Dialog TV

21 Dialog TV (DTV) is a direct broadcast satellite pay TV service provider based in Sri Lanka. A fully owned subsidiary of Dialog Axiata PLC, Dialog TV was launched in July 2005 under the name “CBNsat”. It was later renamed Dialog TV in February 2007 after the company was acquired by Dialog Axiata PLC. Dialog TV currently has over 250,000 subscribers. Its main competitors in the pay TV market in Sri Lanka are Lanka Broadband Networks (LBN) providing cable television services in analog and DVB-C in selected areas in Sri Lanka and PEO TV, which is an IPTV platform operated by Sri Lanka Telecom PLC. Dialog TV has coverage over the entirety of Sri Lanka and to Nepal and neighboring countries through the Intelsat-12 satellite (45.0 E).


Dialog TV is a provider of SDTV, HDTV and PVR services in Sri Lanka. Personal Video Recorder Dialog TV recently Launch A PVR service Which allow customer’s to record TV Programes on selected TV channels and also gives the ability to pause’ Rewind and fast forward Live TV the product is currently marketed as “Dialog TV PVR” the service is used by connecting a USB Stick or External hard disk via a USB cable to a USB port of the back of the Receiver and by calling the Dialog TV Customer technical support hotline (Activation Fees of Rs 250.00 on top of the monthly subscription apply) But the service is not that good when compared to PVR services provided by other Pay TV providers in other countries like Sky (UK and Ireland)’s Sky+HD Box as you can’t use the Trick play and recording functions on all TV channels which are subjected to change without prior notice as always.

Development and Expansion

Dialog TV expresses its hopes to soon expand their digital network to other neighboring countries. Dialog TV signed an agreement with ESPN and Star Sports on 7 March 2006, and launched the channels on 24 March 2006. The Zee package (Zee TV, Zee Cafe, Zee Cinema, Zee Trendz, Zee Sports, Zee Muzic, Zee Studio) was launched in January. Al Jazeera English was launched on 19 April 2007, replacing the SET channel. In March 2007, Dialog TV won exclusive rights to broadcast the Cricket World Cup 2007 in Sri Lanka. Dialog TV’s third transponder was launched in late April 2007. The third transponder is now available on Dialog TV for all subscribers, and all except one of the new channels are launched. The STAR package was launched on August 3 2007. STAR Cricket was added on August 7 2007. A software upgrade was tested on 8 June, although it only updated to the June 1 2006 software, which is included on all decoders sold from January 2007. The 2007 July update was made available on July 18 2007. This update changed all logos and names on the software to “Dialog TV” from the previous “CBNsat”. The software was automatically installed to decoders at 3.00 pm on July 18 2007, and at 6.00 pm and 9.00 pm on the same day for those who missed the previous updates. If all automatic updates were missed, it is possible to update the software using the IRD Upgrade menu option on the decoder.

Dialog TV HD

After five years of private high definition television test transmission broadcasting, on 2012 June 17, Dialog TV officially Launched its HDTV service which is Sri Lanka’s first commercial pay TV HD service. Currently there are five HD channels.

  •     National Geographic Channel HD
  •     Discovery HD World
  •     STAR Movies HD
  •     AXN HD
  •     ESPN HD
  •     TEN HD

The HD Pack costs Rs 990/= a month and customers must first purchase an HD-PVR capable set-top box which costs Rs 2,990/=. As a complement, the following four SD channels are offered as “Bonus Channels”.

  •     Fashion TV
  •     BBC Entertainment
  •     History TV18
  •     TEN Action

Prior to the HDTV launch, the fourth transponder was activated in order to facilitate the HDTV service.


On June 6 2006, the Sri Lanka Police’s Criminal Investigation Department raided the CBNsat broadcast premises and ordered to shut down the service. CBNsat was accused of not possessing the correct DTH broadcasting license and broadcasting the NTT channel (of the LTTE) on their service. CBNsat was also blamed for broadcasting possibly illegal adult content on Fashion TV. The Media Ministry took over the case when the CID dropped their charges in late 2006. It was not possible to show evidence of CBNsat broadcasting the NTT channel as it blocked Free To Air channels form the customer decoders and NTT was a Free To Air channel. The Media Ministry could not prove any of the allegations and was finally forced to provide the necessary license to CBNsat. Meanwhile, CBNsat was financially crippled and was acquired by Dialog Telekom in December 2006. The service was finally relaunched in February 2007. As a result of the closure, a few subscribers gathered together to form CBNsat Subscribers Unite. The subscribers worked hard to bring CBNsat out of trouble during the closure, and ultimately caused the government to give up their vested interests.

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