New Decoder Tells ZA We Have Third World Connectivity

Some would argue that the big TV event of the week is the launch of the new SABC 24-hour news channel, but I am afraid the jury is still out on that one. I haven’t taken the time to watch it, but will probably give it a chance at the weekend. However, this couch potato is more interested in the new DSTV HD decoder, the Explora, which will be able to store more movies, record more shows, operate faster and to give a more sophisticated menu display. The announcement there is a new toy on the way also explains why the CURRENT HD TV decoder has been on special promotion recently. “Buy the soon-to-be outdated decoder before we tell you about the new one,” appears to have been the approach of the vendors. What really struck me is the fact that the new decoder is still looking to satellite to deliver content, because we have such crappy broadband in ZA. As one tech-savvy executive I bumped into this morning put it: “This decoder is a first world product for a third world market.” But what do our experts make of it…..?

Mario Pretorius from Telemasters:

There’s an overabundance of fibre and bandwidth in ZA, as all the players target the same areas and users. We are backboned to death, and the last mile is crumbling before our eyes. The 150 tons of irreplaceable Telkom copper stolen per month, the logjam over spectrum and local loop access, mean that airwaves are becoming the medium of choice. As satellite coverage, bandwidth cost and quality improves, more offerings will be made from up high, outside the reach of labour unrest, theft and competitive interference and monopolistic strangleholds. We look forward to the next great Techno Leap. It might be Telstar redux. It cannot be soon enough.

James Lennox, former Sacob and Safact CEO:

I can understand why the service provider would go the satellite route as it will be in control of the delivery of its content and able to serve unconnected areas of the country without massive investment in hard ground-based and linked assets all over the country. It would be interesting to hear the views of the distributors of DVD product, as the technology and easy uptake could further erode their business model, particularly if the take-up of the offer follows the trend in mobile uptake.


I want this decoder. But I might wait a while before I buy one. Hopefully FNB will soon offer it with interactive banking at half price. Why is there never a Michael Jordaan around when you need one?

Tweet of the Day:

Political Humor (@PoliticalLaughs):Have you heard about McDonald’s new Obama Value Meal? Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

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