Altech Launches Node

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Altech, a long-time reseller in the mobile space, have announced and launched their new home entertainment system, the Altech Node. The Node works on a subscription VOD (video-on-demand) platform, which streams to the decoder. Unlike many of the other offerings in the same space, the Node service doesn’t require a broadband connection, but rather utilises the satellite services DStv use to push content to the decoder. The unit includes a 1TB hard drive to store content, which is managed by the user. The Node includes a subscription service of R299, which provides access to series, movies, news, and sports highlight packages. There is also a movie rental service that will set you back between R15 and R25 depending on its release schedule.

Although it doesn’t necessarily require a broadband connection, the Node still offers connection via a 3G modem, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet, and can be connected to any HDMI-enabled display. The Node goes on sale today, 19 September 2014, at any Altech Autopage Cellular, Cell C, Dion Wired, Game, HiFi Corporation, Hirsch’s, Incredible Connection, JetMart, Makro, and Pick ‘n Pay Hyper, to name but a few. Check out the full press release below:

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Altech launches Node: A world-first in entertainment technology and smart home solutions

Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) today announced the launch of Altech Node, the world’s first fully converged home gateway console, offering the latest in movie entertainment, TV series, sports and business content, Internet access, and wireless smart home solutions.

Altech Node gives immediate access to more than 700 hours of entertainment without any buffering, with 10% to 20% of movies and TV shows updated monthly as older content is replaced with the latest and greatest releases. And through Node compatible accessories, it creates a smart home environment that can be directly controlled from the television screen.

According to Craig Venter, Group Executive Altron TMT / Chief Executive Officer: Altech, Node is like a DVD store in your home.

“At any time viewers can choose from a selection of hundreds of blockbuster movies on transactional video on demand – TVOD, in full 1080p High Definition, and 400 recent movies on subscription video on demand – SVOD. And what is especially brilliant about the way we have set up the Node, is that the content is streamed, and regularly updated, via satellite to the Node’s internal 1TB hard drive, so viewers don’t pay for massive Internet downloads and can access content literally the moment they decide to view it, with no delays and no buffering.”

Node maintains a carousel library of content on its hard drive, the majority of which can be accessed as part of the monthly subscription fee of R299. Node incorporates a once-off device cost of R3 499, unless customers opt to purchase the Node over a 24-month period at approximately R190 per month, depending on the selected data bundle. Free installation is included in the cost. Added to this is the fact that customers are not tied into long term contracts.

The latest blockbuster movie releases can be viewed for R25 and enjoyed for unlimited viewing over a 48 hour period. With a wide range of subscription video-on-demand titles, including movies and series, customers will be spoilt for choice. Sports fans and followers of business news and current affairs can catch up on the latest developments through up-to-date highlights packages.

Node is also unique in that it is an instant e-commerce platform that allows users to buy data, airtime and pre-paid electricity, and pay for municipal and utility services such as Eskom or Telkom – all from the comfort of their home and without the use of a computer.

In addition to the Node’s entertainment capabilities is its smart TV and smart home functionality that enables users to download Android apps, access the Internet and email, and control home appliances using Node branded Smart Plugs.
“In today’s high security conscious world the wireless camera and motion sensor capabilities of the Node are a tremendous value-add. With just one or two clicks of a button on the Node’s remote control, you are able to view up to four Node video cameras wirelessly on your TV screen or via another connected access device such as an iPad or cell phone,” says Venter.

“Node is much more than video on demand. It is an entertainment hub, a streaming server, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an e-commerce platform, a home automation and energy management system, a home security system, and a telephone and videophone, all in one and completely integrated. It is the most sophisticated home gateway in the world and is a true reflection of Altech’s mission to provide its customers with value-added products, services and solutions through the convergence of Telecommunications, Multi-media and Information Technology,” adds Venter.
“Our advertising payoff line for Node is: ‘One day we’ll wonder what we ever did without it’. Inherent in that statement is the notion that nothing like it has gone before, and that’s because nothing has,” concludes Venter.
Node is available from the following stores from Friday 19 September 2014:

Altech Autopage Cellular, Cell C, Dion Wired, Game, HiFi Corporation, Hirsch’s, Incredible Connection, JetMart, Makro, Pick ‘n Pay Hyper and other leading retailers.

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Other key features of the Node include:

  • Node’s YouTube functionality that allows viewers to set up their own video playlists using another device, such as a smartphone, and queuing them to play on their TV.
  • Node’s built-in media player, MyMedia, which allows content to be played off other devices, such as the Altech Node branded and packaged USB flash drive, which enables users to also add and view their favourite home videos and holiday photos on their TV.
  • Node’s wireless Internet functionality turns it into a Wi-Fi hotspot and allows for up to 5 devices – the TV, computer, smartphone and tablet – to be connected simultaneously to stream content to these devices. No more fighting over which movie or TV series to watch!
  • Users can download Android apps for use on the Node, such as Internet radio streaming. For the kids there is the added advantage of access to hundreds of games to keep them entertained for hours.
  • Node offers Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, allowing for two handsets and almost free on-net calling. Users can also videoconference via the Node.
  • Node is a home automation and energy management device. Using ZigBee peripheral devices, users can control house lights and switch on appliances such as geysers, either via the TV or remotely with a smartphone.
  • Node is secure, with state-of-the art encryption for movie payments, e-commerce and interfacing with other devices.
    Node is easy to install. Users can do it themselves, even with the most rudimentary technical skills, and install their own automation and security equipment. And Node comes standard with an 80cm satellite dish – the new standard for Africa.
  • Node is easy to use. It has no buttons on its front face but comes with a remote control with an interface on each side – one being a QWERTY keyboard. And its RF remote control means line-of-sight isn’t necessary when using it. Users can also turn their smartphones into remote controls. Node’s customisable carousel-style navigation layout is easy to master. It also features one HDMI out port, two HDMI in ports to switch multiple HDMI ports into your TV, and an Ethernet connector and Wi-Fi for connectivity.
  • Node is extremely cost effective to operate and should users utilise the YouTube function extensively and require more cellular data, they can immediately top up their data via the Altech Node. Cellular pre-paid airtime can also be purchased through the Node.

More information on the Altech Node can be found at: www.node.co.za or visit Node on Twitter; Facebook and YouTube.

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