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StarSat goes off air

South Africa’s struggling pay-TV service StarSat went off air on April 19th. Local reports state that the service has been affected by a problem at the uplink site “in Slovenia” where there had been a fibre break.

However, this is somewhat confusing given that most of the StarSat (which used to be known by its TopTV brand, and On Digital Media ownership) signals are handled by SES Platform Services, which uplinks from near Munich in Bavaria, Germany. SES sources, speaking early on April 23 say their uplinking is “nominal” which is satellite-speak for all is well.

What is clear is that telephone calls from angry subscribers to StarSat’s facility in a Johannesburg suburb have gone unanswered. Local journal Channel 24 reports that there have been problems affecting certain StarSat decoder boxes.

A web-message on StarSat’s local site says simply “StarSat is not going out of business”.

As April 23rd unfolded it seems that some viewers are now getting signals, but others are reporting continuing problems with the STBs.

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