Friday, September 19, 2014

Expresso celebrates its 1 000th episode as SABC3's weekday morning breakfast show.

Expresso, SABC3's weekday breakfast show, is celebrating its 1000th episode this morning since it started on 4 October 2010.

Presenters Katlegoe Maboe and Ewan Strydom are still part of the on-air talent team and have been since the beginning.

"We've had 1 000 feel-good mornings," says Ewan Strydom. "Expresso was a complete blessing in disguise for me and for my family. I am very proud of the team who has worked so hard to bring these feel-good mornings to South Africa".

"Expresso has become a special home to me and we've become part of people's families," says Katlego Maboe.

"It's quite something to know that we are part of a team that did groundbreaking work reintroducing lifestyle entertainment to the morning. It's fantastic to bring this show to people every day and to do it with such a diverse team is an honour".

"There's nothing like Expresso on local television and its ability to stay relevant, entertaining and informative each and every day has been a big factor in its success," says Aisha Mohamed, SABC3 channel head.

"It is definitely a perfect example of being able to find something for everyone on SABC3 and we congratulate the production team on this wonderful achievement".

Thursday, September 18, 2014

BREAKING. Altech Node launches in South Africa as brand-new video-on-demand (VOD) consumer console to compete with DStv, VIDI.

Altech is launching the Altech Node in the suddenly white hot video-on-demand (VOD) market with South African consumers and TV viewers who will be able to buy the VOD console, using MultiChoice's DStv dish, from Friday at R3 499, and giving access to 700 hours of entertainment.

The launch of Altech's Node comes a week after the launch of Times Media Group's VIDI with Node viewers who won't suffer buffering issues like VIDI and who will also be able to watch the latest movie releases as well as library TV shows.

Altech didn't release a list of the TV programming and movies available at launch and didn't respond with a list to a media enquiry seeking a list on Thursday.

(Altech didn't make the Node device available for testing ahead of the launch to national TV critics who were not invited to, nor told of, the launch event on Thursday evening).

With MultiChoice's DStvBoxOffice on the one side of the spectrum, Times Media Group's VIDI on the other side and Altech's Node in the middle of the existing - and suddenly exploding - VOD market, South African consumers and viewers suddenly have a lot more choices and options.

Like DStv BoxOffice on the DStv Explora and HD PVR the content on the Node console is updated through satellite and stored on the 1TB internal hard drive and viewable in 1080p high definition (HD).

Unlike VIDI, Node users won't have to pay for massive internet downloads to watch the actual video content.

Like DStv Catch Up and unlike VIDI, the Node includes video-on-demand sports content (80 episodes at launch). It's not live sports content but packaged content.

Node will have 200 hours of TV series at launch, 140 movies at launch, 150 hours of kids programming, 150 hours of documentaries, and 30 hours of current affairs programming that can be watched instantly.

Altech's Node will carry 7 to 10 new movie titles per month at any given time available for rent, as well as 100 titles per year.

In the subscription library there will be 140 movie titles which are available to watch at any time and which doesn't require an additional payment. These will be refreshed at a rate of 10% to 15% per month, says Altech in a press release.

Altech's Node will work with any TV set that has HDMI ports, and the Node console itself has 3 HDMI ports.

Besides the R3 499 cost of the console which includes free installation and which people will be able to buy from Friday at Altech Autopage Cellular, Cell C, Dion Wired, Game, Hifi Corporation, Hirsch's, Incredible Connection, JetMart, Makro and Pick n Pay Hyper, there is a monthly subscription fee of R299.

This R299 monthly subscription fee gives the user access to the majority of the library content on the Node which regularly is cycled through and replaced just like on DStv BoxOffice on DStv PVR decoders.

Similar to the licensing rights agreements of DStv and DStv BoxOffice and VIDI, Altech has licencing rights agreements with Hollywood studios which include Sony, Disney, MGM and Universal.

On the Node the latest blockbuster movies cost R25, compared to the R27 for DStv BoxOffice and R27 for VIDI. This R25 will be in addition to the R299 monthly subscription fee.

