AUSTAR is an Australian telecommunications company.
Its main business activity is Pay TV, although
it is also involved with internet access and mobile
phones. The company commenced operations in 1995,
and thus celebrated its 10th birthday in 2005.
is owned by Austar United Communications Limited
(ASX:AUN). 54% of Austar United is owned by Liberty
Global, through United Austar Partners. The remaining
46% is owned by public shareholders.
along with Galaxy provided the Sega Channel for
the Sega Mega Drive, but Austar was the only provider
for Sega Channel after Galaxy's closure in 1995.
also owns 50% of XYZnetworks, a pay television
program provider, a 50-50 joint venture between
Foxtel and Austar.
telephony (AUSTAR Mobile)
in 2000, AUSTAR Mobile offers mobile services
via resale agreements with Optus and Telstra for
access to their GSM and CDMA mobile networks respectively.
After the closure of Telstra's CDMA network, AUSTAR
mobile will only offer services through Optus.
the end of 2005, there were about 30,500 customers.
At the end of the 2007 Financial year, customer
numbers had grown to 30,991.
Dial-up internet (AUSTARnet)
in 2000, AUSTARnet currently outsources its network
to COMindico and is available across Australia.
the end of 2005, there were about 38,326 customers.
At the end of the 2007 Financial Year, customer
numbers had fallen to 26,431
Broadband Internet (Austar Broadband)
in 2006, Austar Broadband is only available in
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and Tamworth, New
2008, AUSTAR held a considerable number of 2.5
& 3.5 GHz spectrum licences in regional Australia
that was previously utilised for the delivery
of their former MMDS Service and for an ill-fated
attempt at wireless internet through a joint-venture
2005, Austar United and wireless internet provider
Unwired announced a deal to swap spectrum under
either companies control to allow for interoperable
wireless broadband services across the country.
In 2006, Austar United and Unwired together with
Soul formed AUSalliance for the purposes of obtaining
funding from the Australian Government's Broadband
Connect Infrastructure Program and rolling out
a regional broadband network.
2008, Austar sold its 2.5 & 3.5 GHz spectrum
licences to the OPEL consortium (Optus & Elders)
for AU$65 million and will enter a wholesale agreement
with Optus for the resale of products operated
by the OPEL consortium. Austar will continue to
operate their two existing wireless services (Wagga
Wagga & Tamworth)
Subscription television (AUSTAR Television / AUSTAR
main business is subscription television, serving
customers outside of the major metro areas. It
takes programming from both Foxtel and Optus services,
and operates in both analogue and digital platforms.
Television is available in 2.4 million homes in
regional and rural areas of all mainland states
(bar Western Australia), Gold Coast, Tasmania
and the capital cities of Darwin and Hobart. Subscriber
numbers to Austar Television are second behind
Foxtel. Delivery methods include utilising the
Optus C-Class Satellite Optus C1 and a digital
cable network in Darwin.
Television offering, as at September 2007 has
List of Austar channels
in March 2004, AUSTAR Digital subscribers account
for about 75% of all of AUSTAR's Television Subscribers.
In October 2004 the cable network utilised in
Darwin was converted to allow the AUSTAR Digital
product to be sold over that delivery method.
MyStar Personal Digital Recorder
in November 2005, Thomson SA have been awarded
the contract for the development of a 4 tuner
PDR, two of which will be dedicated for Australia's
Digital Terrestrial free-to-air (FTA) service.
MyStar will also allow for recording of two shows
at one time, while still being able to watch one
pre-recorded. The FTA tuner does not work in a
Porter had announced that the MyStar personal
digital recorder had been delayed back to August
2007 rather than the May 2007 release date they
had planned.  In November 2007 the MyStar
was released to people who nominated to be informed
when it was released.
was launched to existing subscribers in late 2007,
with a general launch to both new and existing
customers in February 2008.
MyStar is manufactured by Thomson Telecom Australia.
The current MyStar is the model T500.
is a 4 tuner set-top box equipped with 2 satellite
tuners and 2 terrestrial tuners available both
for viewing and recording standard definition
digital free-to-air services including full electronic
program guide data for Seven Network, WIN Television,
Prime Television and Network Ten. (ABC, SBS and
ABC2 continue to be provided via satellite). However,
only two tuners can be used, e.g. If you are recording
two FTA shows, you cannot record or watch a show
from the satellite. You can, however, watch a
show that has been previously recorded to the
hard drive while recording two shows.
features a 160GB Hard Drive, with 120GB User Accessible.
It can record 60 hours of content. Because it
is equipped with Macrovision Copy Protection,
content saved to the MyStar cannot be transferred
to other mediums (such as VHS or DVD). It has
support for Time shifting for up to 1 hour.
for Dolby Digital Surround Sound is incorporated,
and, when connected to appropriate equipment,
can produce true surround sound on shows that
support it. It also has support for Closed Captioning
and 4 different aspect ratios (4:3 Cropped, 16:9
Letterbox, 16:9 Postcard and 16:9 Widescreen).
Both of these features are accessible through
the remote’s coloured buttons.
supports additional outputs not found on the normal
decoders such as Component Video, as well as both
Coaxial and Optical digital audio outputs. Support
for Composite Video, S-Video and RF Out are also
available. It also has USB and Ethernet ports,
but they have no clear function as yet.
MyStar Remote is similar to the standard Austar
Digital remote, but it has the addition of buttons
specific to recording and playing back video.
It is also similar in design to the Foxtel IQ
remote, with the exception that it has an Austar
button instead of a Foxtel button.
on how to use the MyStar run at about 3:00AM most
days on The Weather Channel. (Credit: