Tag: DStv

How to watch the Rugby without DStv

The SABC has failed to reach an agreement with SuperSport to broadcast the Rugby World Cup, taking place in Japan later this month.

However, there are alternative ways to watch the World Cup, according to MyBroadband:

  • Use an international streaming service, such as Rugbypass and iTV, to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup
  • Watch the games in a social setting like at a friend’s house, a pub or a restaurant
  • DStv themselves are offering a special on DStv Premium. The company has reduced the price on the package from R904pm to R750pm

 

By Roger Bambino for Tech JaJa

Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor heads the Cyber Security Service Team at Internet Solutions. He recently bumped into some MultiChoice credentials on the open Internet as he was giving a live demo at a conference.

Dr Gameli is also the co-founder of AfricaHackOn and was giving a speech at a recent MyBroadband CyberSec Conference, where he revealed that the DStv hack was more less accidental and uncovered a text file full of MultiChoice credentials on a misconfigured web server in the middle of a live demo.

He told MyBroadband that he was demonstrating a technique known as Google Dorking. This involves using Google’s highly technical search operators to find information people didn’t imagine would be found on the open Internet. To put this in context, many people put a lot of information on the internet including ripped media series for download on Internet-connected servers, which Google eventually crawls and indexes.

As he was trying to demonstrate how easy it was to find credentials for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu with a Google search, Mawudor thought he could do the same for DStv.

“Nobody knew what happened, I took it off quickly. I didn’t want anybody to see. Later I went to analyse the details,” Mawudor said.

Being an ethical hacker, Mawudor chose not to misuse the information he found as it would have done tremendous amount of damage to DStv’s business.

“I would have been able to use those credentials to log into the monitoring of live [sports] matches that were going on, [or] into the VPN and into the internal network,” he said.

He would have used this data to shut down systems, or changed live broadcasts if he so wished. While advising companies in regards to security Mawudor said:

“Organisations need to go beyond occasional penetration testing and do vulnerability management — frequently doing an assessment of all your systems, networks, and appliances to make sure they always screened for the latest vulnerabilities.”

YouTube to break sports broadcast monopoly

Source: IOL

YouTube has announced that sports fans now have access to LIVE and Video On Demand (VOD) streaming.

Users can stream basketball, rugby, cricket and football events including the 2019 NBA Finals, Women’s World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, UEFA Champions and Europa leagues, ABSA Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A.

Sports consumption on YouTube in the EMEA region is growing fast. In 2018 alone, YouTube saw a 70 percent increase in views of sports and fitness related content — totalling more than 61 billion views.

In Africa, sports content on YouTube is both broad and deep with YouTube delivering evergreen sporting highlights alongside new and emerging sports experiences like home fitness and 79 percent of viewers saying that YouTube has sport and fitness content they can’t find anywhere else.

“It goes without saying that Africa is sport-loving continent, so it makes perfect sense for us to bring African sports fans what they love. Our audience is constantly looking for sports content on YouTube,” said YouTube content partnerships lead Dayo Olopade.

Olopade added, “In 2018, we saw a 70 percent increase of views in Sports & Fitness content on YouTube across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with content garnering more than 61 billion views. Today we are here to say we hear you and we are more than happy to bring you the content you desire, in partnership with NBA Africa and our other partners”.

South African fans can now catch NBA basketball fixtures, La Liga 123 matches and UFC matches LIVE on YouTube, while the remaining sporting events will be pre-packaged video on demand.

Pay-TV MultiChoice has announced plans to retrench more than 2 000 employees in the call- and walk-in centres of its business, due to a “strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model”.

In a statement, the company said that customers are “increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to walk-in centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company.

2 194 employees were given notice on retrenchment, but MultiChoice Group chief executive Calvo Mawela said the restructuring will make new roles available “for multi-skilled employees with the expertise, skills and technological prowess to enhance the customer experience”.

However, media worker trade union ICT said in a statement that “the Union has not been officially informed, which makes the process unlawful”.

Price comparison: DStv versus Netflix

Source: My Broadband

News website My Broadband has published an article indicating the price differential between online streaming service Netflix and satellite TV provider DStv.

The packages compared were the following:

  • Netflix Standard – R139 per month. This offers all content in full HD, which can be watched on two devices.
  • DStv Premium – R809 per month. This is DStv’s top package which offers all the base channels.

Other pricing elements which were taken into account are:

  • The first month of Netflix is free. One year’s cost is therefore 11 months’ subscription.
  • The DStv Premium price excludes the Access Fee of R90 per month. This provides access to PVR usage and DStv Now.

DStv versus Netflix

  • DStv Premium – R899 (Annual total: R10 788)
  • Netflix Standard – R139 (Annual total: R1 529)
  • Total Savings Annually – R9 259

Even if Internet is included, Netflix still comes out cheaper.