Like DStv BoxOffice and VIDI, a movie on Node remains available for a 48 hour period to watch.

Older movie titles on Altech's Node will cost R15.

Subscription and rentals of and through the Altech Node can be paid by using debit and credit cards or Altech's Eyenza wallet.

Older non high definition (HD) content will have a higher bit rate on Altech's Node says the company "to ensure the content still looks great in an HD screen".

"Sound is delivered through 5.1 Dolby. YouTube videos will stream at a minimum of 720p resolution".

"Node is much more than video-on-demand," says Craig Venter, Altech CEO, saying that Altech's Node is "like a DVD store in your home".

"It is an entertainment hub, a streaming server, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an e-commerce platform".

"It is the most sophisticated home gateway in the world and is a true reflection of Altech's mission to provide its customers with value-added products, services and solutions through the convergence of telecommunications, multimedia and information technology".

Movies and library TV series will be updated monthly as older content is replaced with new releases and other TV shows.

The Altech Node come with a built-in 3G modem which enables users to buy data, airtime and pre-paid electricity and pay for municipal services like Eskom and Telkom through using the device.

The Node also allows for consumers to download Android apps, access the internet, access their email and to control certain home appliances through what Altech calls "Node branded Smart Plugs".

Altech's Node comes with a built-in media player, MyMedia, which allows content to be played off other devices, such as the Altech Node branded USB flash drive.

The Node's Wi-Fi- functionality also enables an environment to be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot where up to 5 devices like the TV set, computer, smartphone and tablet can be connected to stream content to these devices.

Node users who have DStv or had DStv won't need to install a new satellite dish since Altech's Node makes use of the same Intelsat-20 satellite, which means that a existing DStv dish is already aligned.

Although installation cost is included in the R3 499 price, Altech says the Node is easy to install. "Users can do it themselves, even with the most rudimentary technical skills, and install their own automation and security equipment".

Users will have to pay for the data used of the internet return path which enables the rental of titles and on demand content.

"Node has been designed to connect to both Wi-Fi and ethernet networks," says Altech. "Node can also function as a wireless internet access point or hotspot, providing connectivity through its 3G modem. Node does not consume data for movie and series downloads but will consume data for internet access activity and any purchases made".

Node can access the internet through its 3G modem which Altech says is powered by Autopage Cellular. "However you will need a SIM card and your data cost will be in addition to the Node subscription".

"While there are other products currently on the market that offer aspects of Smart TV and video-on-demand content, Node is the first comercially available product that offers a complete, integrated package, incorporating elements of Smart TV and smart entertainment together with a smart home solution," says Altech.

As to why Altech chose satellite downloading like MultiChoice does with DStv BoxOffice to the DStv Explora and HD PVR, Altech says "even though fibre internet is fast and exciting, it is also a new arrival to the South African market".

The Altech Node is however fbire ready with an ethernet and USB modem port.

"Fibre internet is still expensive and can consume a lot of data, which may lead to excessive data costs depending on the customer's internet service provider package. By employing cost-effective and reliable satellite systems, Node can ensure content that is always available for instant play without any time-delays and costly surprises".

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK. Tech Report on eNCA celebrates 150 episodes with a brand-new on-air look and colour scheme.

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Tech Report is celebrating the show's 150th episode tonight at 21:30 on eNCA (DStv 403) as the well-produced South African go-to show for consumer technology and gadgets gets a red, black and white makeover and a whole new look.

Tapfuma Makina remains the anchor, with the funny and quirky set of presenters Seth Rotherham, Jason Greer, Juliet McGuire, Grant Hinds, Clive Maistry and Thenjiwe Stemela.

From tonight eNCA viewers will see a new set, title sequence and some new presenters for Tech Report as the blue-on-white on-air look is being replaced with a new and edgy red-on-black treatment.

Tech Report, produced by Homebrew Films, will continue to bring viewers the latest technology news and gadget reviews, game reviews, phones, tablets and apps testing as well as insight on tech trends shaping South Africa and the world.

