Sun Direct is an Indian direct broadcast satellite service provider. Its satellite service, launched in December 2007, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in India. Sun Direct uses MPEG-4 digital compression, transmitting HD Channels on GSAT-15 Sun Direct at 93.5°E. and SD Channels on MEASAT-3 at 91.5°E.
|Headquarters||73, MRC Nagar Main Road, MRC Nagar, Chennai, India|
|Kalanithi Maran (Chairman)|
|Products||Direct broadcast satellite, pay television, pay-per-view|
Sun Direct is a joint venture between the Sun Network of India and the Astro Group of Malaysia. Sun TV entered into an MoU with the Astro group on 27 January 1997, when Aircel was not in existence, but since the government of India did not allow the use of KU band transponders for DTH services the project was put on hold, the firm said in a statement. After the DTH policy was announced by the government in December 2007, Astro picked up a 20% stake in Sun Direct TV, the stake was valued at approximately $115 million. Sun Direct TV was registered on 16 February 2005. However, the failed launch of Sun Direct INSAT 4C resulted in Sun Direct lack of transponders, delaying the launch. The service was finally launched on 18 Jan 2008 after availability of transponders from INSAT 4B.
Sun Direct offered subscribers a satellite dish and Set-top box for free and basic monthly plan as low as
Sun Direct spread rapidly all over the country owing to lowest pricing of any DTH services in India. In December 2009, Sun Direct was launched in Mumbai, country's financial capital and announced its pan India launch. By 2009 it became the leading DTH provider with 3 million subscribers. This makes it the second largest DTH service provider of India. In April 2010 Sun Direct became the No.1 DTH service provider of India with 5.8 million subscribers and soon launched its HD service in India.
As of January 2015, Sun Direct crossed the 10 million subscriber mark.
INSAT-4B glitch and satellite change
On 7 July 2010 a power glitch in the INSAT 4B satellite turned down the DTH system partly and SUN Direct announced that the service will be free till whole services are restored. The partial service was restored on INSAT 4B Sun Direct with 193 channels and meantime SUN Direct is now transmitting 173 channels on MEASAT-3 for uninterrupted transition of Sun Direct customers from INSAT 4B at 93.5°E. to MEASAT-3 at 91.5°E. Sun direct now uses 4 Measat-3 Transponders (TP's) and 3 INSAT-4B TP's to provide DTH services, and additionally through exclusive agreement with BIG TV, a DTH arm of Reliance ADAG group, Sun Direct Shares 2 TP's of BigTV (BIG TV holds 12 TP's in Measat-3), i.e. BIG TV allows Sun Direct to get signals of FTA channels to Sun Direct. Sun Direct stopped its Standard Definition Sun Direct TV services from INSAT-4B and moved its High Definition TV Services to INSAT-4B, Sun Direct now broadcasts its entire Standard Definition TV from Measat-3.
As of 2017, Sun Direct uses eight transponders equally split between MEASAT-3 and GSAT-15 with three being added the year itself. HD channels are being beamed from the four transponders on GSAT-15.
Sun Direct has over 6.2 million active subscribers as of December 2016. There are more than 62.5 million DTH subscribers in India as of June 2014.
- "About Sun Direct". www.sundirect.in. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Sun Direct - LyngSat". www.lyngsat.com. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Sun, Astro deny media reports of impropriety in deal. The Economic Times. 16 February 2011
- PIL plea against Sun DTH services. Hindu.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2012.
- Lack of transponders hits DTH expansioN. Rediff.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2012.
- Sun TV group’s special offer for DTH Archived 21 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Business : Sun Direct launches sD services. The Hindu (9 April 2009). Retrieved on 17 January 2012.
- INSAT-4B Spacecraft Affected by Power Problem. isro.org
- Power problem with Insat-4B. Sify.com (12 August 2010). Retrieved on 17 January 2012.
- Insat 4B at 93.5°E. LyngSat. Retrieved on 17 January 2012.
- Sun Direct on Measat 3 at 91.5°E. LyngSat. Retrieved on 10 September 2017.
- TelevisionPost Team (18 July 2017). "Sun Direct turns profitable at net level for full fiscal for first time". Television Post.
In FY17, Sun Direct added three transponders on GSAT 15. It has a total of eight transponders, equally split between Measat 3 and GSAT 15.
- Eluvangal, Sreejiraj (4 April 2017). "With New Tech, Sun Direct Launches India's Cheapest HD Packs". Ultra News.
At present, it is beaming its HD channels from four transponders located on ISRO’s newly launched GSAT-15 satellite.
- "The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators (October - December 2016)" (PDF). Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. 7 April 2017.