Ever since we heard that OpenView was planning on blocking those of their decoders that are being used outside South Africa a lot of Zimbos who rely on this platform for entertainment have been on edge. Most are worried that they will just wake up one day to a black screen. This has led to a lot of normal decoder issues being mistaken for the block.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Most people cannot stomach the content that our sole broadcaster and solitary TV channel pushes out. Those that can afford it have always found comfort in the arms of DStv. Those who cannot use to have Wiztech and Philibao Free To Air decoders. Then eTV, the people behind OpenView Decoders, flipped the switch. They encrypted their signal, SABC followed suit and overnight turned those Wiztechs and Philibaos into glorified paperweights.
That was a traumatic period that left a mark on people’s psyche and sort of explains the latest jitters. Add the Kwese fiasco to the list and you start to understand people’s fears and speculations. Nowadays every OpenView HD decoder error is being posted on social media with people fearing the worst. Below is one such error.
I wondered how they would block Openview decorders not in South Africa…. Looks like will just do software upgrade and push people to get newer ones with different activation protocols…The speculative Tweet that accompanied the message
These are just normal everyday errors
I can see why people are always assuming the worst when they see such errors. The truth is that there is nothing amiss here. Occasionally OpenView HD decoders are phased out. This is despite the promise that you only need to buy the decoder once and use it forever. Even Multichoice occasionally phases out decoders.
A quick Google search will reveal that even South Africans are experiencing the same issues. So it cannot be something that’s targeted at Zimbabweans. These are normal everyday errors that people run into.
OpenView just toeing the line
A few weeks ago this is what OpenView had to say about the issue:
Currently Openview has a license to only operate in South Africa. Meaning, we are not authorized to extend our service outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa. We are hoping to expand to other African countries at a later stage, but at this point we are more focused on growing our South African Viewership. For now we have taken a decision to block decoders being used outside our legal jurisdiction.
They clearly say they intend to block decoders. The truth though is I don’t see how. It’s the same with DStv South African accounts being used in Zimbabwe. It’s not something that is easy to detect and prevent. There is no way OpenView can tell that a decoder is located in Zimbabwe unless if the decoder has:
- A GPS device installed inside it
- Is connected to the internet or has a way to phone home
As far as I can OpenView decoders have none of these features. Adding them would simply phasing out the current models in the market and will also probably make the decoders more expensive. That’s an awful lot of trouble to go just to stop a few Zimbos from watching your channels.
OpenView is probably just toeing the legal line here. Playing to the gallery.