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Industry Pay television
Founded 1995
Headquarters Ferndale, Randburg, South Africa
Area served
Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa excluding North Africa)
Products Direct Broadcast Satellite
Services Television
Owners Multichoice
Website www.DStv.com

DStv (Digital Satellite Television) is MultiChoice's digital satellite TV service in Sub-Saharan Africa, launched in 1995, providing various bouquets offering general entertainment, movies, lifestyle & culture, sport, documentaries, news & commerce, children, music, religion and consumer channels to MultiChoice subscribers. DStv has around 8 million subscribers,[1] with the majority being in South Africa and Nigeria. These two markets are considered to be the most important markets for DStv, although markets such as Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mauritius and Tanzania, though not having as many subscribers, are also a focus point for DStv.


Old DSTV logo
  • 1986, Pay-television came to South Africa when an analogue, single-channel service, M-Net, was launched by Naspers. For almost seven years, all M-Net's operations were handled by a single company.
  • 1993, Naspers created a subsidiary company, Multichoice, which was to handle the business arm of M-Net, such as decoder sales, subscriber services and account management.[2]
  • 1995, Multichoice announced that it was launching a new digital, satellite service in South Africa and, on 6 October 1995, DStv was officially activated to subscribers. The original video channel bouquet consisted of 17 channels: M-Net, MGM Channel, Turner Classic Movies, TNT Sci-Fi Universal, SuperSport, ESPN, SelecTV, Travel Channel, KTV, Cartoon Network, BBC World News, CNN International, Sky News, Rhema Network, MTV, VH1 and TV5Monde.
  • 2000, Launch of W4 Eutelsat satellite with Ku-band services to sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
  • 2001, Launch of Indian and Portuguese bouquet.
  • 2002, Launch of Interactive Television.
  • 2003, Dual View decoder launched.
  • 2005, The DStv PVR decoder and DStv Compact is launched. DStv Premium subscribers in South Africa cross the 1 million mark.
  • 2006, MultiChoice launches BBBEE Share Scheme, Phuthuma Nathi.
  • 2007, Channel Shuffle on 1 October, moving channels around to 3-digit numbers and for them to be in their right genre groups.
  • 2007, Launch of DStv Select and of entry bouquet DStv EasyView.
  • 2008, Launch of DStv's first High Definition decoder the HD PVR, XtraView and the first HD channel, M-Net HD.
  • 2009, HD channels - SuperSport 1 HD, Discovery HD Showcase are launched.
  • 2010, DVB over IP (Digital Video Broadcast over Internet Protocol) and DStv on Demand service launched, as well as the HD PVR 2P and M-Net Movies 1 HD.
  • 2011, DStv BoxOffice & DStv Mobile launched.
  • 2011, GOtv, a new digital pay television offering on digital terrestrial television platforms is established in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 2012, DStv launched a new satellite in August "Intelsat 20", shuffling the channel numbers and offering subscribers 8 new HD channels from 1 October:
    • M-Net Movies Premier
    • M-Net Movies Comedy
    • M-Net Movies Family
    • M-Net Movies Action +
