Wednesday, August 16, 2017

eMedia Investment's OpenView HD reaches a tipping point as the free satellite TV service will reach 1 million decoder activations by mid-September 2017.

OpenView HD (OVHD) will cross the threshold of 1 million activated set-top boxes (STBs) by mid-September as South Africa's free-to-air satellite TV service continues to rack up big decoder sales in the country with the sold boxes that's also being taken to neighbouring countries.

After reaching 388 000 activated OVHD decoders in May 2016, the satellite service from Platco Digital and run by the same group that owns has seen a massive growth spurt and will reach 1 million OVHD decoder activations by the middle of September 2017.

OpenView HD has grown its market share by 143% since March 2016, making it South Africa's fastest-growing TV platform.

Users buy the small OVHD decoder for a once-off price of R399 and the black box works with existing satellite dish installations.

Although only meant for South African viewers, OpenView HD has also found favour with viewers in neighbouring Southern African countries where the local free-to-air TV channel offering is very poor.

OVHD boxes are bought and activated in South Africa and then taken beyond South Africa's borders where viewers are able to receive the OVHD signal.

OpenView HD has been working on improving the TV channels on offer, especially focusing on strengthening the line-up and content of's set of planned digital terrestrial TV channels that is available on the platform like in HD, eExtra, the movie channels eMovies Extra, and eMovies+ and the cartoon channel eToonz+.

A few other channels like the South African public broadcaster's SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 as well as some radio stations and are also offered on the free OVHD service.

It makes OpenView HD an alternative that is becoming more and more popular in a market where it competes with satellite pay-TV services like MultiChoice's DStv from Naspers and StarSat that is part of the Chinese StarTimes group.

"We are attracting over 1 500 new households every day and we expect to surpass the one million mark by the middle of next month," says Patrick Conroy, OpenView HD managing director.

Patrick Conroy says the tough economic environment in South Africa is making consumers and TV viewers rethink the costs of entertainment, which makes OpenView HD an attractive prospect because of the once-off cost of the decoder and installation, and no monthly fee.

"OpenView HD has reached a tipping point. Keeping the price of the decoders to R399 and below and improving our content offering significantly has grown our activations from less than 400 000 just 18 months ago, to the point where we're about to cross the one million barrier."

"OpenView HD has become a viable alternative for families seeking quality home entertainment that is free," says Patrick Conroy.