Platco Digital (Platco) will be launching OpenView HD, a free-to-view direct to home (DTH) satellite offering in October. OpenView HD will carry licensed free TV channels locally and, ultimately, in the rest of Africa.

In any territory where it operates, Platco Digital will work with licensed broadcasters to provide viewers access to channels licensed to operate in those territories. Platco Digital will therefore always be in compliance with national broadcasting laws and regulations. Platco's South African DTH platform, OpenView HD, will not be engaging in any licensable activities on its own behalf as it merely provides technical platform services to licensed free-to-air broadcasters on the basis of their existing licences.

Viewers wishing to access the OpenView HD offering will need to purchase and install a satellite dish and set top box from retail outlets. Other than these initial set-up costs, the offering of approximately 15 channels will be free - making OpenView HD the first of its kind in South Africa.

Platco Digital is owned by Sabido Investments (Pty) Limited, the holding company of free-to-air broadcaster e.tv. It has been established to provide solutions for multi-channel carriage and distribution on DTH, digital terrestrial television (DTT) and mobile TV in South Africa and in the rest of Africa.

"We are excited about participating in the digital television space - there are vast opportunities to grow free television in Southern Africa and drive digital migration and we believe satellite, DTT, mobile TV and other digital platforms can play an important role. It is mainly consumers who will benefit as they will have additional choice;" said Platco Digital MD, Maxwell Nonge.

Platco Digital has entered into partnerships with a range of companies including satellite providers, leading set top box (STB) distributors, major retailers and broadcasters. The company is very keen to create a strong free TV platform that will benefit all stakeholders involved.

"One of our key brand values is partnerships, we believe in building and maintaining strong and sustainable relationships with all our business partners and consumers, based on honesty, integrity and trust," concludes Nonge.