DStv Explora decoder unveiled

Pricing and other details of DStv’s new Internet-capable decoder have emerged

By - July 31, 2013
DStv Explora remote

More details around the DStv Explora have emerged which suggest that the new decoder will soon be available on pre-order for R2,499.

Specification details confirm information MyBroadband received previously from industry sources; in particular, that the Internet connection of the Explora would not be active at launch.

The connectors available on the Explora according to this new information are as follows:

  • HDMI output
  • RCA audio/video ports
  • RF in & out (used for XtraView or TV Link)
  • Digital audio output
  • Ethernet port – disabled at launch
  • USB ports – for future use

According to this new information, the Explora will have a hard drive larger than the current PVR.

It isn’t clear how much larger the hard drive will be at this stage, though. An industry source previously told MyBroadband the decoder would have a 2 Terabyte drive, which the new list of specifications disagrees with.

DStv’s plans for a new decoder emerged towards the end of last year (2012) when head of content at MultiChoice, Aletta Alberts, told media that they expect to launch an Internet-connected decoder during Q1 2013.

Alberts said at the time that this new decoder will increase capacity for DStv’s “Catch Up” content from 20 hours to 175 hours.

MultiChoice is hosting an event tonight (31 July 2013), at which the pay-TV operator is expected to unveil its new Internet-connected decoder.

DStv Explora decoder

DStv Explora decoder

Update: “PVR on steroids”

In a press statement provided to journalists at the launch event, MultiChoice confirmed the R2,499 price, 2TB hard drive, and the fact that the decoder is Internet-ready, but its online features will only be activated later.

“More features will be enabled over the coming months such as delivering content via broadband, setting of remote recordings and one-click BoxOffice rentals, just to name a few,” Collins Khumalo, CEO of Multichoice South Africa is quoted as saying.

According to MultiChoice, subscribers will be able to record up to 220 hours of high definition television, which it said equates to approximately 100 movies or 150 TV series episodes.

The DStv BoxOffice movie selection on the decoder will also be expanded to 20 “new release blockbuster movies,” MultiChoice said.

TV journalist Thinus Ferreira has published an interview with MultiChoice CTO Gerdus van Eeden on his blog in which van Eeden said that the decoder is running Linux.

“It [is] Linux with essentially Java applications on top of it. The development for the application, that which the viewer is interacting with, that has been done by us here in South Africa,” van Eeden is quoted as saying.

MultiChoice said that the DStv Explora will be available at retail stores in South Africa from 15 August 2013.

New DStv “Explora” decoder launching soon

DStv BoxOffice, Catch Up coming to tablets, smartphones

New Internet-connected DStv decoder on its way

Video on-demand plans for Samsung TVs in SA

Video-on-demand plans from Telkom

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