General FAQs

Why is there no DStv ON DEMAND on my new HD PVR 2P?
DStv ON DEMAND is not yet available on the new 2-tuner HD PVRs. However, a software update
will be rolled later this year in order to make this service available. The product was launched
to be available during the world cup.
Can I use my XtraView with the new HD PVR 2P?
Yes. The HD PVR 2P is XtraView capable.
Where can I buy the new HD PVR 2P?
It is available at most leading retailers and furniture stores.
How does installation work?
Once you have purchased your decoder, you can send an sms to 33936 to get the number of your
nearest accredited installer.
MultiChoice advises its customers to only use accredited DStv installers.
How many tuners does the new decoder have?
It has two tuners - one for viewing and one for recording.
What is the size of the hard drive?
In terms of our policy, we do not communicate the hard drive size in technical terms, but
rather use programming hours, which is easier for our subscribers to understand. You can
store 150 hours of Standard Definition programming and 50 hours of High Definition
programming on the decoder.
Do I have to pay anything extra for this decoder?
Yes, the normal PVR access fees of R65 will apply. This fee is to access PVR functionality.
Will I be able to access High Definition even when I am not a Premium subscriber?
No. High Definition is a value added service for our Premium subscribers.

 • SD PVR = our original dual view PVR (SD = Standard Definition)
• HD PVR = either the UEC (silver) or Pace (black) 4 tuner models. These decoders can view    1 / record 2.
• HD PVR 2P = the new 2 tuner HD PVR. This decoder can view 1 / record 1.





 Available in


 Our original dual view PVR
 SD = Standard Definition


View 2, Record 1 

IS7 and W7 


 Original HD PVR decoder.
 Has 4 tuners / requires 4 cables (or SatCR)

 Pace and UEC

 View 1, Record 2

 Pace: IS7 and W7


 Newest HD PVR model
 Has 2 tuners / requires 2 cables (or SatCR)

 Pace only (for now)
UES to follow (no date confirmed)

 View 1, Record 1

 IS7 only
 No date for W7 confirmed

 HD  - Overview

1. What is HD?
HD (High Definition) is a digital television broadcasting system with higher resolution than
traditional Standard Definition (SD) television systems. 
Instead of using the conventional 625 lines (of which only 576 lines are actually visible) to
plot a TV picture, HD uses 720 or 1080 lines. In addition, the pixels in each of those lines are
smaller and closer together, resulting in hugely improved picture quality, clarity and colour definition.
HD also uses more colours, increasing the richness and intensity of everything you watch.
Most HD programmes and movies utilize the widescreen 16:9 format and are also created with
cinema-style surround sound, that you can experience in full with a compatible surround sound system.
It’s the ultimate way to watch your favourite movies, series and sporting events and it delivers
so much more!

2. What do I need to watch HD content?
• A Full HD or HD Ready TV (HDMI input must be HDCP compliant)
• HD PVR (connected to the TV via a HDMI cable)
• HD PVR compliant satellite dish installation (minimum of a twin LNB)
• Relevant DStv subscription
• Home Theatre System (optional)

3. What is a HD “Ready” TV?
More and more programmes are being made in HD and most flat-screen televisions (LCD, LED
and Plasma) are equipped to show them.
Look out for the "HD Ready” sticker when purchasing a TV, which means that the TV is capable
of displaying at least 720 lines of resolution and can scale up lower resolution signals plus scale
down higher resolution signals to fit the screen.
You can watch both Standard Definition (SD) and HD channels on your “HD Ready”' TV, but your TV
won't be able to turn a Standard Definition programme into a HD one, ie. you will only get the full
impact of a HD picture if the programme is broadcast in HD.
Check the resolution which should be 1280 x 720 or higher. The TV should also have at least
1 HDMI (High Definition media interface) input which is HDCP compliant.
4. Will I be able to watch HD content on my current, non-HD TV?
Yes, however the content is “downscaled” in resolution and displayed in Standard Definition,
ie. the quality will not be the same as if viewed on a HD TV. Please note that without a
HD PVR decoder and the relevant subscription, none of the HD content is available, regardless of
the type of TV you have.
5. I have a non-HD TV. Will I still be able to get the surround sound on the HD content?
Yes, the 5.1 surround sound is sent through the optical and digital coaxial audio outputs as well.
6. If the TV set is marked as “HD compatible”, is it suitable for viewing HD content?
Not necessarily.  Most normal TVs are “HD compatible”, it just means that the TV is capable of
displaying a HD signal (albeit in SD resolution).
It is advisable to purchase a TV that is either “HD Ready” or “Full HD”.  Look for a resolution that is
1280 x 720 or higher and also ensure that the TV has at least one HDMI input that is HDCP compliant.
7. Does viewing on a HD TV connected to a HD PVR mean that I am
watching High Definition content?

No. Only the content broadcast in HD on a HD channel, or HD programming on DStv ON DEMAND
can be viewed in HD(1).  Although the HD PVRs are capable of up-scaling normal television content,
this does not deliver true HD for any programmes other than those broadcast in HD. Please
remember to correctly connect the HD PVR to your HD TV. MultiChoice recommends the
use of a DStv Accredited Installer for all HD PVR installations.
(1) Requires correct connection (HDCP compliant HDMI) between the HD PVR and HD receiver.
 8. What are the different HD resolutions, which one does MultiChoice use
for HD broadcasts and why?

