DStv without a dish – How it stacks up to Netflix

DStv recently launched its standalone streaming service in South Africa, allowing local subscribers to sign up for packages without a satellite installation.

These streaming-only packages are otherwise identical to the traditional satellite packages, although they are now in direct competition with Netflix and other streaming services.

Despite this, DStv’s new Explora Ultra decoder includes integration with Netflix, the subscription for which can be added to your monthly DStv bill.

A decoder is no longer required to watch DStv, however, only the DStv streaming app.

This means many South Africans without a satellite dish but with home broadband may need to choose between a DStv package or Netflix as a streaming option.

We have compared the new DStv streaming packages with Netflix’s options below.

Content and live sport

When it comes to content, Netflix and DStv both offer a range of TV shows and movies to choose from.

DStv’s catalogue includes a wide selection of local content, while Netflix boasts an extensive international content selection replete with high-quality original series and films.

It should be noted that DStv offers a live TV experience while Netflix is purely on-demand. However, the former is also augmented by Box Office video rentals.

DStv also offers a number of dedicated live sports channels via SuperSport, but the selection of sport available on cheaper packages is considerably limited compared to the full bouquet of content on Premium.

Below are the number of channels available on each one of DStv’s streaming-only packages:

Package Total channels Sports channels
DStv EasyView 36 1
DStv Access 67 1
DStv Family 93 3
DStv Compact 127 4
DStv Compact Plus 144 10
DStv Premium 159 12

One of the major advantages of DStv’s high-end Premium subscription is the free inclusion of a Showmax account.

This grant’s access to Showmax’s catalogue of local and international shows, available on-demand through the streaming service.

Netflix’s catalogue remains considerably larger than Showmax’s, however, making it a more attractive option unless you want to enjoy the wealth of local content on the latter platform.

The table below compares the number of shows available on Netflix and Showmax in South Africa.

Streaming Platform Movies TV Series
Netflix 3,589 1,827
Showmax 1,113 434

Pricing and streaming restrictions

In terms of streaming quality, Netflix offers up to 4K streaming, which is much higher than the HD streaming offered by DStv.

It is also priced considerably cheaper than DStv’s high-end packages, competing with the EasyView and Access bouquets while offering a greater selection of content.

The table below details the pricing and streaming restrictions for Netflix packages available in South Africa.

Netflix packages
Package Max streaming quality Simultaneous streams Price pm
Netflix Basic SD 1 R99
Netflix Standard HD 2 R139
Netflix Premium 4K 4 R169

DStv’s streaming-only packages are priced similarly to its traditional products, which makes DStv Premium a relatively expensive streaming subscription compared with the likes of Netflix.

MultiChoice also offers Showmax Pro as a separate streaming package in South Africa, which includes the full Showmax catalogue as well as a limited selection of live sports.

This selection does not include popular sports such as rugby, cricket, or motorsport, however. Showmax Pro is priced at R449 per month.

DStv subscribers can stream on their iOS device, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Smart TV.

Streaming customers can also watch on-demand Catch Up on up to four devices, with a maximum of two concurrent streams.

Streaming resolution on DStv packages is 720p across all devices.

The table below shows the pricing of DStv’s streaming-only packages, illustrating the significantly higher price of channels with greater live sports selections.

Streaming-only Package Price pm
DStv EasyView R29
DStv Access R110
DStv Family R279
DStv Compact R399
DStv Compact Plus R529
DStv Premium R819
Add-ons
Add Movies R99
Add DStv India R269

Now read: DStv decoders from 1995 to 2020 – Photos and details

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DStv without a dish – How it stacks up to Netflix