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TV for rent comes to Uganda

Digital migration remains one of the key factors to dictate television’s direction and operators’ innovations, collaborations and partnership.

Last Friday night, MultiChoice’s DStv launched their Box Office service at Serena hotel. The service allows subscribers with an Explora decoder to rent some of the latest blockbusters in the comfort of their homes.

This innovation allows viewers to be in control of what they watch, and when. MultiChoice Uganda General Manager Charles Hamya notes that TV on demand is the way to go and now with internet and all the different places people can get entertainment, eccentric services that can mimic the internet on decoder but without high data bills are highly needed.

Renting a film on Box Office, according to the company’s publicist, Tina Wamala, will cost one Shs 6,600. Yes, that may be a bit costly for a day-to-day pirated movie ‘subscriber’ but it is highly manageable seeing as their target audience is the Premium, Compact Plus and Compact subscribers.

Much as many people at the launch appreciated the new service, some still expressed fear that it was here to create doom for an already struggling cinema culture.

However, Wamala notes they are simply complementing films as opposed to competing; for instance, much as they get freshly-released films, at the moment they only show movies that are out of Hollywood cinemas, which is usually after six months.

Wamala also says the platform is not only designed for Hollywood movies; a number of African films are already on board and “we are hoping to have some Ugandan films there too”.

There had also been concerns that with an Explora decoder that allows subscribers to record live TV, wouldn’t  Box Office be used as a tool to aid piracy?
However, Wamala notes that Box Office cannot be recorded and thus they are confident the service will not be a hub for pirates.

The launch included the screening of Vice, a film starring Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane and Ambyr Childers.

kaggwandre@gmail.com

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