Archive for the ‘IPTV’ Category

Multichoice’s Future Plans

June 21, 2007

Today, in an article on ITWeb, Multichoice‘s CEO spoke about the companies future plans to compete in the South African television market.

The introduction of mobile TV, IPTV and VOD forms part of the broadcasters key strategy of new platform development and delivery channels.

New offerings from the company will include:

  1. DSTV Mobile – Mobile TV via DVB-H to mobile devices
  2. DSTV Broadband – VHS quality content via the DSTV website. The ability to view or download content that has appeared on the DSTV channels.
  3. DSTV Extra – Video on Demand (VOD). Content automatically downloaded to the PVR decoder unlocked for a fee to be viewed at any time. Expected end of 2007.

About 18 months ago, whilst working for Multichoice, I pitched the concept of PVR Podcasting to the Exco. I produced the following video explaining the concept.

The idea was to simply allow for user generated content such as Podcasts to be automatically downloaded to a PVR decoder. Users would subscribe to community produced shows and have them streamed to their decoders via satellite. Imagine submitting a home made movie featuring your new house and then having all your friends and family view it on their decoders right in their living rooms. No need for a computer, a slow internet connection, downloads, live streaming etc.

Here is the video.


Telkom Clarifies IPTV Offering

April 25, 2007

Points of interest from the following MyADSL article: Link

  • The R320.00 for the IPTV service does not include the ADSL access portion
  • Telkom Media will be a totally separate company from Telkom
  • IPTV will not be subject to capping
  • IPTV and ADSL services will run concurrently and the IPTV stream will not be measured as part of the customer’s monthly Internet usage.
  • IPTV will rely on ASDL 2+ which Telkom is currently upgrading to. ADSL 2+ allows for download speeds in excess of 20 Mbps
  • IPTV will not be limited to ADSL customers, Telkom are also planning a satellite service starting from less than R100.00 per month for 5 or 6 channels.
  • Offerings from Telkom Media can be expected 12 to 18 months after receiving their license from ICASA.

PVR Podcasting

April 24, 2007

This is the video I produced for my presentation to the Multichoice Exco about 12 months ago.

The idea was to basically allow the upload and consumption of user generated content such as podcasts etc via the Multichoice PVR decoder. No Internet connection needed. Imagine subscribing to your families home movies, having the latest episode of Twit etc pushed directly to your lounge. I’d pay for something like that.

Telkom seems to be on the right IPTV path ?

April 23, 2007

Telkom gave a demonstration on Friday to media that displayed the benefits of its IPTV offering. The standard IPTV bouguet will be in the region of R320 per month and it will include a dedicated news channel.

Besides PVR-like functionality, IPTV will allow user generated content to be uploaded to the network. Telkom will also have VOD movies available for instant rental at R10 – R20 depending on the movie.

Link to ITWeb Article

Comment posted by Shaun Trennery
at 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Shaun Trennery

Yip, a fixed line. ADSL as I understand it. What this means is that our local ADSL offerings are going to have be far less expensive and offer much more bandwidth than they currently do.

Here is a good article on the issue.

April, 2007 12:48 PM (

Comment posted by Ryan CrawCour
at 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Ryan CrawCour

so is this going to be a fixed line type solution like the US cable offering? will have to feature some kind of return path, unlike DSTV, if they are planning on doing on-demand and upload type stuff.

April, 2007 1:40 PM (

BBC to offer archive online

April 19, 2007

In a trial, the BBC is to offer 20 000 people in the UK the ability to access full-length programmes as well as scripts and notes from their vast archive. The trial will make available 1000 hours of content drawn from a mix of genres to the closed group and about 50 hours for general access.

People interested should register at

From the BBC Archive Website:

The BBC is looking for people to join a six-month trial in which 20,000 UK residents will get free access to hundreds of programmes from the BBC archive, including reports of historic events as they happened, ground-breaking documentaries, soaps, action-packed children’s shows, sumptuous dramas, and comedy shows that thrilled the nation.

This is something Multichoice should really look at doing for the South African market. There must be a huge demand for all their archived footage. It’s far better than having it lie in some library. Charging for such content might prove to be a really good business model.

