The proliferation of video streaming in South Africa has made it possible to access premium entertainment services without needing a device that can receive TV signals.
Armed with a broadband Internet connection, you can access services like Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube without any TV hardware.
You only need a TV licence in South Africa if you have a device that can receive a traditional TV signal, whether a television set, satellite TV decoder, or TV tuner card.
DStv has also launched a streaming-only version of its service that is available without requiring a decoder, and therefore a TV licence.
A TV licence in South Africa costs R265 per year. To avoid legally needing one, you can build a set-up that does not include any TV tuning equipment.
To access platforms like Netflix and YouTube on a big screen monitor, which may not come with a smart TV-like operating system, you will need a media box like an Apple TV or the Ematic AGT419.
If you are interested in getting DStv’s streaming offering on an Android-based TV box like the Ematic, 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 media boxes or TV sticks available in South Africa.
|Apple TV 4K 2nd Gen – 32GB||R3,199|
|Smartvu SV-10 Android TV||R1,499|
|Xiaomi Mi Box S||R1,199|
|Google Chromecast 3.0||R999|
|Xiaomi Mi TV Stick||R799|
The other major 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.
Six ultra-high-definition monitors available in South Africa that measure 40-inches in the diagonal or larger are listed below.
It is worth noting that a 65-inch Mecer monitor could be picked up for cheaper than some 55-inch models at the time of publication.