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MultiChoice launches single view DStv HD Decoder

Posted by radio On August - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

MultiChoice has released its first HD single view decoder, the DStv HD Decoder, which will make great HD quality viewing and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound accessible to more DStv customers. This decoder will replace the existing standard definition single view decoder.SingleViewHD_LG


The DStv HD Decoder’s user interface is similar to the DStv Explora as it’s also locally developed by MultiChoice. Most functions can be performed from DStv Central, accessed through the blue DStv button on the remote control. This user interface makes for easier navigation through the HD menus and helps customers discover great DStv content available via multiple search options directly from the remote control.


Mark Rayner, COO for MultiChoice South Africa said: “We recently made HD channels available to all DStv customers with the necessary HD equipment. This decoder now makes those HD channels more accessible. High definition creates a far superior television viewing experience in terms of picture quality and the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound adds a new dimension to the audio experience. The DStv HD Decoder will open up a new world for many DStv customers.”


The decoder is XtraView capable and can be paired with selected XtraView compatible decoders (excluding the SD PVR).


The DStv HD Decoder is available at R499 or at R799 with installation. Customers can purchase the decoder directly from MultiChoice branches or from leading retailers.


The DStv Explora, launched a year ago, is MultiChoice’s full-feature PVR. Both decoders are manufactured in South Africa, with the user interface software designed and developed by MultiChoice.


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Redi Tlhabi powered by wheels of change

Posted by radio On August - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Farai Diza]


The ambitions we had when we were growing up undoubtedly had an impact as we chose our career paths. A lot can attest that the people we watched on TV and idolised in many forms somehow contributed to our ambitions.


redi-tlhabiFrom breastfeeding her baby during her live show, to publishing a book that scooped a prestigious award for its punted nonfiction prose, Redi Tlhabi (Nee Direko) has been there and done that. A workaholic by note, Redi’s quickly learnt  not to commit to everything that pops up in her inbox.


Redi’s journey to broadcasting all began in 1990 when she was 12 years old and watched the release of Nelson Mandela from prison live on television. Her only thought was ‘that should be me shoving the microphone in his face and talking to the camera.’


Her ambition subsequently became that of being a news reporter and she has weathered all storms to build a rewarding media career working up the ranks to become one of South Africa’s most distinguished and recognisable broadcasters.


Redi hit headlines in February this year when she breastfed her daughter live on air during her show after power outages at home led to the first time mum bringing her four month old baby Neo to work.


“Mums must do whatever they can to nurture and respond to the needs of their babies. I once kept Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson waiting because I had to breastfeed. I had warned the organisers of the event in advance. They were gracious and understanding,” said Tlhabi who had previously had vowed never to breastfeed in public before she feel pregnant.


Tlhabi said mothers can be made to feel as if breastfeeding is a frivolous luxury.

Her book, Endings and Beginnings, was released in November 2012 and won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award last year.

Tlhabi is a warm hearted, charismatic and thought provoking 36 year old Radio 702 DJ who is loved throughout South Africa. She is also a TV presenter and a well renowned columnist.

Her talk show has proven to be extremely popular because she appeals to South Africans of all races and economic backgrounds. She comfortably crosses cultural lines from suburban housewives, through to academics, politicians and the least empowered listeners in townships.


“We have developed a winning formula and there is no need to interfere with it,” Tlhabi said of her show.

Redi boasts of an honours Degree in Political Economy and English Literature and has been a radio and TV journalist since the mid-nineties.

When she is not studying, presenting her show on radio, she reads extensively and runs half marathons.

Redi got engaged to medical practitioner Brian Tlhabi on Valentine’s Day 2010. The couple married on Sunday 12 September 2010 in Mulbarton.

‘My moto to all aspects of life is to respond to what needs to happen at that moment and everything else can wait.’


Fact Sheet

Full Names: Redi Direko

Date of Birth: 5 May 1978

Place of Birth: Orlando East, Soweto

Likes: Reading


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MultiChoice has announced that it will make HD channels available to all its customers. Effective immediately, customers who have channels in their package that are also available in HD, will see these channels in HD if they have the necessary HD equipment. Previously, only DStv Premium customers had access to HD channels on their package.


