Government signal distributor Sentech is planning to launch a free-to-air satellite TV service based on its Vivid platform. This is according to a well-placed industry source.

These plans follow news that e-tv sister company Platco Digital has plans to launch a subscription-free, high definition (HD) satellite TV service, which appears to have lit a fire under Sentech.

According to an industry source with knowledge of the project, government signal distributor Sentech is also planning to launch a free-to-air satellite TV service.

Sentech already operates a free-to-air satellite TV service called Vivid, but it is understood that state-owned company wants to relaunch the platform, quite possibly under a new name.

Curiously, the industry source said that Sentech is aiming to launch towards the end of September 2013, a few days before Platco's OpenView HD is scheduled to launch.

The decoder, dish, and installation together are expected to cost between R1,200 and R1,500.

Sentech has plans to launch video on-demand, mobile, and personal video recording functionality next year (2014), the source said.

Sentech was asked about its free-to-air satellite plans, but declined to answer questions about it. The state-owned signal distributor said it would be releasing a statement on the matter soon.