The Node Nadir

{ON} 22 July, Altech (Allied Technologies Limited) announced that the NODE, its Video Streaming decoder, has unfortunately failed to take off with the South African consumers in the Pay Television sector and that it was planning to sell it. Here is a machine, which besides its Video On Demand (VoD) function, offered to smarten up your home with security system through motion detection. It sought to enable you to surf the internet through its embedded 3G or use it as a wifi hotspot around your house as well as a host of cool capabilities such as the ability to buy air time, pre-paid electricity as well as pay your Telkom and Eskom bills all from the comfort of your home. After nodding several times as I list these features you might be compelled to raise your index finger and enquire about the machine’s data gobbling appetite. Well the NODE uses satellite technology to push video content into its 1 Terabyte hard drive without data costs the same way DStv’s catch up Service functions. However the traditional use of internet comes with data costs which is fair enough; we’re so used to spending for data connection anyway ¶⌋




The other day a not so close acquaintance dropped me a line. He was wondering why I have been so quite on the issue of pay television in this country. There I was clutching at the phone with a sweaty paw as my temper ruffled to a boil. My face cramped and I wondered if I was to be blamed for the stagnancy that followed my last stint at the attempt to make sense of the pay tv conundrum that many of you tv heads out there witnessed. Through greeted teeth I told my tormentor that there was nothing to write about. I did not quite believe myself as soon as I said those words. I let my tormentor rumble on. With a hint of disappointment and triumph he said he actually was looking forward to a follow-up to the last article that I have written especially how the scene changed dramatically when Dynamic TV entered the theatre of events at the climax of the plot only to be beaten by the Chinese bidder StarTimes which won the On Digital Media business rescue deal for TopTV.