DStv-digitalIn future when new channels are added to DStv packages and those channels are available in HD, they will be offered to customers with HD equipment, in HD.


Currently DStv Premium customers with an HD decoder and an HD capable TV, have access to 20 HD channels. DStv Extra customers will now have access to six HD channels, DStv Compact customers four HD channels, DStv Family and Select one HD channel each. There are currently no HD channels available for customers on DStv Access and EasyView.


“High definition has become the standard for premium television around the world – we want to offer our customers the best entertainment possible. HD television significantly enhances the viewing experience – we can’t wait for our customers to start enjoying their DStv entertainment in crystal clear HD quality. This is the way to truly feel every moment!” commented Mark Rayner, COO for MultiChoice South Africa.


Customers do not need to do anything to get these HD channels – if they have HD decoders and HD capable televisions, they will see the HD channels that are available on their package in HD within the next week. An easy way to tell whether you are seeing the channel in HD is to look for the words HD next to the channel name on the EPG. More importantly, this won’t cost anything extra – customers will continue to pay the normal subscription fee for their specific DStv package.


Please note that only customers with HD decoders and HD capable televisions will see the content in HD – all other customers will see the content in Standard Definition.

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[By: Farai Diza]


dj_sbu_sibusiso_leopeMetro FM’s sensational DJ Sbu is just your vote away from being crowned the ANN7’s South African of the year after his name was listed among the final nominees.



Sbu will not easily sail to the podium as he is up against some of the country’s most inspirational leaders. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, public protector Thuli Madonsela, Free State University’s Professor Jonathan Jansen, musician Johnny Clegg, chair of the African Union Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Proudly South Africa’s Leslie Sedibe have all been nominated for the top award.




Meanwhile, Kaya FM Talk Show Host John Perlman was the second radio personality to be nominated after his name popped up in the Spirit of Humanity category. His Dreamfields project has inspired many into giving.




Metro FM’s poster girl and seasoned socialite, Bonang Matheba, was nominated in the Trendsetting Celebrity of the Year.



Media dynamo Basetsana Kumalo was nominated in the Businessperson of the Year category while Simphiwe Mashexa, executive founder of BEAT magazine, was nominated in the Young South African of the Year category.




Moegsien Williams, Editor in Chief of The New Age and 24 hour news channel ANN7, said the South African of the Year concept was borne out of a brainstorm on how ANN7 should celebrate its first year and how the newspaper and TV channel could honour South Africa’s 20 years of democracy.



“There are two underpinning themes to the concept. The first is our 20 years of democracy and the achievements we have made. The second is the idea of being proudly South African. Of being patriotic,” he singled out.



The public have the opportunity of voting for their favourite extraordinary South Africans till 22 August and the winners will be announced next month.

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Masechaba Lekalake has it all Going On

Posted by radio On August - 13 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Farai Diza]


Many will know her as the bubbly hostess who recently brought us the game show – Everyone Loves South Africa – that aired on eTV. Some will recognise her as the social issues tackling strong head on the eTV morning show Ekse Lets Talk.


Many will leap in thought as they link her with the presenter of numerous other shows that include the MTN game show, That’I’Zak as well as SABC 3’s Creativity game show, Out of the box with Paul Viv, Morning Live, Afro Showbiz and sports show WWP.


But the majority of South Africans will adhere that they fell in love with her on radio were she hosts The Power Life – a health, lifestyle and sex talk show on Power FM for 7-9pm.


“Power Life is the one show that cuts across various demographics on the station. It expands on the more serious matters of the heart and reflects on people’s personal issues, challenges, struggles, and triumphs. People find it easy to talk to me because I listen with genuine interest. Even strangers from outside the radio realm find it easy to connect with me. Radio became the first platform to tap into my calling and it is where I can impact on society.”


