News Column

DStv decoder about to go online

June 23, 2014

Bonnie Tubbs



The DStv Explora, launched with a built-in Ethernet port and 2TB of memory about 10 months ago, will include an online offering before the end of the year.

SA's first pay-TV provider, MultiChoice, is further evolving its DStv set-top box suite, with plans to connect its latest generation decoder, the Explora, to the Internet.

Group CEO of broadcast technology at MultiChoice Gerdus van Eeden says DStv subscribers who own the Explora will be able to use its built-in Ethernet connection for online functions before the end of the year.

While he does not specify precise timelines, Van Eeden says the company will soon bring out a "WiFi connector" – or dongle – that Explora users will be able to plug into the device's Ethernet port, initially to set recordings remotely via the Internet (by accessing the DStv Web site or upcoming mobile app) and to rent BoxOffice movies without using the onerous SMS system currently in place.

Internet capability – including a mobile app – was already alluded to at the July launch of the DStv Explora (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66190:DStv-unveils-next-gen-PVR&catid=69), which came to market in mid-August last year.

"Over time, the device will become an over-the-top (OTT) device," he says – enabling subscribers to watch video-on-demand content that will be offered online.

In a December interview with ITWeb, Van Eeden explained that, as it stood (and currently stands) DStv decoders are a "one-way world" that rely on content being sent via satellite.

Until an Internet connection was introduced, he said, the decoder would not have the ability to signal information back and content would be limited by hardware. The Explora has a capacity of 2TB.

According to Van Eeden, the Explora has seen "enormous" uptake since launching 10 months ago. MultiChoice does not give sales specifics, but Van Eeden says the latest decoder is approaching 20% of sales.


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Source: ITWeb


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