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Turn OpenView decoder into PVR and Wi-Fi hotspot

OpenView HD decoders have several useful features like storage expansion USB ports that enable the recording of programmes and the ability to power a Wi-Fi dongle, BRYAN TURNER discovers.

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OpenView, the free satellite competitor to DStv, provides a standard decoder that has, hidden in the hardware, some surprising additional features that can enable more functionality for OpenView consumers. 

The best way for viewers who want clear, high-quality HD free-to-view content is via digital terrestrial TV, but not all areas are served by digital TV yet. Enter OpenView: a solution that uses the common satellite model: it is so standard, that consumers who have a DStv dish installed can purchase an OpenView decoder and plug it into existing satellite cables. 

OpenView offers HD versions of standard free-to-view channels, in addition to a few international extras like France24, StarLife, and Mindset Learn. There are also a few extra features for those willing to pay for add-ons. 

Radio

As on DStv, it includes a section for radio.  The following channel numbers will take you to the respective radio stations: 

  • SABC Sport – 124 
  • 5FM – 611 
  • Channel Africa – 628 
  • Good Hope FM – 612 
  • Ikwekwezi FM – 620 
  • Lesedi FM – 619 
  • Ligwalagwala FM – 625 
  • Lotus FM – 616 
  • Metro FM – 610 
  • Motsweding FM – 624 
  • Munghana Lonene FM – 622 
  • Phalaphala FM – 623 
  • RSG – 615 
  • Radio 2000 – 613 
  • SAfm – 614 
  • Thobela FM – 621 
  • TruFM – 626 
  • Umhlobo Wenene FM – 618 
  • Ukhozi FM – 617 
  • X-KFM – 627 

OpenView PVR  

Proprietary 32GB and 64GB flash drives enable rewind, pause, forward, and record buttons on the bottom of the OpenView remote. The USB flash drive plugs into the back of the decoder. One can schedule recordings, as well as daily or weekly recordings of TV shows. The 32GB version can record up to 8 hours of content while the 64GB supports up to 18 hours. 

Currently, the flash drives support 15 minutes of pausing or rewinding live TV. We have tested non-OpenView flash drives with the decoder and they do not work, so the spare flash drive sitting in your gadget drawer won’t work. 

Hi-Fi Corp has the 32GB stick available for R169 here, and the 64GB stick available for R289 here.  

OpenView Connect 

Those looking for a home Wi-Fi internet connection are in luck: the OpenView Connect LTE USB dongle can enable this. The device can output up to 150Mbps of 4G LTE, provided users can access mobile network signal in their area. Up to 10 devices can connect at the same time, and a dashboard of data balance and recharge facilities can be viewed from the TV screen. Those who want to use the PVR stick at the same time are in luck, as there is another USB port on the bottom of the dongle to enable using both devices at the same time.  

The data isn’t included and will be charged at standard Vodacom data rates. This will be more effective if one gets a SIM-only data contract from Vodacom to make sure the household has enough data. Vodacom also offers access to its zero-rated services if the data runs out. 

Checkers Hyper and PNP Hyper stock the device for R600. 

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