Bad news for Showmax users on old Explora decoders

DStv customers who use older Explora decoders than the Ultra model will be unable to access the new Showmax streaming service’s content on their device.

While the fully-fledged Showmax TV app is not available on the regular Explora, users of these decoders can browse through and watch movies and TV shows in the Showmax library via a dedicated section in the DStv interface.

The only requirements are to have their decoder connected to the Internet and an active Showmax subscription.

A frustrated DStv Premium customer who had previously accessed Showmax through their Explora notified MyBroadband that they had problems accessing the streaming service in the last few days.

He has been unable to log in to the service after repeated attempts despite updating the decoder to the latest firmware.

After contacting DStv support, he was told that the new Showmax would not be supported on Explora decoders released before the Ultra model.

He complained that DStv was still advertising the Explora decoder with Showmax support included in the list of features on its website.

MyBroadband noted that DStv has an asterisk (*) next to the feature, but there was no explanation of its meaning anywhere else on the page.

Old Showmax running on Explora decoder

A support agent also told him that the change was communicated via the company’s Showmax platforms, particularly the Help section of the new Showmax website, which was only rolled out in the past few weeks.

They also said he might have missed an email informing him of the change, but the new Showmax announcements did not explicitly state older Explora decoders would no longer support the app.

“I am in a price lock plan [contract], and can now not use Showmax on the device I had purchased… even though I am (essentially) paying for the service under my Premium subscription,” the customer complained.

MultiChoice told MyBroadband that the regular DStv Explora decoders were incompatible with the new Showmax, as it ran on a new technology platform that provides a better streaming experience.

“To enjoy the new Showmax, please use the Explora Ultra, DStv Streama or any of the other supported devices available,” DStv said.

The upgraded Showmax runs on the same technology platform as NBCUniversal’s Peacock — the project to switch to the new platform started after NBCUniversal bought a 30% stake in Showmax.

Specifications of Explora 3B decoder available to buy on DStv’s website.

Devices that support the new Showmax

It should be emphasised that the Showmax subscription included with DStv Premium is not limited for use on DStv decoders.

The account used with that subscription can be accessed on any other device where Showmax is supported.

Aside from a browser or the mobile Android, iOS, or Huawei apps, the upgraded Showmax will be available in the app stores of the following TVs:

  • Hisense Smart TVs released from 2020
  • LG Smart TVs released from 2016
  • Samsung TVs released from 2016

Those without a supported smart TV will have to buy an Android TV stick, media box, or Apple TV box and connect it to their TV to watch Showmax.

Alternatively, they can buy a new Explora Ultra decoder, although its price of R2,999 is substantially more expensive than a certified streaming box or stick.

Gamers with a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S will also be able to install the app on their consoles.

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Bad news for Showmax users on old Explora decoders