South Africa: Internet-TV may make DTT obsolete

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Despite the imminent launch of new free-to-air satellite and digital TV services, Internet-TV will serve as the real game-changer in South Africa, City Press reports.

South Africans are about to be introduced to a new wave of digital and free-satellite content from various players in the broadcast industry.

In order to access the new digital wave of television, however, viewers will need access to a set-top box – and more than one, and at a cost.

Sentech and E-tv sister company, Platco, are this month (September) planning to launch brand new free-to-air satellite TV services, Freevision and OpenView HD.

An industry source has indicated that a Freevision dish, installation and decoder is expected to cost between R1,200 and R1,500, while OpenView’s decoder and installation has been pegged at around R1,800.

At the eventual implementation of the DTT crossover, South Africans can expect to pay R400-R700 for the required set-top box to receive the new conent.

However, despite soon having access to an onslaught of new digital content, the eventual rise of Internet-based TV may render these developments obsolete, the City Press said.

This is according to an unnamed industry source who claims that the next wave of content providers will be online players – which will offer an abundance of content, choices and platforms to suit every consumer’s lifestyle and price range, proving to be the real competition for current players.

With South Africa’s late adoption of digital terrestrial television (DTT), new entries into the market may have less time before they get eclipsed, the report said.