Jakarta (ANTARA News) - PT First Media Tbk, publicly-listed Internet and pay-TV broadband access provider, said on Friday it has set aside US$75 million to develop high definition-based broadcast (HDTV).
"The investment is used to expand the market," First Media President Director Hengkie Liwanto said in a press statement.
To date, First Media has an estimated 350,000 subscribers and more than half of them also subscribe to pay-TV broadcast which offers 100 channels.
The channels will slowly but surely be upgraded from standard definition to high definition or HDTV, he said.
By the end of 2010 First Media will bring another 12 HDTV channels, he said.
He said 100 HDTV channels will be made available in the next two to three years and the number will be increased to 200 in the next five years.
The subscribers are mostly found in Jakarta and environs, Surabaya and Bali.
PT First Media chief commissioner Peter F Gontha said the company will first concentrate its services in Jakarta and environs which have a population of 18 million during daylight, or more than five times compared to that of Singapore.
"If 20 percent of the population subscribes to pay-TV that will be a large market. In the regions we can team up with local pay-TV operators to provide HDTV services," he said.
First Media plans to launch commercial HDTV broadcast at the end of this year by providing 12 high devision channels such as ESPN and HBO.
To provide HDTV and video on demand (VoD) services, First Media will allocate a bandwidth of 320 Mbps, he said.Commercial HDTV services will begin at the end of 2010.
To provide pictures of good quality, bandwidth of 12 Mbps will be needed for HDTV and 8 Mbps for VoD, he said.
"In each area we have eight channels with a capacity of 40 Mbps each," he said.