Tech Report which has become a leader in tech and innovation news in South Africa says the weekly magazine show has garnered a significant following the past three years on eNCA and is looking forward to many more.

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK. The VUZU AMP channel logo - with a 'stroke of genius' - takes the existing VUZU logo one fat line further.

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TV with Thinus can exclusively reveal the brand-new channel logo of VUZU AMP, the new general entertainment TV channel from M-Net that will start on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform for DStv Premium subscribers on 13 October at 17:00.

VUZU AMP will start on DStv channel 114 on the channel where M-Net Series Reality previously was.

The VUZU AMP logo design is very clever - cleverly taking the existing VUZU logo, which will remain a TV channel, and "enhancing" it with one broad stroke.

With one fat line down - lets call it literally a "stroke of genius" - the existing VUZU logo cleverly adds and becomes a sideways "A" at the end for the "Amp" part (or an inverse "V") (or a long shadow) (or a doubling up of the existing image, meaning more VUZU).

Besides the very smart and simple symbol extension, VUZU AMP also adds a slogan: "Out of this world TV".

Sky News' Kay Burley apologises for calling Scottish independence campaigner 'a knob' live on air who tried to hit cameraman with a stick.

Sky News' (DStv 402) Kay Burley is apologising after calling a Scottish independence campaigner "a knob" live on the air after the man tried to hit her cameraman with a stick.

Sky News has been doing extensive coverage of the Scottish referendum taking place today in Scotland, and yesterday Kay Burley was live on Sky News in Aberdeen when she called a man "a knob" on live television.

It happened after Kay Burley was constantly being heckled by a Scottish independence campaigner, and wasn't aware that her mic was live.

Afterwards she apologised for the "poor language" and said that it was a "challenging environment" and that someone wanted to hit her cameraman with a stick.

BREAKING. E! Entertainment to honour Joan Rivers with 90 minute Fashion Police Special on 20 September followed by all day marathon.

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E! Entertainment (DStv 124) will be celebrating the life of comedienne and caustic fashion critic Joan Rivers with a special 90 minute Fashion Police special programme on Saturday 20 September at 21:00 entitled Fashion Police: Celebrating Joan, followed by an all day Fashion Police marathon on the channel on DStv.

The 90 minute Fashion Police special will be recorded from the home of daughter, Melissa Rivers, with the Fashion Police panel - Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos - all appearing and telling funny stories and sharing behind-the-scenes gossip.

The special will show the most hilarious and most outrageous moments caught on camera over the years the show has been running on E! Entertainment.

The panel will share personal stories, behind-the-scenes special footage, as well as never-before-aired segments in which viewers can see how Joan often candidly joked with the cast as well as with the studio audience.

The 90 minute Fashion Police special will be followed by an all day marathon of Fashion Police episodes with the best jokes from Joan Rivers, including the episodes which celebrated her 80th birthday, and the very last one she did covering this year's MTV Video Music Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BREAKING. After the fire, Big Brother Africa Hotshots to start on 5 October; reality show finds new production house facility in Johannesburg.

Big Brother Africa Hotshots will now start on 5 October, with the Endemol South Africa produced reality format show which has found a new location and production facility in Johannesburg following the devastating fire at Sasani Studios' stage 1 two weeks ago.

The upcoming 9th season of Big Brother Africa entitled Hotshots was postponed when a blaze destroyed cameras, glass, other equipment, and damaged props, walls, the roof and other instrumentals on 2 September.

Endemol South Africa and M-Net quickly scouted various locations in an emergency exercise - including looking at London and the Big Brother House outside Jerusalem in Israel, but decided to remain in South Africa and make do, so as to lessen exorbitant production costs and insane and intricate visa regulations.

Changed South African visa regulations and Ebola fears from West Africa already damaged the upcoming season which first saw the chosen Ghana contestants dumped from the show, followed by Sierra Leone and Rwanda being eliminated from the season before housemates had even entered the house.

