Saturday, July 26, 2008

MultiChoice Launches High Definition Television

MultiChoice today announced the launch of its High-Definition Personal Video Recorder (HD PVR) decoder.

The introduction of High Definition television is another milestone achievement for television in South Africa and forms part of MultiChoice’s commitment to bringing the best television experience in the country.

Since its inception, MultiChoice has been at the forefront of transforming the face of television in South Africa through cutting edge technology. The company has brought a number of world firsts into the country, including digital satellite television, interactive television services, Dual View and PVR, to name just a few.

MultiChoice’s Chief Executive Officer Nolo Letele says “We are delighted and extremely proud to launch High Definition television into the South African market. HD television will bring with it detail, vividness and clarity of picture never seen before on our television screens.”

Customers will need an HD PVR decoder and an HD ready television set to view HD content. The Beijing Olympic Games will be the first to broadcast in HD format at the beginning of August. The HD PVR will be made available for this special event, with pre launch software which does not include all the features such as a full suite of interactive applications. These will be available when the MNet HD channel launches at the end of August. The software will be delivered to purchased decoders, via the satellite transmission without any intervention needed from the customer. After this, customers will be able to view Movies, Series and Wildlife in HD format.

The HD PVR decoder will be available in major retail stores from August 2008 and will launch at a special price of only R2 499.00 (for a limited time period).

MultiChoice subscribers will also in the near future, be able to link the HD PVR to their current Dual View PVR to enjoy 3 viewing environments, or link the HD PVR to 1110 decoder to enjoy 2 viewing environments, as part of the XtraView offering. The only additional cost to the monthly subscription fee is R55, which is the amount currently payable on the Dual View service.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ZA goes HighDef

Tonight, DSTV, Multichoice, MNet, whatever they are called will be announcing the launch of their High Definition decoders. Four years to late, I say, but we see what they have to offer.

I know that the Olympics will be in High Def, but I seem to understand that it will only be one channel. Will DSTV be showing High-Def series, movies and documentaries? I hope so.

Pricing will also be an issue and I will report on that tomorrow.

Stay close.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Windows vs Ubuntu

I have not delved into the war between Windows and Ubuntu. Although, if it were a true war, it would be more like when Germany invaded Austria. Not much of a fight was put up by the Austians, was there?

When I edited Digital Life, there was an insistance from the geekdom that we include an Open Source section. It was fine and it took up two easy pages. I decided that if open source and Linux etc should get its own pages, so should Mac and Windows. Suddenly advertising arrived. Wow! People use Windows! Who would have thought?

Then I stumbled upon this little gem of information from Ed Bott at ZDnet. He did a little test with updates. Amazingly, Ubuntu needed more updates that Vista.

Sure, I hear you open source bunny say, it's because it needs to be updated. Well, duh! It's a work in progress.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First fringAdd-on applications add new internet dimension to mobile platform

fring has released the first fringAdd-ons, a selection of new applications designed to enrich the experience of fring’s mobile internet service and community which allows its users to talk, chat & interact with other fringsters and their popular online services from their mobile phones.

The first fringAdd-ons include a handy mobile version of social networks, video streaming and email notification applications directly from within fring. First examples provide fringsters with connectivity to Facebook and to Google’s social network Orkut, enabling continuous, real-time updates of all the key developments in your Facebook and Orkut accounts, Google Gmail notifier, alerting you to all your incoming Gmail messages and VTap the great new mobile video search and streaming service. The release of these early fringAdd-ons give fringsters a taste of new, fun way to enjoy & experience the internet on-the-go from any supported mobile device, simply with the latest version of fring and a data plan from a network provider.

fring-Add-ons are completely free of charge to activate and are integrated into fring, complementing the existing communication features and utilising its always-connected mobile internet capability to provide instant, hassle-free interactive access to pre-selected internet services. And because fring is, always-connected, fringAdd-ons provide real-time, two-way experiences, enabling fringsters to remain more connected than ever before and get even more out of taking their online world mobile with fring.

To activate the new fringAdd-ons, fringsters simply need to subscribe to their selected fringAdd-ons from the new “Manage Add-ons” menu.

Once selected, the fringAdd-on applications appear as familiar icons in the fringster’s Contact List. The “Manage Add-ons” menu will be continually updated and new fringAdd-ons will automatically appear in the Menu as they become available.

fringAdd-ons can be created under the recently released fringAPI by any web developer with a basic knowledge of XML/PHP , by visiting the developer zone at Third party developers will be able to publish their completed Add-ons to the new fring catalogue within a few weeks.

Avi Shechter, co-founder and CEO of fring comments: “The release of fringAdd-ons represents a natural and exciting step in the evolution of fring, designed to bring the richest user experience possible and put all of the fringster’s communication and mobile internet needs into one place with functionality and useful features that are fun, enjoyable and easy to use. We look forward to rolling out new fringAdd-ons developed by third parties and independent developers to enrich the experience even further as soon as they become available.”

Friday, July 11, 2008

MultiChoice enhances its Dual View offering

MultiChoice announced today the introduction of an enhanced version of Dual View, which is called XtraView.

This next generation solution provides a more cost effective and flexible viewing option in the home. XtraView is delivered through linking two decoders and allows the subscriber to add and link a decoder to another one as and when is required. The only cost to the subscriber’s monthly subscription is an access fee of R55.00, which is the current amount payable on the Dual View offering.

This new solution has improved benefits, which include the ability to add new features quicker, an improved sound and video quality on the second viewing environment, as well as full Interactive services in both viewing environments.

MultiChoice Chief Technology Officer: Gerdus van Eeden says, “Maintaining our technology leadership status enables us to keep abreast of technology developments. Our customers want flexibility and choice. The XtraView Solution provides this to MultiChoice’s diverse customer base.”

The implementation of this solution will initially be on the 1110 decoder models and will be available in early August. A subscriber will be able to add this decoder to another 1110 model to create a second viewing environment. The 1110 decoder is currently retailing at R399.00. This means customers will be able to experience an additional viewing environement at half the price normally paid for a Dual View decoder.

The XtraView Solution will be enabled in most of MultiChoice’s future decoders. However, the pairing options of various decoders will be announced in the near future.

The XtraView Solution is available on the Premium, Compact, Indian and Portuguese bouquets.

The battle for the remote will be replaced by the battle of which great channel to watch!