TopTV launch: all the details

TopTV decoder and remote control

Finally, South Africans have a choice in pay TV. From this Saturday, 1 May, SA consumers will be able to choose between incumbent MultiChoice’s DStv services and newcomer On Digital Media’s TopTV.

With both sides gearing up for a protracted battle for the hearts and minds — and wallets — of the country’s TV-watching public, consumers look set to benefit.

Already, there are strong signs of the incumbent sharpening its game in the face of competition.

On Digital Media (ODM), in one corner, is promising to serve a market — the emerging middle class — that it says MultiChoice has failed to address adequately. In the other corner is MultiChoice, which is gearing up to launch new products, including DStv Lite, to try to head off what it clearly regards as a threat to its hegemony.

The TopTV offering, which consists of a four main bouquets — with 55 video channels and 25 audio channels in total — will be available through a range of retail outlets, including Pep, Game, Makro, Dion, selected Jumbo Cash & Carry stores, CCW, Brown’s and Weirs, and House & Home.

The TopTV decoder, including installation, costs R499 — significantly less than the DStv decoder costs with installation.

Subscriptions start at R99/month for a 24-channel option, rising to R249/month for all 55 channels. ODM says it plans to add a further 15 channels in the next few months.

ODM will offer the following bouquets on TopTV at launch this weekend (prices are per month):

  • Variety — R99
  • Variety and Kids & Music — R159
  • Variety and Entertainment & Knowledge — R159
  • Variety, Kids & Music and Entertainment & Knowledge — R189
  • Variety, Kids & Music and Ultimate Movies — R219
  • Variety, Entertainment & Knowledge and Ultimate Movies — R219
  • Variety, Kids & Music, Entertainment & Knowledge and Ultimate Movies — R249
TopTV's channels and bouquets (click for large version)

TopTV's channels and bouquets (click for large version)

Channels include Fox Entertainment, Fine Living Network, MGM, Discovery Travel & Living, Showtime, Discovery Science, BBC World, Fuel TV and Fox FX (see the TopTV-supplied table at left for full channel and bouquet details). However, TopTV lacks local sports content. This means soccer and rugby lovers who already subscribe to DStv will find it hard to switch services.

ODM CEO Vino Govender says the company has trained up satellite installers ahead of the launch to try to minimise expected delays in consumers getting the service in their homes. In all, there are 900-odd installers who can provide the service, he says. The company is aiming for a 48-hour turnaround on installations but admits consumers may have to wait longer if demand is high.

Normal 66cm DStv dishes can be used, though Govender says an 80cm dish is required. Consumers wanting to subscribe to both TopTV and DStv will need two separate dishes as the services use different satellites.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

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  • Anton

    But what the porn channels? Sheesh guys get your priorities straight ;-)

  • Krishnee

    Hi Brian, it is a month to month contract, you can call them and cancel at anytime, hope that this helps,

    From what i heard from the call centre agent, top tv had they test run from April and all is going well

  • JACOB

    I was only disappointed by the fact that i can’t use my dstv decoder to receive both.

  • Krishnee

    hi guys, i am now connected to top tv …. watching it as i type

  • Jan

    ok guys,

    We did a quite few installations the last 2 days… Believe me, you definitely need to have a 80+ cm dish, therefore, the normal dstv dish will not work, unless you have a very old antique, and then the odds are that it wont be able to bent over backwards enough…

    As for the decoder, our good friends there in Durban developed the decoder, and yes, I’m talking about Altech. Now, and can say that extraview, HD, and PVR might definately not be far behind. Multichoice might have the copyrights and stuff on their systems, but the technology was created by them. That is why the TOPtv looks similar to the 1131 decoder, but different.

    Guys, what you also need to remember, TOPtv is new on the market, and will grow over time. Multichoice started with M-NET, and gradually switched over to satellite… These guys made a jump into the deep end. So, if you want this to be good, support them, just like our elders supported Multichoice… (SUCKERS… lmao)

  • http://www.techcentral.co.za Mike

    DSTV lite! what a load of lite stuff…please add supersport 1 to it then i am convinced!!!

  • warren

    is there any rugby on toptv

  • Andre

    Hi yoall

    I also think that if dstv launches a porno channel I will cancell my subscription!!!!
    Sies man!!!

  • Jan

    Andre, let’s not get into IQ and so on, most people will prefer a porn channel. Let us face facts. 90% will say no to a porn channel, while only 30% truly means it. Besides that, DSTV does supply you with a parental control function. To use it, just read through the instructions. Then again, if someone is against porn (truly against it), what do you watch? New movies (70% at least) has some form of nudity in it, which can classify as soft porn in my books.

  • Kelly

    Rise Up!! Steven Pienaar is in the new TopTV Tv ad:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KNI9zcwKEU

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