Meet Masechaba Lekalake


Born in neighbouring Zambia to Soweto revolutionaries some 31 years ago, Masechaba spent the first five years of her life in Lusaka and a few more months in Zimbabwe. Aged just 6, she took the long flight to the United States where she joined her parents in California.


“My parents travelled a lot so keeping friends wasn’t easy. I moved to the US when I was 6 because my parents went to study there. During those years I would spend most of my time alone because my parents were busy with their studies. I was what they would call a latchkey child, meaning 90% of the time, I was home alone,” she stated.masch12


Masechaba would go on to study under the bright lights of Oakland for seven years. Having returned home in 1995, Masechaba knew that her destiny was in the media industry having written children’s short stories that were published in local children’s magazines in the United States.


“I’m a shy person but I have learnt to be confident. The confidence was a conscious effort because I didn’t socialise easily. I found solace in books instead,” she confided.


Back home, her broadcasting career kicked off at Urban Brew studios but she subsequently resigned and became a freelance writer before joining the SABC. She then went on to become the anchor of terrestrial TV channel eNews Africa.


She has established herself among the cluster of vibrant young female broadcasters with other media experiences that include directing music videos and hosting entertainment events.


Power FM is barely a year old but Masechaba took it to dizzy heights when she won the stations first MTN Radio Award. Power Life won the Best Commercial Night Time Show.


“I believed that we could win the award because I like to affirm positive things but at the same time we were up against very good shows. It’s an honour because this was our inaugural year and the first time at the awards. The team is very happy with this achievement and we hope to grow from strength to strength,” she professed after winning the award.


She looks up to Power FM colleague Lerato Mbele and believes that women in radio have what it takes to match their male counterparts.

“I don’t subscribe to this industry’s fickle sheep mentality! If God created you different, why you on earth want to be like someone else? I’ve always been and will always be 100% me, inside and out,” she divulged.

She is also riding the crest of a wave as the Chief Executive Officer for Masechaba Media and she is currently an Ambassador for the Gauteng Tourism Authority, Seychelles Islands and Rainbow and Smiles.


Fact File

Full Names: Masechaba Lekalake

Place Of Birth: Lusaka, Zambia

Likes: Picnics and inspirational books

Things You Didn’t Know: She can sing but will never do it professionally. She also likes Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. She studied at Boston Media House. Masechaba means ‘Mother of the Nation’


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According to Patrick Conroy, head of News at eNCA, consumers are more sophisticated than ever before and are easily able to distinguish between editorial and branded content.  Speaking at The Future of Media & Advertising conference last week, he said the old model of television broadcasting which cast a strict distinction between editorial and advertising is no longer viable.


He was quick to point out, however, that broadcasters have not entirely abandoned all their editorial principles but have instead adopted a new content model with a combination of created content, curated content and commercial content.


future of TV_full

Created content, he pointed out, while time-consuming to produce, is what sets broadcasters apart. Curated content, on the other hand, is cost-effective but ensures you look just like your competitors. He believes even commercial content, if broadcasters focus more on the content than on the brand, can be editorially valuable.


Going forward, media partnerships will be vital to the future success of television as the rules of the game are redefined. Messages, he said, need to be delivered in the right context ensuring great content experiences across all relevant platforms. At the same time journalistic principles and values need to be adopted to mitigate any risks.


The panel discussion that followed Conroy’s introduction focused on the need for TV broadcasters to identify ways in which they can add value to the lives of consumers, how they need to introduce new techniques to cut through the clutter, and how they need to see themselves as more than just broadcasters.


Consumers are now firmly established in their digital patters and increasingly using second screens – perhaps a result of repetitive TV content? As a result both broadcasters and advertisers have to relook their market space: what are people doing prior to watching TV, for instance. In order to survive, traditional television broadcasters need to extend their continuum.


Television is about entertaining and informing people in a consumer and customer centric manner. Too much choice is a chore but if broadcasters understand their consumers’ needs it needn’t be a downfall.


