Local technology group Altron is closing its video on demand business Altech Node, writes GARETH VAN ZYL.
Last year in September, Altron launched the Altech Node satellite-connected box which delivers VoD content in high definition to subscribers.
Altron also described the Node as a home-gateway device, which included features such as home security and internet calling.
But the product and service has failed to take off as Altron said its uptake has “not met expectations”.
“Unfavourable conditions such as the current economic environment which is putting pressure on the consumer and increased competition in the video-on-demand (VOD) environment have necessitated us to make the difficult decision to close the Altech Node business,” said Altron chief executive officer Robert Venter in a statement emailed to Fin24.
“We will however retain the technology within the group,” said Venter.
Altron also said that with immediate effect no new subscription agreements will be entered into for the Altech Node service.
Also, on October 31 2015 all Altech Node services will be terminated while the company intends to refund subscribers an amount of R1 999 per Altech Node device.
Altron said refunds will be processed during November 2015.
Managing director of technology research firm World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, told Fin24 that awareness of the Node started to diminish in the local market.
“It’s been on the cards for a while,” Goldstuck told Fin24.
“Their product has been very limited in terms of content…and you didn’t see any marketing for it.
“They must have realised at an early stage that it wasn’t working and they pulled out or they decided to limit their exposure,” he said.
The closure of the Altech Node business also comes as Altron streamlines parts of its business.
In May, Altron said it planned to sell the subscriber base of its phone service provider business Altech Autopage.