    • M-Net Movies Romance
    • M-Net Movies Showcase
    • M-Net Series Showcase (is a dedicated Series Channel first Fresh HD Series )
    • Studio Universal HD
    • 2 new AfricaMagic channels[clarification needed - Which ones?]
  • 2013, Multichoice adds FoxHD to (DStv Premium Premium package only) and kykNET & Kie (DStv Family, Compact, and Premium packages). It also launched a new DStv Family bouquet[3]
  • 2013, DStv subscribers across Africa reach 6.7 million, with 4.5 million within South Africa.[4]
  • 2013, Multichoice launches its next-generation PVR decoder, the DStv Explora to Revolutionise TV in SA[5]
  • 2014, Africa Magic discontinues their old channels and replaces them with Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Family and Africa Magic World.
  • 2014, The new channels, Lifetime (131), Nicktoons, Nick Junior, Vuzu Amp, M-Net Edge and Glow (167) are launched.
  • 2015, The new channels, Zee World (Hindi dubbed in English)(03/02/15) (166), Glow Tv (167), M-Net City (115), BET International (135), AMC (140), EVA (141), ITV Choice (123), M-Net Family (162)
  • 2015, DStv upgrades its online customer experience (12–16 July 2015) improving customer experience and adding features which could only be done by contacting their call centre, giving their customers more self-service options.
  • 2015, BBC Worldwide announced the launch of 3 BBC channels on Multichoice Africa:
    • BBC Brit replacing BBC Entertainment channel 120 and will be available on DStv Premium, Extra, Compact Plus, Compact on 1 September.
    • BBC Earth HD replacing BBC Knowledge channel 184 and will be available on DStv Premium on 1 September.
    • BBC First as a new channel 119 on DStv Premium on 18 October.
    • Alongside BBC World News and the new additions to DStv Compact BBC Lifestyle and Cbeebies.
  • 2015, Popular Christian station Emmanuel TV (390) launches on DStv.
  • 2015-2016, The launch of ID Xtra on DStv from 5 January 2016 to replace Investigation Discovery.
  • 2016, TBN[disambiguation needed] launches on DStv replacing Rhema tv from 4 March.,
  • 2016,Dstv changes channel numbers for Vuzu Amp (now channel 103), M-Net Movies Premiere (now channel 104) and M-Net Movies Showcase (now channel 107) and cancelling M-Net Movies Drama & Romance and combining M-Net Movies Comedy and M-Net Movies Family into M-Net Movies Smile (channel 105).M-net Movies stars was renamed M-Net Movies All Stars. M-Net Movies Action and M-Net City began broadcast in HD.
  • 2016,On 18 October 2016, M-Net Movies All Stars, Crime & Investigation Network, Food Network, KykNET& Kie, History Channel, Vuzu, SuperSport 6, SuperSport 2, BBC First and Mzansi Wethu began broadcast in HD.CBS Drama and CBS Action stopped airing on 20 October,while AMC and True Movies 1 will stop airing on the 11 and 12th of November respectively.
  • 2017, 31 March 2017, Supersport Blitz will start broadcasting in HD, M-Net Movies Showcase, M-Net Family, M-Net Edge and Kingdom Africa will stop airing on 31 March 2017
  • 2017, 1 April M-Net HD and M-Net Edge HD will be merged in to one blockbuster M-Net HD channel giving you no repeats during prime time 16:00 - 00:00 7 Days a week.
  • 2017, 17 May 2017, eMovies+, eMovies Extra, eExtra and eToonz+ launched on DStv in South Africa.

