TopTV launch: all the details - TechCentral

TopTV launch: all the details

TopTV decoder and remote control

Finally, South Africans have a choice in pay TV. From this Saturday, 1 May, SA consumers will be able to choose between incumbent MultiChoice’s DStv services and newcomer On Digital Media’s TopTV.

With both sides gearing up for a protracted battle for the hearts and minds — and wallets — of the country’s TV-watching public, consumers look set to benefit.

Already, there are strong signs of the incumbent sharpening its game in the face of competition.

On Digital Media (ODM), in one corner, is promising to serve a market — the emerging middle class — that it says MultiChoice has failed to address adequately. In the other corner is MultiChoice, which is gearing up to launch new products, including DStv Lite, to try to head off what it clearly regards as a threat to its hegemony.

The TopTV offering, which consists of a four main bouquets — with 55 video channels and 25 audio channels in total — will be available through a range of retail outlets, including Pep, Game, Makro, Dion, selected Jumbo Cash & Carry stores, CCW, Brown’s and Weirs, and House & Home.

The TopTV decoder, including installation, costs R499 — significantly less than the DStv decoder costs with installation.

Subscriptions start at R99/month for a 24-channel option, rising to R249/month for all 55 channels. ODM says it plans to add a further 15 channels in the next few months.

ODM will offer the following bouquets on TopTV at launch this weekend (prices are per month):

  • Variety — R99
  • Variety and Kids & Music — R159
  • Variety and Entertainment & Knowledge — R159
  • Variety, Kids & Music and Entertainment & Knowledge — R189
  • Variety, Kids & Music and Ultimate Movies — R219
  • Variety, Entertainment & Knowledge and Ultimate Movies — R219
  • Variety, Kids & Music, Entertainment & Knowledge and Ultimate Movies — R249
TopTV's channels and bouquets (click for large version)

TopTV's channels and bouquets (click for large version)

Channels include Fox Entertainment, Fine Living Network, MGM, Discovery Travel & Living, Showtime, Discovery Science, BBC World, Fuel TV and Fox FX (see the TopTV-supplied table at left for full channel and bouquet details). However, TopTV lacks local sports content. This means soccer and rugby lovers who already subscribe to DStv will find it hard to switch services.

ODM CEO Vino Govender says the company has trained up satellite installers ahead of the launch to try to minimise expected delays in consumers getting the service in their homes. In all, there are 900-odd installers who can provide the service, he says. The company is aiming for a 48-hour turnaround on installations but admits consumers may have to wait longer if demand is high.

Normal 66cm DStv dishes can be used, though Govender says an 80cm dish is required. Consumers wanting to subscribe to both TopTV and DStv will need two separate dishes as the services use different satellites.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral


  1. Danie Badenhorst on

    Were do I get a Decoder ?
    Is it PVR Decoder??
    What about Kyknet Channel ?
    If I allready have Dstv Decoder + Dish is it Useable??
    I am in Margate KZN

  2. @Danie: You can get the decoder at the stores mentioned in the article; it’s not a PVR decoder; Kyknet is only on DStv; no, you’ll need a new decoder, and you’ll need to point your dish at TopTV’s satellite. If you want both TopTV and DStv, you’ll need two dishes

  3. Hearts and mines? Wow. Truly nationalised.

    But yes, good to FINALLY see some competition in this space. Things can only get better from here 🙂

    ~ Wogan

  4. The fox entertainment and showtime looks great. Could add a bit more news channels since fox news isn’t like real news.

  5. Pity about disabled USB port 🙁 but the line up of channels looks great. I hope the actual content matches our expectation. All the best to TopTV!

  6. guys i really need the service but i dont know how and where to get the service. And is it possible tat i can connect with the computer since i have a tv-card in my computer since it is possible with the dstv. im in polokwane in town so i really need a shop or a place where i can get it.

  7. Very Glad to see DSTV’s Monopoly being challenged however TOPTV must do somthing about sport. There is a lot of people out there that mostly only subscribe for the sport. What use is their for a second broadcaster if only one is broadcasting specificly Rugby. I am not temted to switch if Toptv cant offer SA Sport like Supersport does.