  • Netflix Standard + 10Mbps Fibre – R139 + R499 (Annual total: R7 517)
  • Total Savings Annually – R3 271

Old DStv decoders will likely become obsolete

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

MultiChoice recently announced the launch of its first channel being broadcast on high-band frequencies, utilising the company’s new DStv satellite it launched in 2016.

The new channel is a Nigerian channel named NTA International, which offers local news, current affairs, and general entertainment.

NTA International may not be accessible for DStv customers with older decoders due to the fact that it is broadcast on high-band frequencies.

Certain older decoders and installations are unable to access content on high-band frequencies, which could prove problematic as new channels come online.

MultiChoice said it was working with customers to upgrade their decoders to support high-band frequencies.

High-band frequencies
MultiChoice told MyBroadband that while it has no plans to move existing channels to high-band frequencies, new channels which launch on DStv may make use of the high-band frequencies.

“We have no plans to move existing channels to high-band frequencies, as they are already allocated to frequencies on our satellites,” MultiChoice said.

“New channels and services still to be launched may be broadcast from high-band frequencies as that is where additional satellite capacity is available.”

“It also depends on whether existing channels are terminated, freeing up space on low-band frequencies,” the company added.

MultiChoice said that while new DStv channels will not necessarily be launched on high-band frequencies, this is where they will most likely be broadcast.

“New channels and services still to be launched will most likely be broadcast from high-band frequencies.”

MultiChoice has been preparing to broadcast on high-band frequencies since 2016, and has upgraded many customers to installations which support the technology.

“We expect that the vast majority of our customers will be able to continue to enjoy their DStv, including any new channels and services added on high-band frequencies in future,” it said.

Outdated decoders
There are a number of older DStv decoders which will not be able to view DStv channels broadcast on high-band frequencies.

These include the DStv SD PVR decoder in addition to other PVR and Explora decoders in certain configurations.

“There are also a handful of installation types that cannot receive signals on both high and low-band frequencies,” MultiChoice said.

The models listed below need to be updated to receive both low and high-band frequencies:

DSR 3000 (SD PVR Decoder) in any installation.
TDS865IMC (2-tuner PVR) in an XtraView installation.
Explora 1 or 2 with a twin LNB installation.
TDS850IMC (4-Tuner decoders) with twin LNB installation.
Single cable installations in a multi-unit dwelling or complex with communal dish/distribution.

MultiChoice added that there are relatively few customers who still have these installation types, and the company offers these users “fantastic” upgrade deals which include product installation.

DStv switches off its mobile TV service

Source: Tech Financials

MultiChoice has announced that it is ending its support for DStv Mobile service.

The TV operator company said in a letter to customers that the service will end on 31 October 2018.

DStv Mobile service was launched in 2010 as a DVB-H technology, which was fresh and new at a time.

The company said it’s not feasible to continue to maintain a separate land-based, dedicated network for this service alone, when an even better service can be offered to our customers on DStv Now via the internet and WiFi.

“While the DStv Mobile service will stop completely on 31 October 2018, we’re starting to switch off some of our transmitters already. As this might impact the reception of some of our customers, we are no longer billing for our DStv Mobile service from 1 September 2018,” the company said.

“We’ll also cancel any Decoder Insurance against DStv Mobile devices.”

The company said it has recycling bins available at its branches in Randburg, Durban and Cape Town where customers can drop off their mobile device to recycle. “You can also drop it off at any of our DStv agencies or recycle it through your local recycling centre,” said the company.

Naspers to unbundle and list MultiChoice

By Nick Hedley for Business Day

The transformation of Naspers, which was founded more than a century ago to produce Dutch-language newspaper De Burger, into an online-only behemoth is almost complete.

Africa’s most valuable company, which owns a 31% interest in Chinese internet giant Tencent, said on Monday it planned to unbundle its pay-TV business MultiChoice onto the JSE.

Naspers will hand its interest in the DStv operator to its shareholders.

Investors cheered the news. After falling 3.2% earlier in the day, in line with Tencent’s decline in Hong Kong, Naspers rallied to close 0.7% up at R3,206.42, valuing the company at R1.4-trillion.

Naspers hopes to list the new entity MultiChoice Group, which includes its local and rest-of-Africa pay-TV business along with Showmax Africa and security company Irdeto, in the first half of 2019. The unbundling will cap off a remarkable transformation at Naspers, which was mostly a publishing and pay-TV business until its 2001 investment in China’s Tencent.

Naspers would not raise funds through the deal, said CEO Bob van Dijk, but its shareholders would benefit as the market currently ignored MultiChoice when valuing the group.

In its sum-of-the-parts valuation, US bank JP Morgan calculated that Naspers’ majority-owned MultiChoice unit is worth $8bn. More than 90% of that value sits in SA, according to the bank. That implies that MultiChoice Group is worth more than Shoprite.

