StarSat, South Africa

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Type Public
Industry Telecommunication
Predecessors TopTV
Founded May 1, 2010 (2010-05-01)
Headquarters Woodmead, Gauteng,
South Africa
Products Direct broadcast satellite
Footnotes / references
On Digital Media

StarSat, South Africa is a subsidiary of the Chinese satellite television provider, StarTimes, operating in South Africa that began broadcasting on 1 May 2010.[1] StarSat is owned by On Digital Media,[2] who were granted a pay-TV license by ICASA in September 2007.[3] On Digital Media is 20% owned by TV satellite operator SES and 20% owned by China’s StarTimes.[4] StarSat's service is aimed at the LSM 6-9 demographic, targeting middle class viewers. Until 31 October 2013, the service was known as TopTV.[5]


TopTV logo

On Digital Media (Pty) Ltd began broadcasting on 1 May 2010 as TopTV.[1]

On 30 April 2013, shareholders of On Digital Media (ODM), StarSat's parent company, voted to approve StarTimes taking over a 20% share of ODM. By doing so, StarTimes effectively acquired a 65% economic interest in ODM.[4] The vote also included adoption of a business rescue plan.[5]

The StarSat brand replaced TopTV and was officially launched on 31 October 2013.[5] The new packages and channels associated with the new brand were made available on 1 December 2013,[5][6] with an apparent focus on Chinese TV channels and Chinese-sourced content.[7]

Broadcast and Reception[edit]

StarSat services are broadcast via satellite, using the SES' 4A craft at the 5°E orbital position, and three of the six 36 MHz transponders in the 'Sub Saharan Africa Ku-band' beam providing coverage of the whole sub-Saharan Africa region. StarSat services are receivable throughout South Africa on dishes of 60 cm diameter.[8] Transmissions are in the DVB-S2 MPEG-4 digital TV format with reception using a simple set-top box available from local retailers, with a PVR receiver slated for later in 2011. Playout and related broadcasting services will be provided by SES subsidiary, SES Platform Services.

StarSat utilises a similar set-top box as DStv. The decoders went on sale on Saturday 1 May at various retailers. The launch cost of the package was R499. This cost included the decoder, the satellite dish, as well as installation.


StarSat offers three tier-based packages ranging in prices from R 99 (US$12.06) to R 199 (US$24.24). Each package includes twenty-five music channels. There are also two add-on packages with additional Indian and Chinese channels available for R 99 (US$12.06) and R 149 (US$18.15).[9]

Prior to the StarSat rebranding, the TopTV service had seven package options and five bouquets of channels.[10]


Channels offered by StarSat services include:[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TopTV Launch - Rise Up South Africa!" (Press release). On Digital Media. 29 April 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "On Digital Media website". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  3. ^ de Lanerolle, Indra (2011). "Convergence and regulation in South Africa: in search of a new public interest paradigm". info 13 (3): 47–63. 
  4. ^ a b "More delays in store for TopTV as shareholders head to court". City Press. 22 October 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Goodbye TopTV, Hello StarSat" (Press release). TVSA. October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "About Us". StarSat. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "TopTV changes name to StarSat". City Press. 19 November 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Astra 4A". SES. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Packages". StarSat. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ "TopTV loses 3 more TV channels". Channel24. 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 

External links[edit]