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DStv connects decoder to the internet

2014-11-13 16:00

Johannesburg – MultiChoice is connecting the DStv decoder to the internet in a dramatic move that will bring the first true "TV Everywhere" experience to South African pay-TV subscribers. It will funnel a massive volume of content to viewers and enable subscribers to set recordings from their smartphones anywhere in the world.

In the biggest evolutionary development leap since MultiChoice launched DStv in 1995 in South Africa, the satellite pay-TV platform on Wednesday evening officially launched and became a true TV Everywhere player, giving the DStv decoder an internet connection for the first time ever through a small black box it calls the DStv WiFi Connector.

With the broadband connection it enables, MultiChoice will be launching a mind-boggling and dazzling array of new, internet enabled and interconnected subscriber services.

MultiChoice is taking a massive leap forward in the continent by bringing pay-TV subscribers the first broadband, and interconnected, linear and on demand satellite pay-TV decoder to consumers on the continent.

From 18 November DStv Premium subscribers will be able to buy a DStv WiFi Connector for R399 in retail stores which will use their existing household broadband service to connect their DStv Explora – the latest DStv decoder version – to the internet.

The result for the South African TV industry and viewers are a TV tsunami. Both in content and consumption, as well as functionality, South African TV viewers are set to experience a drastic increase and broadening of what the television viewing experience is and really can be.

The broadband connected DStv Explora also blows recently launched video-on-demand (VOD) competitors like Altech's expensive Altech Node and Times Media's VIDI out of the water with an unmatchable deep well of content that subscribers will be able to watch from their decoder, but also on their smartphones and tablets in and away from the home.  

Set DStv recordings from your phone

With the broadband link, DStv Premium subscribers will now be able to set decoder recordings remotely at any time through their smartphones, tablets and computers as part of the DStv Remote Recordings function on the new DStv NOW App – irrespective of where they are.

The DStv NOW app will launch in December. Through it DStv subscribers will be able to download and watch TV content on their smartphones and tablets, as well as watch the live streaming of several of the TV channels available on the DStv platform.

The new DStv Catch Up Plus on the DStv Explora will provide an additional, broadband-enabled pipe, funnelling further content and doubling the number of hours of the available video-on-demand (VOD) content (another 300 titles) on the decoder.

Subscribers will also become able to choose 25 titles from the DStv Catch Up Plus library to download to their DStv Explora and smart devices.

DStv Premium subscribers get access to hundreds more movie titles, TV series, kids' shows, sport, series box sets and other exclusive content.

The 300 additional titles on DStv Catch Up Plus will again double in size to 600 over the next few months as the service rapidly expands.

Access to these connected services is included in the monthly DStv Premium subscription, although consumers will have to pay their internet service provider separately for whatever data charges they incur due to the downloads.

It means a systemic shift for TV consumers who will now, for the first time in South Africa, get access to a true TV Everywhere experience from a traditionally linear pay-TV provider.

"MultiChoice is focused on innovation," said Imtiaz Patel, group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa. "We’re unveiling more content, more convenience, more customer choice and more control."

He called it "a big step forward in the evolution of our innovation roadmap".

"This is the beginning of a new television experience – giving our customers a choice of content to watch when and where they want," said Patel, promising "another step" which MultiChoice will be announcing next week to make these services more accessible to DStv subscribers.

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