MultiChoice is known for its DStv product/service, which allows customers to access entertainment programs via a satellite link. The SA corporation also has an exclusive product, namely Supersport, which airs live matches from different parts of the world, including football, which is loved in the company’s main market, Africa.
The firm has also been facing notable competition from rivals such as Netflix. MultiChoice even spun a similar product in the name of Showmax, which has grown in its own way, but is yet to reach Netflix’s heights. The bad blood between the two companies has since waned, and it would appear that MultiChoice is ready to let bygones be bygones (more of that in a second).
Now, the company has announced that the DStv Stream Box, which was hinted at more than two years ago, will be available for purchase starting from October 1. However, availability will be made in its native market, South Africa. It is not clear if the streaming box will be brought to Kenya, but it is very possible that it will hit local store shelves thanks to MultiChoice’s big market in the country.
The DStv Stream Box is actually quite capable based on its specifications:
|Connectivity||Ethernet and Wi-Fi 5|
|Resolution||Up to 4K|
|Price||Around KES 8800|
To note, this is a streaming box, so you will be accessing DStv content via an internet connection via the available ethernet port of Wi-Fi.
Looking at press pictures, the device looks like the rest of other streaming boxes we have seen out there, but it is larger than, say the Mi Box series of boxes by Xiaomi.
The amount of RAM included should be more than sufficient to power the RDK platform, which offers a UI that looks similar to what customers are accustomed to when scrolling through the DStv streaming app.
The box is powered by a Realtek 1319 chip in place of the rumoured Amlogic chip.
It includes a remote, which has hotkeys for Showmax, YouTube, and surprise, Netflix. This appears to be a partnership between YouTube and Netflix because those companies pay streaming box manufacturers to have their shortcut buttons on their remotes.
Users will also be able to load other services, including Prime Video and Disney+ for additional content.
Remember, these apps are paid for separately. It is also not clear if there will be any freebies, like one-month free access to DStv programs.
Circling back to the specs, the box is said to support up to 4K streaming resolution. However, the likes of Showmax cap their resolution to 720p, and the company has not announced that it will be upping its streams. We, therefore, believe that users will still be limited to HD streaming on that platform.
We assume that the device will be a good purchase for customers who have an internet connection in their homes. Setting up a streaming box is always easier than a satellite dish that needs more work. Besides, the box only needs to access the internet for it to work, and not satellite signals that are sometimes attenuated thanks to bad weather.