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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Freevision? Yet another satellite platform?


e.tv and OpenView HD gave a first look at their new satellite offering last week and now Sentech has revealed their offering on their new digital platform Freevision.

As we recently clairified, there will soon be five options for viewers to go digital: DStv, TopTV, OpenView HD, DTT (as provided by the government) and Freevision.

OpenView HD and Freevision are very similar services in that they both require one set-up fee for a decoder, dish and installation. There are no subscription fees after this and each service offers a selection of channels. Both are called DTH-S platforms a.k.a. Direct-To-Home Satellite platforms.

For all of the ins and outs about OpenView HD, please see: e.tv's new channels: what you need to know 

So what are the most notable differences between the two satcasters? Here's a flash overview:
OpenView HDFreevision
Decoder is high definition.Decoder is standard definition.
HD decoder planned for the future.
Ceiling price for HD decoder, dish and installation: R1,599.Ceiling price for SD decoder, dish and installation: R1,350.
Some similar channels, some different channels.(Listed here)Some similar channels, some different channels.(Listed below)
Doesn't include radio stations.Includes 16 radio stations.
Can be set-up with a TopTV satellite dish.Can be set-up with a DStv satellite dish.

The channels on Freevision are:

NewsSABC News, France 24, My News (Mpumalanga based channel), TVC (Nigerian based channel focusing on African news)
Community broadcastersAlex TV, Tshwane TV, Cape TV, Bay TV, Soweto TV, 1 KZN
EntertainmentSABC 1, 2 and 3, Zulu TV, SA ChannelSABC digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels (when they launch) and e.tv's DTT channels.
EducationMindset Learn, Mindset Health
Special interestGod Never Fails TV, RLW, Breakthru TV, New Generation TV, Abel Damina Ministries, the Synagogue Church – Emmanuel TV, Daystar, Starcross TV, Angel Television Africa, Kruiskyk, Tellilah, Spirit World, Redeemed Church of God, Ezekiel TV, Christ Embassy, CTV (TBN), World Restoration Services, Unity Broadcasting Network, Manifest Sons of God, Isambulo, Homebased TV.
The Zulu channel and SA channel are two new channels that will be on Freevision exclusively. SA channel - which should be much more creatively named! - is described as a channel that aims to inspire South Africans through uplifting programming. 

Zulu TV is an entertainment channel created by playwright and producer Mbongeni Ngema. It's going to feature a mix of Zulu and English programming with a focus on content about KwaZulu Natal by local artists.
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