To go through a protracted process to secure visas for African contestants, South African crew and equipment proved too difficult and too high a hurdle for the producers who settled on a studio in Johannesburg.

Big Brother Africa Hotshots will now start on Sunday 5 October at 19:00 on two dedicated MultiChoice channels on DStv across Africa, with regular highlight programmes on M-Net's AfricaMagic Showcase channel.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DStv's Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel from Combined Artistic Productions dumps bad green screen, adds new desk, back panels.

It wasn't Judge Masipa ordered, but Combined Artistic Productions dumped the terrible green screen idea and made it a real TV set again - with a beautiful new desk and back panels - when the M-Net provided Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel (DStv 199) resumed yesterday and concluding its coverage today.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel in its final two days of broadcast on Thursday and Friday looked "right" again -  a sophisticated, real, credible studio and presentation instead of the shocking trashed down virtual monstrosity the beautiful original set was suddenly and inexplicably reduced to during July.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel on DStv produced by Combined Artistic Productions responsible for Carte Blanche on M-Net started off with a simply beautiful set in March - white, vast, sleek, multi-purpose and wonderful to look at. It's long gone now.

Then it shamefully dumbed down the beautifulness with a small boxed in horrible green screen corner, completely unbecoming and unfitting for what the channel itself called coverage of the "biggest South Africa court case this century".

When the channel "popped up" for the last time on Thursday, the bulk of the terrible badness was gone. No green screen, no staccato camera angles. 

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel's set was once again good.Not as great as when it started, but back to being above average after the dismal failure during the middle.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel resumed with a Star Trekkian type desk - beautiful! - replacing the "ship sail" design desk which was also beautiful and functional, and a blue mosaic wall panel design was added to give very nice dimension in a good blue hue to the backdrop as it mimic TV panels.

Other mistakes like the ridiculously incorrect and totally untrustworthy DStv EPG during the middle phase of the channel's run is now also fixed and corresponds with the actual on-air programming.

SABC's SABC News such a mess that two of president Jacob Zuma's wives are invited to The Newsroom, who then start fighting with each other.

The SABC's guest booking at SABC News (DStv 404) is such a mess and the internal communication so bad that two of president Jacob Zuma's wives were invited as guests to Eben Jansen's The Newsroom - with both who showed up and then started fighting with each other in front of SABC staff, and then both left leaving SABC News and the show with none to interview.

The Mail& Guardian reports that Bongi Ngema and Tobeka Madiba both showed up for the very same interview, on the very same programme on SABC News' The Newsroom, about the very same topics - without ever having been told about each other by the SABC, after both were invited.

The women starting fighting with each other and screaming in Auckland Park in full view of staff and then accused the SABC of setting them up.

They both left after the highly embarrassing booking blunder of the SABC's 24-hour TV news channel. The Newsroom wanted one of the wives to talk given that it was Women's Day.

The SABC's head of TV news, Jimi Matthews, apparently had to intervene but both women left since neither wanted to appear on the SABC and the SABC News channel after the incident.

Since president Jacob Zuma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) has close ties, one of president Jacob Zuma's wives even threatened to call Hlaudi Motsoeneng directly to complain.

"It was ugly and embarrassing," a source told the Mail & Guardian.

Disney explains why its now targeting little kids on DStv as young as 4 with TV commercials, says MultiChoice is supportive of the change.

The Walt Disney Company in South Africa is explaining why the Mouse House is now going to be targeting small children as young as 4 watching Disney's TV channels on DStv with commercial advertising, and says MultiChoice is supportive of the change.

It comes after news that Disney will now do commercial advertising to children on its previously ad free channels Disney Channel (DStv 303) and Disney Junior (DStv 309) in conjunction with DStv Media Sales and Disney's Disneymedia+ which will be specifically targeting the audience of very small, pre-school children.

DStv Media Sales, MultiChoice and Disney are now ready to put commercial TV adverts in front of little eyes on channels which DStv subscribers have come to trust not to carry the crass commercial considerations found on other kids channels with a reputation less sterling than the Disney brand.

