StarTimes Media, a digital television company, has been on a mission to ensure that its consumers are aware of their not-so-new product, Digital TV, which, it hopes, will change how people in its primary market base in Africa consume digital Pay-TV content.
Ideally, StarTimes hopes to get rid of the belief that digital TV has to be hooked to a Set-Top-Box (STB) that decodes digital signals. In its place, a single television unit dubbed StarTimes Digital TV that can receive Free-To-Air (FTA) channels as well as Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and Direct-To-Home (DTH) services is what the media company hopes to place in thousands of homes. The televisions, which are already on sale, are available in four sizes and target consumers who do not want to purchase a separate decoder. Generally speaking, this is a neat move thanks to the hassles of setting up STBs and handling multiple remote controls.
StarTimes Digital TVs run an intelligent OS (we do not know what this means) that can be upgraded and maintained remotely. Also, the ‘intelligent’ OS will ensure that programs run optimally and newer services are integrated in a seamless manner. At the same time, these televisions consume 50% less power compared to traditional Circuit Ray Tube (CRT) TV sets, and have other additions such as Dolby 360° audio system, HDMI and USB ports, to mention a few.
Currently, StarTimes is selling 24-inch, 32-inch, 40-inch and 42-inch models.
StarTimes 42” Real Digital LED TV
|Screen size||42 inches|
|Screen category||Full HD LED|
|Resolution||1980 * 1080|
|USB 2.0||2 (Left for multimedia port, right for upgrade only)|
|Audio System||Digital Noise Filter System, 8W*2
The thinnest point of this 42-inch model measures 14mm, which is not market-leading because we have seen skinnier sets from competitors. On the bright side, the set scores a few points on how much it has managed to shrink bezels to 5mm all round. Often, consumers have been forgiving to televisions that ship with generous amounts of bezels, but this trend is seemingly being phased out by what we have seen in smartphones based on OEMs’s war on bezels because larger displays need to fit compact bodies.
What’s more, the pictorial radio barely sips juice and at 76W of power consumption, StartTimes is looking forward to minimize power consumption in households thanks to the TV’s exemplary power metrics.
Another notable inclusion is the HDMI port (two of them actually) for you to connect other components to the TV such as a Blue-Ray disc player, gaming consoles and so forth. While it is a welcome idea, limiting them to two is going to set some people off, especially those that have multiple peripherals and are in need of uncompressed digital signals for an awesome viewing experience.
One of the two USB 2.0 ports is used for multimedia playback while the one on the right is for software upgrades. Modern USB standards such as 3.1 Gen 2 or 1 could have been a nice gesture, but this is all we’ve got.
StarTimes 40” Real Digital LED TV
Most of the specifications for the 40-inch model are similar to its 42-inch sibling, save for the model number (E40M30HH) and voltage (100 – 240V). Everything else is the same, including the number of USB and HDMI ports.
StarTimes 32” and 24″ Real Digital LED TVs
With model number E32BJLHH, the 32-ich model downgrades its panel from FHD of the 40- and 42-inch models to an okay HD quality at 1366*768. Additionally, it has selfless bezels at 14mm and single HDMI port, but keeps the 2 USB 2.0 ports. Power consumption is a paltry 65W.
The 24” model has two HDMI ports and retains the HD resolution of the 32-inch sister.
All four models offer the following pluses:
- 200 + Digital TV Channels
- Terrestrial FTA + PTV
- Satellite FTA + PVT
- OTA upgrade and USB upgrade
- Multimedia playback from USB sticks
- 12-month warrant
24″ model – Ksh. 19,000
32″ model – Ksh. 26,500
40″ model – Ksh. 39,000
To sum it up, StarTimes is one of the leading Pay-TV operators in Africa and has capitalized on Kenya’s digital migration from analogue to digital broadcasting signals by expanding its customer base. Other countries including Nigeria and South Africa are committed to achieving what Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi have executed successfully (amid multiple setbacks), and media organization is looking forward to offering its services to more African families.