Van Dijk said Naspers plans to give MultiChoice SA’s BEE investors another 5% stake in the local pay-TV business. “Besides unlocking value for our shareholders, maybe more important we think it will also unlock value for [BEE scheme] Phuthuma Nathi, which is already one of the most successful broad-based BEE schemes.”

He said Naspers will continue to invest in its SA e-commerce businesses, which include Takealot, Mr D Food, PayU and AutoTrader. “In the last year, we invested more than R3bn in the e-commerce businesses in SA alone. We expect to continue to invest and we’re looking at interesting prospects.”

It will also retain its interest in Media24, which is moving quickly into online publishing. The pay-TV market was poised for further growth despite pressure from internet-based rivals such as Netflix.

“Even in markets like Europe, people still have traditional TV services and on top of that people have connected services. In Africa the story is even more positive — you see very significant growth in traditional TV … as well as decent take-up already in SA of [streaming services] DStv Now and Showmax. I’m confident it’s a growth story.

“I feel confident about putting the business on its own legs.”

Robert Pietropaolo, a trader at Unum Capital, said the unbundling would be positive for Naspers “but the pressure will certainly be on MultiChoice to stay competitive”.

“MultiChoice themselves have already started cutting their headcount and they have started offering lower-tier packages, which unfortunately does not bring in the desired revenues. MultiChoice will not only have to be nimble from now on, but I think they may have to re-invent themselves to be competitive,” Pietropaolo said.

In the year ended March, the pay-TV operator lost 41,000 premium subscribers across its African markets. Even though the total subscriber base grew — MultiChoice added 563,000 users in SA in the year to March — this growth came from far less profitable lower-cost packages. However, the company remains highly cash generative. Over the same period, MultiChoice generated revenues of R47.1bn and trading profits of R6.1 bn.

MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela said the company had slowed the decline in high-margin premium subscribers. It lost more than 100,000 of these customers in its 2017 financial year but reduced that number to about 40,000 in 2018.

“Our focus on Premium is beginning to bear fruit.… We’ll continue to focus on Premium to ensure that we do not see further decline in Premium subscribers going forward.”

Job cuts loom at DStv

By Chris Forrester for Advanced Television

According to a report in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, pay-TV operator DStv is laying off up to 200 staffers in a move to save cash amidst increased competition.

A DStv spokesperson said the move was in order to create a leaner and more agile business. Existing staff are being asked to reapply for their jobs, says the newspaper.

DStv’s parent, MultiChoice has lost some 41,000 Premium top-tier subscribers in the year to March 31st.

MultiChoice has made no secret of its annoyance that rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are eating away at its core subscribers and yet operate without having to fulfil the licensing obligations faced by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela has called for a change in regulations to cover the new OTT entrants.

Netflix retaliates in DStv battle

By Lynsey Chutel for Quartz

For months, the chief executive of South Africa’s biggest TV company, MultiChoice, has suspected Netflix was messing with him and the rest of the DStv parent company. Calvo Mawela was clearly spooked, yet it seemed laughable that relative newcomer, Netflix South Africa was going after DStv in particular, until it actually turned DStv’s corporate paranoia into a joke. But the people there could care less, as they weren’t in need of Netflix when they could watch local channels without cable.

To market to South Africans fed up with DStv, the streaming service created a character, Man With A Van. Played by prominent local comedian Jason Goliath, he makes a living faking Netflix installations. Man With A Van visits clients houses, with pointless wiring and over-the-top installation, even carrying an empty box with the words Premium HD—a direct dig at DStv’s premium service.

DStv has always suspected that Netflix is coming for it. First, Netflix sent a helicopter over MultiChoice’s Johannesburg headquarters, flying a banner over their heads, Mawela told local press in May. Then, MultiChoice employees started seeing Netflix billboards going up on roads around Johannesburg.

In all of this Netflix has been almost silent, making moves instead of releasing statements. Getting a formal comment out of them has been near impossible, but their actions have illustrated that they were making a real play for the market.

In a recent article in MyBroadband, Mawela stated that Netflix needs to be regulated by ICASA, and should be BBBEE complaint.

There are no official figures about how many users Netflix already has in South Africa, but in compiling their own 600-page report on their new competitor, MultiChoice estimates Netflix has 300 000 to 400 000 compared with 6.6 million MultiChoice homes. MultiChoice is also blaming Netflix for its loss of more than 100,000 satellite television subscribers in the last financial year, and an additional 40,000 in this cycle.

Apart from not requiring installation, at R165 a month for a premium subscription, Netflix has a price advantage over DStv, which costs R900 a month for a premium subscription. Of course, Netflix requires a reliable internet connection, which is still costly in South Africa. For customers fed up with DStv’s high prices and frequent re-runs , Netflix is already winning the battles for hearts and eyes.

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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