MultiChoice Group, which owns DStv, has launched a major new version of its Explora personal video recorder (PVR) decoder that can deliver content to subscribers in resolutions of up to 4K ultra high definition.
It has also introduced a streaming-only box, called the DStv Streama – more on that later in this article.
The DStv Explora Ultra PVR will allow customers to stream third-party content providers’ services in 4K resolution. MultiChoice itself isn’t offering any 4K content, but this “may change” in time, the broadcaster said on Wednesday. Third-party providers are believed to include Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, though MultiChoice hasn’t immediately confirmed which partners it’s working with.
“Our DStv Explora Ultra brings the best of two worlds together by introducing streaming apps, adding depth to the entertainment offering available. It also sees the addition of built-in Wi-Fi, making it easier to connect to the Internet,” the company said.
The Explora Ultra includes features previously available to PVR users, including Catch Up, BoxOffice and Showmax. The addition of streaming apps makes the DStv Explora Ultra the “must-have” device for customers wanting an easy and simple way to enjoy content across many services, MultiChoice said.
MultiChoice hasn’t said when consumers will be able to buy the Explora Ultra, only that it will be available “soon” online and in retail outlets and through the company’s service centres and third-party installers. Prices has also not been disclosed yet.
DStv subscription required
In addition to 4K, the Explora Ultra supports Dolby Atmos (where available and when connected to the correct equipment). It also has a new remote control.
Any customer with an active DStv subscription paying a monthly access fee will be able to access and use the third-party apps when connected to the Internet. Subscriptions to third-party content must be done directly with those service providers rather than through MultiChoice.
MultiChoice will continue to offer its existing Explora model which it will sell at a lower price point than the Explora Ultra. “The Explora Ultra is our premium model with the benefits of streaming apps, and 4K and Dolby Atmos capability.”
Customers moving from an existing Explora model will not need to make any changes to their installation. They can simply unplug the older Explora, then plug in the new model (making sure to use the HDMI cable and power supply packaged with the decoder). A DStv smart LNB and an 80cm satellite dish are required, as before.
Meanwhile, the company has also taken the wraps off its first streaming-only set-top box, the 4K-capable DStv Streama. No launch date has been set yet. Pricing is also not available yet.
The DStv Streama is built on top of the RDK platform. This is an “operator-tier platform”, designed and built by a collective of broadcasters (including Sky and Comcast). Its secure environment protects content rights holders. RDK was selected because it allows MultiChoice to “deliver the best entertainment experience for our customers while enabling flexibility and security”.
Customers will need a DStv login, but no active subscription is required to use the DStv Streama.
DStv Streama users will be able to stream content from DStv, Showmax and YouTube as well as stream music via the Joox app, check the weather by using the People’s Weather app and check the latest fixtures, results and scores via the SuperSport app.
Separate subscriptions may be required for some of these services, MultiChoice said. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media