3 minute read
17 Aug 2017
8:12 am

Will DStv soon be a thing of the past?


With emerging alternatives, is DStv set to lose popularity among South Africans?

Picture: Supplied

Over the years, DStv has been given mixed reviews with its limited variety of shows and constant repetition. However, it’s been the best TV option around by a mile, particularly thanks to its sports content.

Around 6.3 million South Africans are still currently subscribed to this service provider.

With emerging alternatives such as Netflix and Showmax now available in South Africa, DStv may lose popularity among South Africans.

DStv’s current state in SA

It has been in existence since 1995, and has taken over the TV industry continent-wide. With more than 12 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa, DStv is the only digital satellite service left standing in South Africa after the fall of TopTV.

They have developed a business model that is able to cater for the wide range of demographics in South Africa.

The options are manifold when it comes to channels, but customers often complain about programme repetition.

This is, for many, the only place to watch international and local sports as well as the latest movies.

DStv’s Box Office might also seem like a waste of money in the world of online streaming. But for 750 000 people a month, this is their staple movie-viewing platform.

DTT is taking over the world

DTT, Digital Terrestrial Television, has become the global alternative. Many countries abroad are making analogue television obsolete and ensuring everyone is moving to digital.

South Africa, however, is not there yet. There have been serious talks about the transition, but like most things in this country, it takes a bit of time.

The cut-off date for everyone moving to digital was last year already, but this deadline has been extended.

Why is it changing television?

The aim would be to provide users with a variety of different channels at no additional charge. This would ultimately threaten DStv, as they will never be able to compete with this service.

This change would increase usage in online channels as people may then be able to afford to pay for a good internet line because they won’t be paying for DStv.

All analogue TVs are able to transfer to digital. All you need is a a digital set-top box. This box will cost a once- off fee of between R400-R700. You can just plug and play this device.

Once it is connected to your TV, you will have access to eight digital channels you will be able to watch free of charge.

What about the alternatives?

Netflix is one of the most popular alternatives when it comes to watching series and movies. The price for consumers is right and the series and movie world is your oyster at the click of a button.

There are a couple of pitfalls when it comes to services such as ShowMax and Netflix. Nowadays, it is only a small minority of the population who are actually able to afford a fast, “streamable” internet connection.

There is, however, another alternative that is more affordable and targeted at the average South African.

GOtv might become something big

M-Net has launched its very own digital television platform. For R99 per month, subscribers can feast their eyes on 12 channels.

This is the first of its kind and will provide South Africans with a glimpse into the digital realm of television.

Just like the digital set-top box, this platform works on a decoder that is also a plug-and-play unit and costs a once-off fee of R699.

If it’s the latest series and movies you want to watch, we still think that the “www” is the best option!

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