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OpenView HD now in over half a million homes

Posted by radio On August - 24 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

OpenView HD surpassed half a million activated households on Tuesday.

OpenView-HD

Platco Digital’s Managing Director Patrick Conroy says, “500 000 active OpenView HD set-top boxes is significant because the platform now has at least 2 million viewers. The more popular channels include e.tv HD, eMovies Plus, DaVinci Learning, Glow TV and our new addition to the OpenView HD bouquet Trace Sport Stars.”

 

OpenView HD will be celebrating its 3rd birthday in October and will be announcing the launch of a new channel to celebrate this.

 

Conroy adds, “The mix of content including educational, children and entertainment programming is appealing to our target market. First time buyers of multi-channel television are enjoying the choice that the platform offers.”

 

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Cost of data holding back adoption of internet TV

Posted by radio On August - 24 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

In a recent consumer survey commissioned by ShowMax, the most common reason cited for not signing up to internet TV services is the cost of data. The amount of data needed to stream TV shows and movies can be one gigabyte (GB) per hour or more. To help manage this, ShowMax has introduced bandwidth capping functionality that can reduce data consumption by as much as 75%. ShowMax has also introduced a bandwidth calculator to help customers estimate how much data they need.

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“We knew anecdotally that people were worried about internet costs, but the results of the survey were stark. Forty percent of respondents said the main reason they don’t use internet TV services is the high cost of data. Twice as many people chose this over the next most common concern, which was not understanding how to set up internet TV,” said Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer at ShowMax.

 

ShowMax has been actively addressing the data cost challenge, first by introducing the ability to download TV shows and movies to take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots, and now by introducing user-selectable bandwidth capping on most of its apps. Subscribers can select either a low bandwidth cap of 0.3 GB/hr, a medium cap of 0.7 GB/hr, or leave usage uncapped.

 

Watching five hours per week, which is enough for 15 episodes of The Big Bang Theory or 7 episodes of Suits, the maximum amount of data used would be as follows:

 

 

Low bandwidth cap (0.3 GB/hr):   1.5 GB / week

Medium bandwidth cap (0.7 GB/hr):  3.5 GB / week

Uncapped (1.4 GB/hr):    7.1 GB / week

 

The low usage setting equates to a resolution of 360p, the medium equates to standard definition 480p, while uncapped can deliver up to 720p high definition. All ShowMax apps feature dynamic streaming with active monitoring of the connection speed and automatic adjustment of resolution to the make the most of the available bandwidth, up to the selected cap.

 

 

To help estimate data usage, ShowMax has created a bandwidth calculator. Simply choose the required quality level and the number of hours watched per week, and the calculator gives an estimate of weekly and monthly data usage. The calculator is accessible here: https://www.showmax.com/eng/go/bandwidth-calculator.

 

 

“We purposefully made bandwidth capping applicable at the individual app level rather than have a blanket setting for the account. This way, it’s possible to chose a lower usage cap for smaller screens – perhaps for the kids watching cartoons on a tablet – while still having the full HD experience on a big screen TV.

 

 

“The data cost challenge is greater in Africa than almost anywhere else and ShowMax has been at the forefront of tackling this, first with downloads and now with bandwidth capping. The key to success in Africa is tailoring your service to local needs,” concludes Ernst.

 

 

ShowMax apps are available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Apple TV (4th generation), and selected Samsung and LG smart TVs. ShowMax apps support both AirPlay and Chromecast. The service can also be viewed on laptop and desktop computers via web browser.

 

 

Bandwidth capping settings can be accessed either via the settings / app preferences menu on most apps, or by using the settings button on the play bar if connecting via a web browser.

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MTV Base celebrates women

Posted by radio On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

More than 60 years ago, South Africa adopted the Women’s Charter to ensure fair representation, employment and equal treatment for women.

 

In 2016, MTV Base (322) has invited a panel of influential young women to participate in a special episode of MTV Base Roundtable: What Women Want, to discuss whether the Women’s Charter has lived up to its promise and if South African women have achieved the equality they sought.

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To ensure relevance in the roundtable forum, MTV Base conducted a research questionnaire with young South African women highlighting the importance of the three different topic points.

