The South African TV industry is a changing and this is good for us because it means choice.
OpenViewHD recently launched with e.tv and now Sentech has launched it's answer to OVHD- Free-Vision.
Last week Thursday, e.tv celebrated the launch of their four channels, which will be shown on the OpenViewHD satellite service. The four channels, eToons+, eAfrica+, eMovies+ and eKasi+ will have mainly local content- from talk shows, cooking shows, to movies, cartoons and kids entertainment and series.
On Monday, signal distributor, Sentech launched Freevision in Johannesburg. Formerly Vivid, FreeVision is a direct-to-home satellite and free- to- air platform that will help serve as a gap filler in areas which won't get service when DTT is finally launched in South Africa. The service will have 38 channels and will be in SD.
Sentech CEO, Dr Setumo Mohapi, said that the launch of FreeVision is necessary to enhance the growth of the broadcasting industry. “We believe that the launch of FreeVision is a necessary strategic development in South Africa’s roadmap to enhance the growth of the broadcasting sector as well as to explore new business-to-business platform services models for commercial broadcasters. Sentech further believes that the FreeVision platform will further enrich the digital multi-channel content distribution landscape – both of which are critical for nurturing the country’s young and democratic broadcasting and content distribution industry.”
Sentech chair Thabo Mongake said that FreeVision is set to improve the digital landscape in South Africa's broadcast sector and especially since many South Africans still don't get the broadcasting signal.
“Lots of South Africans don’t have access to FTA services because the terrestrial broadcasting signal is not available in all areas of the country due to remote and uneven terrains. An element of the Freevision launch is to remedy this situation. We strongly believe this launch will enhance the local broadcast sector and lead to new business. "
The FreeVision feed is located at 68.50E on IntelSat 20, which is the same as Multichoice's DStv, and with an estimated 60 million viewers, it’s the largest video neighbourhood in Sub-Saharan Africa. It therefore means that Freevision can ensure universal access to television for all South Africans.