Television entertainment has evolved so much over the years in African countries, moving away from the monopoly of analog entertainment into the digital era. One of the companies championing this switch is StarTimes Entertainment Co with its Digital Satellite Decoder. The company, which is a Chinese electronics and media company, has a strong presence in Sub-Saharan Africa. They arrived on the continent in 2002 and currently cover more than 30 countries on the continent.
Unique Features of The StarTimes Digital Satellite Decoder
The new StarTimes digital satellite decoder comes in 3 different options which are SD decoders, HD decoders, and Combo decoders. These decoders have been described as one of the cheapest compared to others in the market and irrespective of the fact that they are quite affordable, they also offer a wide range of services to suit the needs of subscribers.
Let’s take a quick look at the features of these decoders and the prices at which one can buy them below:
1. SD Decoder
Depending on the location and place you are buying this decoder from, you can spend between N8,000 to N10,000 to own one. This decoder is the cheapest one provided by Startimes in Nigeria but irrespective of its low price, it comes with a sleek look as well as very unique features which include:
- The option to switch languages
- Parental control feature
- Option to add or book favorite program
- Upgraded hardware platform
- Upgraded user interface
- Auto or Manual search feature
- High-quality mechanical design
2. HD Decoder
The StarTimes HD Decoder can be purchased within the price range of N10,000 to N14,000 depending on the vendor you buy it from. This decoder also has great features which make it a go-to choice for many StarTimes users. Some of these distinctive features of the HD Decorder are:
- Low probability of interruptions due to bad weather conditions as it is weather friendly
- Easy installation process as you can just plug it in and play
- It can be delivered to your home for free depending on the source you get it from
- Its picture quality is high
3. Combo Decoder
This is the highest grade of StarTimes decoders available and it can be acquired for as low as N12,000 or as high as N14,000. Being of a high grade also makes the combo decoder a great choice and distinct features of it include:
- A user-friendly interface
- Easy to use remote control
- Automatic upgrade of the decoder’s software
- An electronic program guide feature
- Ability to support StarTimes Terrestrial TV (DTT) service and Satellite TV (DTH) service
- Complies with DVB-T2, DVB-T, and DVB-S2 features
- High picture quality
More so, when comparing the prices of the different StarTimes decoders to that of other brands, you’ll see that you are actually saving some money. You’ll need to spend a minimum of N14,000, N20,000, or N12,000 for a GOTV, DSTV, or CTL decoder respectively – this is minus whatever cost the installation might come with.
The Cost of Startimes Decoders in Other African Countries
Aside from Nigeria, Startimes is also present in several other African countries. As stated above, the company started its operations in the continent sometime in 2002 and by 2007, they became the first Pay-TV company to receive a license for digital television operation in Rwanda. The company has since gained a lot of popularity in the country and coupled with the fact that the StarTimes decoder can be purchased for as low as Rwf 4,000, a large number of households make use of their services.
StarTimes is also very popular in Uganda and their decoders are obtainable at very affordable prices. Since the Startimes terrestrial package doesn’t need a dish to work, one can get the complete set of the StarTimes DTT Decoder + Antenna for Ush 76,000 while the HD Decoder, Dish & Accessories can be obtained for as low as Ush 134,000. These offers usually come with a 1-month free classic viewing package.
More so, the company has a strong presence in Ghana, and to get connected to several TV channels and bouquets, all you have to do is buy a decoder, a satellite dish, LNB, and cable. A StarTimes decoder in Ghana can currently be acquired for as low as GHC 90.00 while the dish, cable, and LNB go for GHC 75.00. These offers also come with an interesting bonus package which is a free 1-month subscription for all new customers.
The Installation Guide For New Decoders
Once you have purchased your desired StarTimes decoder, the next thing to do is to install the device. So, while unpacking the box, be careful so as not to misplace any of the items in the box no matter how small it might be. After unpacking, you can then commence the installation process by following the steps listed below. To go about it properly, you must observe all the do’s and avoid all the don’ts.
Step 1: Enter the long pole-end into the antenna hole and fasten the antenna rolling screws tightly until the pole seats securely on the back hole of the antenna.
Step 2: Take the screw end of the connection cable wire and connect it to the circuit box of the antenna. Do this with the antenna facing a downward position to enable you to secure the screw of the wire firmly in the antenna’s circuit box.
Step 3: Use a water-proof masking tape to serve as an insulator on the wire. This will also protect it against moisture so that the wire won’t rust.
Step 4: Take the cable wire and fasten it to the pole. Do this firmly so that no disengagement will occur in the future.
Step 5: Ensure that you raise the pole high in order to have a smooth transmission and get a high-quality picture. Also, ensure that the antenna is facing the transmission mast that is closest to your area. The information of where the mast is located can be obtained at the place of purchase.
Step 6: After successfully erecting the pole, insert the other end of the cable wire into the port labeled ‘Antenna In’. This can be found at the back of the StarTimes decoder.
Step 7: Turn on your decoder and allow it to run a scan after which you can begin to enjoy all the stations it has to offer.