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Altech Node console, service to be culled citing ‘increased competition’

In September 2014, South Africa got its first taste of a novel breed of technology in the form of a “fully converged home gateway console.” It was called the Altech Node and meshed a video-on-demand (VoD) service with a home automation system. But after a poor consumer adoption rate, it’s creator Altron is set to kill the device and the service.

According to a TechCentral report, Altron’s move comes after it failed to sell the Altech Node to another company.

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Read more: Altech Node review: spades of potential in a little black box

“After exploring various alternatives including partnerships, Altron has taken a decision to close the operational Altech Node business,” the company told TechCentral.

“The closure will include termination of all agreements and services associated with the device.”

Interestingly this move comes in what has been a disruptive past month for South Africa’s video-on-demand landscape. A new VoD service is due to launch in Johannesburg tomorrow, which is allegedly owned by Hong Kong businessman Richard Li.

Earlier this month, Naspers announced its ShowMax venture, which provided the first real South African-based VoD service.

Moreover, French telecoms giant Orange has announced that it will be dipping its toes into the VoD pool come 2016 with its own service, joining the eventual likes of Netflix.

Read more: Altech Node preview: all-in-one home and content control, at a price

The Altech Node, although being first to market is suffering from “increased competition in the VOD environment,” according to Altron’s CEO Robbie Venter speaking to TechCentral.

The service will be terminated completely come 31 October 2015, while all subscribers who own an Altech Node will be given a R2000 refund the following month.

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