DStv HD upgrade at subscribers' expense

2013-06-04 09:42
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – MultiChoice is getting ready to change the transmission of the satellite pay-TV operator's growing number of high definition (HD) TV channels.

But here is the snag - DStv subscribers, who will require an adjustment to their satellite dish installation, will have to pay for the upgrade themselves.

MultiChoice plans to officially switch to the DVB-S2 digital television standard for satellite TV broadcasting on 30 June and has enabled channel 425 on the DStv bouquet for existing subscribers to test whether they would be able to receive DStv's new HD TV channels' transmission from July without interruption.

MultiChoice says the change to DVB-S2 is done because "MultiChoice keeps abreast with technological developments" and to "ensure that our customers always receive the latest and best quality service".

According to MultiChoice DVB-S2 will make the addition of more TV channels and services possible on the DStv pay-TV platform. "The change will improve your reception, especially during rain storms," says MultiChoice – a problem known in the satellite pay-TV industry as "rain fade".

Installation will need to be adjusted

DStv subscribers who get a "Signal not found" or a "Connection to the DStv signal is lost" error message on-screen on channel 425, will have to get an installer out.

Subscribers will however have less than a month to go and no time to budget for the unforeseen expenditure easily totalling in the hundreds of rands in call-out cost before they lose their TV signals.

DStv is saying subscribers will have to pay for this new physical adjustment required to their DStv dishes.

Since TV channels in HD are only available to DStv Premium subscribers – MultiChoice's highest paying subscribers – the possible problem where it affects TV households will impact the pay-TV service's top tiered subscribers although MultiChoice says "no negative impact is expected for most HD PVR customers.

"In the minority of cases, the installation will need to be adjusted."

DStv subscribers who experience a problem will need their DStv dish aligned or will need the LNB – the cable running between the satellite dish and the DStv decoder – to be rotated.

MultiChoice won't pay

MultiChoice is instituting the change for existing subscribers by changing the transmission standard used, but says "MultiChoice does not pay for installation-related costs".

"We want to ensure that your DStv service is not interrupted as we make this change. We have created a test on channel 425. Please tune to this channel and if you see the test slide, it means your decoder and installation is ready for the switch-over to DVB-S2."

"If you see an error message on this channel, this means that your installation is not ready for the switch-over. When we do the switch-over on 30 June, you will lose your HD services. Please send an SMS with your suburb name to 32445. An accredited installer will contact you within 24 hours to upgrade your installation. Please note that this SMS will cost R1."

"Please note that the work done to upgrade your installation will be for your own account," MultiChoice warns subscribers.

"MultiChoice does not pay for installation-related costs. We recommend that your installation be checked every few years as weather exposure and other factors can influence the quality of your installation and therefore impact your viewing."

* Channel24 and DStv are owned by Naspers.


  • Marius Theron - 2013-06-04 09:52

    Yesterday when DSTV send out the mail channel 425 wasn't available.

      Ivan Leon - 2013-06-04 10:17

      Your viewing environment has to be set to "all channels" in order to access #425. If it is set to "my channels" or "favorite channels" you'll get an error message: "E37 - The channel you selected does not exist in the current viewing environment." Press the DOWN ARROW to change viewing environments.

  • Victor Loftie-Eaton - 2013-06-04 09:57

    I would like to know what needs to change if a change is required? What will the costs be? or is this totally up to the installation company to charge what they want? DSTV will send a the installation company to your house without you know what the costs are??? "An accredited installer will contact you within 24 hours to upgrade your installation. Please note that this SMS will cost R1." And then they have the cheek to charge you for the SMS as well... I am very very close to end my very expensive subscription with Multichoice...

      Johnny Better - 2013-06-04 10:39

      MC will not send an installer to your residence. They will get someone to contact you. you can then make arrangements with said installer to go to your house. From what I understand, after reading the article, only the LNB needs to be adjusted. Does not look like anything needs to be replaced. This is normally a call-out fee. I would guess, R300-R500 depending on installer.

      Colin Murray - 2013-06-04 11:06

      Premium subscribers are already being screwed and here is yet another way of making us feel like the "hind tit", very clever MultiChoice. If I choose to down grade all I'll get is soccer and other channels that I've never watched before so they have us by the short and curlies.

  • Bradley Watson - 2013-06-04 10:13

    DSTV should subsidise the install by reducing the premium subscribers fees. I work for a large Corporate and i am sure , if we ( including our Satellite business ) made a "backbone" change for any reason , including to improve customer service , we would not make it our Clients problem to fit the bill , they bought service X and we should deliver it. This DSTV move is like charging more for groceries over month end because you need more tellers to service your customers ??? WTF

      Johan Drotskie - 2013-06-04 13:00

      Bradley has nailed it! It is their change, so they should fit the bill

      Pierre Cronje - 2013-06-04 19:54

      Prepare to be ripped blind by the "installers".

