SA’s best collection of gadgets and accessories!

Can Online Streaming Replace Traditional TV in South Africa?

Staff Writer / 23-08-2019 / News

The high cost of pay-TV and the decrease in the cost of bandwidth has led to more South Africans migrating to on-demand streaming video services such as Netflix for entertainment, but can online streaming ever replace traditional TV in South Africa?

Multichoice, which runs pay-TV service DStv, claims it has a subscriber base of 7.2 million in 2019, with a year-on-year increase reported every year. However, in May 2018, DStv also claimed that it had lost over 100 000 premium subscribers since 2015. This year, the company has decided to freeze the price of its premium package at R809 per month.

Netflix vs. Showmax

In 2015, Naspers, which owns Multichoice, launched their Showmax video streaming service to counter the entry of US content giant Netflix. Although Showmax is free to Multichoice subscribers and offered as a standalone service to non-subscribers, South Africans flocked to Netflix upon launch. Although Netflix does not report the number of subscribers it has in South Africa, Multichoice estimated that they had gained almost 600 000 streaming subscribers in 2019.

Stumbling block of internet access

When streaming services first launched in the country, the biggest hurdle was the cost of data. However, with the #DataMustFall movement, the call for lower data prices was heeded by local telecommunications operators.

Vodacom claims to have dropped the cost in the last 3 years by 40%, while MTN says it has dropped the cost of data since 2011 by 87%. Cell C says it has reduced the cost of data by over 28% in 2018. In 2016, Telkom made one the biggest shifts to contribute to the falling cost of data in SA with the introduction of FreeMe bundles, coupling 1 to 20GB data packages with free calls, instant messaging data and recently added zero-rated data for on-demand streaming of Netflix, Showmax and YouTube to the service through Telkom LIT.

Current network trends show that costs will fall further or at least packages will be offered with zero-rated data for streaming from certain providers, as is the case with the Telkom LIT bundles. ICASA’s End User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations came into effect in March this year, requiring networks to offer rollover data and extend validity periods, so its good news for consumers.

Future of TV in South Africa

According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018 –2022 , Over-The-Top (OTT) video and music streaming services, as well as artificial intelligence, smart home services and virtual assistants will bolster internet usage around the world. The report finds that the fastest growth will be seen in virtual reality and OTT content from services like Showmax and Netflix. It won’t be long before the same trends filter to SA.

With the evidence of the growth of streaming services in the country, more and more South Africans may start to ditch traditional TV for streaming platforms or at the very least use these platforms to give them more choice over and above pay-TV options.

TECH NEWS

previous
Review: The Samsung A32 4G is here!

Samsung’s newest offering launched last month. Rest assured, the A32 has some impressive tricks up its sleeve - on a budget! Under the Hood The first in the A series range to boast the 90Hz Super AMOLED display, the A32 provides a crisp, clean viewing experience with high refresh rate. The device memory is the same as other mid-range smartphones on the market - 64GB with 4GB RAM or 128GB with 4GB - 8GB RAM. The device comes equipped with the latest software (Android 11) right out the box which is a pleasant and welcome surprise. Screen and Body There is no compromise on screen size when compared to its predecessor, the A31. Gamers will be impressed by the smooth operation the A32 has on offer. The brightness of the A32’s display and the safety net of the Eye Comfort Shield (which makes the brightness manageable for your eyes) is another point in this device’s favour. This smartphone is slickly designed. The camera is embedded within the casing – rather than situated on an island as we've become accustomed to – adding to the A32's sleek look. Released in four colours in some countries, South African's are limited to two versions – Awesome Black and Awesome Blue. Although this isn't much of a pain point because Awesome Blue is bright and funky enough to hold its own. Camera Quad cameras are the standard we’ve come to expect when with smartphones and the A32 doesn’t disappoint. The primary lens is an impressive 64 MP camera equipped to capture every moment in striking colour. Extra camera capabilities include an 8 MP Ultra-Wide, a 5 MP Macro and a 5 MP Depth Sensor with autofocus to make your subjects truly stand out. Selfie fans won’t be disappointed either, not with the 20 MP selfie camera that puts the focus on what really matters – you! Battery For all its awesome specs, it’s the A32's battery that really let’s this device shine. Capable of going nearly two days without a charge, supported by 15W quick-charge, this is a fantastic option for those who are constantly on the go. Verdict This is an outstanding budget smartphone. Coupled with the phone’s battery life and excellent display, it’s sure to be a firm favourite in 2021.

