Telkom TV boxes to drop Netflix support – here are some alternatives

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Later this month, popular streaming service Netflix won’t be accessible on Telkom’s set-top boxes. The South African mobile and internet provider’s hardware will lose access to Netflix support later this month. 

The contract between Telkom and Netflix has come to an end and won’t be renewed, according to Wanda Mkhize, the state internet provider’s content executive. Don’t panic just yet though, because she reassures users that there will be new content announcements soon. 

But you’re still covered because Multichoice is rolling out its new decoders — just this time they’re not normal decoders, they actually feature access to streaming services. The company signed non-exclusive deals with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to host its apps on its decoders, the Explora Ultra and the Streama, so we’re not really sure why Telkom’s losing access on its hardware. 

While the Explora Ultra made its way to SA shelves in November 2020, we’re still yet to get our hands on the Streama device, which will function as a set-top box with some limited streaming options. 

UPDATE 12/10@15:16 — We’ve altered a section on Multichoice’s deal with Amazon and Netflix. Multichoice’s deal with those platforms is not exclusive, as was first reported, and isn’t connected with Telkom’s current issues with Netflix. We regret the error.

If you’re not interested in DStv’s new hardware, there are a few options when it comes to set-top boxes that actually have Netflix loaded as an option. 

Telkom TV box replacements

Xiaomi Mi Box S | R1,300

Buying a TV box in SA is a hit or miss, as most of them are mass-produced and run on iffy software. Your best bet is opting for a certified Android box, like the Xiaomi Mi Box S. It’s the second of its kind and can stream content in 4K from a variety of services on the market. Already have a smart TV? Just add the Mi Box S to up its streaming game. It’s also got Chromecast built-in, with some Assistant chops to improve its desirability. The Play Store offers a variety of apps that should impress any content snob.

Google Chromecast 3.0 | R800

The Chromecast is a cheaper option to smart up your TV, and it works seamlessly. Plug-in, play, and cast from your mobile device without hassle. Pair it to a Google Nest and gain more control using Google Assistant.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K | R1,500

Amazon’s latest streaming stick offers 4K plus a faster processor than its predecessor and comes with an Alexa Voice Remote. It doesn’t have Showmax, but the selection of third-party apps is excellent.

Honourary mentions
Apple TV 4K | R2,500
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, might as well cough up for this one. It works. Well.
Mediabox Maverick | R1,300
This box packs a punch, winning points for being so easy to install.

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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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