It’s now 6 days before the Nairobi switch-off of Analogue signal in tandem with the set date of June 2015 that had been agreed upon globally by countries. The East Africa date was December 2012 but only Tanzania has since successfully gone through with it. Now Kenya has separate and phased dates for the switch-off to Digital signal transmission. 13th December is the main date for Nairobi that Set Top Box vendors are trying to beat and ensure they convert as many customers as possible. Players like MultiChoice aren’t even marketing DStv much as they aim to convert the consumers at the bottom of the pyramid without a PayTV subscription.
They have offers to entice converts to go their side. I won’t be discussing the other Set Top box providers as these are not much developed and visible in the marketing (you will find more GOtv stands in town than there are bus stops). They are there but you won’t walk in to a random shop and find them. Startimes and GOtv is what you will interact with much more.
Now the two offers that GOtv and Startimes have on the table are as follows:
GOtv Set Top Box is selling at Kshs 3400 and on top of that you get 2 months of GOtv Plus Subscription worth Kshs 849. If you need to access Free To Air channels on this Set Top Box you will need to dig deeper and give some extra Kshs 2,600 that Multichoice calls administration fee (I think this is the figure they pay the guy who pushes the software upgrade to the Set Top Box so you can access the FTA channels free).
Startimes on the other hand is selling their Set Top Box at Kshs 5000 and you get a month of Unique bouquet subscription worth 2000 bob, you won’t require to add anything to access FTA channels. They do have a second Set Top box that was actually launched earlier but won’t access FTA channels, sells at Kshs 3000 which is some discount from the launch price. No “administration” costs here.
It’s worthy to note that the two PayTV providers are not just keen to have you run their decoders free (the purchase price sum is not really their motivator) but entice you to upgrade to PayTV which goes as low as Kshs 500 for Startimes and Kshs 600 for GOtv. But that does not stop you from going free when you cannot get the monthly subscription fee.
Now if you are thinking Free To Air, here’s the sum you are going to pay:
GOtv: 3400 + 2600 = 6000
Startimes = 5000
Here Startimes looks like the better deal. For the upgraders, you will need to analyse the programming and see what appeals to you. I have watched both GOtv and Startimes and I must say this is a serious fight. At the entry level, GOtv seems to be the better deal for the Kshs 600 package versus the Kshs 500 Startimes Basic package. GOtv seems to have balanced programming though they face the program repeat bug while if you are a news junkie you have numerous options in the Startimes Basic. GOtv has one upgrade option that is GOtv plus while Startimes has two options, Startimes Classic and Startimes Unique, each with a stretch in options.
What do you think? Are you of a different opinion, have you interacted with any of the two or both? Share your thoughts.