DStv debuts remote recording, online services

Technology & Convergence

DStv operator MultiChoice has debuted “remote recording”, allowing its subscribers to go online to set recordings on their personal video recorder (PVR) set-top boxes remotely.

At the same time, the broadcaster, which is owned by JSE-listed media group Naspers, has launched an Internet-enhanced version of its Catch Up service and announced plans for a DStv Now app for smart devices.

According to MultiChoice, the remote recording feature will allow subscribers to set recordings while stuck in traffic, while at the office or from anywhere they have an Internet connection. “Remote recording lets you set recordings from DStv.com via your laptop, smartphone or tablet when you’re away from home,” it says.

The new Catch Up service, called DStv Catch Up Plus, will be launched this weekend, allowing owners of its top-end Explora PVR, when it’s connected to the Internet, to get an additional 300 titles of the latest series, movies and other content. Catch Up viewers already have access to 300 titles, delivered on a “push” basis over satellite to their PVRs.

Customers can choose up to 25 titles from the DStv Catch Up Plus library to download to their Explora, to watch when it suits them, MultiChoice says in a statement. Content is recorded into users’ own recording space on their PVRs. “Customers need to plan their viewing a little bit ahead of time as broadband speeds are not yet fast enough for instant downloads or streaming.”

Streaming will be introduced in the first half of 2015. Titles will first be buffered sufficiently, based on the speed of a viewer’s Internet connection, to ensure smooth playback.

The 300 titles of Catch Up Plus will be doubled over the next few months, MultiChoice says.

Any DStv Explora customer can use remote recording, but Catch Up Plus is available only to subscribers to DStv’s Premium bouquet.

Meanwhile, the new DStv Now app will be introduced in December. Meant for Premium customers with PVRs, it will allow people to set remote recordings, watch Catch Up content and access 12 channels. It will be available for Android and iOS.

To access any of these connected services, customers will need to link their Explora to the Internet, either directly using an Ethernet cable or via a Wi-Fi device, called the DStv WiFi Connector, which will connect to the Explora’s Ethernet port.

Source: Techcentral 12 November 2014