 

MTV Base Roundtable: What Women Want premieres on MTV Base (322) on Saturday 13 August at 15:00 CAT.

 

Well-known TV and radio personality Masechaba Ndlovu facilitates the What Women Want panel discussion between celebrated musicians Thandiswa Mazwai and Moneoa, presenter Refilwe Modiselle, actress Nomzamo Mbatha and TV personality Mome.

 

Commented Monde Twala, Vice President, BET, Youth & Music, VIMN Africa: “Youth activism is a critical reality in modern day Africa. The Women’s Charter was a landmark piece of legislation in its day and it’s important that we continue weigh up its success in today’s world against the massive efforts envisaged by inspirational figures such as Lilian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa, Albertina Sisulu and Helen Joseph. It appears there is still a long way to go when it comes to addressing inequalities.”

 

Continued Twala: “Shot at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, the MTV Base Roudtable is a 44-minute special that addresses a wide range of issues based around three core topics affecting contemporary young women on the continent: family, work and social. The panel explores subjects such as inequality in the workplace, unequal pay, and discrimination on leadership positions, sexual harassment and the role of women who oppress other women.”

 

The panel also addresses a number of social ills that take place within family structures, which erode the dignity of women through patriarchy entrenched in religion, traditions, gender roles, sexual abuse and other expectations imposed on women.

 

The discussion also focuses on social injustices women are faced with in their daily lives – how they should dress to avoid rape, dealing with harassment and disrespect, the judgement and labelling of women who stand up for themselves, date rape and “corrective” rape.

 

Tune into MTV Base Roundtable: What Women Want on MTV Base (322) on Saturday 13 August at 15:00 CAT.

 

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ShowMax clocks up 10 million views

Posted by radio On July - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Less than a year after launch, Africa’s largest subscription video on demand service has passed the 10 million views milestone.

 

Launched in August 2015, the internet TV service ShowMax has the largest subscription video catalogue in Africa. Earlier this month, the cumulative number of TV shows and movies watched by ShowMax customers exceeded 10 million. In total, more than five million hours of content have been viewed, the equivalent of more than 500 years if played back-to-back.

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Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer for ShowMax said:

 

“We knew we had a good product and an incredible engineering team when we launched ShowMax, but hitting this milestone in under a year is tangible proof that we’re on the right track.”

 

ShowMax has been specifically designed to cater to local needs. Some of the key features contributing to the popularity of ShowMax include:

 

 

The ability to download content to Android and Apple smartphones and tablets for viewing offline, addressing the challenge that internet connectivity isn’t yet ubiquitous in Africa

User-selectable bandwidth capping function that allow users to reduce data consumption by selecting a lower streaming video quality level

Partnerships with local connectivity providers to make it easier to access ShowMax and further reduce the cost of data

Prepaid vouchers, giving access to customers who don’t have a credit card

A large selection of local content on top of some of the most popular shows from Hollywood and the UK

 

 

“A service like ours isn’t static – It’s a constant process of making improvements and rolling out new features, monitoring the impact, and then making further tweaks.

 

“The positive reception we’ve had so far has come from listening to the needs of our customers and avoiding a one-size-fits-all mentality. There’s still loads to do and we’ve got a bunch of developments in the pipeline, but I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved so far”, concludes Ernst.

 

ShowMax is available in 37 countries in Africa, and supplies services to another 28 countries outside the continent.

 

For customers on the move, ShowMax has apps for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. For home viewing, ShowMax has apps for Samsung and LG smart TVs, Apple TV (4th generation) and most web browsers. ShowMax is also available via the DStv Explora.

 

Owners of non-smart TVs can view ShowMax by either using a DStv Explora, connecting a computer direct to their TV, or by broadcasting from smartphones and tablets using either Chromecast or Apple TV.

 

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Divas of Jozi  take over SABC3

Posted by radio On July - 4 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Divas of Jozi is filled with plenty of drama, tears and giggles as six sassy, larger than life women navigate the ups and downs of the glitz and glam in SABC 3’s latest offering which will premiere at 20h00 from 4th July, 2016.
The one hour uncensored reality TV show launching on Monday will take viewers into the lives of women who are living the life that many dream of. They have the money, the style  and they get to attend  parties that only the elite are seen at,  rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of the world.

divasThe show is filmed around the country. Taking the viewer anywhere the Divas go for a bit of fun. The show will certainly take you behind the high walls of the big mansions of the wealthy.
In the first episode, viewers will finally meet the Divas that everyone has been waiting to see.

