Wednesday, August 10, 2022

DStv channels still available on free-to-air

Barely two weeks since Multichoice Botswana announced they have dealt with the spillage of their DStv channels to Free To Air decoders, it has emerged that their problems are far from over. Some people continue to access the channels through their FTA decoders.

Multichoice Public Relations Manager, Tshepo Maphanyane, had said in an interview that all DStv channels are broadcast in an encrypted form so that only authorised viewers with a DStv decoder and Smartcard are able to view them.

But she conceded a Free to Air receiver tuned to the right frequencies and dish pointed to the right satellite can receive a DStv signal albeit encrypted. She said it can only be decrypted by a DStv decoder and Smartcard. Maphanyane said contrary to public perception, the signal was not hacked.

“Phillibao decoders cannot decrypt the DStv signal. In the recent past incident a test broadcast was inadvertently encrypted hence the Free To Air decoders were able to receive the test broadcast feed,” she said.

Maphanyane added that the public should also not mistake it for a marketing strategy, explaining that the “the test broadcast was encrypted the morning of Friday 4 January, 2013 and the FTA decoders lost the reception of the DStv channels on the test broadcast feed”.

However, The Telegraph can reveal that there are some people who continue to view DStv channels on the FTA decoders.

One Gabane resident, whose name has been withheld, said she still enjoys a full bouquet of DStv channels on her Phillibao, adding that a said a friend of hers installed the code earlier this month and was still accessing the channels by Monday January 28.

She however admitted some of her friends who used to watch the channels on their FTA decoders have recently been disconnected. “I guess it is just my luck,” said.

Maduo Radikgomo, a monthly DStv subscriber, says he feels cheated that he has to cough out his hard earned P510 only for other people to access the same services free of charge. “The only reason I have not switched to Phillibao is that it is unreliable, you never know when you will be disconnected,” Radikgomo said.

In 2005, the National Broadcasting Board (NBB) issued a broadcasting licence to Multichoice Botswana and subsequently, in 2007 made an order setting aside the decision to issue the licence.

However Multichoice Botswana took the matter to court and subsequently won after the Court of appeal ruled that the NBB had acted ultra vires its powers in licensing Multichoice Botswana as a broadcaster. Currently, Multichoice Botswana does not fall under the Broadcasting Act but that may soon change with the introduction of the new revised act.


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