Read More...

Bits and Bytes – April 2021 Edition

LG exits the smartphone game Since the 2000s, South Korean multinational electronics giant LG has been churning out innovative smartphones. Sadly, their pioneering spirit wasn’t enough to match up against the industry front-runners, leading to LG closing up their smartphone shop. But what does this mean for LG smartphone users? LG has committed to providing Android 11 updates to 13 smartphones for a period of 3 years. These include the LG Wing, the LG Velvet, the LG Velvet LTE, the LG V50S, the LG V50, the LG G8, the LG Q31, the LG Q51, the LG Q52, the LG Q61, the LG Q70, the LG Q92, and the LG Q9. But for now, it’s a case of farewell – we’ll hopefully see the brand put their skills to use again in the near future. Coming Soon: The Next iPad Pro As we get closer to the launch of the iPad Pro, whispers about Apple’s latest offering have been making the rounds. Rumours suggest the iPad Pro promises to deliver better all-round performance – from an outstanding display and improved cameras to the inclusion of Final Cut Pro and compatibility with more accessories aimed revolutionising video content creation! Your next Playstation could be your smartphone! Earlier this month, Playstation listed a job opening that lit up the gaming world – Head of Mobile, PlayStation Studios. The ad states that the company is looking to expand their game development “from consoles and PCs to mobile & Live Services with a focus on successfully adapting PlayStation’s most popular franchises for mobile…” This news bodes well for gamers worldwide as this offers more ways to get your game on and proves that not even Playstation is immune to the power of the smartphone! Microsoft to get a slice of Apple? Microsoft is on course to purchase Nuance Communications – the company that laid the groundwork for the creation of Apple’s voice activated virtual assistant, Siri. The $20 billion deal could help change the face of the health sector, allowing doctors to capture patient discussions and add these to the patient’s file. This would be one of Microsoft’s biggest acquisitions, second only to its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn five years ago. High-tech toilets – a big deal down under Japanese-style toilets have become all the rage in Australia recently. Fuelled by an increased need for hygienic practices due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toto toilet has taken over domestic homes down under. Originally a 5-star hotel purchase, these smart-toilets with heated seats, bidet and an air purifying function – with some versions even boasting remote or auto flushing – have become common place in homes across the country! Who knows, SA may be next to catch on!

Read More...

The Top 6 South African Apps You Need to Download Today!

We all need a little help staying on track sometimes, especially when our days are filled with work, family and loads of other responsibilities. In a world where there’s an app for almost everything, why not use your smartphone to stay organised? Here are the top 6 South African apps that will help you save time and make the best out of your day: South African Food Recipes App From now on, you can have a ready answer to the inevitable “What’s for dinner?” question. Not only does the South African Food Recipes app boast a library of hundreds of local recipes, it also supplies substitute ingredients so you can shop for your meals based on what’s in season. It’s a cultural culinary experience, all from the comfort of your own kitchen! Download it here. MobeeWash Getting the car washed is usually at the bottom of our to-do lists, but what if you could bring the carwash to you? MobeeWash is a car washing app that connects you to a network of dependable mobile car washers who will bring the tools of their trade to you. While you’re busy getting the important stuff done, your car can get the long-awaited cleaning it deserves. The app is cashless, keeps you updated during the process and allows you to choose from three wash types to suit your budget. Download it here. Quench The Quench app brings alcohol deliveries to your door within 60 minutes. Much like an online food ordering and delivery service, Quench allows you to shop online for the alcoholic beverage of your choice and have it delivered to your location. The app also offers deliveries from Woolworths and Dischem stores. Download it here. MediPrice App If you’re looking for more affordable medication options, this is the app you need. Created by Cape Town software developer, Michael Lukusa, the MediPrice app is free to use and free of ads. MediPrice gives you all the necessary information such as medicine ingredients, retail pricing, dispensing fees and pharmacy locations, so you can make an informed decision about how and where to purchase your medication. Download it here. Namola Designed to assist you and your family in an emergency, the Namola app allows you to press a button on your phone for assistance from the largest network of medical responders in South Africa. It also offers national coverage and a paid feature to get armed response if you need it. Download it here. COVID Alert South Africa COVID Alert is a free notification app that helps you track your exposure to COVID-19 through contact tracing. The app does not require any personal information and updates through Bluetooth. The app provides detailed instructions on how to proceed if you have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive or if you have received a positive result. Download it here.

Read More...

next