DStv Explora Ultra decoder launched

MultiChoice has announced the launch of its new Explorer Ultra decoder, which will offer high-quality satellite broadcasting as well as integration with popular streaming services.

This decoder has built-in Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity while offering the same features as the previous-generation Explora decoder.

MultiChoice said this product will offer customers “the best of the satellite world and the best of the streaming world” in a single package.

Speaking at the 2020 DStv Showcase, MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said that DStv was evolving into a one-stop-shop for all of their viewers’ entertainment needs.

“We are standing on two pillars – sport and hyper-local content. That is the basis upon which we are building this platform,” Mawela said.

“At the same time, we are facilitating all the other content offerings to be accessible throughout our platform.”

MultiChoice said that the Explora Ultra offers the same PVR features as previous Explora models, including the ability to record, rent movies from BoxOffice, and access DStv Catch Up.

“The addition of third-party streaming applications makes the DStv Explora Ultra the ultimate device for customers wanting an easy and simple way to enjoy content across many services, in one centralised experience,” the company said.

The Explorer Ultra will also bring a new, unified home screen that will showcase content from DStv, Showmax, Box Office, and selected streaming apps.

It also comes with a new remote control that allows quick access to these third-party streaming apps.

MultiChoice said that the release date and pricing of the DStv Explora Ultra will be announced in due course.

Deal with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

This launch follows MultiChoice’s recent confirmation that it had signed a deal with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to include their applications on its platform.

These services were planned to be included within the DStv Explora Ultra’s content selection.

This may include integrated billing with DStv, as well as integration with the platform’s content showcase, offering viewers a single portal to access everything from SuperSport to Netflix shows.

It was recently reported that the deal is under investigation by the Competition Commission, however, although the Commission has been unable to provide further details about the investigation.

During its DStv Showcase, MultiChoice did not confirm which third-party streaming services would be integrated with its Explorer Ultra decoder.

DStv Explora Ultra specifications

DStv Explora Ultra
Decoder DStv Explora (Model 3A) DStv Explora Ultra
Recommended Retail Price R999 (without installation)
R1999 (with installation)
Price to be announced at launch
Decoder Insurance R35 per month.
NMS Insurance Services (SA) Ltd is a licenced microinsurer and authorised financial services provider. FSP License Number 48754. A subsidiary of MultiChoice Group Ltd.
R49 per month. NMS Insurance Services (SA) Ltd is a licenced microinsurer and authorised financial services provider. FSP License Number 48754. A subsidiary of MultiChoice Group Ltd.
Physical appearance Black
Smartcard slot on the side
DStv Explora (Model 2A/3A) appears on front panel
No front panel display
Black
No smartcard
DStv Explora Ultra appears on the front panel
No front panel display
Packaged with Mini smartcard inserted into the decoder
HDMI cable
Power supply
A7 remote with batteries
HDMI cable
Power supply
A9 remote with batteries
Recording capacity Up to 110 hours Up to 110 hours
Features (with no internet connection) Pause Live TV for 2 hours
Catch Up
BoxOffice
8 day TV Guide
Parental Control
Interactive apps (SuperSport, News24, Weather)
Pause Live TV for 2 hours
Catch Up
BoxOffice
8 day TV Guide
Parental Control
Interactive apps (SuperSport, News24, Weather)
Features (when connected to the internet) Catch Up Plus* (only available to DStv Premium)
Showmax (separate subscription required)
DStv Now (including DStv Catch Up)
Showmax (separate subscription required)
3rd party apps (some may require separate subscription)
XtraView Requires no heartbeat cable if linked to selected (newer) decoders via a DStv Smart LNB.
Requires heartbeat cable to the original DStv Explora or older decoders even if installed with a DStv Smart LNB.
Requires no heartbeat cable if linked to selected (newer) decoders via a DStv Smart LNB.
Requires heartbeat cable to the original DStv Explora or older decoders even if installed with
Installation 80cm dish, DStv Smart LNB 80cm dish, DStv Smart LNB
Internet Connection Via external USB DStv WiFi Connector or Ethernet cable Built in WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ac)
Can also be connected via Ethernet cable
Video quality Supports 720p, 1080i Supports 720p, 1080i, 4K
Audio quality Dolby Digital Dolby Atmos
User Bands 32 32
Plug 2 pin plug 2 pin plug
USB Ports 2 1

Now read: Showmax Pro in South Africa – Prices and live sports revealed

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DStv Explora Ultra decoder launched