Reliance Big TV has become the first external operator to get hold of Star TV’s bouquet of five ‘asli’ HD channels.
‘Asli’ HD, trademarked by the Rupert Murdoch owned Star group, refers to content that is actually shot on HD cameras and not processed into HD from ordinary signals. Unlike ‘upscaled’ channels, content originally shot on HD also have five different sound tracks and tend to be crisper.
Asli HD channels — which offer about 2-3 times the sharpness and clarity of ‘upscaled’ HD channels — were first introduced on Tata Sky, also owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Not surprisingly, the pack of five channels which cost Rs 50 on Tata Sky will cost slightly more on Reliance Big TV. The five channels — called the ‘Ultra Sharp 2 pack’ on Reliance — will cost Rs 75 per month, but can also be bought one by one for Rs 30 each.
The five channels are Star Plus HD, Star Movies HD, Movies Now HD, Nat Geo HD and iConcerts HD. The channels will have a resolution of 2 million pixels on each frame (2 megapixels) — five times clearer than ordinary DTH broadcast.
The service will be available to all HD subscribers of Big TV, which was recently in the news for upscaling all its 250 channels into HD format using a special software. The facility, however, requires the consumer to install an HD set top box or HD DVR set top box, which costs around Rs 4,000. In comparison, Tata Sky, which offers only a handful of channels in the HD format, prices its HD box at Rs 2,600.