Openview is a free satellite TV service targetted at residents of South Africa. It started service in October 2013.
As the service counts down to 2 million subscribers, we take a quick look at their offering.
The Openview TV channels cut across various segments including News, Sports, General Entertainment, Movies / Soapies etc.
|101||SABC1||local entertainment, music and lifestyle and educational programs|
|102||SABC2||news, sports, TV soaps etc|
|103||SABC3||foreign and local movies and soaps mostly in English|
|104||e.tv||news, local soaps, foreign movies, and other content|
|106||eMovies+||foreign movies, including action, romance, comedy, family and drama|
|107||eMovies Extra||international blockbuster movies, including action, romance, comedy, family and drama|
|110||Starlife||Bollywood family dramas, celebrity dance shows and movies|
|120||news and sport||local and international current affairs, showbiz, business, celebrity news etc|
|121||BBC World News||British-owned global News channel|
|140||Glow TV||Indian-inspired entertainment|
Most of the channels are broadcast in High Definition with a screen resolution of 1080i in 16:9 screen ratio. The only 5 exceptions are the 3 SABC channels, BBC World News and Mindset. Also, the SABC channels are not available for PVR functions.
The Openview radio channels are mostly FM radio stations. The only exception is the AM Christian Radio Pulpit.
|600||YFM 99.2||based in Johannesburg; targeted at the youth|
|601||Bok Radio||broadcasts in the Afrikaans language from Cape Town|
|602||LM Radio||nostalgic adult contemporary music radio|
|603||Gagasi FM||R&B, Afro-pop, hip hop, house and kwaito from Durban|
|604||OFM||primarily broadcasts music; based in Bloemfontein|
|605||Heart FM||a 24-hour music radio station based in Cape Town|
|607||Radio Pulpit||bi-lingual Christian radio based in Pretoria|
|608||Kaya FM||Urban / Jazz / African from Johannesburg|
|609||TransAfrica Radio||100% African Music station in Johannesburg|
It features an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that displays TV programming for up to 1 week.
The decoder now supports a rather clumsy recording system (PVR) that requires an external Openview-branded USB stick. Non-Openview sticks do not work with the decoders.
The Openview decoders and other accessories are available at the following retailers in South Africa.
- PicknPay Hypermarket
- Fair Price
- Checkers Hyper
- OK Furniture
The service itself is free to the extent that there is no monthly subscription payment required. However, setup requires some payment. Depending on what you have already, you would need to fork some money to get started.
- Openview decoder with an installation voucher. This includes satellite dish and installation from R1299.
- Openview decoder only. From R499. This excludes dish and installation; this makes sense if you have an installed satellite dish pointing to IS-20 satellite setup. DStv uses this same satellite. You would simply need to connect the existing coaxial cable to the Openview decoder.
- Open PVR 64GB flash stick for R199. The current stick on sale is capable of holding 18 hours of HD content but is only compatible with the latest decoder models (NA9200 and DSD4165). You need to clarify in-store before purchasing.
To start viewing, connect your decoder to your satellite dish and follow the activation instructions on the box using your mobile phone. If you need a new dish or your dish needs repositioning, you would need to book an accredited installer to install your dish and activate your decoder. The recommended dish size is 85 cm.
You can find and book an installer through any of the major Openview distributors by contacting any of those listed below:
- SpaceTV: (086) 140 4142
- Switch: (086) 079 4824
- SOS Lifestyle: (086) 111 3426
- Ellies: (086) 135 5437
It lacks most of the nice channels you may be familiar with on premium satellite TV services. The content is very limited. While the decoder is basic at best, it gets the job done and that is what matters.
For a free service, Openview offers value for money. Most of the channels are impressively in High Definition. What would have been an icing on the cake would be if the SABC and BBC channels were in HD too.
For a service that offers relatively few channels, it makes one ponder when one considers the fact that about 14 TV channels were canned in the last 6 years for various reasons. One can balance that thought with the fact that the service has grown to about 2 million subscriptions in South Africa. This shows there is definitely a strong market segment Openview is catering to effectively. One can only hope the offer gets stronger and better as the years go bye.
How to add free to air channels on OpenView HD
Openview is broadcast from Intelsat 20 at 68.5°E. While there are dozens of other free TV and radio services on that satellite, it is currently not possible to access them using an Openview decoder. You would need to make use of a 3rd-party satellite receiver to access those.
Openview HD frequency settings
The frequency settings are useless, considering the signals are encrypted and can only be decoded with an Openview decoder. The frequency is 11170 V and the system encryption is DVB-S2.
Are you an Openview subscriber or do you have any questions? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.