DStv today announced an extension to its On Demand service, which is now available to all PVR Premium subscribers. MWEB account holders can also access the service over the Internet. SEAN BACHER speaks to John Kostafis, CEO of DStv Online to find out more.
According to Kostafis, the DStv On Demand option can be accessed on an HD PVR by pushing the TV Guide button and accessing the DStv On Demand tab. ‚SD PVR users can access the DSTV on demand option by pushing the green button on their remote.‚
He goes on to say that the 20 hours of on demand TV is over and above the recording space offered by the PVRs.
In addition to offering the On Demand option to set top boxes, DStv is also offering the service over the Internet. ‚Our previous On Demand option was available for all DStv subscribers and did not cost them anything extra: however, it did cost us a substantial amount of money.‚ This feature was merely a test phase to make sure that we have the appropriate framework and infrastructure to properly stream video to our customers and was therefore not that widely publicised. DStv On Demand over the Internet is now only available to premium subscribers with an MWEB account.
According to Kostafis the reason for this is because MWEB offers uncapped data bundles to its subscribers and the streaming and downloading of videos uses immense amounts of data. ‚Although MWEB is the first ISP to partner with us, we are already in discussions with many other service providers in order to offer the service to all South African premium subscribers.‚
Subscribers accessing the DStv On Demand service over the Internet will be able to install a download manager on their computer. ‚Besides letting users download the content in a secure manner, the download manager will also keep an eye on when the content expires.‚ DStv has set up agreements with all its international content providers and thus international content can only be kept on your computer for seven days before expiring. Local content will be available for 30 days after download.
Furthermore, DStv is in discussions with many mobile operators. ‚This is a very interesting space for us to play in as most phones out there are smart phones and in essence, mini computers. Watch this space for further developments on our On Demand mobile offerings,‚ he says.
‚TV on demand is something that has been available to the rest of the world for quite some time. The reason for this is that the cost of data is so much cheaper in Europe and the States than it is here. With most of the South African ISPs jumping on the uncapped data bandwagon, we hope to bring South Africa up to international standards when it comes to TV on demand,‚ says Kostafis.
Kostafis concludes by saying: ‚The idea of our DStv On Demand service is to be able to offer our consumers DStv anywhere, anytime and on any device.‚
More information on DStv’s On Demand service can be found at www.dstv.com or by viewing channel 198 on DStv.