TopTV shelves HD plans - TechCentral

TopTV shelves HD plans

TopTV has no immediate plans to introduce a personal video recorder (PVR) or high-definition (HD) broadcasts, despite earlier promises by former CEO Vino Govender, who recently left the pay-TV operator’s employ, that it would introduce such products.

Govender had said previously that TopTV would launch an HD PVR product in 2011, but the company later pushed out the launch date the second quarter of 2012. It insisted the products were coming because people in its target market – living standards measures 5-8 – were demanding HD broadcasts.

Now, however, chairman and acting CEO Eddie Mbalo says TopTV has shelved its plans for an HD PVR, at least for now. “When the time is right and our market is ready for enhanced technology, whether it’s a PVR or HD, we’ll have to respond to that,” he says.

TopTV’s decision to reverse its plans means DStv, owned by MultiChoice, will continue being the only broadcaster in SA offering HD channels as part of its programming for the foreseeable future.

“We do not think our current subscribers are dissatisfied with the quality of picture they are receiving,” Mbalo says. “Nothing says to me they’d opt for a PVR offering. When the time is right, and the market is calling for enhanced technology, we will have to respond. That time is not now.”

Customers calling the company’s call centres are not demanding HD pictures, he says. “We know that with the development of technology … we might have to respond, but we are dealing with [customers]who are entering the pay-TV market for the first time. Their concern is not HD, but accessing content that is entertaining and resonates with their emotions.”  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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