    Sorry TOPTV but you are not getting me as a client unless you get Rugby on the Telly. Good gesture though.

  8. can you please send me your contact numbers so that i can contact you or alternatively call me on 084 XXX XXX.

    Thank you

    [comment edited]

  9. I don’t think DSTV is losing sleep, I am glad about the competition and hopefully will shame things up further but when you look at it DSTV has a package for R99 too so the choice is down to the channels you like. No LOCAL sports is a killer and the top end of the market will be dominated until TopTV at least gets some decent sports on it – just my 2 cents

  10. Amazing how “sport crazy” South Africans are. Pity that with the exception of two fringe sports, they suck at it so badly (last Olympics a point in case).

  11. Where do we sign up for Top TV,are the forms at the store.Is it month 2 month or contract?

  12. The DSTV Lite R99.00 offering does not include movie magic channels or the main stream super sport channels. The TopTV package definitely represents good value if sport is not your thing.

  13. Please can you furnish contact details for Top TV. None of the ads on the net has any contact details….

  14. Finally there’s something to compete against DSTV… but I hope they do increase a num of channels.

    Thank You

  15. this is lovely, at least even those who could not afford a DSTV can now access something for just around R100.00. I am a student and i am going for it

  16. DSTV..making false promises to keep customers. I have DSTV Select, new channels were suppose to be added on 30 April, but up to now I dont have them. Already cancelled my dstv, (Paying R160 for 34 channels, but for only R90 more I can get the full TOP TV package). Will get TOP TV as soon as possible.

  17. Dstv has dual view… Can you also link 2 Toptv decoders to make it work as one, but still watch 2 different channels on 2 different tv’s? Well, without having to pay a double subscription service

  18. Anton Oosthuizen on

    About time we get competition for DSTV and the likes. I really hope you can make this service work !

  19. I dont care about the sport but I would like to see a list of movies and a general line up to get a better idea of what we will be buying.

  20. Is this Sentata Sports the only sports channel they have, and if thats the case is it also like supersports where you have variety of sports channels within. I hope its not like sabc where they cover all the sports on one channel cause that will be a disaster, I want to have choice. For example what if there are two matches playing at the same time, for instance a boxing match and a cricket match will they be able to cover both at the same time…

  21. What about sports, is it only one channel or it splits like DSTV’s supersport 1 2 3 and on?

  22. Jaco Carstens on

    We require more information regarding channel packages and the cost thereof.
    We want to know whether the Rugby channels are included in the smaller packages, or if we can select our own package?
    Where and when will the decoder/installation be available?
    Thank You.
    Jaco Carstens

  23. Competition at last “DSTV ” was on a comfort zone far too long while reaping off customers.
    we bought our decoder on saturday from a Gamestore and was suprise to find it small (portable)
    the next step is to call them for an installion .How soon can they install it ?

  24. Hi I bought a decoder on Friday , it not come with a dish. I was told that when the installers come they will bring the dish with …. is this true? i have being trying to get a hold of top tv, but the numbers don’t work, does anyone know how to get in contact with them, as i would like to get started

  25. Thabo Molishiwa on

    Im glad DSTV has a compertitor, now is the time for them to start giving customer service, especialy with their inbond call center which can keep you holding for almost an hour looking for their help even after you used your last money to pay them, im difenetly going to cancel both my decoders and advise my parents house and brothers to do the same.

  26. I had dstv installed at my place, but switched it off. I still have my dish tho, can i use that for Toptv or should i get a new dish?

  27. wow, can’t wait for top tv. when is it starting and how to apply for? I am tired of multi choice getting expensive but same movies.

