Goodbye TV licence — Watch DStv without paying the SABC

You can keep watching DStv without needing a TV licence if you use MultiChoice’s decoder-less online streaming option and a monitor rather than a TV set.

DStv launched its standalone streaming service in South Africa towards the end of last year, allowing subscribers to sign up without needing a satellite installation or decoder.

While you aren’t required to present a valid TV licence to buy a decoder like you are with a television set, operating anything with a TV tuner requires that you have a licence.

To avoid legally needing a TV licence, you must therefore choose a set-up that does not include any kind of TV tuning device.

Media boxes like the Apple TV and Android-based devices from Ematic and Xiaomi are viable alternatives for a DStv decoder.

For Android-based boxes, it is important to ensure they are Google-certified, as the DStv app only supports certified devices.

The following table summarises the prices of several 4K-capable media boxes available in South Africa.

Media box Price
Apple TV 4K 2nd Gen – 32GB R3,199
Ematic AGT419 R1,499
Xiaomi Mi Box S R1,199

Once you have a media box, and assuming you already have a monitor to connect it to, you must select the DStv streaming package that best suits your needs.

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

However, DStv subscriptions include access to on-demand content and live linear channels, including SuperSport.

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

The following table summarises the number of channels, sports channels, and monthly price of the DStv packages available in South Africa.

DStv Package Total channels Sports channels Price
DStv EasyView 32 1 R29
DStv Access 61 3 R115
DStv Family 86 5 R295
DStv Compact 115 10 R409
DStv Compact Plus 139 14 R539
DStv Premium 152 21 R829

The last essential component of a TV licence-free video entertainment set-up is a monitor that does not include a TV tuner.

There are several affordable options in this category to choose from if you only require high definition resolution.

However, if you would like to enjoy streaming in ultra-high-definition from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, a more expensive 4K/UHD monitor is preferred.

Four models of 40-inch or larger ultra-high-definition monitors that are available in South Africa are listed below.

Philips 43″ 438P1/96 — R8,999

Mecer 55″ 55S93U — R11,480

Mecer 65″ W/6586ad — R13,739

Alienware 55″ AW5520QF — R59,999

Now read: DStv must pay for SABC channels — state broadcaster

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Goodbye TV licence — Watch DStv without paying the SABC