There’s been a good amount of discussion lately surrounding DStv’s new range of products. The company was rather excited to announce some new devices a few weeks ago and while the Streama and the Explora Ultra decoder do appear to be rather neat little upgrades, that hasn’t stopped confusion surrounding either box from spreading.
There have been some mixed messages around the new devices and it’s resulted in plenty of folks maybe not fully understanding how they’re actually going to work. DStv was aware of this issue and sat down with us last week to discuss the pricing of the new packages. One avenue we wanted to clarify further was how exactly third-party streaming services would work on the DStv Streama and Explora Ultra.
Contrary to some reports online, Multichoice won’t be licensing content from third-party providers such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix — all of that was simply untrue and misinformed. So, let’s unpack how DStv’s new products will facilitate third-party streaming services as, according to DStv CEO Mark Rayner, both boxes are designed with the convenience of the user in mind rather than squeezing out extra cash.
If I want to use Netflix on a DStv Streama, how do I go about that?
Very simply, in fact. The DStv Streama and Explora Ultra come with apps such as Showmax and Netflix pre-installed on the boxes. They’ll all be accessible right from the start, shown in DStv’s proprietary UI. All you need to do is select the one you want (we’ll stick with Netflix for the example), log into your existing account and you’re ready to browse the full catalogue of series and movies.
If you set up a new Netflix account, you’ll have the option of either paying Netflix directly or including the fee for Netflix in your DStv account. If you’re using the Streama there’s no need to do this given that the box itself isn’t on a subscription and functions as a once-off payment, as we clarified last week.
DStv CEO Mark Rayner said that users will never be forced into any of these third-party apps and will have to opt-in if they wanted to make an account. “In no way is a customer forced to take the other products. If they choose to, they can sign up with what’s available. They can add their credit card or add it to the DStv account.”
What kind of Internet do I need to use the Streama and Explora Ultra?
Well, that’s a question that’s got a pretty standard answer across the board. The DStv Streama and Explora Ultra come with two different quality presets that users can switch between depending on their internet speeds. Streaming in Standard Definition (SD) quality will require a line speed of 2Mbps while High Definition (HD) will require a 10Mbps connection.
Those line speeds are common enough that most South Africans should be able to stream in at least Standard Definition. So, don’t worry about that particular issue.
What apps will be available on the Streama and Explora Ultra?
At the time of writing, we’re not entirely sure of the full range of third-party streaming apps available on DStv’s new boxes. Some that have been confirmed include Joox, Showmax and DStv Now (obviously). We have reason to believe that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be included at launch but those are currently unconfirmed. Still, that hasn’t stopped us from using Netflix as our main example.
Rayner did go on to discuss the expansion of the apps available on the Streama and Explora Ultra, stating that DStv plans on adding more over time. “We want to ensure the apps on our devices are curated to offer the best possible content to users. That collection will grow over time as we bring in more services. The installed apps will also be updated remotely via DStv, meaning users won’t have to worry about whether or not their Showmax is up to date or not.”
It’s all about convenience
That’s the thinking behind the DStv Streama and Explora Ultra: Convenience and options. Users will be able to shape their use of the next devices however they please, selecting what they want and then how they pay for it. So don’t worry, you’ll be able to still use your existing Netflix account and not jump through the hoops of making a new one exclusively for whichever DStv box you own.