Sentech has announced that it will rebrand Vivid as a universal access direct-to-home satellite platform, “Freevision”, from 30 September 2013.
This confirms information from an industry source which told IT news website, MyBroadband that Sentech had plans to relaunch its satellite broadcasting platform.
The launch of Freevision is expected to be days before the launch of OpenView HD, a subscription-free satellite service from E-tv sister company, Platco.
According to Sentech, the launch of Freevision is a “gap-filler” while the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) is ongoing.
In its press statement, the state-owned signal distributor explained that a direct-to-home satellite service was envisioned as part of the DTT migration for those few who would not be able to receive terrestrial TV signals.
All licensed DTT broadcasters will be able to use the Freevision platform, Sentech said.
Freevision will use the Intelsat 20 satellite located at 68.5°E. This means that the majority of viewers in South Africa would not need to install a second satellite dish or change the position of their existing satellite dish when joining Freevision, Sentech said.
Sentech also said that it would only announce the retail pricing and channel line-up later.
An industry source has indicated that a Freevision dish, installation and decoder is expected to cost between R1,200 and R1,500.