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SouthTel goes silent over VOD:TV

2012-05-25 15:46
Cape Town – SouthTel is not saying a word about its big promises for what the company said would be South Africa's first true video-on-demand (VOD) service.

Several months after SouthTel said it would start its new VOD:TV service with HD content, and wowing TV executives in November with the double-sided VOD:TV remote control, industry insiders are now sceptical.

Insiders are speculating whether SouthTel and VOD:TV are just another pipedream like WowTV, Super 5 Media, eSat and all the other pay TV businesses who over-promise and then never start.

SouthTel promised TV executives an early 2012 launch but with June 2012 fast approaching, SouthTel has made no mention of the intended new launch date for VOD:TV.

First time in Africa

In 2011, VOD:TV was tested with 70 decoders and SouthTel said it would give South African TV viewers 200 hours of HD viewable content per month (or 400 hours of SD content) on its PVR decoder.

MultiChoice currently offers the DStv on Demand and DStv BoxOffice VOD service to DStv premium subscribers. Although good and growing, it is not a "perfect system" in the sense that it's not a true return-path PVR system.

SouthTel said that its revolutionary video-on-demand service would come with a 3G card to enable a true return-path and make true interactive VOD television possible for the first time in Africa.

Now SouthTel doesn't want to talk about where the business is at and how and why the roll-out plans for VOD:TV have changed.

Neither SouthTel nor CEO Oscar Dube had any comment on questions and media enquiries made last week about VOD:TV's proposed launch date, when the service will be rolled out commercially and why it has been postponed, or what the latest is on VOD:TV.

Asked if SouthTel has anything to share or tell about VOD:TV in general, SouthTel cited "non-disclosure" issues.

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