Packages & Channels[edit]

Channel Number Channel Name DStv Premium DStv Extra DStv Compact DStv Family DStv Access DStv EasyView DStv Indian DStv Portuguesa
100 Dish X X X X X X X X
101 M-Net HD X
103 Vuzu AMP HD X
104 M-Net Movies Premiere HD X
105 M-Net Movies Smile HD X
106 M-Net Movies Action+ HD X
109 M-Net Pop-Up channel X
110 M-Net Movies Action HD X X X X X
111 M-Net Movies All Stars HD X X X X
112 Studio Universal HD X X X
115 M-Net City HD X X X X X
116 Vuzu HD X X X
117 Universal Channel HD X X X X
118 Telemundo X X X X X
119 BBC First HD X
120 BBC Brit X X X
121 Discovery Channel HD X
122 Comedy Central X X
123 ITV Choice HD X X
124 E! Entertainment Television X X
125 FOX HD X X X
126 FOX Life X X X X X
127 SONY X X X X
128 Sony MAX X X X X
129 BET X X X
130 MTV X X X
131 Lifetime X X
132 CBS Reality X X X X X
135 TLC Entertainment X X X X X
136 Discovery Family X X X X
137 TCM X X X X X X
139 M-Net Movies Zone X X X X X
141 EVA English X X X X
144 kykNET HD X X
145 kykNET & Kie HD X X X X
146 kykNET Nou! X X X X
147 VIA HD X X X X
152 Africa Magic Epic X X X X X
153 Africa Magic Urban X X
154 Africa Magic Family X X X X
155 Africa Magic World X X X X X X
156 SABC Encore X X X X X X
161 Mzansi Magic HD X X X
162 M-Net Family HD X X X X
163 Mzansi Wethu HD X X X X X
164 Mzansi Bioskop X X X X X
165 Ebony Life TV X X X
166 Zee World X X X X
167 Glow TV X X X X
168 ROK X
170 Crime & Investigation HD X X
171 Discovery IDx X X X
174 BBC Lifestyle X X X
175 Food Network HD X X X
176 The Home Channel X X X X X X X
178 Fashion One X X X X X
179 Travel Channel X X X X
180 People's Weather X X X X X X X X
181 National Geographic X X X
182 Nat Geo Wild X X X X X
183 Animal Planet X X
184 BBC Earth HD X
186 History HD X X
189 Ignition X X X X X X
190 Spice TV X X X X X
191 SABC 1 X X X X X X X X
192 SABC 2 X X X X X X X X
193 SABC 3 X X X X X X X X
194 e.tv HD X X X X X X X X
197 Explora Tutorials X
200 SuperSport Blitz HD X X X X X X X X
201 SuperSport 1 HD X
202 SuperSport 2 HD X
203 SuperSport 3 HD X X X
204 SuperSport 4 HD X X X
205 SuperSport 5 HD X
206 SuperSport 6 HD X
207 SuperSport 7 HD X
208 SuperSport 8 X
209 SuperSport 9 X X X
210 SuperSport Select X X X X X X X
212 SuperSport 12 HD X X
221 SuperSport Maximo 1 HD X
239 TellyTrack X X X X X
251 Soweto TV X X X X X X X
260 Bay TV X X X X X X X
261 1 KZN X X X X X X X
262 Tshwane TV X X X X X X X
263 Cape Town TV X X X X X X X
265 GauTV X X X X X X X
286 Swazi TV X
292 Lesotho TV X X X X X X X
301 Cartoon Network X X X X X
302 Boomerang X X X X
303 Disney Channel X
304 Disney XD X X X
305 Nickelodeon X X
306 BBC Cbeebies X X
307 Nick Jr X
308 NickTOONS X X X X
309 Disney Junior X X X X X
310 JimJam X X X X X
319 Mindset Learn X X X X X X X
320 Channel O X X X X X
321 Mzansi Magic Music X X X X X
322 MTV Base X X X
323 VH1 Classics X X
325 TRACE Urban HD X X X
326 TRACE Africa X X X X
327 Soundcity X
331 One Gospel X X X X X
340 Dumisa X X X X X
343 TBN X X X X X X
347 ITV X X X X X X X
390 Emmanuel TV X X X X X X
400 BBC World News X X X X X
401 CNN International X X X
402 Sky News X X X
403 eNews Channel Africa X X X
404 SABC News X X X X X X X
405 Africa News Network 7 X X X X X X X
406 Al Jazeera X X X X X X X
407 Russia Today X X X X X
408 Parliamentary Service X X X X X X
409 CCTV News X X X X X X
410 CNBC Africa X X X X X
411 Bloomberg X X
412 Business Day TV X X X X X X
413 NDTV 24x7 X X X X X X
430 RAI Italia X X
431 BVN X X
435 RTPI X
437 TV5 Monde Afrique X X
446 Deutsche Welle X X
447 CCTV 4 X X X X X X
450 SET Asia X X
451 B4U Movies X X
452 Zee Television X X
453 Star Plus X X
454 Sun TV X X
455 Star Vijay X X
456 Colors X X
507 Telemundo X
508 EVA Portuguese X
515 TV Record X
517 SIC International X
525 RTP Internacional X
901 M-Net Plus 1 HD X

DStv MobileX

DStv Mobile DVBH and Bomba

DStv 20th Century Fox generations


DStv has a range of decoders (set-top boxes) manufactured by Altech UEC and Pace. The latest decoders allow subscribers to use XtraView. This allows a subscriber to link two decoders under a single subscription fee, to increase the viewing environments.[6] (similar to Sky‘s multiroom).

