eMedia the company that operates Openview and eTV recently launched an on-demand streaming platform known as eVOD. This platform will allow you to watch eTV original content as well as South African produced movies, TV shows and soapies. Unlike most streaming platforms out there this one comes with an awesome free tier although you can upgrade to premium if you want.
I have observed that Openview and eTV have been experimenting with various ways to monetise their content on the internet over the years. Some years back they used to upload their content to their official channel on YouTube. You could watch full episodes of their original shows like Rhythm City and Scandal. Then they started using a custom hub which evolved into Openview on Demand. Then they just stopped uploading new episodes onto that hub. It seems eVOD is the successor to that platform.
The available plans
As already mentioned there is a free plan. You can also pay for a daily pass in order to access premium content that is exclusive to paying customers. Most people will not need to pay for eVOD, to be honest as most eOriginals such as Imbewu, Scandal etc are available to stream free on the platform.
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The only drawback is that if you are a free user you will be stuck at 360p when streaming while paying users can get up to 720p depending on their connections of course. Honestly, 720p in 2021 is a bit disappointing 1080p should be the absolute minimum.
The entire list of plans is as follows:
- R5 per day
- R15 per week
- R29.99 per month
I like how, akin to DEOD, they have shorter-term plans. There are a lot of people out there who only get to watch their TVs during the weekend when they are free. Asking them to pay for a whole month is a bit unfair.
No support for TVs and Chromecast
Another disappointing fact is that there is no support for Chromecast and smart TVs. They do have apps for Android and iOS though and you can always enjoy the service on your laptop or desktop computer. I do however feel like they should fix this glaring oversight. There is only so much content you can watch on your phone or laptop.
The fact that the eVOD service was launched in partnership with MTN is in keeping with the mostly mobile focus I guess. This brings me to my next complaint. The service is kind of slow it might be just my internet connection doesn’t have good peering with MTN and Brightcove but it doesn’t bode well for them. Slow speeds mean buffering and nobody likes buffering.
Can Zimbabweans sign up?
Yes, you can according to my testing. You can even use your Zimbabwean phone number although it seems you will need a South African VPN to playback content.