Cell C’s set-top-box for its now-defunct Black streaming service is currently unusable, according to feedback from a former subscriber.
The operator announced it was discontinuing its streaming service at the end of 2019.
In addition to the Black streaming service, Cell C launched a set-top-box which it called the blackBOX.
The box was sold for R1,499 and allowed the streaming of Black’s linear channels and video content.
Following Cell C shutting down Black, an owner of one of these boxes contacted MyBroadband to found out if he could get the media player to continue working.
The blackBOX runs on Android 4.4.2, but came loaded with Cell C’s own skin on top, said the user.
He told MyBroadband that since Black was discontinued, the player’s interface was unable to load any content.
Hoping that an over-the-air (OTA) update would be available which would “open” the box’s software, he attempted to perform a firmware update.
“It wouldn’t allow a network connection in that firmware menu though, so that didn’t work,” he explained.
Attempting to reset the box did not work either.
The blackBOX was built by an Israeli-based company called Comigo, and has the model number CMG-SBOF9C.
MyBroadband could not find a website for the media player, or software updates for the device.
However, the blackBOX employs an Amlogic S805-B Quad Core processor, a chip which is used in a number of other media players.
Therefore, a user may be able to flash firmware which is used in the boxes that feature the same processor.
Cell C’s response
We approached Cell C to find out if the operator would be able to provide further support in this regard.
Cell C told MyBroadband that owners may, at their own cost and discretion, load Android onto the blackBOX – but offered no official explanation on how to do this.
“Android is an open OS and as such from a legal perspective there should not be any issues in this regard.”
“If customers have no need for the box, similar to any other electronics/mobile device, they may dispose of it using the e-waste guide published.”
Images of Cell C’s blackBOX, and its included remote, are below.