I don’t know if making the hard disk on DStv’s new Explora decoder two terabyte (2TB) is to symbolically commemorate Multichoice Nigeria’s 20th anniversary, but I know that 2TB is huge and means a lot of space on the decoder to save more than enough program ─ films, series, documentaries even news.
For me, the enormous capacity of the memory was the highest point at the unveiling of the device in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday. And I am pretty sure it is a high point for many, too, especially knowing we are coming from a mere 500G on the old HD and SD PVR. A 2TB hard disk space means that some 220 hours of content can be recorded. The CPU of the Explora is also far better than its forerunners, of course, in response to the greater capacity of the hard disk, the 1.1GHz model processor giving way to the 3GHz unit with a four-fold increase in RAM to 1GB of DDR3 RAM from a meagre 256MB.
But the first thing that one will notice using the new decoder is its changed user interface. Simpler to navigate because it runs on custom-coded (for/by Multichoice) Linux kernel, content is divided into various sections, user-recorded content, DStv Catch Up, Box Office and other regular programmes. The new interface is also faster than its predecessors in many folds, obviously owing to the upgraded CPU and RAM.
The Box office feature was the second attraction. Wondering what it is? It is a feature that lets you rent a movie from the comfort of your room, providing you with a selection of up to 20 new movies you can choose from; and at the push of a button on an all new remote control, the film is yours to rent for a fee.
Then talking about remote control, the Alternate function key (Alt) was removed and the layout of the keys on the remote redesigned to make it friendlier to the user. A conspicuously located blue DStv button sitting three buttons from the top serves as menu/home function; and in front of it is a newly introduced playlist button taking you directly to all your recorded content.
The Explora was mounted with three USB ports, which will be used for upgrades with corresponding technological advancements (so the USB ports are hardly needed at present) to, someday, accommodate features such as WiFi access and 3G. The Explora pack also came with an HDMI cable for users with HDTV. All these reflect a Multichoice that is in tandem with technological trends.
So, if you are the active TV fan who hates to miss anything or you are one who desires speed, better navigation experience, space for more recorded programmes and a decoder designed to move with the rapidly metamorphosing technology scene, then what you need is the DStv Explora — for just N65,000.