Bigger and smaller
The storage space on the Explora has been increased 4 fold from a paltry 500GB in the outgoing HD PVR to a 2TB drive (the drive speed has also increased from 5400 to 5900rpm). It manages to beef up the internal storage while going on an external diet and slimming down in physical size at the same time. This extra storage gives total recording time a bump to 220 hours which means less fighting over what shows must be deleted to free up space on the decoder, a point that many families will be glad to hear.
The new Explora comes in at a rather expensive Kshs 28,000.
SatCR or Unicable LNB
After years of having to run a thick pipe of cables into your living room the Explora finally brings that down to only 1 cable into your decoder. From your dish everything gets joined in a box that then sends the signal down in one cable, perfect for the style conscientious among our readers.
More Catch Up
DStv’s Catch Up service will also benefit from the increased storage size of the HDD in the Explora. Catch Up has had it’s catalogue of ongoing series doubled to forty concurrent shows and each show can have up to 4 prior episodes available for the user to watch at any given time. Sport Catch Up will also be increasing the offering that they put together giving users more sports games, sets and matches to relax to after work.
The video on demand rental service has 19 titles available at any given time. A value added service to premium only. Rental of movies at Kshs 230 for 48 hours.
Besides the hard drive getting a bump the other internal components have also seen an increase in speed over the previous generation of PVR decoder. The CPU has been upgraded from a 1.1GHz model to a 3GHz unit in the Explora with a 4 fold increase in RAM to 1GB of DDR3 RAM.
The new remote has been designed to be less complicated than the previous by removing the alternate functions mode. It features the big blue DStv central button that serves as the ‘home’ button to retrieve all of your content.
The Explora is based on a Linux kernel and a completely custom developed code base from Multichoice themselves (with some help from other Naspers subsidiaries).
The Explora comes with 3 USB ports which Multichoice have promised will be used for upgrading the technology in the future to allow for things like WiFi access and potentially 3G as well.
The most important thing by far about the new DStv Explora is the new interface. It’s fast and responsive and when I tested it out, it impressed me with the ability to handle anything I threw at it.