DStv is expanding its subscription satellite TV bouquet by adding a new set of high definition (HD) movie channels from October. The new self-packaged movie channels in HD, provided to the DStv platform by M-Net, also means a channel number shake-up on DStv's channel line-up.
While the Universal Channel and Studio Universal channels are both being upgraded to HD from October, DStv is removing the M-Net Movies 1, M-Net Movies 2and M-Net HD channels.
They're being replaced by six new TV channels in HD for DStv Premium viewers: M-Net Movies Premiere, M-Net Movies Action+, M-Net Movies Family, M-Net Movies Comedy, M-Net Movies Drama & Romance, and M-Net Movies Showcase.
M-Net/M-Net HD to merge
The existing M-Net Movies Stars and M-Net Movies Action will remain as standard definition (SD) channels and be available to DStv Compact subscribers but will also be changing their look from October.
Two further TV channels – AfricaMagic Entertainment and AfricaMagic Movies – launched in April but since then only seen in the rest of Africa, will also be seen on DStv in South Africa from October as SD channels.
Where SD and HD versions of the same DStv TV channel already exist – for instance M-Net on channel 101 and M-Net HD on channel 170, those will now merge from October. DStv decoders will automatically show the HD version of a TV channel in the case of M-Net, Universal Channel and Studio Universal to relevant subscribers.
The HD channels upgrade and additions means that DStv will now have 14 HD channels in total from October.
The changes come as a result of MultiChoice's expanded capacity since the successful launch of the new Intelsat 20 (IS-20) satellite at the start of August giving the pay-TV platform a massive boost in broadband capacity, which makes more TV channels possible.
"We have made a significant investment in this satellite and we will continue to invest in new technology," said Collins Khumalo, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.
He added that MultiChoice is already working on further new TV channels and that further innovation for the pay-TV provider is on the cards.
"We are really excited about the new satellite and the additional capacity that comes with it. We have reorganised channel numbers to improve the overall navigation experience and to ensure that the DStv platform is set up for future growth."
New channel numbers
Since the existing channel numbers for the block of movie channels have been used up and to make room for the current and future expansion, MultiChoice has decided to do a channel number change from October at the same time as making the new channels available.
The channel number block order on DStv will change as follows from October:
101 – 143: general entertainment channels with international content
144 – 169: general entertainment channels with local content
170 – 190: documentaries and lifestyle
191 – 195: free-to-air channels such as the SABC and e.tv
198 – 199: events channels
200 – onwards: SuperSport channels including SuperSport HD
The kids, music, news and religion genre blocks and their channel numbers remain unchanged.