New DStv HD decoder for R499

MultiChoice unveiled its first high definition (HD) single view decoder, which it calls the DStv HD Decoder, in a press release on Monday, 25 August 2014.

Available for R499 on its own, or for R799 with installation, the decoder features Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and will replace the existing standard definition single view decoder.

The announcement comes after industry rumours that MultiChoice was planning to launch a replacement for its HD PVR 2P decoder. However, the DStv HD Decoder does not include personal video recording (PVR) functionality.

MultiChoice said that the new decoder is XtraView capable and can be paired with selected XtraView compatible decoders, excluding the SD PVR.

According to MultiChoice, the DStv HD Decoder’s user interface is similar to the DStv Explora as it is also locally developed by MultiChoice.

The DStv Explora, launched a year ago, is MultiChoice’s more expensive, feature-packed PVR. Both it and the new DStv HD Decoder are manufactured in South Africa, MultiChoice said.

“We recently made HD channels available to all DStv customers with the necessary HD equipment,” said Mark Rayner, COO of MultiChoice South Africa. “This decoder now makes those HD channels more accessible.”

DStv HD decoder press shot
DStv HD decoder press shot

Subscribers can purchase the decoder directly from MultiChoice branches or from leading retailers.

MultiChoice listed the following key features of the DStv HD Decoder:

  • View 1 channel at a time (no PVR functionality)
  • User-friendly HD quality menus
  • HD capable (720p and 1080i) when paired with an HD capable television and connected through an HDMI cable
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound capable when connected to suitable AV amplifier or TV (where available on specific programmes and channels)
  • Widescreen capable (where available on specific channels)
  • XtraView capable – compatible with selected XtraView decoders (excluding the SD PVR)
  • Content discovery with multiple search options
  • 8-day TV guide
  • Reminders
  • 24 hour i-Plate
  • Parental control
  • Hearing impaired subtitles (where available)
  • Interactive applications – SuperSport Active, News24, Weather, and seasonal applications

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New DStv HD decoder for R499