The Divas of Jozi relate to almost every woman out there, the entrepreneurs, the single moms juggling a career and parenthood to the lucky women living the cushy life of having bagged a filthy rich husband and all the perks that come with it. Viewers will see it all raw and uncensored.

Brace yourself and prepare to meet the Divas:

 

• Sorisha Naidoo needs no formal introduction to South Africans. We first met this talented media personality when she had a role in Scandal. A role she played for three years. She later moved to Home Affairs the drama series and also did a presenting stint on Eastern Mosaic. She is currently married to Durban based billionaire Vivian Reddy and she is also a proud mother of two, not forgetting her many business interests and philanthropic work. The former Miss India South Africa runs a very popular aesthetic clinic nestled in the heart of Durban.

 

• Fashion entrepreneur Aimee Sadie promises to show us a fresh Joburg through her eyes. The 30-year-old lives in Sandton and runs a family owned business DESCH at Sandton City Mall. She dresses many of Joburg’s elite. She is a yoga and meditation enthusiast who is walking the toughest journey of recovering alcoholism. She has been committed to her recovery journey for two years.

 

• Single mom Nazley Delport is a sweet person until you cross her line. She is an Image Coach as well as a partner in a hair product company. While running her business ventures she also juggles studies towards Business Management at a fancy business school.

 

• Currently in her second marriage is the stylish Puleng Mash-Spies. She has two children from her previous marriage. She says she married young and divorced early. But as luck would have it. She married her second husband, a restaurateur. They both run a charity organisation but what keeps her most busy are her affairs as the Queen of Dainfern. A title she bestowed on herself for the up-market gated estate in Fourways. Puleng is also known for enjoying a glass of red wine with her breakfast, her blue eyes and her boisterous personality.

 

• The fifth member of the Divas of Jozi is radio and TV presenter Stevie French. She worked as a prime time news anchor for Fox Channel in in America. Her acting profile includes roles in SABC 3’s soapie Isidingo as well as political thriller Ihawu. She is currently on CliffCentral.

 

• The sixth participant is energetic mother of 4 boys and recruitment company owner Christie Swanepoel. She lives by the motto: “Energy, Passion and Human touch”. She runs a business with her ex-husband, while she is engaged to be married to Justin. They are currently planning their beach wedding.

 

Divas of Jozi will showcase all the real drama every Monday at 20h00 from 4th July on SABC 3 with the repeat on Wednesdays at 15h00.

 

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M-Net, channel 101 on DStv, and Telkom SA will soon be shining the spotlight on entrepreneurs with a local version of the Emmy Award-winning US reality show Shark Tank.

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Shark Tank South Africa will be broadcast on Sunday nights from October 2016. Entrepreneurs will have to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of successful South African business moguls, known as the “Sharks”, who are willing to invest their own money and time to develop deserving and potentially lucrative business ventures. They will need to convince these highly critical and experienced Sharks that it will be worth their while to bankroll their new business, product or invention.

 

Budding entrepreneurs can now submit their entries for Shark Tank South Africa. If shortlisted, participants will be able to step into the Shark Tank for a shot at convincing the Sharks to back them financially.

 

“It’s indeed the opportunity of a lifetime for everyone who needs some funds to make their money-making dreams come true,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “But take note, these Sharks have sharp teeth. You will need to tell them how much capital you’re asking for, in exchange for what percentage of equity in your business. Then the Sharks will grill you about your product, business forecasts, competition and growth ideas before even considering an investment. If you stand your ground, have your facts straight and show promise, however, the rewards will be worth the sweat, and you’ll be swimming with the big fish!”

 

So, how do you get into the Shark Tank? Sponsored in full by Telkom SA, entries for Shark Tank SA are now open. All you have to do is fill out the online entry form and submit a 60-second video with a concise version of your business pitch to the sharks. The video can be filmed on a camera or on your phone and doesn’t have to be of high production quality. It’s all about giving an elevator pitch that demonstrates that you really mean business.

