Tuesday, July 10, 2018

MultiChoice to launch 4K streaming within months on its DStv Now service, claims usage increased 60% since the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

MultiChoice will launch 4K-streaming - four times the pixel resolution of 1080p - within months on its DStv Now service, says Naspers' pay-TV service that is scrambling to build out and expand its digital streaming services like DStv Now and Showmax to compete with the like of global streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

In May MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela in an interview with TVwithThinus, revealed that the African pay-TV giant is working to launch a dishless DStv streaming-only service in 2019 that will closely mirror the existing DStv direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV offering and what existing DStv subscribers are currently using on DStv Now.

MultiChoice is responding to the video entertainment sphere that is being radically altered by ongoing advances in internet broadband penetration and speed. MultiChoice has to work out international content streaming rights, as well as the costing and pricing of the service.

"We are working on a dishless DStv service offering which is purely online, almost a replica of what DStv is today. Teams ranging from technology to marketing are busy working on this proposition to make sure that we have a full online offering similar to DStv," Calvo Mawela said.

On Tuesday MultiChoice said the pay-TV operator is currently testing 4K-streaming - a higher resolution high definition (HD) format - for DStv Now.

MultiChoice hasn't yet made 4K or Ultra HD as a sharper definition viewing experience, available for any of the linear TV channels carried on its DStv satellite platform. 4K is however available on Netflix, as well as on Sky in the United Kingdom and pay-TV operators in the United States.

"We're continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4K streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly," said Mark Rayner, MultiChoice South Africa chief operating officer (COO).

"The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers."

MultiChoice said that in terms of DStv Now usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, and with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1 although MultiChoice didn't provide any usage numbers for the claim.

MultiChoice said that since the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now increased by 60% but again didn't provide any usage numbers. According to the company live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for live and recorded TV streaming on DStv Now.