Cell C will provide free Android television set-top boxes to customers on its C-Fibre broadband Internet service provider, Surie Ramasary, the chief executive for content at Black — the company’s new entertainment and video streaming platform — said in a podcast interview with TechCentral on Thursday.
Other customers will be able to purchase the set-top box from Cell C outlets and other retail stores from mid-November for a recommended price of R1 599.
TechCentral reported on Wednesday that Cell C will launch Black on 14 November, offering a range of exclusive content, including sports, television series and movies.
Users on any network will be able to rent or subscribe to the services, with Cell C prepaid customers able to use airtime to purchase content. A soft-launch of the website will take place on Friday, 3 November.
It will offer 66 streaming linear television channels at launch, and a wide range of on-demand content. It will have the latest movies as soon as they come off the cinema circuit, along with series and some British football (with live audio of games available, and video from the day after).
In the podcast, Ramasary explained that the set-top box will convert non-smart TVs into smart TVs.
“We are quite excited about it, because when you turn on this box, it just explodes in terms of what you can get access to,” she said.
The box will come with a remote control with a full Qwerty keyboard to allow users to discover new content quickly. The remote can be used to access specific types of content through dedicated buttons.
The box has been heavily customised by Black. “You are restricted by the major Hollywood studios about opening it into the Internet and downloading anything. It is a secure environment, to protect content rights. There are secure apps on the box, but you can’t download content and apps (yet),” Ramasary said.
Cell C users had more than 3 000 C-Fibre users at the end of June, all of whom will be receiving free boxes.
“They will be among the first to experience the platform and set-top box,” she said.
“Over and above that, we have a big strategy in terms of how we are going to bundle a quad-play solution for FTTH customers… You will have to watch this space to see what is coming down the line.” — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media