Huge channel shake-up at DStv
Premium bouquet customers set to score as MultiChoice takes advantage of additional capacity on the recently launched IS20 satellite. By Duncan McLeod.
DStv, the satellite pay-TV product owned by Naspers-controlled broadcaster MultiChoice, will launch 13 new channels, including seven new high-definition (HD) channels, on 1 October as it migrates to a new, higher-capacity satellite.
MultiChoice will migrate its DStv services from the IS10 and IS7 satellites to the recently launched, high-capacity IS20 satellite before the end of September, the company says.
Using the newly available capacity on IS20, it will offer six new standard-definition (SD) channels and seven HD channels, bringing the number of HD channels on its premium bouquet to 14.
The additional HD channels include two from NBC Universal, namely Studio Universal and Universal, as well as five M-Net Movie channels.
M-Net will also replace its MM1 and MM2 movie channels and expand it to six movie channels, one premiere and five themed channels: M-Net Movies Premiere, M-Net Movies Action+, M-Net Movies Family, M-Net Movies Comedy, M-Net Movies Drama and Romance, and M-Net Movies Showcase. These channels will all be available in HD.
The IS20 satellite is expected to have a lifespan of about 15 years. It has 24 C-band and 60 Ku-band transponders. MultiChoice will use the Ku band for its direct-to-home television services. The satellite was launched on an Ariane rocket from French Guiana on 2 August.
At the same time as launching new channels, some channel numbers are being moved around to make space for future channels and to group relevant channels together.
General entertainment channels with international content will be located from channel 101 to 143, while general entertainment channels with local content will feature from channel 144 to 169, MultiChoice says.
Documentaries and lifestyle channels will be located from channel 170 to 190 and the free-to-air channels such as SABC and e.tv will be on channels 191 to 195.
The SuperSport channels in HD and SD will be housed from channel 200 onwards.
The changes will happen automatically in the early morning hours of 1 October.
Although some channels are being moved around, HD and SD channels will in future be available on the same channel number. For example, M-Net and M-Net HD will be on channel 101 from 1 October. In other words, M-Net and M-Net HD will be broadcast on the same channel number, namely 101. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media