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Old 2017-03-13 , 08:52
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Default What should MCs prime focus be with DSTV Services?

I am not sure if this is the correct place to start a discussion on the above topic. This is not about a specific fault. The moderators are welcome to move this thread.

Preamble:
MC's prime focus in the past was to provide Broadcasting Services via satellite. Indeed this is what they are licensed for under the ECA and the Broadcasting Act. Yet we see increasingly a move towards providing streaming services via the Internet, to the detriment of its broadcasting platforms.

The Issues:

In my opinion I see less and less attention being placed on what is being offered over MCs broadcasting platform and more and more focus on the 'other' side of the business.

MC must remember that there are hundreds of thousands of their subscribers out there in SA with little or no Internet connectivity and their reason for having a DSTV service is because they can get their entertainment via the DTH platform.

It is of utmost importance that this platform work and works all the time. And that includes knowing that content MC sources WILL be broadcast and WILL be complete and will not suffer as a result of some content being placed on catchup and catchup plus.

It is not good enough for shows to appear on catchup only. It is not good enough that sometimes shows appear on catchup and then take months to reach the broadcast platform and then are incomplete.
It is not good enough that the on air EPG is becoming increasingly erratic, inaccurate, with the wrong synopses for shows.

It is not good enough where customers find themselves watching a series and finding that key episodes do not ever get broadcast, or are broadcast out of sequence. It is not fair that series end abruptly and do not complete.
It is not acceptable that when this sort of thing happens that the answer is very often, "but it was on catch up"

My contention that MC is creating an environment where the license they depend on for being in business is now at risk, simply because MC appear to have forgotten their prime focus, which is being an over-the-air broadcast service provider.

So how do you guys all feel about this? 1,2,3 go.
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  #2  
Old 2017-03-13 , 09:44
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Mad Cat Mad Cat is offline
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Agree. I get the feeling every time I ask an inconvenient question regarding repeats or CU, I get told "but it's on CU+". This should not be the answer from a broadcaster. I don't want to connect to the internet to watch tv!
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Old 2017-03-13 , 09:55
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There seems to be quite a bit of confusion with some of these perceptions that have been picked up on, unless I've missed something as I do watch less than I used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
MC must remember that there are hundreds of thousands of their subscribers out there in SA with little or no Internet connectivity and their reason for having a DSTV service is because they can get their entertainment via the DTH platform.
Based on the rest of the post it sounds like these concerns are maybe from more rural users. But they shouldn't be missing anything via live satellite TV & services.
What would affect them with limited internet connectivity is a lack of CU+ and online services access, but not the via-satellite CU itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
It is of utmost importance that this platform work and works all the time. And that includes knowing that content MC sources WILL be broadcast and WILL be complete and will not suffer as a result of some content being placed on catchup and catchup plus.

It is not good enough for shows to appear on catchup only. It is not good enough that sometimes shows appear on catchup and then take months to reach the broadcast platform and then are incomplete.
We're told (and I believe have conclusively seen) that almost without exception, studios and channels only allow programs to be offered on CU after they have aired on live TV. Sounds like misinformation delivered or derived somewhere.


The exceptions:
  • One series from one source was allowed to air on CU first, by special permission, and it still aired on live TV without any forum known problem that I can recall. I can't remember what it was, but it was a first and the situation hasn't reoccurred since.
  • The "Discovery HD Showcase" channel that was discontinued years ago did have an agreement with MC (and may still have) to still allow for some sci doccies to be aired on CU alone (I'm fairly sure it was not CU+ so still available to all on Premium).
  • Very occasionally, someone at MC forgets to inform the CU team about a discontinued or delayed series and they accidentally put on an episode or two before it should be allowed. That's usually cleared up quite quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
It is not good enough that the on air EPG is becoming increasingly erratic, inaccurate, with the wrong synopses for shows.
Personally I haven't seen this, rather seeing a general improvement.
Perhaps it's a matter of what channels are being discussed, presumably on other forums etc., the mainstream (as far as this forum goes) Premium channels seem to be in fair order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
It is not good enough where customers find themselves watching a series and finding that key episodes do not ever get broadcast, or are broadcast out of sequence. It is not fair that series end abruptly and do not complete.
Again not something generally posted here, but there was some concern about one or two series on Fox recently. Of course they're not a local channel.
Still MC's responsibility to get sorted out, a Mod was addressing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
It is not acceptable that when this sort of thing happens that the answer is very often, "but it was on catch up"
Agreed, and probably the source of much misconception about how CU etc. works...
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Old 2017-03-13 , 11:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
...studios and channels only allow programs to be offered on CU after they have aired on live TV.
Just to add that this is the same situation with CU+.

I do agree with Mad Cat that too much has now been moved from CU to CU+, a result of too much being done to satisfy the majority who seems to be more into soapies and reality shows.
But AFAIK it's still all on live TV first.

And one more clue re what channels are not performing well enough, this recent thread: Vuzu & Vuzu Amp - Never watch again CR@P
Maybe more of a concern now as the post mentions that some more-adult content has been relocated on them, I think probably due to the overcrowding problem on 101 & 102 (which will soon become just 101...)
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Old 2017-03-13 , 11:22
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beetle bailey beetle bailey is offline
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GeoffD I am 110% with you on this. MC's MAIN FOCUS should be on supplying good quality entertainment across all their channels which viewers can watch on their television without having to download them. Making programs available on Catch Up should be a bonus for those of us with a pvr. But these shows should also only be of what has already been shown on their Dstv channels.

Unfortunately, although for those with uncapped data packages this is a plus, too many shows seem to now be going on Dstv Catch Up Plus and require a download. Even those which would normally have been on Catch Up. I wonder how many of the subscribers are able to make use of this option? With my limited data, and being unable to afford a better data deal, I know that I cannot use it too much. There must be many more in the same situation.

So, yes GeoffD, I too think that MC is focusing too much on the streaming side of things and not enough on what is essentially their core function of entertaining those without access to the internet.
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Old 2017-03-13 , 11:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle bailey View Post
But these shows should also only be of what has already been shown on their Dstv channels.
This is the main point of the confusion that seems to be out there, and what your whole post is based on as well.
So what shows are not on live TV first, BB?
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Old 2017-03-13 , 11:41
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As Opitmist points out, all shows are screened live first, BUT, screening them only once before shipping them off to CU+ for downloading does not work for me. There must be a repeat system in place.
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Last edited by Mad Cat; 2017-03-13 at 12:03. .
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Old 2017-03-13 , 11:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cat View Post
As Optmist points out, all shows are screened live first, BUT, screening them only once before shipping them off to CU+ for downloading does not work for me. There must be a repeat system in place.
Optimist .... this.
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Old 2017-03-13 , 12:38
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Agree with you both, however as important as repeats are it's not the direct point which needs clearing up.
Unless there's something going on we don't know about, there's no problem with anyone being forced to only be able to use CU+ , just confusion.

BUT, some of that confusion could very well be due to lack of repeats, I suspect that some people are discovering the programs too late.
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Old 2017-03-13 , 13:26
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And now there's what has since been revealed in other threads today - some titles on a break that were then further delayed were accidentally partially played out on CU / CU+.
We haven't heard from the Mods yet, but it's clear from discussion and date details of the one CU+ synopsis posted by @Jan Horn that someone or something fouled up in the CU dept., or with the further changed details communication from the channel.

So presumably this has set off a new set of reactions elsewhere on social media...
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