HD Satellite TV finally in Sri Lanka

Dialog TV finally launched HD TV in their Satellite TV subscribers. I have been asking Dialog for HD TV for more than a year, so it was only fair I signed up gave it a shot.

Signing up was a breeze, no calls to the customer service hotline; a simple SMS to 679 and I was signed up. Then I had to wait for the decoder to be delivered, but that took less than 24 hours (18 hours may be) and it came with a technician :D. Big thumbs up to Dialog for quick response.


I know the HD subscription is too high for too few channels, but considering the fact that in a tiny island everything new is supposed to be expensive I’m not complaining. However more channels would be nice. I would personally like to see the following channels being offered in HD.

  • Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Science
  • HBO Bouquet
  • KidsCo
  • The Buddhist TV (This is a long shot, but one can ask)
  • Ten Action
  • Warner TV
  • VH1


I got a OHS1720IR decoder which comes with HDMI, RCA and S/PDIF ports (I’m not counting the USB port used by the flash drive used for PVR). I’m glad Dialog finally has a decoder which support HDMI Video and Audio. Did I tell you it also supports Dolby Digital Audio.

PVR function is very handy, now my mom doesn’t have to complain about missing programs on The Buddhist TV πŸ™‚ When you sign up for HD Pack you get PVR for free. However the catch is you can’t record a SD channel and watch a HD channel or record a HD channel and watch any other channel. But that’s better than what we had before, so I’m not complaining.

However while preparing for the blog post I found a bug in the decoder firmware. If I take a screen capture of a HD channel remote stops working until you have to restart the DVR. But this is a borderline use case, so not a show stopper. My guess a memory leak in screen capture. It would be nice if Dialog could release a fix soon.

Also did I tell you the decoder support 1080p even though Dialog TV content is only 1080i. So the menus look better than the content itself. I hope we will soon see 1080p content πŸ˜‰

Picture Quality

I guess I kept you waiting long enough before I showed you how good HD TV on Dialog TV looks. Both HD channels and SD channels look so much better on this decoder. I couldn’t find any flaws with the picture quality. All these were captured with the built in screen capture. Sizes will differ based on what what the source quality was. Please click through and checkout the quality in all it’s glory.

I might decide to upload a video shot with the stunning HD camera on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus to show you how good the video looks with the new decoder and show off the new HD Channels. So remember to subscribe to my RSS feed and check back in a few days πŸ™‚

Dialog Axiata APN update for Android mobiles

I was annoyed that I had to configure the APN every time I either installed a OS upgrade after a wipe or switched SIMs on my HTC Hero. I went and composed a complete list of APNs for Dialog Axiata. You just need to copy it to your Android based phone and boot into recover mode and flash the zip file. I hope to post in more detail soon, that’s it for now.


Unboxing ZTE MF-100

I won a ZTE MF-100 courtesy Dialog Axiata at their The Future, Today social media event held last week.See bellow for the unboxing and setting up photos. There is no how to for making it work with Linux or Snow Leopard because it works out of the box with no issues or caveats at all, enjoy πŸ™‚

PS: Thank you Dialog, you can follow them on Twitter @dialoglk

How to use Huawei E1550 on Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6)

I recently upgraded to Snow Leopard and wanted to download iPhone SDK, since Dialog GSM has really cheap bandwidth, I got a 2 hours on my Kit Broadband package. I’m using a Huawei E1550 but unfortunately the Mobile partner that came with the dongle didn’t work on Snow Leopard. With a bit of Googling I came across Huwaei Device site and downloaded Dashboard for Mac OS X 10.6 and unzipped it and then unzipped MAC-V100R001B301D11SP00C03.zip (only zip file in the downloaded zip file). The ISO file needs to be mounted with Disk Utility and not the Disk Image mounter.

Then the familiar Mobile partner will open up, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Hope this helped someone in a similar situation πŸ™‚

Dialog GSM has been deceiving the public

Dialog GSM (biggest telecom provider in Sri Lanka) has been deceiving the public about their Family package tarrifs. Their marketing material, customer service representatives and the web site states there is a commitment of Rs. 250 (Local call charges) per supplementary connection and no commitment for the primary connection. Until February it was the case, but from March they started to have a commitment for the primary connection as well. I made a complaint to Dialog and initial response was prompt but there after one person from the billing department agreed that there was a mistake and 2 weeks later another person called up and said it was correct and the marketing material was wrong. Just to clarify I contacted the customer service department to clarify things viola, their intial response was that there is no commitment for the primary package but when I insisted that it may be wrong and many minutes of waiting they got back to me saying there is a group commitment ofΒ  Rs. 250.

If you have a Dialog Family package please go through your bills for February and March (April if you have already got it) 2009 and you will see the difference. Please post a comment if you are affected and even if you are not affected leave a comment then we might be able to find a pattern πŸ™‚ . It might not affect you if your primary connection makes more than Rs. 250 worth of local calls, not the case with me.

If you want to see my bills please leave a comment, it’s 8 pages, little too much to post in a blog.

I believe this is clearly deceiving the public. Shame on you Dialog GSM.

Going multi uplink

Last Friday I got a 2nd connection for my home-office. Now I have 1Mbit/s WiMAX uplink from Dialog Broadband and 512Kbit/s (Soon will be upgraded to 1Mbit/s) WiMAX uplink from Lanka Bell.

I have setup one of my old PCs as the router. I couldn’t find a single router with multi-uplink here in Sri Lanka, but PC router is more flexible, IMO. I’m running Debian on the router and using Shoreline Firewall aka Shorewall for firewalling and traffic shaping/control. It took a good few hours to setup mainly because I mixed up the ethernet interfaces πŸ˜€ . Shorewall documentation on multiple internet connections and traffic shaping/control by Tom Eastep helped me a lot in setting up my router.