The two Disney channels - one aimed at young kids and teens and the other at toddlers and pre-school kids - will start running commercials from November.

"Disney XD has carried commercial advertising since its launch in South Africa in 2011 and now Disney Channel and Disney Junior will follow," Disney tells TV with Thinus.

"Disney Channels carry advertising in many other markets worldwide," says Disney.

Disney says the Disney Channel and Disney Junior will now also start to carry TV commercials because "DStv airs other children's channels that have carried commercial advertising for some time so the platform's audience is used to seeing advertising on children's TV".

Disney says DStv and MultiChoice "are supportive of this change".

How will DStv choose what advertising will be run? "The Walt Disney Company Africa decides which advertising runs on its channels and we have strict internal guidelines on the type of advertising we carry. In all instances, advertising must comply with relevant local and international legislation," says Disney.

Asked if there's advertising that DStv won't run, Disney says "advertising which is not appropriate for Disney's children and family audience will not appear on the channel".

"In addition, as part of Disney's commitment to support families' desires to lead healthier lifestyles, Disney will not accept advertising from brands which do not comply with its healthy living guidelines. This is a policy that is already in place for Disney XD".

TV with Thinus asked why DStv and Disney are now allowing advertising on Disney Junior to be shown to very small children.

"Disney takes its commitment to its viewers extremely seriously and we will be especially careful as we do not want to betray the trust that so many families have in us".

"All advertising appearing on Disney Channels including Disney Junior, will be vetted to ensure it is age and family-appropriate and conforms to both local guidelines and relevant international guidelines such as BCAP and CAPCODE, as well as our own internal guidelines".

In June this year MultiChoice and Disney were fined R5 000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for showing a horror promo to young children without the proper age restriction.

The BCCSA in its judgment said that "the rights of parents and caregivers of smaller children have been violated" by Disney and MultiChoice and that parents and caregivers have the right to be informed about the nature of material to which their children are exposed to on television.

Soccer star Mark Haskins joins's Sunrise morning breakfast show as new sports anchor.

Mark Haskins, the former Moroka Swallows midfielder has joined's Sunrise as the new sports anchor and will be making his first appearance on Monday 15 September on's weekday morning breakfast show.

Mark Haskins is the next sports anchor in a rolling door of sports anchors and morning presenters on Sunrise struggling with stability in terms of on-air talent in the show broadcast between 06:00 and 08:30 on weekdays.

Sunrise has seen a constant roll-over and churn in new faces coming and going and making it difficult for viewers to relate and to get to know and grow with the morning show.

It's not clear what the duration of Mark Haskins' contract with Sunrise is.

Given the abrupt departure of the previous sports anchors, none of whom lasted longer than a year after big fanfare announcements, Mark Haskins and Sunrise have a high bar to cross to win viewers' loyalty and trust.

"Securing the services of Mark Haskins is a great addition to the Sunrise anchor team and he brings with him a wealth of experience," says Nicholas Maphopha, Sunrise executive producer in a statement.

"He is an avid follower of anything sports and I believe that his passion not only of sports but for the country will be greatly welcomed".

Mark Haskins says "it is a daunting change of scenery but I've always enjoyed a challenge and I love pushing boundaries. and particularly the Sunrise team have made the transition a whole lot easier".

"I fully commit to anything I work on and I will be giving my very best to be relevant on this platform and make a positive difference".

Thursday, September 11, 2014

M-Net Edge starting on DStv on 20 October and VUZU AMP starting on 13 October at 17:00 for DStv Premium subscribers.

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M-Net Edge (DStv 102) will launch on 20 October at 19:00 replacing the discontinued M-Net Series Showcase on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, while VUZU AMP (DStv 114) will start on 13 October at 17:00 in the place of the discontinued M-Net Series Reality.

M-Net Edge, a sister-channel to M-Net on DStv channel 101, will be the more risque family member and will only broadcast for 11 hours per day - from 18:00 to 05:00.

M-Net Edge will carry buzz worthy but titillating shows like Orange is the New Black, Masters of Sex, as well as new seasons of American Horror Story, Defiance and The Americans that M-Net says subscribers "would prefer not to watch with the entire family".

VUZU AMP will have new drama series like The Flash with episodes broadcast soon after the new show starts on 7 October in the United States, and further seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Devious Maids, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, So You Think You Can Dance and Pretty Little Liars.

Vuzu shows like the entertainment news staple V Entertainment, 10 over 10 and Dineo's Diary is apparently also moving from Vuzu to VUZU AMP.

"M-Net Edge and VUZU AMP are taking the curation of top-notch premium television content to an exiting new level," says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net's CEO for South Africa in a statement announcing the two new M-Net channel's names.

"These two contrasting entertainment channels have been created to make it easier for viewers to find out what to watch, where to watch it and at what time".

"As there is now more choice than ever, it is important to create channels that are clearly positioned, allowing viewers to find what they feel like [watching] as fast possible," says Yolisa Phahle.

"Both channels will schedule a combination of first-run programming and iconic shows with schedules designed to correlate with the latest worldwide viewing trends".

SABC furious over hilarious 'sabotage' notification in Auckland Park's old and broken lifts; explains why its First Citizens have to wait for a ride to the top.

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The SABC is furious over an unauthorised message from a Fawlty Towers employee which it calls "an act of sabotage" - a notification which an SABC staff put up in the South African public broadcaster's decrepit lifts and which many employees didn't realise was a joke - to great hilarity of others.

With most of the SABC's lifts and escalators that's over 40 years old and in many instances falling apart and often breaking down, staff tell TV with Thinus that personnel often "wait up to 10 minutes for a lift".

"SABC lifts inside Auckland Park often are often not working, with out of order lifts leading to big frustration," quipped an insider. "At least there's still some people with a sense of humor at Fawlty Towers," said one.

Recently an SABC staff member put up the notice above inside an SABC lift, properly addressing SABC employees and lift users as "First Citizens" - exactly how the SABC address its staff.

"We are pleased to inform you that Schindler's Lifts are due to be repaired and serviced by the year 2099," says the "notice" which some SABC staff mistook for the real thing.

"As a token of our appreciation for your loyalty, you are being encouraged to use the stairs provided for emergency evacuations to proceed to your various work stations".

"Those of you unable to ascend to the top,do not have any ambition in any case and are encouraged to resign," the fake notification told SABC staff.

"We appreciate your patience and know many of you will reach retirement age by the time the lifts are fixed. Together we can climb mountains".

In the internal news letter to staff, a copy of which TV with Thinus obtained, the SABC addresses the lift humour, calls it an "act of sabotage" and threatens the Park's first citizen responsible for the dastardly deed with disciplinary action.

"We are currently experiencing an abnormal amount of lift outages at this time and as First Citizen you are requested to be patient. The situation is getting a necessary intervention," the public broadcaster informed its "citizens".

"There are 39 lifts and 4 escalators in use on the Auckland Park premises.  Most of these lifts and escalators were installed as far back as 1972 making them over forty years old. Due to their age parts are extremely difficult to obtain and in some instances they have to be re-manufactured."

"This causes long outage periods and affects the reliability on these lifts and escalators. This is the main cause of our First Citizens having to wait for lifts".

The SABC powers that be requested its first citizens to please report lift problems "in and around their work" as soon as they become aware of them. It's important to get a reference number which must be kept for all future references.

The SABC said that a tender for the renewal of the Auckland Park lifts and escalators is under evaluation stage "and soon the new maintenance contractor will be appointed" and that the renewed lifts and escalators "will substantially improve the availability of the lifts".

"We are aware of an earlier unauthorised message sent to create confusion. Management regards this message as an act of sabotage and anyone found to have made such remarks will be liable to a disciplinary action".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oscar Pistorius live TV coverage ramping up on Thursday and Friday to bring South African TV viewers the judgment and analysis, as it happens.

Coverage of the conclusion of the highly sensational Oscar Pistorius murder trial will be ramping up on Thursday and Friday 11 and 12 September on South African television as live court TV coverage resumes on the trial that gripped a fascinated world.

As judgment and a verdict from Judge Thokozile Masipa is delivered in the trial of the paralympic athlete who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year on Valentines Day, 14 February 2013, the Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will go live again on DStv channel 199, and eNCA also has live coverage as well as special programming.

Neither SABC News (DStv 404) nor ANN7 (DStv 405) issued any coverage and broadcasting or programming advisories.

For the first day of judgment, Thursday 11 September, eNCA will start its live broadcast at 06:00, with live coverage from outside the court and near Oscar Pistorius' uncle's home.

Judge Thokozile Masipa's judgment will start at 09:00 on Thursday. eNCA anchors will speak to specialist reporters Karyn Maughan and Annika Larsen for analysis outside court before and in-between the court proceedings.

On Friday, 12 September, eNCA will go live again at 06:00 and court proceedings will be shown at 09:00 until judgment time, expected in the afternoon. Coverage will continue post the judgment throughout Friday evening.

"The channel has set-up a panel of respected legal experts, social commentators with some studio-based and some on location at the High Court," says Patrick Conroy, the managing director for eNCA.

DStv's Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel will start at 08:00 on Thursday. Although not communicated by MultiChoice and Combined Artistic Productions, its highly likely that the channel will remain broadcasting on Friday 12 September as well.

Is the clever-cool Connect with Yusuf Omar on eNCA a brand-new (brilliant!) weekly current affairs show just waiting to be born?

A wonderful, brilliant and amazing thing happened on eNCA (DStv 403) this morning at 09:00 when what looks like a brand-new and great new show, Connect with eNCA reporter Yusuf Omar suddenly were broadcast on the South African 24-hour TV news channel.

There was no word from eNCA that Connect would be shown today, no information about it, and at the end of business today eNCA didn't respond with any answers to media enquiries asking for more information about it (although eNCA promised more information on Thursday).

Connect on eNCA with Yusuf Omar was shockingly (in a good sense) different.

It was refreshingly interesting and fun to watch whilst being informative and made for mesmerising and immersive viewing - from the social media commentary guests chosen to weight in and who appeared via Skype, to the screen-integration used, the "show's" novel camera angles employed, and the whole concept of the "show".

Connect, cleverly integrating the memes, themes, technology and style of news gathering and dissemanation used by millions of younger viewers today was only 9 and a half minutes long but was sparkling.

It was filled with facts, graphics and colours along with a cool use of the resources of TV news technology to create a type of an "online, real-time" community, one which was sharing insightful commentary and absorbing it at the same time.

The 4-way simultaneous Skype screen on Connect was cool and gimmicky, but not just gimmicky, and even if it was gimmicky, it was wonderful and new and showed what a South African TV news channel like eNCA is now actually really capable of doing if it tried.

While the weekly Maggs on Media on eNCA on Sundays with Jeremy Maggs is a round-up of media news with great and comprehensive coverage of the South African media, marketing and advertising landscape - a well-produced weekly programme of record, Connect came across as a perfect "little brother" for almost a younger target market, or a social-media savvy, news consumer market.

Cleverly and highly relevant, the "first" topic of Connect was the social media story of the Oscar Pistorius trial or news event.

The "show" within a show dissected the news subject from all sides and angles of the social media spectrum with Yusuf Omar making full use - and to great effect - of the wall screen, complete with preppy lime green tablet in front of him.

Connect on eNCA was cool television - like Al Jazeera's The Stream and Russia Today's Breaking the Set with Abby Martin, - something never yet seen on South African television but seen today and attempted (with success) for the first time on South African TV news.

It was an even better version of The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel's now-defunct Social Media Analysis Show which was broadcast at 18:00 while the trial was running and which was anchored by Emma Sadleir. That show was the second most watched show on that DStv channel.

The 9 and a half minute Connect "show" done by Yusuf Omar is now on YouTube: