By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
Longvision Media Sdn Bhd rolled out the first legal Internet TV services provider and digital television (TV) platform LONGTV yesterday, in line with the Malaysian government’s initiative for an analogue switch-off.
It will feature international channels and media, targeted to achieve 300,000 subscribers by year-end.
LONGTV will be available from May 2018 where a full transition to digital terrestrial television will be implemented.
Longvision COO CH Low (picture) said LONGTV obtained its broadcast licence from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and it will serve as a family-friendly content platform.
“Our partnerships with various service providers will make this a platform that meets the entertainment needs of every household. We believe this is the most advanced legal platform that is affordable,” he said at the product launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Low said he does not view LONGTV as a competitor to Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, which has dominated the broadcasting industry thus far.
“There will always be competition, but we don’t see Astro as one of them. We are here to provide a platform which allows people to view content from all over the world, that’s why we are always open for collaborations with different content providers,” he told The Malaysian Reserve on the sidelines of the event.
In response to the unauthorised use of set-top boxes that have seen an increase in numbers, Low said the government has been very vigilant on this issue.
“People may be promised 500 or even 1000 channels via this set-top box. However, along the way, more and more channels are made unavailable because the channels go through illegal streaming which the authorities are able to detect and shut them down.”
“Singapore — being the biggest illegal content hosting company right now, has about 21 major organisations, including Home Box Office and Sony Corp — lodged complaints with the Singaporean government to shut the streaming channels down. If it was hosted in Malaysia, it too will be shut down,” Low said.
According to Low, it is only fair that content providers get rewarded for the work and funds they put in.
“Content providers that do not favour illegal activities should get rewarded,” he said.
Low added that since LONGTV is a digital platform, the content can easily be added or removed.
To start, LONGTV will feature multiple channels featuring sports, news, as well as education, with added channels for gaming and karaoke.
Low said LONGTV does not need a set-top box or instalations as the product will work on a “plug and play” mode. LONGTV will also be available on mobile devices.
Longvision signed three separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with service provider redONE Network Sdn Bhd, hardware distributor Eternal Asia (M) Sdn Bhd and telecommunication group Mcalls.
The other two MoUs were between Longvision and the state of Kelantan and its monitor supplier — AOC Malaysia and Zeta IOS.
“The MoUs between us and the state of Kelantan were signed because each state has their own local content, and we want to assist them by including their content into our product,” Low said.
iflix and Tonton TV were among the content providers that were present at the launch.