MORE television viewers who were used to MultiChoice’s DStv service appear to have found solace in the OpenView HD, a free-to-air satellite TV service meant for the South African market that provides over 20 channels.
Although the pay-per-view DStv service was launched in 2013, it has gained traction in recent months following Multichoice’s demands for clients to pay for their subscription in US dollars, which have become elusive following the introduction of the surrogate bond notes.
Viewers who spoke to NewsDay said OpenView HD’s programming was more lucrative than that of the sole State broadcaster ZTV accused of churning out Zanu PF propaganda and old programmes.
With the OpenView HD decoder selling for between $40 to $45 people with existing satellite dishes will not need to purchase new ones. Channels on offer via OpenView HD include SABC 1, 2 and 3, eAfrica+, eHD, eMovies+, Da Vinci Learning and Mindset.
A snap survey by NewsDay in some electrical shops and a visit at Gulf Complex in Harare’s CBD showed that many of the retailers were in possession of the on-demand OpenView HD decoders’ that was introduced by South Africa’s e-TV, a sister company to Platco Digital.
The OpenView HD satellite service, however, has no provision for European football fanatics, as it does not show English Premier and Spanish League games.
Despite the emergence of a well-maintained network of OpenView HD services locally, the service is still illegal. OpenView HD subscribers and agents violate the same regulations that prohibit the broadcast of content meant for South African audiences outside the primary territory.
Apart from the OpenView HD decoders scramble, there has also been a rush to Econet shops as some people shove to purchase the Kwese TV decoders — another new product on the market giving consumers more choice.