The new DStv Explora will go on sale to the public tomorrow as Multichoice looks to keep its domination in the pay television arena firmly in place. We’ve already done a hands-on with the new decoder but in case you’re looking for the top 10 most important things about the Explora we’ve got that for you too.
Alternatively – if lists of 10 things don’t do it for you – check out our full written review.
No. 10 – Bigger and smaller
The storage space on the Explora has been increased 4 fold from a paltry 500GB in the outgoing HD PVR to a 2TB drive (the drive speed has also increased from 5400 to 5900rpm). It manages to beef up the internal storage while going on an external diet and slimming down in physical size at the same time. This extra storage gives total recording time a bump to 220 hours which means less fighting over what shows must be deleted to free up space on the decoder, a point that many families will be glad to hear.
No. 9 – Price
The new Explora will come in at a rather expensive R2 499 which is around R1 000 more expensive than the outgoing model depending on where you find it. Is the 67% bump in price worth it?
No. 8 – Single LNB
After years of having to run a thick pipe of cables into your living room the Explora finally brings that down to only 1 cable into your decoder. You still need 2 cables coming from your dish but they get joined in a box that then sends the signal down in one cable, perfect for the style conscientious among our readers.
[UPDATE] DStv was in contact with us yesterday to correct this: “It doesn’t use a single LNB, but can use a SatCR or Unicable LNB”
No.7 – More Catch Up
DStv’s Catch Up service will also benefit from the increased storage size of the HDD in the Explora. Catch Up has had it’s catalogue of ongoing series doubled to forty concurrent shows and each show can have up to 4 prior episodes available for the user to watch at any given time. Sport Catch Up will also be increasing the offering that they put together giving users more sports games, sets and matches to relax to after work.
No. 6 – More Box Office
Like Catch Up, Box Office will also see a bump in its catalogue size. The video on demand rental service will now have thirty titles available at any given time. The increase is a direct response to services like iTunes becoming available in South Africa giving us a choice in where we want to spend our money on renting movies.
No. 5 – Faster hardware
Besides the hard drive getting a bump the other internal components have also seen an increase in speed over the previous generation of PVR decoder. The CPU has been upgraded from a 1.1GHz model to a 3GHz unit in the Explora with a 4 fold increase in RAM to 1GB of DDR3 RAM.
No. 4 – New Remote
The new remote has been designed to be less complicated than the previous by removing the alternate functions mode. It features the big blue DStv central button that serves as the ‘home’ button to retrieve all of your content.
N0. 3 – Linux
The Explora is based on a Linux kernel and a completely custom developed code base from Multichoice themselves (with some help from other Naspers subsidiaries).
No. 2 – Future proof
The Explora comes with 3 USB ports which Multichoice have promised will be used for upgrading the technology in the future to allow for things like WiFi access and potentially 3G as well.
No. 1 – New interface
The most important thing by far about the new DStv Explora is the new interface. It’s fast and responsive and when we tested it out, it impressed us with the ability to handle anything we threw at it. For a more in depth look at the interface click through the our hands on impression of the new DStv Explora.