 

Entries close on Sunday, 24 July and successful candidates will be notified by Thursday, 4 August. You have to be a South African citizen or resident, and must be over the age of 18 to enter.

 

“Telkom believes in the power of small business to create jobs and grow South Africa’s economy. We are proud to be able to partner with M-Net in bringing Shark Tank South Africa to our screens in order to inspire entrepreneurs and start-ups around the country,” said Telkom Chief Marketing Officer Enzo Scarcella.

 

The names of the Sharks will be announced in due course. Shark Tank is based on the format created by Nippon TV in Japan and distributed around the world by SPT. The series is produced for M-Net by Rapid Blue.

 

 

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Marlon Davids appointed MD of e.tv channels

Posted by radio On June - 25 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Marlon Davids has been appointed as the Managing Director of e.tv by eMedia Investments. He has been Acting Managing Director since April 2016.

Marlon-600x400Davids will now oversee the Group’s flagship free-to-air channel e.tv as well as its stable of entertainment channels, which includes eMovies+, eKasi+, eNolly+, eToonz+ and Beatlab.tv.

Having completed his studies in business administration, Davids joined e.tv’s customer care team in 2001 before rapidly progressing through positions in the channel’s scheduling, transfers and programming departments. He was the recipient of the Group’s inaugural eSpirit Award, an annual accolade that recognizes professional excellence, and was subsequently appointed as the Head of International Acquisitions.

He left the Group in April 2013 for a short while, before rejoining eMedia Investments in September 2014 as the General Manager of Content Strategy and Planning for e.tv.

Davids is looking forward to tackling his new role and says “e.tv and its people are part of my DNA. I am passionate about the television industry, with a special interest in both local and international content. I look forward to collaborating with the talented people within our business and the industry.”

Davids’ appointment is effective from 1 July 2016.

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M-Net and SuperSport have secured the rights to screen the much talked-about ITV documentary Oscar Pistorius: The Interview, featuring the former Paralympic athlete’s first television interview since the tragic events of Valentine’s Day in 2013.  M-Net viewers will be able to watch the interview as part of a Carte Blanche special minutes after its world-premiere on the UK television network on Friday, 24 June.

 

oscarThe Carte Blanche special, which will include an in-depth panel discussion, will start at 22:55 on Friday, 24 June on both M-Net and its sister channel M-Net City (channel 115), which is also on DStv Compact. Soon thereafter (exact details to be confirmed) the documentary as well as the Carte Blanche special will become available on all the DStv Catch Up platforms, while SuperSport will broadcast further screenings for those who didn’t stay up late for the express delivery to M-Net on Friday night.

 

“We will have the Oscar Pistorius interview on our screens literally as the end credits are rolling on ITV,” says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. “The content of the documentary will undoubtedly make headline news across the globe and our viewers will be able to see it in full and in high quality on the M-Net Channels first. In addition to that the Carte Blanche team, who has been following the trial intensively from the start, will add to the conversation with their valuable insights and comments with the Carte Blanche special.”

 

In Oscar Pistorius: The Interview, Peabody award-winning investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas meets up with the Blade Runner at his uncle Arnold Pistorius’ home in Waterkloof, Pretoria, where he has been under house arrest, awaiting sentencing after South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s original verdict of culpable homicide to murder.  Viewers will hear Oscar’s account of what happened on the night he shot and killed his then girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He also shares details about their relationship and his previous use of firearms. Furthermore, Mark Williams-Thomas probes into key details of the prosecution case which resulted in the conviction.

 

 

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Idols SA move to Mzansi Magic

Posted by radio On June - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

They are young, they are hungry and they are coming for you! South Africa, are you ready?

 

Now that the four-city audition tour is done and dusted, Mzansi Magic is ready to unveil the country’s new crop of wanna-be popstars in the 12th season of Idols SA. As the countdown to the new season edges closer and closer, Idols enthusiasts are going to be thrilled when the revamped grand dame of Mzansi’s music talent shows is revealed.

 

For the first time in the show’s history, Mzansi Magic will become the exclusive home to Idols SA.

