DSTV Premium subscribers in South Africa can now rent Blockbuster Movies from the comfort of their homes. The Pan-African Pay Tv provider has today launched the Video-On-Demand service. The service, named Box Office, allows for qualifying subscribers to download movies straight onto their PVR decoders at R25 in HD or SD format and watch at their convenience.
The BoxOffice service will be rolled out in several phases. The first phase is today’s launch of a satellite-based value added offering to DStv Premium subscribers via their PVRs. The next phase of the BoxOffice roll-out will be an online offering, available to all South African broadband users by the end of this year.
Using the service is easy: Press the green button on your PVR remote and follow the steps on your television screen. BoxOffice movies are readily available for viewing, as they are pre-loaded onto your PVR decoder.
Payment is done through monthly debit order, by pre-loading funds into your account or by credit card. Once a movie is rented, it can be viewed multiple times within a 48-hour period. For launch, the first BoxOffice movie will be free.
A maximum of 15 movies will be available at any one time, with new movies added as they are released for the BoxOffice service by Studios. The number of movies is limited due to storage constraints on the current PVRs. Approximately 150 blockbuster movies from most of the major Hollywood studios will be released on the BoxOffice service during the course of a year. Studios generally release VOD movies in a similar timeframe as they become available for home DVD rentals.
John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Online; “BoxOffice positions DStv as a front-runner in the VOD market in South Africa. This service aligns South Africa with global developments in on-demand video. Offering a VOD service via satellite initially, allows us to make it widely and instantly available to our subscribers, regardless of constraints in broadband availability in South Africa.”
This service will be launched to DStv Premium subscribers with PVRs from Friday, 22 July 2011, at an introductory price of R25 per title.
Most of the innovative DSTV products are rolled out in SA before elsewhere in Africa. The company also plans to roll-out the service to its PC and tablet users by end of the year. We asked DSTV when other African countries should expect to enjoy the service and we were told that this is a phased roll-out which might come other markets later.