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DStv HD upgrade at subscribers’ expense

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MultiChoice is getting ready to change the transmission of the satellite pay-TV operator’s growing number of high definition (HD) TV channels.

But here is the snag – DStv subscribers, who will require an adjustment to their satellite dish installation, will have to pay for the upgrade themselves.

MultiChoice plans to officially switch to the DVB-S2 digital television standard for satellite TV broadcasting on 30 June and has enabled channel 425 on the DStv bouquet for existing subscribers to test whether they would be able to receive DStv’s new HD TV channels’ transmission from July without interruption.

MultiChoice says the change to DVB-S2 is done because “MultiChoice keeps abreast with technological developments” and to “ensure that our customers always receive the latest and best quality service”.

According to MultiChoice DVB-S2 will make the addition of more TV channels and services possible on the DStv pay-TV platform. “The change will improve your reception, especially during rain storms,” says MultiChoice – a problem known in the satellite pay-TV industry as “rain fade”.

Installation will need to be adjusted

DStv subscribers who get a “Signal not found” or a “Connection to the DStv signal is lost” error message on-screen on channel 425, will have to get an installer out.

Subscribers will however have less than a month to go and no time to budget for the unforeseen expenditure easily totalling in the hundreds of rands in call-out cost before they lose their TV signals.

DStv is saying subscribers will have to pay for this new physical adjustment required to their DStv dishes.

Since TV channels in HD are only available to DStv Premium subscribers – MultiChoice’s highest paying subscribers – the possible problem where it affects TV households will impact the pay-TV service’s top tiered subscribers although MultiChoice says “no negative impact is expected for most HD PVR customers.

“In the minority of cases, the installation will need to be adjusted.”

DStv subscribers who experience a problem will need their DStv dish aligned or will need the LNB – the cable running between the satellite dish and the DStv decoder – to be rotated.

MultiChoice won’t pay

MultiChoice is instituting the change for existing subscribers by changing the transmission standard used, but says “MultiChoice does not pay for installation-related costs”.

“We want to ensure that your DStv service is not interrupted as we make this change. We have created a test on channel 425. Please tune to this channel and if you see the test slide, it means your decoder and installation is ready for the switch-over to DVB-S2.”

“If you see an error message on this channel, this means that your installation is not ready for the switch-over. When we do the switch-over on 30 June, you will lose your HD services. Please send an SMS with your suburb name to 32445. An accredited installer will contact you within 24 hours to upgrade your installation. Please note that this SMS will cost R1.”

“Please note that the work done to upgrade your installation will be for your own account,” MultiChoice warns subscribers.

“MultiChoice does not pay for installation-related costs. We recommend that your installation be checked every few years as weather exposure and other factors can influence the quality of your installation and therefore impact your viewing.”

* Channel24 and DStv are owned by Naspers.

– Channel24

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