Broadcasting DStv to multiple countries and millions of viewers across Africa requires a lot of manpower and hardware, and MultiChoice’s headquarters in Johannesburg provide both skilled teams and impressive satellite equipment.
MyBroadband toured the company’s headquarters recently, which are based in MultiChoice City in Randburg, and were allowed to take photos of what goes on behind the scenes.
The MultiChoice head offices include everything from an on-site gym to a museum detailing the history of the company, but perhaps the most impressive feature of the installation is the array of satellite broadcast equipment on the roof of the building.
Satellites and encryption
MultiChoice broadcasts DStv across South Africa by transmitting its encrypted bouquet to the Intelsat 20 satellite, which then broadcasts the signal to customers’ dishes around the country.
The process is similar for DStv Africa, except those channels are broadcast from the Eutelsat 36B and Express AMU1 satellites.
Feeds from live events, studios, and DStv’s media library are all encrypted before being packaged into a bouquet and broadcast to subscribers, it added.
The broadcast is monitored from a state-of-the-art control room, where a team of staff can identify and log problems with individual channel feeds, including those from international broadcasters.
When it comes to redundancy, MultiChoice has backup power generators at its facility to cope with load-shedding along with a fully-functional sister site in Samrand, Johannesburg – with a high-speed Internet connection connecting the two broadcast facilities.
This means that if for some reason the broadcast equipment at MultiChoice City was impeded, the Samrand facility would be able to pick up the slack.
Photos of the satellite dishes on the roof of MultiChoice City as well as the media control room are posted below.