  • James Buss - 2013-06-04 10:19

    I have cancelled my DSTV subscription today... I have Internet, I will survive... and with the R700 saved, I can even up my internet to higher bandwidth... Cheers DSTV, thanks for the exorbitant prices, endless repeats and old tired series...

      Ndi Mainganye - 2013-06-04 11:20

      Now u can really live, nevermind survive. watching what u want when u want.

      Shrian Ramsamuj - 2013-06-06 11:05

      I've also cancelled - with Netflix and Hulu you don't need their R700 bill. My entertainment now costs me just R200 a month. No repeats,and none of the fluff channels which I never watch.

  • Beckie Knight - 2013-06-04 11:18

    These people are actually a disgrace! As it is we're being taken for a ride and NOW, we must fork out again? They can all jump in the nearest lake! Back to SABC/eTV - at least you know where you're at!!!

  • Gert Vermaak - 2013-06-04 12:08

    errr...FU. If YOU want to make a change, then YOU pay for it. Or I cancel my subscription.

  • Asif Asmal - 2013-06-04 12:18

    They wanna upgrade so they can give us better quality re-runs...

  • Richard Dixon - 2013-06-04 12:41

    Just phoned the PE Branch. Consultant had no clue of what I was asking. No channel 425 on my decoder after I was told by Supervisor to restart decoder. Now I was told that no channel means I must get a installer out. Why bother. DSTV is starting to become a dictator. Surely the update could be handled more professionally. 10 Years and this is the service. Maybe a boycott is in order.

  • KeriLee - 2013-06-04 13:14

    DSTV ripping people off? Never! :D haha!Glad I cancelled! I would rather rent movies and series than pay that ridiculous subscription when, at any given time, half of my channels don't work! FAIL DSTV

  • Simon Morgan - 2013-06-04 13:28

    As it is the subscription for PVR subsribers is already outrageous. You buy the expensive device and then you still need to pay extra just to be able to record. With every channel thats added tha program gets worse. Time to switch to internet TV and invest in fast connectivity

  • Scott Gilchrist - 2013-06-04 13:34

    Whenever there is a new m-net production there is always a new expense to be paid. Just before Million Rand Drop came on air the Subscription fees went up. Now Masterchef South Africa is going to begin and there is a new fee to pay.

  • Louisa Burnett - 2013-06-04 13:38

    Thats just wrong! We are already paying way too much for watching the same programmes over and over and over again!

  • Mabina Maledu - 2013-06-04 15:25

    MultiChoice and ANC seem to be the same..nothing is ever on their account.

  • Norman Kropman - 2013-06-04 17:07

    We already pay over R600 for ads, repeats, aged programmes and chidish rubbish, interspersed with a few decent shows. Now more costs. What happens to the sets that are not HD but can tune into the HD channels (Sport etc). They seem to be saying that non HD sets will no longer receive the HD transmissions!! Or am I wrong?

  • Stephen Russo - 2013-06-04 20:03

    Come on dudes, climb up on the roof and adjust it yourself. Its not rocket science. I installed my own dish and I have no training.....not that you need it!

  • Naomi Smart - 2013-06-04 22:07

    Coming from the uk I cannot explain in words how bloody awful DSTV truly is! Waste of money, too expensive, crap channels, rubbish service and now you want to make people pay for yet another upgrade???? Get your act together DSTV..you can shove your "only R610.00 a month" up your ar$e!!!

  • Roger Kohne - 2013-06-04 23:41

    "In the minority of cases, the installation will need to be adjusted." "No negative impact is expected for most HD PVR customers. In the minority of cases, the installation will need to be adjusted." Ha, bloody ha!! I have four friends and we all have HD subscriptions and all of us do not have a channel 425 available. So much for the minority of cases!! Another "pulling the wool over our eyes" scenario - time to stand up to poor service, delivery & pricing by Multichoice! We are all too weak and maybe need to get our mineworkers to act for us???

  • Keith Steenkamp - 2013-06-05 07:08

    All everyone does and complain,use the down arrow on the remote get a list of channels.Choose channel 425 then if goes well,if your DSTV has been installed correctly then you should not have a problem!

      Vaughan - 2013-06-05 15:08

      Think the complaining is a symptom of tough times for consumers in South Africa.

  • Jonathan William King - 2013-06-07 03:36

    They can get away with it because South Africa is a country of monopolies.

  • Greg Swift - 2013-07-09 11:09

    How are DSTV's minds, the addition of channel 425 is part of their bouquet, how can they expect subscribers to pay in order to receive it, is this just another South African ploy?

  • pages:
  • 1