DStv satellite standards confusion

Documents leaked from a recent training session for DStv installers revealed that MultiChoice has plans to upgrade its high-definition (HD) satellite broadcasts from the DVB-S standard to DVB-S2.

According to the document, MultiChoice’s Justin Linley attended the training as a guest speaker, and he said that they plan to switch-over to DVB-S2 some time this year (2012).

Asked whether this information is accurate, MultiChoice said: “No, this is not accurate. We have no immediate plans.”

However, well-placed sources described the switch to DVB-S2 as “inevitable”, though they went on to explain that the time-lines are not set in stone.

Among the benefits of DVB-S2 is its more efficient use of satellite bandwidth, which means more channels can be fit into the same capacity.

The switch will have implications on the minimum antenna size required for DStv HD PVR customers, according to the document.

A typical DStv installation voucher includes a 65cm antenna, though the dishes installed can vary between 60cm and 65cm. This is too small, the document said, and may result in glitches or a blank screen.

Though an installation voucher bought from MultiChoice for HD PVR includes an 80cm dish, some users upgraded to HD PVR from a basic installation, or used an installer that offered a cheaper rate by using a smaller antenna.

It is understood that HD PVR subscribers will need to have an antenna with a minimum diameter of 80cm if the switch to DVB-S2 is made.

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DStv satellite standards confusion