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Old 2010-02-17 , 20:51
jzeller jzeller is offline
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Default Other decoders

Why can we not buy other (better) decoders from overseas? There are far better options out there to the HD PVR, etc. besides the DSTV offerings. Why is it that Multichoice feels the need to lock us into your own hardware products, when we have much better options if we are prepared to buy from out the country. It seems that in South Africa we do not have a choice and get locked in. Everywhere else in the world, they have a choice of what decoders to use, but I guess that is thanks to not having a monopoly.

Old 2010-02-17 , 21:58
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tsume tsume is offline
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Originally Posted by jzeller View Post
Why can we not buy other (better) decoders from overseas?
When dstv started, there where several type of decoders from different manufactures one could buy. This presented lots of issues as each one had it's bugs, so you can understand for Multichoice to focus on large group of decoders was a problem.
I believe most companys have they decoders set, its a industry standard. We can only hope to get such equipment like Tivo (if thats the type of equipment you are wanting to get).
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Old 2010-02-17 , 22:32
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The Pace decoder as used by MCA is used by at least 3 more international broadcasters e.g. FoxTel and DigiTurk and derivatives are used in more than 20 other countries. That is clearly an international model.

Prefer something like what the guys in the US are using?
The EchoStar PVR would be possible at about R3000 more than what you are paying for the MCA PVR.

Want the one like they are using for SKY in the UK?
No can do, they have an in-house company (Amstrad) that manufactures decoders exclusively for them.

Want a choice?
MCA provides a choice of two PVRs to ensure the best bang-for-buck through competition. The other broadcasters that do that can be counted on one hand.

The MCA decoder is hardware-wise equal to the very best out there. Believe me - I looked at all PVRs in our price class world-wide. (Which is the same everywhere except in the US)

We will continue to introduce newer, faster and cheaper models - equal to the very best available from anywhere - just because you don't have a bigger choice does not mean you have a bad choice - it just means we removed the irrelevant and poor choices beforehand.
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Old 2010-02-17 , 22:56
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yes but MC's software is woeful compared to the features offered in other countries (so I have been led to believe)
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Old 2010-02-18 , 09:05
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Bryopsis Bryopsis is offline
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imho I think MC lacks the presence of qualified people in s/w development and THAT is what is taking so long. I think they are using the excuse of testing and re-testing new features while meantime they cannot get the software malfunction sorted out!

As was mentioned a couple of times on this forum, why not do some damage control a.s.a.p. and release the bug fixes firstly, before other functionality gets added?

Its because there's a problem, they are struggling!!. My opinion only.
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Old 2010-02-18 , 22:27
jzeller jzeller is offline
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Default Choice of decoder

Multichoice forces you to use one of their decoders with the smart card tie in. If the other decoders available out there are not as good, why not let us have the choice? A few examples. No user choice to upgrade the hard drive. No way to copy saved movies off to a PC or some such like. No option to use it to browse the internet on your TV. The list goes on. Why have the smart card tied to the decoder. Give me the choice to use one of the other in C4's words inferior ones that lets me do that. The HD PVR is hardly the best there is. Cost effective maybe, but not the best functionality.
Old 2010-02-19 , 10:35
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Unhappy PACE used by Sky+HD

Originally Posted by : ) C4 View Post
Want the one like they are using for SKY in the UK?
No can do, they have an in-house company (Amstrad) that manufactures decoders exclusively for them.
That's not entirely true, C4. Yes, Sky DOES use their in-house company, Amstrad, to manufacture SOME of their decoders. But they also use Thomson, Samsung and PACE decoders!

In fact, they use a variant of the EXACT same PACE decoder model used by Multichoice... albeit with a different, more space-age casing. Oh, and I think their version does not have as many LNB inputs as the Multichoice version.

I think that, as I said in my post on the 1 year anniversary of the HDPVR, hardware is far less an issue than the poorly designed and implemented software of the HDPVR. Thus the SAME, and possibly more problems on the new HD decoders from UEC - because they too run the same, bad software.

I have no doubt that both the UEC and the PACE decoder hardware is good. But the software: BAD.

Please fix it. We beg of you... it's going on for TWO years now...

Last edited by MC Brenda; 2010-02-19 at 13:34. . Reason: T&C
Old 2010-02-19 , 13:20
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Lightbulb Software Choice

Sorry... seeing that I've found my voice again, I can't seem to shut up:

Something that someone else has pointed out in another forum post made me do some research and think...

Multichoice decided on the use of OpenTV's Core 2.0 middleware and PVR 2.0 EPG software, and the IRDETO conditional access system (the encryption software) for the HDPVR. As far as I remember, this is the same as used on the SDPVR, and the IRDETO CAS has been used by Multichoice on almost all their decoders for YEARS...

MOST of the other companies using the Pace TDS850 decoder variants, while using OpenTV's 1.3 middleware, use the NDS XTV PVR/EPG software, along with NDS Videoguard conditional access system.

I know that sounds a bit too technical for some of us, but here are my ASSUMPTIONS:

The Pace decoder seems to be a HUGE success for many other companies using the NDS system. (NDS's PVR software AND NDS security software.) So why is Multichoice's HDPVR decoder such a disaster?? What is different between their decoder and the decoder used by other companies??


I think that Multichoice HAD to keep using the IRDETO encryption software, as it is being used on all their other decoder platforms. So, seeing that they weren't using the NDS Videoguard encryption software, they couldn't use the FANTASTIC NDS XTV PVR/EPG software! They had to settle for something else... thus the OpenTV PVR 2.0 software.

OBVIOUSLY, something in that choice is not compatible. Nearly TWO years now, and basic bugs can't be addressed. Thus we have HDPVR's with fantastic hardware specs, but with embedded software that just doesn't work well together with the rest of the system - or can simply not offer the ease of use that we see available on the NDS EPG software.

Neither of the current hardware manufacturers are at fault here. PACE offers their units with whatever choice of software the operator decides upon. UEC in fact has partnered with NDS before to develop decoders, so no doubt they too offer their units with whatever choice of software the operator wants.

It is interesting to visit the NDS website. Their tagline 'THE EPG EXPERTS'

Everything they are able to offer is what we, the subscribers, are looking for in our HDPVR's. But sadly, I can't see us ever getting it.

Any comment on the accuracy of my assumptions is welcome, Multichoice. But I won't hold my breathe... just make do with what I've got, as usual.

Last edited by MC Brenda; 2010-02-19 at 13:33. . Reason: T&C
Old 2010-02-19 , 14:22
Alberto Alberto is offline
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Default IRDETO = naspers

I assume the reason that they use Irdeto, is because they invented it - Irdeto is a unit of media group Naspers (JSE: NPN)

IRDETO = naspers = MultiChoice / DSTV


It could be the CAM that is at fault - but more probably other software written by MC on top of OpenTV.

As a software developer it's appalling that the DSTV flagship product with > 350,000 users has such poor software with so many bugs.

Software development is *NOT* rocket science.

As a consumer we should be allowed to use other brands of decoders.
Reminds me of when IBM wanted to control the PC market with MicroChannel & OS/2.
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Last edited by Alberto; 2010-02-19 at 14:26. . Reason: typo
Old 2010-02-19 , 18:09
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Sky in the UK also offers the UEC decoder iirc, must be a decent appliance.
Off topic, but cant the single view software be upgraded to look more like the PVRs? We've had the same UI for eight years now.
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