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August 2013

Freevision satellite TV announced

The relaunch of the Vivid free-to-air satellite TV service has been confirmed. Sentech announced in a press statement today (20 August 2013) that it will rebrand Vivid as a universal access direct-to-home satellite platform, "Freevision", from 30 September 2013.

This is expected to be days before the launch of OpenView HD, a subscription-free satellite service from E-tv sister company, Platco.

This confirms information from an industry source that Sentech had plans to relaunch its satellite broadcasting platform.

According to Sentech, the launch of Freevision is a "gap-filler" while the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) is ongoing.

In its press statement, the state-owned signal distributor explained that a direct-to-home satellite service was envisioned as part of the DTT migration for those few who would not be able to receive terrestrial TV signals.

All licensed DTT broadcasters will be able to use the Freevision platform, Sentech said.

Freevision will use the Intelsat 20 satellite located at 68.5°E. This means that the majority of viewers in South Africa would not need to install a second satellite dish or change the position of their existing satellite dish when joining Freevision, Sentech said.

Sentech also said that it would only announce the retail pricing and channel line-up later.

Openview HD New free satellite TV in SA boosts local product providers

Free-to-air TV company Sabido, which owns e.tv and is backed by HCI and Remgro, plans to launch a new satellite TV service in October this year.

Sabido will launch the OpenView HD service to South African and later to regional viewers. The service will initially include 15 television channels and operate according to the same advertising led, free-to-air model that e.tv is built on. However consumers will need to invest in a satellite dish and set top box to access the new service.

It is predicted that the OpenView HD service could attract a million customers within its first year and three to five million customers in three years.

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July 2013

New as from October 2013 OpenView HD - SA's first FREE to view satellite platform.

It's time to get the most out of your TV set. OVHD now offers South Africans 15 free high quality SD and HD channels for a once-off fee, offering the best in high volume entertainment. A new satellite broadcasting service is coming to South Africa, offering 15 channels in a mix of standard and high definition without charging a monthly subscription fee. The new TV service will use the same satellites as TopTV - Astra / SES 5 5°E - and they expect the decoder and installation to be a once-off cost of around R1,900, dependent on retailer.According to industry sources, Platco and E-tv are aiming to launch OpenView HD as early as October 2013.

Television viewers will soon have more options to choose from.

Platco is launching a new satellite decoder that will offer more than 15 channels for free. Openview HD is the first service of its kind in South Africa and will be launched next month.

Platco is owned by the same company that owns eTV and eNCA.

Openview HD is a new platform and will transmit various channels alongside DStv and TopTV, but unlike the alternatives Openview HD is free.

Viewers will have to part with around R1,900 in order to buy the OpenviewHD decoder.

It is expected to be available at most major retailers next month.

Consumers will have to buy a set up box decoder and install it in their homes.

Then they will never have to pay subscription again, the company said.

Some television lovers have welcomed the idea of free satellite TV and those behind Openview HD believe its business model is quite sustainable.

"Openview HD its business model is different. We are not a pay TV operator or a broadcaster for that matter," said Maxwell Nonge of Platco.

"We are more of a platform company that provides platform services to channels to broadcast their channels in the country. Channels will make their money from advertising revenues while Openview HD makes its money from charging the channels for carriage," said Nonge.

Openview HD will offer some high definition channels.

This will complement the up-coming of Digital Terrestrial Television, to be launched soon by government.

Source -eNCA

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March 2013

Digital Terrestrial Television

As at 28 March 2013, SENTECH had recorded an 80.43% DTT population coverage, thus exceeding the targeted 80% coverage; four days before the deadline. This was achieved though the installation of 62 additional sites mostly located in rural areas.

When the Company achieved the targeted 60% population coverage on the DVB-T2 standard on 31 March 2013, it was acknowledged that the network rollout was based on the design for launch that was conceptualised in 2006. SENTECH then committed that going forward; the Company would implement a provincial rollout geared at providing coverage at equal measures to both rural and urban areas.

Cognisant of the above, the 80% network rollout then focused more on the country's rural areas. It must be noted that a project of this nature comprises of many complexities such as site location, weather conditions, road conditions, mast heights and the availability of skilled resources. Therefore, whilst 47 sites were upgraded to achieve 60%; an upgrade of 62 more sites was required to attain the 80% target.

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September 2012

Migration Astra A4 - SES 5 satellite-

Beste van Nederland en Vlaanderen BVN. As per 08 Oktober 2012 the Dutch channel BVN can only be received via the new SES-5 satellite on 5.0 East in Southern Africa on a new frequency. To continue receiving BVN and other GlobeCast tv channels, please update your set-top box - free to air receiver - with the following technical parameters;

Technical details

  • Orbital position: 5.0 degrees East
  • Transponder: 4.956 (BSS 16)
  • Frequency: 12.015 GHz (Ku-Band)
  • Polarization: Vertical
  • Symbol Rate 29950 Kbit/s
  • FEC: ¾ Encryption: Free to air


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