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Altech to shutter Node video-on-demand service

With (another) new video-on-demand service launching today, the South African streaming market is quickly becoming a very crowded space.

Altech’s Node, a video streaming and home automation set-top box, might have been one of the first in the country when it launched last year, but Altech confirmed yesterday that it will be discontinuing the service from October this year.

The service allowed subscribers to watch TV shows and films on a transactional basis, and it also included a host of functions to automate your home.

The Node has been in some trouble over the last couple of months due to slow uptake, and parent company Altron announced in June that it was in search of a third-party buyer to take it over.

“After exploring various alternatives including partnerships, Altron has taken a decision to close the operational Altech Node business. The closure will include termination of all agreements and services associated with the device,” Altron told TechCentral.

Altron CEO Robbie Venter blamed the closure on “unfavourable conditions” in the South African market, without disclosing the number of current subscribers.

“Unfavourable conditions such as the current economic environment, which is putting pressure on the consumer and increased competition in the VOD environment, have necessitated us to make the difficult decision to close the Altech Node business. We will, however, retain the technology within the group.”

Since the Node’s introduction, we have seen the launch of MTN’s FrontRow, Naspers’ ShowMax and Vidi’s arrival preceded it. Netflix has also confirmed that it should be entering the South African video streaming market by the end of next year.

Today will also see the launch of a streaming service by PCCW, the parent company of VuClip.

[Source – TechCentral]

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