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Mzansi Magic’s Nondumiso Mabece said the move was a perfect fit for Idols SA. “Idols is Mzansi’s longest running music talent spectacular and will fit right in with the rest of the country’s best reality shows including Date My Family, Our Perfect Wedding and Utatakho, amongst others. Mzansi Magic is undoubtedly home to local content that is compelling, captivating and authentically South African, and we welcome Idols SA with great excitement!”

 

To celebrate the move, Mzansi Magic introduced another Idols SA first when they opened the doors to the newly revamped Wild Coast Sun’s theatre for the gruelling Theatre Week, allowing friends, family, fans and Idols SA loyal supporters the opportunity to cheer on their favourites and give them the confidence boost they so desperately needed in this vocal duel of their lives.

 

It wouldn’t be Idols SA without the melodrama; and this year delivers on the tears, the tantrums, the excitement and great singing voices. All this, accompanied by the judges’ colourful commentary.

 

There’s Randall Abrahams’ famously caustic tongue, Unathi Msengana’s river of tears, Gareth Cliff’s deadpan critique, and Somizi Mhlongo’s effervescent personality and tongue twisting terminology.

 

And lest we forget that there’s more to Idols SA than just vocal pageantry, Telkom is back as the headline sponsor, with Ford making yet another turn as the car partner while Truworths continues to transform the amateur singers into stars on stage as the official clothing partner.

 

After auditioning close to 10 000 aspirant singers in four cities over a gruelling cross-country audition tour, enduring long hours of anxiety and rehearsals during Theatre Week, and finally whittling down the singers to the 16 who will captivate Mzansi’s imagination during the live broadcast, it’s safe to say the Idols XII is going to be the best season yet!

 

Idols SA season 12 will be broadcast on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161 from Sunday, 17 July 2016 at 17h00.

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“Black Lives Matter” to premier at DIFF

Posted by radio On June - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Black Lives Matter is a powerful and damning indictment on the current state of affairs for tens-of-thousands of miners working and living in abysmal conditions across South Africa. The film will have its global premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on Sunday 19 June at 12:30 at Maharani followed up by abother screening on the 23rd of June at 22:00 at Nu Metro Pavilion.

blmTaking the Marikana Massacre as its starting point, the film digs into the history of the mining sector as well as the political backstory that led up to the tragedy, and powerfully demonstrates that even since this defining moment, nothing has changed for most miners across South Africa.

Director Joseph Oesi, a South African filmmaker and TV journalist, was moved to produce the film after witnessing the devastating events of August 16th 2012 play out on TV screens across South Africa and the world. Oesi knew that this event was the manifestation of a much larger story that was taking place, not just in South Africa, but across the continent. He explains his motivation for making the film,

 

 

“This film being produced is a very important one at this juncture of my country’s change of course. South Africa has certainly set a course, fuelled by a betrayal to the original course set by the original struggle heroes and to the Freedom Charter. Mining, at the heart of the country’s economy, has underpinned the course in the interest of big business. In essence the struggles, sufferings from Colonialism and Apartheid still persist in modern day South Africa to the disappointment of the vast majority.”

Film Synopsis:

In South Africa, 22 years ago, the African National Congress came to power. This, many believed, would signify an end to racism and oppression, and our people would prosper. But today inequality and economic disempowerment are still rife. The corruption and power grabbing at all levels of society impacts not only on the moral fabric of our society but, more importantly, on the working class poor.

 

 

The massacre of 34 striking mineworkers at a mine called Marikana brought these issues into sharp focus. Now, in an area called Mokopane in South Africa’s Limpopo province, tensions between the community and the mining companies, and communities and their traditional leaders, seem set to explode, with equally dire consequences. Black Lives Matter explores how the mineral wealth, rightfully belonging to the people of South Africa, has been sold to capitalist interests for the enrichment of a few elite and at the expense of the country – and how traditional communities have been divided in this process.

 

 

This film takes us on a journey through three rural communities – the Mogales, the Kekanas, and the Mapelas. What they have in common is that the richest platinum bearing reef in the world runs underneath their land – and that international mining companies have made dubious deals with traditional leaders whose very legitimacy is questioned by the communities they supposedly serve.

http://blacklives.co.za/#!/trailer

 

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