  28. Hi, cant get hold of toptv, website down, phone number not working…any help?

  29. Hi Morne, I have been trying since this morning the number does not work…… can anyone help

  30. Just cancelled my DSTV on the 30/04/10 want to subscribe to TOP TV now
    i do have a decoder and dish can i use the same dish and decoder to install TOP TV

  31. Yes TopTv and wake up Dstv, it repeat movies and they are old movies.

  32. hi people,its good to have new tv service provider.i just got my decoder on sunday,i couldnt call the top tv,to busy,i found a installer in durban that can install and activate it.just have little patience,with call centre,any thing new in the market have to wait big rush hour,there nothing murch i can do but just wait,

  33. THANK GOD,,,
    It’s about time…..All I can say to MUTICHOICE “YOU GUYS BETTER GET WITH IT & QUICK!!!!!!!!”
    Coz from what I have read for the past 2hours, from posts all over the net, I haven’t come accross one good comment in their favour,
    The only ONE thing they have, in there money grabbing hands, is their sports channels,

  34. You can get the decoder from Pep,Game,Makro and Jumbo cash and carry. Please guys let me know when you finally get hold of top tv, i haven’t bought anything yet but i want to.

  35. Top Tv is tops we have been waiting for this competitive enterprise for such a long times, the technical team shud just study the Dstv PVR n come up with something more innovative than that , I know they can make it! @last we cn have value for our money!

  36. Hey guys…

    I am a DSTV installer, and quite frankly guys, I don’t see the big fuzz… Yes, DSTV has become expensive, and TOPTV seems to be the answer, but looking through the channel listing… It seems to be competing with DSTV COMPACT… LMAO. Anyway, I’m going to buy a decoder tomorrow, and see whether I can install it without any training on this specific system… I’ll let you know how it goes…

    My seeing about it: Now there truly is a “MULTI choice”… TOPTV or DSTV.

  37. I had dstv installed at my place, but switched it off. I still have my dish tho, can i use that for Toptv or should i get a new dish and decoder?

  38. Hi guys, i got through to Top Tv Today, I just had to holdon for about 5 mins, all i need now is the installers number

  39. What’s all the noise about. Yup we want top tv but has anybody seen even 5 minutes of it anywhere on a working installation at home?

  40. I am currently with multichoice, i see TOPTV installation is R499.00. Can i use the dish which i have for TOPTV? and if yes, how much is it going to cost.

  41. Nelson Kistan on

    Can you send me the specs. Does this decoder have an HDMI connection.
    Also what sound output for my home cinema do I have.
    What I need is world cricket channels, soccer, golf and rugby.
    What are the options?
    This is great for competetion but we need the details to switch over.

  42. Hi,

    Does any one know if there is a long term contract needed (or any term contract) I don’t want to sign up for longer than 6 months.

    Tx 🙂

  43. But what the porn channels? Sheesh guys get your priorities straight 😉

  44. Hi Brian, it is a month to month contract, you can call them and cancel at anytime, hope that this helps,

    From what i heard from the call centre agent, top tv had they test run from April and all is going well

  45. I was only disappointed by the fact that i can’t use my dstv decoder to receive both.

  46. ok guys,

    We did a quite few installations the last 2 days… Believe me, you definitely need to have a 80+ cm dish, therefore, the normal dstv dish will not work, unless you have a very old antique, and then the odds are that it wont be able to bent over backwards enough…

    As for the decoder, our good friends there in Durban developed the decoder, and yes, I’m talking about Altech. Now, and can say that extraview, HD, and PVR might definately not be far behind. Multichoice might have the copyrights and stuff on their systems, but the technology was created by them. That is why the TOPtv looks similar to the 1131 decoder, but different.

    Guys, what you also need to remember, TOPtv is new on the market, and will grow over time. Multichoice started with M-NET, and gradually switched over to satellite… These guys made a jump into the deep end. So, if you want this to be good, support them, just like our elders supported Multichoice… (SUCKERS… lmao)

  47. Hi yoall

    I also think that if dstv launches a porno channel I will cancell my subscription!!!!
    Sies man!!!

  48. Andre, let’s not get into IQ and so on, most people will prefer a porn channel. Let us face facts. 90% will say no to a porn channel, while only 30% truly means it. Besides that, DSTV does supply you with a parental control function. To use it, just read through the instructions. Then again, if someone is against porn (truly against it), what do you watch? New movies (70% at least) has some form of nudity in it, which can classify as soft porn in my books.

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