South African streaming television specialist Discover Digital has taken the wraps off a new streaming TV service aimed at the local and broader African markets.
The service, called Digital Entertainment on Demand, or DEOD (pronounced “dee-oh’d”), offers a selection of rental and subscription video-on-demand services, including news and sports Internet TV channels, to viewers’ phones, tablets and laptops.
A range of smart TV applications, plus Chromecast and Airplay support, will also be offered in the coming weeks, the company said at a launch event in Sandton on Thursday.
“Consumers can enjoy Internet TV channel programming, subscribe to bouquets of content to watch as they choose, or they can simply opt to rent individual movies on a pay-per-view basis,” the company said in a statement.
The offering will be launched in South Africa and other markets in Africa in partnership with regional telecommunications operators and other businesses, it said.
“Our disruptive new model breaks the traditional broadcast and pay-TV mould by letting viewers choose the channel category packages they want and what subscription models they prefer,” said Discover Digital MD Stephen Watson.
Prices and packages
Prices range from R49/month for a news service to R99/month for a sports service, and R189/month for a premium package that includes all news and sports channels as well as a selection of series, music videos and movies on demand. An entertainment on-demand package of TV shows, movies, kids’ programmes, music videos and documentaries is available on a subscription basis, for R79/month. Entertainment and news together costs R99/month.
Subscriptions can be used on up to five registered devices simultaneously.
DEOD’s rental service offers the option to rent a selection of movies from the latest off-cinema releases to older titles on a pay-per-view basis for between R18 and R30 each.
Sports channels include the Motorvision motorsports channel, Sportskool, Channel Edge HD extreme sports, Fightbox HD and the Nautical Sailing and Boating Channel.
The news pack of global news channels includes Al Jazeera, Africanews, Euronews, Bloomberg, Russia Today and France24. BBC World News will be added “soon”, said Watson.
The company will also offer short-term premium subscriptions that give viewers access for a weekend at R49 or a week at R69. There are VOD bouquets for children and music fans as well as faith- and inspiration-related programming, it said.
DEOD has content delivery network infrastructure in South Africa to ensure optimal streaming. It uses adaptive bitrate technology to adjust quality according to available bandwidth. Maximum streaming quality at launch is 720p HD (higher qualities will follow later).
“We have also added the ability for viewers to schedule the download of selected content for offline playback,” said Watson.
“Very soon consumers will also be able to download immediately or schedule the download for off-peak data periods, to take advantage of the off-peak data rates that most ISP and telcos offer.”
Payment options include credit cards, debit orders and voucher payment/redemption options through DEOD partnerships, plus future mobile money and charge-to-bill options in partnerships with operators and mobile wallet providers.
“We have very aggressive plans to take the service into Africa and beyond Africa,” Watson said. “We have already executed two contracts with telcos in Africa that will support this product with their data offerings.”
In South Africa, Discover Digital has reached an agreement with Sun International to offer DEOD in its hotel rooms. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media
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