DStv kills app on some Samsung and Hisense TVs, pushes Streama box

MultiChoice has cut some Samsung and Hisense TV owners off from accessing its streaming service using their preinstalled DStv app.

A MyBroadband reader from East London reported the issue this week, saying they received no warning that they would lose access.

“The DStv App is no longer supported on this device as it does not meet the technical requirements to run the app. For compatible devices, go to dstv.com,” a notice on his Hisense TV stated on 10 October 2022.

The reader said he phoned the DStv call centre, but they had no idea why the message was being displayed.

About 30 minutes later, he received an SMS with the message: “DStv: We have an important reminder update regarding your DStv App streaming device. More info: https://dstv.mobi/s/hznRh

The link points to a page claiming to be a reminder regarding the end of support for certain older Samsung and Hisense devices.

However, the reader said he went through all his SMSes and emails, including his spam folders, and found no earlier warning from MultiChoice.

He also said his Hisense TV wasn’t old. He had bought it on 8 December 2021.

MultiChoice then adds insult to injury by trying to upsell affected customers a R1,299 DStv Streama media box.

“We’ve got great news for you! Our new DStv Streama turns your TV into a smart TV — and we’ve reserved one for you…”

The MyBroadband reader went to DStv’s customer care centre in East London to find out about his “reserved” Streama. He was eventually told that stock would only become available in ten days.

MultiChoice also said it would provide affected customers a Takealot voucher to put towards a new DStv Streama, but the SMS with the voucher code would also only arrive in the next 3–10 working days.

By Friday, five working days after the notice was sent, the voucher code had not yet arrived.

MyBroadband contacted MultiChoice to find out how much discount subscribers would receive on a new Streama, which TV models were affected, and whether it was killing the TV apps as part of its crackdown on password sharing.

The broadcaster did not respond by the time of publication.

Update: MultiChoice has provided a statement and responses to our questions.

“MultiChoice is aware of the major inconvenience incurred by customers whose devices can no longer support the DStv app. If a device is no longer able to meet the technical requirements to run the DStv app, it won’t be available on that device, as previously communicated to manufacturers,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“Our customer is our priority, therefore should the manufacturers take the necessary steps to upgrade their devices within a reasonable time, we will consider accommodating said devices.”

Its answer on why it suddenly dropped support for these TVs, and if it was related to its password-sharing crackdown was as follows:

“As we continue to improve the DStv streaming experience, we release regular app updates. The new version of the app allows for better security controls and allows you to enjoy the best of our new features,” a MultiChoice spokesperson said.

It said devices running on the following software would be impacted:

  • Android mobile/TV app versions lower than v2.4.6
  • iOS app versions lower than 10.19.0
  • tvOS app versions lower than 1.15.0

The following TV models will be affected:

  • Samsung 2015
  • Samsung 2016
  • Hisense U2.5

“In some cases, TVs that were manufactured recently may contain older chipsets which ultimately affect the support of the DStv app,” the spokesperson said.

Now read: DStv is launching 4K broadcasts — this is the decoder subscribers need

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DStv kills app on some Samsung and Hisense TVs, pushes Streama box