MultiChoice officially unveiled its new “Explora” decoder on 31 July 2013 which carries a R2,499 price tag, versus the R1,499 price of the existing 2 Tuner HD PVR.
The biggest immediate benefit that the Explora offers to subscribers is its 2 Terabyte (2TB) hard drive, which is four times the size of those in DStv’s 2 Tuner and 4 Tuner high definition (HD) personal video recorders (PVRs).
According to MultiChoice, this will allow up to 220 hours of HD recording in addition to increasing the amount of Box Office and Catch Up content available on the decoder.
Subscribers with a 2 Tuner HD PVR will also benefit from the extra tuner in the Explora, MultiChoice chief technology officer Gerdus van Eeden is quoted as saying in an interview with TV journalist Thinus Ferreira.
While the second tuner in the current HD PVR is shared between recording, BoxOffice, Catch Up, and TV guide data, the Explora has a tuner dedicated for user recordings.
An FAQ on the DStv Catch Up website indicates that the discontinued 4 Tuner HD PVR also has a tuner dedicated to receiving Box Office and Catch Up content.
MultiChoice has also promised that more features will be added to the Explora “over the coming months”, such as delivering content via broadband, remote setting of recordings, and “one-click BoxOffice rentals”.
Some of the key specifications of MultiChoice’s existing and discontinued PVRs are summarised in the table below:
|DStv decoders||Explora||2 Tuner HD PVR||4 Tuner HD PVR||SD PVR|
|Hard drive size||2TB||500GB||500GB||250GB|
|SD recording duration||Unknown||150 hours||150 hours||80 hours|
|HD recording duration||“up to 220 hours”||50 hours||50 hours||N/A|
|Box Office||20 movies||15 movies||15 movies||15 movies|
|Catch Up||60 hours series, 30 movies||20 hours||20 hours||20 hours|