Multichoice’s DStv service is a solid offering if you are a casual viewer who is into live sports. The simple truth is that if you live in urban Zimbabwe, love movies and TV Shows and have a decent internet connection you are better off getting something like Netflix and or ShowMax. DStv is well aware of this and their recent Explora decoders allow you to stream Netflix and ShowMax without the need to buy a SmartTV or a separate set-top box. The truth though is that Explora’s streaming experience is not great.
The biggest problem you will face if you try to stream shows using DStv Explora is the fact that the decoder will not allow you to stream anything unless you have an active DStv subscription. You are reading this right. Unlike a streaming box like the Mi Box S or the Firestick where you can just stream YouTube as long as you have internet, the Explora will not allow you to stream anything unless you have paid for some DStv package whether you need that package or not.
This is despite the fact that cost-wise the Explora is more expensive and sometimes costs the same as buying a Firestick/Mi Box S and a cheaper HD decoder. An Explora decoder costs US$250 or more in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, the Mi Box S streaming box costs US$80 and the HD decoder costs US$35 at most. This means you can enjoy streaming for US$125 without being forced to pay DStv each month so you can stream Netflix. With the Mi Box S and HD decoder combo, you can get the best of both worlds.
Still not convinced yet? The biggest disadvantage of the Explora as a streaming device is the fact that you have a limited selection of apps you can install on it. The Firestick and Mi Box S allow you to install from formidable Amazon and Google Play Stores with a plethora of apps available to you. On the other hand, you are stuck with only a couple of curated apps on Explora.
You do not even need to ditch DStv if you want both options available to you. You can stream much more cheaply by buying a Mi Stick and an HD decoder. That will give you more options.
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