It’s finally happened: MultiChoice has released an update for the DStv Explora decoder that lets it connect directly to the internet, allowing it to access video on demand (VOD) services provided by DStv as well as remote features that will let people set recording schedules via their mobiles and from internet-connected computers.

TechCentral reports that at a press briefing yesterday, DStv’s Digital Media CEO John Kotsaftis said Explora decoders can now connect to the internet directly via their built-in Ethernet ports, or using DSTV’s Wi-Fi Connector add-on that sells for a recommended retail price of R399.

Catch-Up Plus will launch alongside the new functionality, offering an extra 300 shows – including box sets – on top of the 280 currently available through the existing Catch-Up service. TechCentral said that before those shows can be watched, they will need to be downloaded to the subscriber’s Explora decoder. Streaming video, which is the ability to watch video from the internet while it’s downloading, will be added in the second quarter of 2015, Kotsaftis said.

The DStv website says “DStv Connected Services are included in your monthly subscription and access fee. Data charges apply when using these features”, which means the internet-connected network the Explora must hook in to – and its associated costs – is your responsibility, but that there is no additional charge for the new functionality.

This was confirmed by a call to DStv’s Service Centre; they also confirmed a minimum connection speed of 2mbps is required to make use of Catch Up Plus, but we couldn’t get anyone to confirm how many gigabytes each show is in order to get a sense of the bandwidth required to make regular use of Catch Up Plus despite being bounced to three separate consultants.

Subscribers will be able to queue up to 25 shows to download to the Explora’s hard drive at a time. If the average show costs 1GB of data (a reasonable guess) to download, that’s 25GB of data that will be required to watch 25 shows on Catch Up Plus a month. Time to up your cap, then, or go uncapped?

Kotsaftis said he expects all Explora decoders to “be fully connected by 20 November”.

[Source – TechCentral, Image –]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.