Sun Direct is an Indian direct broadcast satellite service provider. Its satellite service, launched in 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.
Sun Direct is a joint venture between the Maran's Sun Network family 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 75 (approximately). Currently basic monthly plan costs 159.
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 HD
Sun Direct was the first DTH to provide high-definition television services in India. The HD beam is provided from GSAT-15.
Sun Direct HD PVR
Sun Direct has introduced recording feature facility as an addition to its HD services. Subscribers can now record unlimited HD or SD television content via USB port facility in the all new PVR box. The new Sun Direct HD boxes let anyone attach any external storage like a USB drive or HDD & record TV content on it. The direct-to-home (DTH) company claims the new HD boxes have following advantages: unlimited recording, recording content from a channel while watching other channels, ability to set time up to a week in advance to record future programs, and facility to pause the live channel and watch after a short break.
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.
South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication satellite realised by India. The primary objective of GSAT-9 is to provide various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries.
GSAT-9 is configured around the ISRO’s standard I-2K bus. With lift off mass of 2230 kg the main structure of the satellite is cuboid in shape built around a central cylinder. GSAT-9 carries communication transponders operating in Ku-band.
The two solar arrays of GSAT-9 consisting of Ultra Triple Junction solar cells generate about 3500 Watts of electrical power. Sun and Earth sensors as well as gyroscopes provide orientation reference for the satellite. The Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) of the satellite maintains it’s orientation with the help of momentum wheels, magnetic torquers and thrusters. The satellite’s propulsion system consists of a Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and chemical thrusters using liquid propellants for initial orbit raising and station keeping. The satellite also carries plasma thrusters, assisting in station keeping.
GSAT-9 was launched by GSLV-F09 on Friday, May 05, 2017 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota. .