The new media boxes coming to South Africa

Econet Media recently launched its Kwesé TV player in South Africa.

The launch followed Telkom’s unveiling of its LIT TV box.

The launch of Kwesé Play and LIT TV means there will soon be three new major media players available in SA.

Kwesé Play is powered by Roku, and is the media player company’s official local partner. It is also the official Netflix partner for sub-Saharan Africa.

Telkom said its LIT TV player will be the first Google-certified Android TV media box in South Africa, with access to the full Google Play marketplace on the platform.

The two players will compete with the recently-launched Apple TV 4K, which is set to arrive in the country in the coming months. No local pricing is available as yet, though.

There are several other brands of media players available in South Africa, which range in price from under R900 to nearly R3,000.

Online retailers such as Loot, Raru, and Takealot stock these media players, which typically run a version of Android.

For the purposes of the comparison, we have focused on the three devices listed below.

Apple TV, LIT TV, Roku

Specifications Apple TV 4K Kwesé Play Telkom LIT TV
Platform tvOS Roku Android TV
Max. resolution 4K 1080p 4K
Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band 802.11n dual-band 802.11ac dual-band
Remote Siri Remote IR remote Airmouse
Price 32GB: $179 / 64GB: $199 R1,599 R1,099

Apple TV 4K

Kwese Play Roku and remote

Telkom LIT TVC100

Players

It must be noted that the Apple TV 4K does not include an HDMI cable in the box, but its Siri Remote can be charged by the included Lightning-to-USB cable – saving on batteries.

Kwesé Play uses a remote that runs on two AAA batteries, and requires line-of-sight to the Roku to operate.

Neither the Siri nor the Airmouse remotes require line-of-sight to their respective players to work.

In terms of content, Kwesé Play includes three months of free Netflix as a launch offer – and the company said it plans to expand its channel offering to South Africans in the future.

The Apple TV is linked to the Apple ecosystem, while the Telkom LIT TV player will have access to Google’s ecosystem. Both players also offer support for third-party services such as Showmax and Amazon Prime Video.

With not much to differentiate the players in terms of hardware performance, the services they offer and the platforms they support may be the determining factor for customers.

Now read: Kwesé Play tested – Solid offering with lots of potential

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The new media boxes coming to South Africa