Standard decoder[edit]

The Standard Decoder is DStv’s entry level HD single view decoder, introduced in 2014. It has XtraView capability, where it can be linked to itself,the HD PVR or the HD EXPLORA.


The explora, released in 2013 is DSTV's top spec decoder, improving on the old HD PVR decoder with more memory. It can record 1 channel and watch 1 channel.

The Explora, despite many updates to the firmware, still has many bugs that frustrate subscribers. In particular the Explora Catchup feature frequently skips episode 1 of a series, rendering the series unwatchable. Likewise, the schedules have been plagued by incorrect synopsis, incorrect series' numbers, incorrect actor and director details as well as recording conflicts and awkward user interface.

DSTV has yet to announce a schedule for repairing these issues, and largely ignore the many complaints.

Explora 2[edit]

Explora 2, released at the end of 2016, is the next generation of PVR decoder slated to replace the Explora eventually. The Explora 2 features a slimmed downed version of the Explora but with half the hard drive space of the Explora (1 terabyte is included in Explora 2 where the Explora came with 2 terabytes). In recompense, DStv implemented high efficiency video encoding (HEVC aka H.265), a much superior compression technology in order to offset data consumption. The video standard previously used was MPEG-2. The Explora 2 comes with a new A7 remote with backlit buttons for night time viewing. The new remote features a dedicated hotlink for ShowMax which joins Catchup, BoxOffice and DStv buttons for easy access to these services. The remote comes with low battery detection and also doubles as a universal remote for the TV.[7]

Drifta decoder[edit]

[8] A Drifta is a mobile decoder that receives a DVB-H signal, converts it into Wi-Fi, then relays it to a Wi-Fi enabled viewing device: cellphone, laptop, PC, tablets and most smartphones.

For the product to work it must be within DVB-H coverage.

At purchase

  • Drifta Device
  • Battery
  • USB cable
  • Power Adapter


  • Broadcast Mobile TV on your PC, Smartphone or Tablet
  • Connects to your device via Wi-Fi or USB
  • Access the Mobile TV Guide
  • Small, light-weight and ultra portable
  • Rechargeable with up to three hours of viewing

Discontinued decoders[edit]

These are decoders which DStv no longer produces:

  • HD PVR, a decoder that had 2 versions, one that could record 1 channel and watch 1, the other could watch 1 while recording 2 channels.
  • SD PVR, DStv’s first personal video recorder which allowed to view two and record one concurrently. It was manufactured by Altech UEC and has XtraView capability with the HD PVR.
  • Dual-View decoder is a decoder which allowed two separate viewing environments. It was manufactured by Altech UEC.
  • Drifta and Walka are mobile decoders which DSTV stopped selling although it still supports it.


  • 1995-2014: So much more
  • 2014-present: Feel every moment


  1. ^ "MultiChoice lifts satellite pay-TV subscriber base to almost 8 million DStv subscribers". Retrieved 2015-06-30. 
  2. ^ "our-history". naspers.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  3. ^ "DStv launches new bouquet, channels". Businesstech.co.za. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  4. ^ "DStv – more subscribers, more money". mybroadband.co.za. 25 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "DStv Explora to Revolutionise TV in SA - detail". Multichoice. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived 8 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ http://www.dignited.com/21555/dstv-explora-versus-explora-2-multichoice/
  8. ^ [2]

External links[edit]