We all know StarTimes as one of the handful of home entertainment satellite pay-TV outfits currently doing brisk business across much of Africa. StarTimes decoders go head to head with those provided by the likes of DStv/GOtv, Zuku TV and Azam TV in claiming the market share. But what you may not be aware of is that the Chinese company recently unveiled its own integrated flat screen StarTimes HD TVs on the market, which interestingly come with an inbuilt decoder capable of transmitting of both Satellite and Terrestrial TV? Well, now you know.
First launched in Nigeria, the integrated StarTimes digital HD LED TVs come in three sizes including 32″ and 40″. Other specs include a 5mm bezel, 1080p resolution (1920*1080 full HD pixel density) and an upgradeable operating system. The usual connectivity ports such as USB, Ethernet? and HDMI also come with. The TVs are built with dual 8-watt digital noise filters and consume a paltry 75 watts of voltage at 100-240v. StarTimes throws in a 12 months warranty for good measure.
Quotable: “We strive to ensure that with a single decoder customer enjoys access to all digital television channels and contents available and this new decoder is expected to replace the traditional single decoder model. By default, both the Digital DTT and DTH has comparative advantages but with combo, StarTimes subscribers enjoys the combined strength of both. DTT is embraced as a model for its affordability, low weather interference, portability, more local channels, easy to set up and mobile friendly while DTH is desired for its sharper and clearer images, higher number of international channels, resilience and widespread strength in remote areas.” Oludare Kafar, StarTimes Nigeria Marketing Director, Mr.
Dual Terrestrial/Satellite HD TV set
As we said earlier, the StarTimes HD TVs come inbuilt with a decoder capable of transmitting both terrestrial and satellite TV. What this means is that you don’t need a separate satellite dish or antenna. Also in the event that one broadcast medium is down, you can easily switch to the other. An upgradeable operating system will enable StarTimes to push upgrades whenever its necessary. However, whether they will send timely upgrades remains to be seen. The entertainment catalogue comprises over 150 channels with some HD channels to boot.
In Uganda, the StarTimes HD TVs were unveiled at a press conference last month. With the new venture, StarTimes has diverged from the usual rigmarole of purchasing a separate TV unit and then a suitable Pay TV decoder. Let’s not forget the installation charges, the excess connection cables lying around, and what not. On the downside, if at all you don’t like the channels provided by StarTimes, it would be counter-productive when one does a u-turn and buys a new decoder which caters to his needs. Whichever way you look at it, StarTimes has made a bold statement about diversifying into the electronics sector. The hurdles they might have to smooth over include pricing of their HD TV/Decoder combos and not forgetting mass adoption to make it a worthwhile endeavour. Let me leave you with Aldrine Nsubuga, StarTimes Uganda publicist doing his thing…