I see it, if a subscriber is subscribing to Singtel broadband services and he has a Singtel fixed line at home .. the sales person will have an easier time to sell the customer Singtel PayTV also .. since the sales person can always say .. oh you just pay for 16 dollars more and you get this wonderful HDTV setup box free too .. The customer will in my opinion, don't mind to sign up for that too ... so all in all, increased revenue.

Moreover, Singtel has already said that they expects the typical customer to own 2 PayTV services in their homes .. Starhub and Singtel, that's why you see the channels of both the operators aren't the same, so I think Singtel already knows that their service will not be mutually exclusive to their competitors.

Alvin said...

Sorry, to continue my previous post, I would think that Singtel, by offering their setup box .. they will be ready to tap into the HD market ... I mean, if you don't have to pay for the HDTV Setup box and just have to pay for HD channels .. or have access to HD5 (a free to air channel) why not ? I was comparing this point to Starhub HDTV Setup box , in Starhub case, you will have to purchase the HDTV setup box yourself sign up to HD Plus for $16.05 (see where Singtel got their magical $16 dollars from ?) and I don't think you can get free to air HD channels ...

So it really depends on the customer if the customer wants to use their new, sparkling HD tv right now to view some free to air content without buying any extra periperhals. To me, it sounds like a pretty good deal. How about you ?

Anonymous said...

Singtel need to brush up on its MioTV content if I still want to compete in the market.

hdtv said...

Hi Alvin,

It is not really S$16 if you include the costs of the phone line.

In fact, S$16 is incorrect. It should be S$16+$$8.33.

That means the minimum costs is S$24 without any additional channels but all the MEDIACORP Channels + HD5 (HD5 is simulcast of CH 5 upscaled).

Don't forget that most people these days don't have a FIX LINE at home, secondly, if you want to subscribe to the MIO TV, you have to purchase the mio box or a ADSL2+ modem for S$60+. Activation fee is S$50+. One time start up costs would be S$117 just to watch local TV + a few S$4-$6 dollar channels to make up that S$16.

For S$24 dollars on Starhub, you can get 3 basic tier, that gives you all the mediacorp cahnnels (minus HD5) and 5 international channels.

Well, if you want to go for HD, i would suggest getting a HDDVD XBOX drive and use a ATI Radeon HD 2600XT card to decode HDDVD. It is definitely a better investment :)

hdtv said...

Alvin, I was also thinking abt HD contents since i got a 42" TV ready for HD broadcasts. I was so disappointed by both, offering this kind of programming at such an expensive cost.

btw, what will be shown on those Singtel's HD channels? Will it be just repeated programmes jsut to show off the nice images of HD or are there any movies in HD?

Anonymous said...

Not only so, for existing SingNet subscribers who does not want their wall to be drilled for the cable if the modem is not in the living room. We gotta fork out additional $53.50 for the Wire-Free Solution device. Don't see why we can't do the things ourself? Don't think it'll be that difficult to connect the device to the TV and plug in the Aztech Homeplugs???

Anonymous said...

Yes i agree with you. They seemed to be only interested in doing it themselves, not knowing that most of the subscribers are technically inclined and know what we are doing.

In fact, if you visit other countries, set top boxes like those are readily available with PVR function at only S$300 or so.

Anonymous said...

ithink this is really confusing

Anonymous said...

how about those that only chose one?

hdtv said...

If you are already a Singtel fix line subscriber you do not need to pay $8.50.

D CHIU said...

"Caveat emptor" - "Let the buyer beware" is very tru with Sintel's MIO TV. I am a very frustrated and bitterly disappointed sunsciber of this SINTEL's MIO TV EXPERINCE. It has been a horrendous, and totallt deflating nightmare. The service staff are inadept, ignorant and very inexperienced in handling clients enquiries. Since the installation of MIO all I am saddled with is just box tops, remotes nad television malfunction plus a big fight with my wife for installing a white elephant! It is just some very fancy way to watch your regular tv channels on your HD TV. PLEASE DO NOT BE TAKEN IN BY THEIR TV ADVERTS AND PROMOTIONS> IT IS NOT WORTH THE EFFORT OR EXPENSE!! Signals get disrupted, pictures freeze and you cannot download anyprogram if you have an outstanding bill with Sintel so you are just payng for the service but you do not get to enjoy the benefits they so proudly talk about - give me STARHUB CABLE anyday. At l;east I aget to enjoy what I subscribe for. Those of you out there reading this and considering installing MIO my sincere and honest advice DON't - IT IS A CON AND A RIP OFF!!!! THE SERVICE IS NOT DEVELOED ENOUGH AND IT IS IN IT"S INFANCY STAGE> WHAT SINTEL WANTS ARE LAB RATS TO TEST OUT THEIR SYSTEM AND TO USE YOU TO FEEDBACK AND ERADICATE THEIR GLITCHES - THE WORST PART IS YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT! IT IS A CON AND A VERY TERRIBLE NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE WAIT FOR IT TO DEVELOP FURTHER AND ALSO FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO MATURE. SAVE YOUR MONEY - IF YOU CAN;T THEN SUBSCRIBE TO STARHUB CABLE IT IS LESS FRUSTRATING. IT IS THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS!