Thursday, December 17, 2015

Platco Digital's OpenView HD passes 300 000 South African households after 2 years; adds 100 000 OpenView households in the last 4 months.

Platco Digital's OpenView HD free-to-air satellite platform has passed 300 000 South African TV households.

The platform launched in October 2013 as's plan to create a workaround for its own digital television given the government's long-delayed and ongoing inability to commercial launch digital terrestrial television (DTT) in South Africa.

HCI owns Sabido Investments, which holds a 67% interest in Platco Digital and a 63% stake in

Its broadcasting component didn't want to be left behind as MultiChoice's DStv and StarTimes Media SA's StarSat launch more channels, community TV stations grow and channel fragmentation increase and individual channel audience share keeps decreasing.

Several of the existing packaged and supplied channels on OpenView HD like eKasi+, eMovies+, eAfrica+ and eToonz+ are very likely part of the channels offering that will launch its commercial DTT service with once the actual commercial digital migration switch from analogue to digital terrestrial TV finally happens.

OpenView HD saw its share of difficulties with losing some channels that went dark over the past two years as well as some new additions as well as signing up radio stations, currently sitting with 20 TV channels and 8 radio stations and more promised.

However, as the country's economic steadily situation keeps worsening for consumers, OpenView HD has seen a sudden surge from TV viewers opting for its free satellite service which requires a once-off decoder and satellite buying and installation fee.

It's also become easier for existing pay-TV subscribers to make the switch to Platco Digital's service since it started using space on Intersat's IS20 satellite in 2014. It means that subscribers who had a DStv dish installed don't need a new installation since the existing dish is already pointed in the right direction making it easy for OpenView HD buyers to just plug-and-play.

Platco Digital has now experienced a surge, with 100 000 new satellite and decoder installations in the last four months - a third of its overall total users it managed to amass the past two years.

"The strong retail partnerships have contributed to a 300% increase in uptake of OpenView HD decoders in the market," says Maxwell Nonge, Platco Digital managing director who says OpenView HD is now active in 300 000 South African households.

"We constantly strive to secure content that is guided by customer research to ensure that the channels are in line with the target audience's viewing patterns," says Maxwell Nonge.