Singapore, 21 April 2004   - StarHub Cable Vision (SCV) announced today that there has been progress in its prosecution, on behalf of the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC), against two unauthorised decoder sellers under the Broadcasting Act. Today, Chong Aik Hoe, one of the sellers, pleaded guilty to two charges of having engaged in a conspiracy to commit the offence of selling unauthorised decoders under Section 61 of the Broadcasting Act (Cap. 297) read with Section 109 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).  He has been ordered to pay a total fine of $40,000. A warrant of arrest has been issued by the Court against the other seller of the unauthorised decoders for failing to appear in Court on 11 February 2004.


“We are pleased with the progress of this case, and hope that this will serve as a strong deterrent to others who intend to undertake similar acts of selling unauthorised decoders in Singapore,” said Ms Sandie Lee, StarHub’s Senior Vice President for Cable TV Services. “The sale of these unauthorised decoders is illegal. We would like to advise the public not to purchase or use such unauthorised decoders, and to abide by the law and respect intellectual property rights.”


SCV had made known in August 2003 that it would take appropriate action to curb the increasing sale of unauthorised decoders, or more commonly known as unauthorised set-top boxes, in Singapore.   SCV has also, on behalf of the AGC, recently commenced proceedings against another person for selling unauthorised decoders.


The pay TV operator is monitoring the situation closely and has taken steps to protect its rights, and the rights of its content providers. Besides initiating criminal proceedings for offences committed under the Broadcasting Act, SCV has also employed technological means to render unauthorised decoders ineffective in detecting its channels. Instead of the crystal clear reception enjoyed by StarHub CableTV subscribers, users of unauthorised decoders will see wavy and distorted images. 


“As these unauthorised decoders are not made available through SCV, members of the public who purchase these decoders are doing so at their own risk.  SCV will continue to deploy new technology to render these unauthorised decoders ineffective,” Ms Lee added.


SCV offers more than 40 quality channels of the latest news, movies, entertainment, sports and education on its pay-TV service, known as StarHub CableTV.  SCV works with international and regional content providers to transmit these channels via its network.  Local consumers who are interested in viewing the quality programmes need to subscribe to StarHub CableTV. The affordable StarHub CableTV subscription packages can be as low as 70 cents a day.  Each subscription package includes the usage of decoders manufactured by top-of-the-line provider, Motorola, at no additional charge. These decoders undergo stringent tests before they are allocated to customers.


The cable TV business is a capital-intensive one.  SCV has invested $600 million in cabling up the entire island with its state-of-the-art infrastructure. The company also continually invests in comprehensive quality checks, maintenance and upgrades for its network to ensure that it delivers good, reliable service to customers.  SCV has also recently made additional investments to introduce digital cable services later this year.


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