MultiChoice and Pace bring new digital TV options to Africa

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 
Pace plc logo

First DVB-T2 digital terrestrial set-top box for Sub-Saharan Africa brings new digital TV services to the mass-market

Pace plc (LSE: PIC) today announced that it has been selected by MultiChoice Africa to support MultiChoice’s launch of its GOtv offering, which is bringing digital TV services to terrestrial subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The GOtv service is being delivered to customers via Pace’s next generation set-top boxes, capable of receiving DVB-T2 standard transmissions. The new set-top box is the first to deliver the latest digital terrestrial television into Sub-Saharan African homes, increasing consumers’ service reliability and content choice, and making digital TV a mass-market reality for the first time.

The DVB-T2 set-top box gives terrestrial television viewers the ability to receive more channels, will provide reliable and better quality television service to viewers across Sub-Saharan Africa, and will ensure a better service reception level. The device will also enable new services including Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) and multi-language features.

The launch of the DVB-T2 set-top box supports the migration of analogue to digital terrestrial transmission and will enable the attainment of analogue switch off scheduled for 2015. The DVB-T2 infrastructure will also provide a platform for operators to further develop their services in the future. The new generation of Pace set-top boxes has supported the launch of GOtv in Lusaka, Zambia in June and Entebbe/Kampala, Uganda in August, with further market launches planned by MultiChoice over the coming months.

Pace, a leading developer of technologies, products and services for global broadband and broadcast markets, has a strong heritage in the creation and supply of DVB-T2 technology. In 2008, Pace developed the first set-top box prototype capable of receiving and displaying T2 content, and in May 2010 introduced the first DVB-T2 PVR set-top boxes to the UK market with Freeview HD. Pace also played a central role in drafting the DVB-T2 global standard, and helped to update the UK’s D-book technical specification to include the T2 standard.

Shane McCarthy, General Manager at Pace, comments: “As a pioneer in DVB-T2 technology and a long-time partner to MultiChoice, Pace has both the technical knowledge and the local market understanding to deliver the most effective next generation service to MultiChoice and its subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This launch is a critical step in bringing digital TV services into thousands more homes in this region and we’re delighted to help drive this change.”

Collins Khumalo, President of MultiChoice Africa added: “We’re really excited about the launch of DVB-T2 transmissions and the opportunity it offers us to provide a greater variety of programming to our subscribers through a more reliable broadcasting system. Pace’s history in DVB-T2 technology makes it the perfect partner to deliver this.”