Link to BBC News Article

Anyone want Joost invites?

April 18, 2007

I managed to get my hands on a Joost invite this morning.

I only managed to play with it for about 10 minutes before leaving for work this morning. I downloaded the 11mb install and installed it on my wife’s Vista desktop. The installation was quick and painless and I was up and running in minutes.

The UI is really slick and intuitive. It defaults to full screen mode and the menus are displayed over your video as you move your mouse. Widgets like chat, RSS feeds etc can easily be added over your video.

The only problem I had was that the video stuttered over my ASDL connection. I’d imagine that I need at least 1mb connection for a smooth play-back experience. The choice of available content was pretty impressive for a new service.

I’m looking forward to playing with it and getting a glimpse of the future.

PS: Drop me a email at shaun.trennery at if you’d like an invite.


Comment posted by Ryan CrawCour
at 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Ryan CrawCour

what i’d actually love to know is what you were watching on Joost when this screenshot was taken ….. 😛

April, 2007 2:53 PM (

Telkom wants in on Multichoice’s Business

April 13, 2007

From an article on ITWeb

Telkom is investing R7 billion in setting up a subscription TV service aimed at the mass market, as well as several multi-platform technologies such as IPTV and video on-demand

Telkom Media says its planned subscription TV bouquet will bring pay-TV “within the realistic price range of nearly 40% of South African audiences”.

The television offerings will include a 24-hour news station, headed up by Jimi Matthews (formerly of etv and the SABC), as well as channels devoted to sports, movies, music, education and home shopping.


Tivo allows anyone to be a broadcaster

April 5, 2007

I proposed an idea of mine to Multichoice about 18 months ago. The idea was a simple one, allow anyone to produce and share content via the DSTV PRV decoder.

For example, a podcaster would be able to upload his show on cycling. He could either publish it publicly or privately. Cyclists, or anyone interested in cycling could then, via their remote subscribe to the show. Through the wonders of existing technology, the show would be pushed to the subscriber’s PVR as and when a new episode became available.

The potential for the idea is huge and opens up endless possibilities. Just imagine a school publishing private learning material to each of their students, companies producing their own channels etc.

Interest was shown, but action was non existant.

I read today that Tivo have introduced the same idea. The ability to broadcast home movies. The feature allows you to send home movies and photo slide shows from your computer directly into the “Now Playing” list of other Tivo users. All you need to do is share a generated code with the users you wish to share your content with.

Another awesome feature launched by Tivo is Cellphone programming. This feature allows you to record shows from anywhere in the world.

Other amazing features currently on offer include:

  • Weather and traffic
  • Movie Listings
  • Internet Radio
  • Podcasts
  • Guru Guide
  • Music and Photos

I can only wonder how many years it will take Multichoice to play catch up. Why do we South Africans always have to be a step behind. In this case, a couple of steps.

Ref: The New Your Times – TiVo Plays a Trump Card: Web Smarts

Post your photos to DSTV for all to see

October 1, 2006

An I idea I had while I was working at Multichoice was to provide the viewer with the ability to produce and publish content. This content included podcasts both video and audio, photos etc. I believe that it is only a matter of time before this becomes the norm and people with everyday interests have an podium from which to share their creativity. Imagine being able to create a show targeted at your family or sporting club.

Evidence that this will become reality is news from TechCrunch that Google is in talks to buy YouTube for an amount of $1.6 Billion and Time Warner Cable and PhotoShow now allow users to create photo slide shows and broadcast them to cable TV.

Link to Google, YouTube Story

Link to PhotoShow Story

Telkom enters pay-TV market

August 1, 2006

Fixed-line telephone operator Telkom surprised on Thursday by announcing that it is preparing to enter the pay-television market.

The first step in this process has been the creation of Telkom Media (Pty) Ltd, a private company with a 41.5% black economic empowerment shareholding, which applied to Icasa (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) for a commercial satellite and cable subscription broadcast licence on Thursday.

A basic bouquet comprising of the following locally compiled subscription television channels will be offered:

  • An entertainment channel
  • A 24-hour South African news channel
  • A movie channel
  • A sports channel
  • A music channel
  • A home shopping channel
  • An education channelLink to fin24 Article