Although branded content has traditionally been viewed as second class entertainment, today’s viewers are increasingly more forgiving of branded content where it creates value for the end consumer. Ultimately it’s about the level of trust broadcasters are able to build with their viewers that determines how and when branded content is included. At the same time advertisers are under pressure to ensure that branded content makes for compelling viewing.



[Source: Redzone]

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Siyaya TV more than just about Bafana rights

Posted by radio On August - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Farai Diza]


tvLast weekend, South Africa woke up to the news that Siyaya TV had acquired the rights to air Bafana Bafana matches for a whooping R1 billion. Newspapers were awash with the revelation that the SABC had lost the rights to broadcast the matches and these reports were confirmed by the South African Football Association who reiterated that they had won the rights to show all national team games live – from junior to senior level.


Many were left asking themselves what Siyaya TV was all about and whether they will be able to watch Bafana in the Shakes Mashaba era. The SABC contract ends at the end of April 2015.


Who really are Siyaya TV and what are they bent on achieving on the competitive South African broadcasting scope?


Siyaya is one of the five new operators who have been awarded provisional licences to operate as pay channels. The other four players are namely Mindset Media, Close TV, Mobile TV and Kagiso TV.


The Bakgatla ba Kgafela in the North West, led by John Molefe Pilane, are the major shareholders of Siyaya TV. It is a 100% black owned consortium. Other shareholders are Transnet Freight CEO Siyabonga Gama, Siyaya Board Member Aubrey Tau and TV personality Dali Tambo.


When government first called for expressions for digital terrestrial television (DTT), one of its goals was that DTT should reach rural communities and the Bakgatla are seizing that opportunity.


“We are transforming the broadcasting industry by participating in it ourselves, and not just coming in and asking for jobs. We will change the face of broadcasting through Siyaya TV,” said John Molefe Pilane adding that the television station targeted black middle and low income earners who were also at the forefront as soccer lovers.

According to City Press, the new player’s submission to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) noted that viewers would be charged a monthly subscription of R70. It boasts of a strong sports heavy business model.


“We were advised to get other programmes. We decided to get the soccer before other products. Soccer is hugely popular in this country and is supposed to be bigger than rugby or cricket,” stressed Pilane.

Media reports have stated that Siyaya TV wants to start its own local soccer league and broadcast those matches for a monthly subscription fee of R70 with a PVR.


It is yet to be seen if Siyaya can withstand the heat and not fizzle like other aspiring broadcasters who got licences seven years ago and never saw the light of day. Only Top TV – which is struggling and now trading as Star Sat – has managed to keep up with the broadcast Joneses.

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SuperSport has bought pay broadcast rights to all 50 CAF Afcon 2015 qualifiers that will be produced by Sportfive.


Afcon2015-logo300x300The qualifiers, which run over six weekends, begin in early September and continue through November ahead of the Afcon tournament in Morocco in January. A minimum of seven games, all in High Definition, will be broadcast on match weekends.


Coverage will include all six home and away games featuring defending champions Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Angola and Zambia.


Up to two-thirds of matches featuring Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Tanzania will also be broadcast.


Towards the latter part of qualification, games featuring African giants Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Algeria will also be featured on the World of Champions.



SuperSport plans to broadcast games on SS3, SS4, SS5, SS7 and the corresponding HD channels.


The matches will be broadcast in all SuperSport’s Sub-Saharan territories, with rights also available on multi-platforms: streaming, DVBH, Catch Up and VOD.


“I’m delighted because this is the first time we have secured a block of Afcon qualifiers,” said Brandon Foot, Acting Chief Executive of SuperSport. “With World Cup fever still in the air, it’s a great time to be a football fan. Games on SuperSport will come thick and fast: just as fans want.”


SuperSport’s selections for Match Day 1 (September 5 and 6):


Sudan v Bafana Bafana; Nigeria v Congo/Rwanda; Gabon v Angola; Ghana v Uganda/Equatorial Guinea; Zambia v Tanzania/Mozambique; Burkina Faso v Lesotho.

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M-Net and DStv add two new premium channels

Posted by radio On August - 6 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


Pay-television content provider M-Net will be launching two diverse new cutting-edge general entertainment channels in October 2014 to form part of its varied family of premium channels on DStv.


