MultiChoice selects Pace to develop second-generation HD PVR

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 
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South African payTV operator to roll out new devices ahead of the World Cup

South Africa-based payTV operator, Multichoice (JSE: NPN)(LSE:NPSN), has chosen Pace plc (LSE:PIC), its existing HD technology partner, to develop a second generation high definition (HD) personal video recorder (PVR). MultiChoice plans to make this new set-top box available to subscribers in time for the World Cup in June 2010. This set top box will also will also be rolled out to other African countries.

MultiChoice, which has over 2.4 million pay TV customers, has a successful, longstanding partnership with Pace; the two companies started collaborating on digital TV technology in 1995. Pace was the first company to develop an HD device for MultiChoice, creating an HD set-top box for the launch of MultiChoice’s HD service in 2008.

Nolo Letele, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Africa, said: “We’ve made significant investments in HD and the World Cup provides us with the perfect opportunity to showcase the quality of HD programming. Pace has been highly influential in the success of our HD service to date – we rely on them as an invaluable technology partner to help us deliver a superior HD experience to our customers.”

Shane McCarthy, Vice President of Sales, Pace UK, commented; “We were delighted MultiChoice selected us to create its first HD product in 2008. Our contract to develop the second generation device is testament to the advanced, user-friendly and robust Pace set-top boxes MultiChoice’s HD subscribers have been using over the last eighteen months. The deal extends our global HD leadership; Pace’s HD expertise, customer base and technological capability is unrivalled by our competitors.”

The second-generation device, available at R1999, incorporates OpenTV Core 2.1 middleware and PVR software together with content security from Irdeto. The TDS865 comes with H.264 compression and XtraView functionality, allowing the addition of further set-top boxes so viewers can access MultiChoice content around the house. It conforms to Pace’s Low Environmental Impact (LEI) initiative, a stringent set of environmental rules. The boxes also feature an Ethernet connection.