Get 100 channels on your DStv decoder for free — without a subscription

An experiment by MyBroadband showed that you could add more than 100 channels to a DStv decoder for free by changing a few settings.

The channels are broadcast free from the satellite DStv uses, Intelsat 20.

Viewing these channels requires a satellite decoder that supports DVB-S and DVB-S2 modulation and MPEG4. These are available on modern DStv decoders.

You also need a dish antenna and LNB pointed at the satellite, which should be ready if you have an active DStv connection or had one in the past.

Because this is not a DStv service, you should be able to view these channels without an active subscription.

It is ideal for those who cancelled their DStv subscriptions but still have the hardware.

We followed the information from different guides and were able to add many new channels, but this may differ for other users, depending on your signal strength and setup.

Setting up additional satellite networks differ depending on the decoder model, but it was simple to do on the Model 4S we used.

After pressing the blue DStv button, we could scroll to satellite settings and click on additional networks, which allowed us to access five network settings.

Most of the guides we found cautioned against changing anything on network 1, as that is often being used by DStv itself, even though it was disabled on our decoder.

We set up networks 2 to 5 based on information we found online. We skipped over configurations that showed no signal strength and scanned those that showed promise.

The following settings worked on our setup.

Network Network 2 Network 3 Network 4 Network 5
Frequency 11514 12562 11522 12633
Modulation S2 S2 S2 S
Symbol Rate 28750 30000 30000 16166
FEC 5/6 5/6 3/4 5/6
Polarisation Vertical Horizontal Horizontal Vertical

The decoder must scan these configurations for new channels. After the scan, you can access them by changing the options to “All Channels” instead of “My Channels” in the browsing menu.

While most of the free channels were religious, there were several other types too.

We could see all the Openview HD channels but could not tune into any, as that would require the decryption key from an Openview decoder.

We also found stations played in specific retailer chains such as PEP, Game, and Clicks.

We could only find one sports channel called Sports Connect.

It featured some interesting shows, such as a chainsaw competition and the Asian Le Mans.

We also found a kids’ channel and a crime story channel.

The free channels are not the best entertainment available, but they are gratis — a difficult price to beat.

Going through the small effort of changing your decoder’s network settings is worthwhile to see if Intelsat-20 hosts some free content you might like.


Now read: DStv Streama launch plans announced

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Get 100 channels on your DStv decoder for free — without a subscription