While the channel names, as well as the detailed schedules, are still under wraps, M-Net has confirmed that these two channels will be aimed at distinct audiences and will allow for even more top-notch content at top-of-mind, easy-to-find channel destinations. Both channels will also be in HD.


The first of the two new general entertainment channels will be the bold, irreverent sibling of the ever-popular M-Net channel 101, renowned for its blockbuster, fresh content from around the globe. This channel will be an  unlimited playground for those who are avid followers of highly-acclaimed and award-winning, but often eyebrow-raising and thought-provoking, edgy content –  in the vein of Game of Thrones, House of Cards, True Detective, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie. In addition to fresh seasons of this type of content from the US, the channel will be the home of cult fare such as Sopranos and Six Feet Under – screened every day of the week. This means that you can indulge in these iconic stories the way you would have done with a box set.


The second planned channel will be linked to the popular Vuzu brand, curating some of the best global and local entertainment. In short, it will be your “out of this world entertainment”: trendy, current, urban, and an extension of the Vuzu vibe. The channel will include brand new local reality shows, glitzy local celeb-watching and new seasons of hot international shows such as The Fixer as well as Lala’s Full Court Life and Vampire Diaries.


M-Net’s CEO for South Africa, Yolisa Phahle, says that this is an exciting, progressive move on the pay-television front: “Across the globe, television and other entertainment platforms are evolving at breakneck speed as a result of new technology and changing consumer preferences. As a company, M-Net has its finger on the pulse of these developments and we will continue to evaluate, adjust and reshuffle our channel offering accordingly for the benefit of the viewer.


“The recent Express from the US content delivery and these new channels are testament of our commitment to remain leaders in the game.”


To be able to create these two unprecedented channels, the current M-Net Series Showcase and M-Net Series Reality channels on DStv Premium will discontinue as of October. Instead, the content from these channels will in future be on either of the M-Net or VUZU general entertainment channels.


According to Phahle, series lovers shouldn’t fear that their favourite shows will disappear as a result of these changes. “On the contrary; this only allows us to curate the greatest content available in an even better way.”


More information about the new channels and their specific content will be released in due course.


“But you can rest assured – it will take our M-Net offering on DStv Premium to the next level.” says Phahle.

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Vincent Maher joins Kagiso media

Posted by radio On August - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Vincent Maher has joined Kagiso Media, a Kagiso Tiso Holdings company, as chief innovation officer.


vincent-maherMaher was co-founder of mobile community specialist, Motribe. When Motribe was acquired by social network Mxit, in 2012, he took on the role of chief product officer at Mxit. While there, Maher spearheaded the social network’s migration from feature phones to smartphones, says Kagiso Media in a statement.


Kagiso Media is positioning itself so it can take advantage of changes in the way technology is used and consumed, and is moving into the realm of linking its broadcasting assets and digital entities to obtain a deeper understanding of its audiences.


The group has several radio assets, including East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM, as well as new media firm Gloo, property and geospatial data company Knowledge Factory, and a majority stake in Urban Brew.


Maher’s role as chief innovation officer will incorporate the development of new and innovative concepts, prototyping new products in the mobile and apps space, and looking at technical standards across the group.


“The zone where audiences, media and technology collide is where you find the greatest opportunity to innovate and create new media that never existed before. I am looking forward to getting right into the thick of it at Kagiso Media,” he says.


Maher also brings with him telecoms experience as  a former commercial manager for mobile advertising and portfolio manager for social media at Vodacom. “In this role, he was responsible for the rapid growth of The Grid, Vodacom’s location-based social network and instant messaging platform. Maher also helped launch Legends of Echo, a multiplayer location-based mobile game,” Kagiso Media notes.


Maher has also held the position of strategist at Mail & Guardian Online and co-founder of the blog search engine and article aggregator He enjoyed stints as director of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University School of Journalism & Media Studies, and as digital commerce and multimedia director at VWV Interactive.

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