Why DStv Now Is A Must-Have App If You Want to Stay Connected To TV
For years, pay-TV subscribers have asked for so much more from Multichoice, owners of DStv, especially with regards to quality TV programming, digital content, and services that make for a better viewing experience.
On their own part, Multichoice has listened and responded with really cool products such as CatchUp which lets subscribers catch up on popular TV series and sport highlights; DStv Now app which lets you enjoy your favourite TV channels streamed live from your mobile phone, tablet or computer; BoxOffice which allows subscribers to rent Hollywood blockbuster or classic movies and watch them on the go.
Another notable improvement is its Self Service feature which lets you take control of your DStv account online. The DIY feature allows subscribers to clear error codes or manage subscriptions or packages, check account balances, make online payments and so much more. Before now, these services were usually handled over the phone when subscribers called DStv’s customer care.
Thanks to these cool products and improvements, TV is getting more and more entertaining and interesting to watch. Of course, there are a bunch of other features that we’d expect Multichoice to bring to the TV viewing experience. For me, I’ve always argued that Multichoice could give its subscribers much more for what they’re paying for their TV experience. But that’s an argument for another article.
Because I wasn’t getting what I needed out of TV, I stopped renewing my subscription for DStv regularly since April 2015. Then, for the past four months completely stopped and began using other services to watch TV series, movies and soaps from my devices anywhere and anytime while streaming some important football matches online.
But when I learned that Multichoice’s DStv Now app released in December 2014 was now available to subscribers without a PVR or Explora decoder, it got me interested. At the time, the app was available only to subscribers of its DStv premium package, but is now available to its Compact subscribers.
So I quickly downloaded the app on the Google Play/Appstore and got hands-on with it right away. For the first time ever, I feel like I’m getting more from my viewing experience and perhaps more value for my money.
The DStv Now app offers me what I’ve always wanted in order to have a better TV experience, especially since it’s accessible on up to four different devices and I can watch anywhere and anytime I want provided there’s an Internet connection.
Upon downloading the app, you’ll be required to register or sign in to your DStv Connect ID, then link your DStv smartcard number with your account in order to access the TV programmes on your DStv bouquet. The app features both local and foreign TV series, shows and soaps and allows you to catch up on your favourite programmes if you missed them or you want to watch them after they must have aired on TV.
Its Catch Up service features content like series, shows, sport, movies and kids and allows you to download the content which is only accessible on the apps Downloads section and is available for about one week after you download them.
However, when you start watching them, you’ll have up to two days to watch them before the content is removed from the app. You can also stream TV programmes live from the app as it is showing on your TV and with the help of a TV guide, you can easily schedule programmes to watch by setting a reminder or record them remotely if you’re not at home. But you would need a DStv Explora decoder which needs to be connected for this feature to work from the app.
If you have kids and don’t want them to watch programmes you don’t want them to see, you can enable kids lock which will be required to be entered before exiting the DStv Kids section which has a bunch of cartoons and kids-related content to either stream or download to their tablets.
On the settings tab of the app, you can easily manage the devices that are connected to the app, manage notifications and reminders, enable, change or reset PIN for the Kids zone. You can also adjust video quality when streaming Catch Up and Live TV content in order to save data costs.
There’s also an option that can when enabled, use your mobile data to stream or download content automatically where WiFi is not available. If you want the live-stream to time out after a specified amount of time, you can also enable this on the settings tab.
However, I didn’t like the idea that when I choose to log out from the app, all my downloads, settings and bookmarks on the device will get deleted. Of course, I may not even log out from the app at all, just like I wouldn’t from Twitter or other apps, but even if I did, I should still have my downloaded content, settings, and bookmarks stored until I delete the app (along with its data) from my device.
I also noticed that the streaming and live TV consumed huge data costs, although that depends on each user’s viewing pattern and app settings. Perhaps it was because I was streaming using mobile data which normally runs faster when you are streaming content. Hopefully, I should be able to figure out the actual data costs for each content you stream or download on the DStv Now app.
But if Multichoice wants the DStv Now app to become ubiquitous, I think they should structure a deal with telcos and ISPs such that subscribers pay less data costs on streaming and downloading TV content from the app. That way, subscribers would watch so much more content at a cheaper data rate. A win-win-win scenario for all.
That said, I’m really loving the new TV experience now especially since with the DStv Now app, I would not really need to pause my subscription when I travel for weeks or even avoid renewing my subscription because I’ll be out of the country for a while.
Overall, the app is quite user-friendly, a useful entertainment companion and a must-have app if you’re always on the move and need to stay connected to your TV.