It seems like Astro will soon be offering its service without involving its traditional satellite dish and decoder. This is based on the revelation of a new app called Astro TV for Android TV which is currently in a closed beta phase that will last for the next two months.
At this moment, the Astro TV app is only available for selected Sony and Sharp TV as listed below:
Alternatively, Astro TV beta testers can also access the service using the existing Astro GO Android, Huawei AppGallery, and iOS/iPadOS app as well as Astro GO’s official website. During the beta phase, testers will have access to 43 channels that are shown below:
Additionally, they will also be provided with more than 10,000 on-demand contents alongside cloud recording quota of 200 hours. Throughout the beta period, testers are allowed to utilize the Astro TV app on one smart TV and four smart devices or PCs.
According to the FAQ document [pdf], Astro recommends Internet connection with a speed of at least 10Mbps to view contents on Astro TV app without facing poor streaming quality. Just like the Astro GO app, adaptive streaming policy has been implemented into the Astro TV app which would dynamically adjust streaming quality based on user’s Internet connection and speed.
Weird enough, Astro charges beta testers RM 1.06 (inclusive of SST) per month for their participation in this Astro TV beta test. Well, if you are curious and willing enough to participate in the test, you can register your interest with Astro right here.
This is not the first time that Astro has delivered its service directly to smart TV though. In 2018, the company has released the Astro GO Smart TV app which was available for LG Smart TVs but has then discontinued it in September 2019 without much explanation.
Even when Astro On-The-Go was relaunched as Astro GO back into 2017, Astro has already revealed its intention to develop native Astro GO app for smart TVs. So, in a way, the Astro TV app is a long time coming.
Then again, it might be possible that the satellite TV company is looking at the Astro TV app as a new revenue stream given how COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on Astro’s subscription revenue.