Resolution is how much detail you can see on a screen. Today, the two HD resolutions
available for broadcast are :
- 720 x 1280, progressive scanning, 50 frames per second (720p50)
- 1080 x 1920, interlaced scanning, 25 frames per second (1080i25).
MultiChoice generally broadcasts HD content using 1080i25 resolution due to the fact
that the vast majority of content is sourced at this resolution, however, MultiChoice will
from time to time broadcast using 720p50, as this format has clear advantages over 1080i25
for specific fast moving material like sport.
Displays smaller than 127cm (50”) generally do not benefit from the higher horizontal
resolution that 1080i offers at normal viewing distances. The progressive scanning characteristic
of 720p has a significant advantage over interlaced for fast moving content like sport
i.e. smoothness of fast motion. Progressive scanning with 1080 horizontal lines (1080p) is
currently not available as a DVB broadcasting standard.

9. You had a list of compatible TVs on your website, but this info has been removed.

Although MultiChoice has tested our HD PVRs with many of the HD TV brands, there are many
new and imported models also available making it impossible to keep the list updated & accurate
at all times.
If your TV is marketed as HD Ready and does not work with our HD PVR, we suggest that you
check the components and / or contact the manufacturer of the TV for assistance.
Please remember, the HD TV needs a HDMI input which is HDCP compliant in order for you to
view HD content.

HD PVRs – Product Overview
10. How much are the HD PVRs?
The current recommended retail price for the original 4-tuner HD PVR (both Pace and UEC) is
R2,999 in SA (while stocks last.)
For the HD PVR 2P model, the recommended retail price is R1,999 in SA (while stocks last).
11. Will I pay extra to use the PVR functionality on a HD PVR?
A standalone HD PVR in the home attracts your normal bouquet subscription as well as a monthly
access fee of R65.
Please note that enabling the PVR functionality, does not necessarily give you access to any
HD content. The HD channels (and DStv ON DEMAND) are only available to DStv Premium subscribers.
12. What is the R65 access fee for?
The R65 access fee is charged to access multiple channels simultaneously
(be this for viewing or recording).

13. What do the HD PVRs offer?
The original 4-tuner HD PVR allows you to view one channel, while recording two
other channels simultaneously.
The HD PVR 2P model, allows you to view one channel, while recording one
other channel simultaneously.
Both HD PVR models offer the following :
• Record 150 hours of Standard Definition TV (almost double the SD PVR) or 50 hours of HD TV
• Pause live TV programming
• Rewind programming 
• Fast forward and slo-mo programming you have recorded 
• 24 hour i-Plate
• Surround Sound capability
• XtraView capability
• Favourite Channels Feature
• Full Parental Control
• Aspect Ratio Toggle

14. Why aren’t the HD PVRs dual view decoders?
The technology for a dual view HD PVR is not yet available at a cost which would make this
product commercially viable. XtraView takes care of the second and in some cases,
third viewing environment at no additional subscription to what you currently pay for on the Dual View
decoder or SD PVR.
15. Will MultiChoice bring out a dual view HD PVR in the future?
At present the hardware components in the PVR required to support both HD and Dual View
are either not available or are so expensive that they would increase the price of the PVR
to such an extent it would be out of reach of the average subscriber. XtraView is able to offer
HD PVR customers multiple viewing environments in a very cost effective way. Please visit
www.dstv.com to see full information on XtraView, including the options available to
HD PVR customers.
16. When will a single view HD decoder be launched?
HD technology is not yet at a cost point where the introduction of a low end, single view
HD decoder is suitable for the SA market.
17. What is the “24 hour i-Plate”?
The i-Plate on the single view and dual view decoders has information for 2 programmes
(ie. now & next). On the SD PVR, we've gone one better, as it lists information for 3 programmes
(now, next, then).
The i-Plate on the HD PVR improves on this even more and has information on programming for
the next 24 hours allowing you to easily browse the programming schedule and set recordings
without leaving your favourite channel.
18. What size hard drive do the HD PVRs have?
The hard drive is the same across all HD PVR models. The hard drive allows you to record
up to 150 hours of Standard Definition TV (almost double the SD PVR capacity) or up to 50 hours
of HD TV.
19. What size buffer do the HD PVRs have?
The HD PVR has a 2 hour buffer which is retained even when you view a recording, however the
buffer is not retained when you change channels.
20. Will the current smartcard work with the HD PVRs?
A smartcard is packaged with each HD PVR and we recommend that you make use of this one.
21. Do the HD PVRs come with a HDMI cable?
Yes, a 1.8m HDMI cable and audio/video cable are supplied with the HD PVRs.
22. Do the existing remote controls work with the HD PVR?
No, the HD PVR uses a different protocol.  A new remote control (with batteries) is supplied
with the HD PVR. Your HD PVR remote control does however work on the SD PVR.
23. Can I take a Decoder Care Contract for the HD PVR and what does it cost?
DCC is available for all our HD PVR models and costs R35 per month.
24. If I need to cancel my PVR subscription, can the HD PVR be used as a
single view decoder?

Yes, any of the HD PVR models can be used as a single view decoder.
25. What is the warranty on the HD PVR?
If the decoder becomes faulty within 60 days of purchase, please return it to the point of purchase
for a replacement. Please remember to take the proof of purchase with you. MultiChoice also
offers a carry-in repair warranty that is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. 
(Please see the Product Warranty in the HD PVR Viewer’s Guide for more information).
26. Are the HD PVRs compatible with the other Pay TV license holders?
At present, the decoder will not work on other license holders networks as the
conditional access software and mechanisms used by those operators are different to ours.
27. How do I set a time based recording?
You can do this from the Scheduled Recordings screen.
Press RED to access the Playlist, right arrow to the Scheduled Recordings screen and then press
BLUE to set-up a time based recording.

Accredited installer