DStv Android tablet in the works: sources

MultiChoice is working on an Android-based tablet PC that will offer access to the DStv Mobile network and DStv’s catalogue of on-demand content and live streams, industry sources have told MyBroadband.

The device is also being built to feature portals to other Naspers properties such as Kalahari, an online store in South Africa.

Among the features envisioned for the device that would set it apart from other tablets is that it can connect to MultiChoice’s terrestrial mobile broadcasting network.

This network is used to offer the DStv Mobile broadcast service in “the 10 major South African cities,” according to MultiChoice, and uses the Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) standard.

DStv On Demand

Currently only DStv Premium subscribers receive access to DStv Catch Up, which offers series, movies, and sports highlights that were recently screened, on-demand. Subscribers can stream or download content online, or access Catch Up via a PVR decoder.

Premium subscribers also receive access to online streams of channels such as SuperSport when matches are on.

DStv BoxOffice Online, a digital movie rental service, is available to anyone with an Internet connection, while DStv Premium and Extra subscribers can rent movies through the decoder-based BoxOffice service.

However, MultiChoice is planning to use the network not just for its broadcast capabilities, but also to transfer on-demand content to the tablet PC.

The idea is that the “push video on-demand” over DVB-H will complement the usual Internet connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, minimising the potentially high data charges for large content downloads.

It is understood that the tablet is still being developed as a product, and that no retail pricing or launch date has been confirmed.

MultiChoice was asked for comment on its plans to offer an Android tablet and it provided the following statement:

“At MultiChoice we constantly develop new products and services to enhance the DStv experience for our customers. This includes doing extensive investigations and consumer research to determine which products and services will be well received in the market. As you can imagine, not all products tested get launched. Once we are in a position to launch a new product or service, we will announce it to the market.”

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DStv Android tablet in the works: sources