DStv (abbreviation for Digital Satellite Television) is a Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service owned by MultiChoice. The service launched in 1995 provides multiple channels and services to their subscribers.[1] Most subscribers are in South Africa and Nigeria, with Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Ethiopia, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Eswatini and Botswana additionally served by the company.

IndustryPay television
Founded6 October 1995; 26 years ago (6 October 1995)
HeadquartersFerndale, Gauteng, South Africa
Area served
Sub-Saharan Africa


In 1986 pay-television came to South Africa when an analogue, single-channel service, M-Net, was launched by Naspers. For almost seven years, all of M-Net's operations were handled by a single company until 1993 when a second subsidiary company, Multichoice, was created by Naspers. The decoder sales, subscriber services, account management and other business related matters were handled by Multichoice.[2]

In 1995 a new digital satellite service in South Africa was announced by Multichoice and on 6 October 1995 DStv was officially activated to subscribers. The original selection of channels included M-Net, MGM, TNT, Sci-Fi Universal, SuperSport, ESPN, Cartoon Network, BBC World News, CNN International and Sky News amongst others.

This was followed by the launch of new services including: W4 Eutelsat satellite with Ku-band services to sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands in 2000, Interactive Television in 2002, Dual View decoder in 2003, and the DStv PVR decoder and DStv Compact in 2005.

DStv's own high definition broadcasts, viewed via the HD PVR decoder were launched in 2008. This year also saw the introduction of the XtraView Decoder and the M-NET HD channel.

In 2010, DVB over IP (Digital Video Broadcast over Internet Protocol) and DStv on Demand services were launched. The HD PVR 2P decoder was launched in the same year and M-NET Movies 1 HD was broadcast for the first time. DStv BoxOffice (a movie on demand service) and DStv Mobile were launched in 2011.

Since 2012 DStv has also been re-broadcast on Saint Helena, but with only 30 selected channels.[3]

Channels and bouquetsEdit

DStv airs more than 200 television and audio/radio stations. The list of channels differs in all regions around Sub-Saharan Africa. There are five (six in some) bouquets, each with a different price range, and four add-on packages for Indian, Portuguese, Add Movies & French channels.[4] Most current-day DStv decoders also offer access to Multichoice's streaming platform Showmax, along with other third-party apps through an Ethernet broadband connection.

Reception equipmentEdit

DStv has their set-top boxes manufactured by domestic company Altech UEC, along with Arris International. The choice of boxes include a standard box with "XtraView" capabilities, an older personal video recorder, and the newest PVR box known as the Explora. An additional decoder known as the Drifta (discontinued) allows the conversion of a DStv DVB-H signal to another digital device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone for portable in-home viewing.[5]

DStv AppEdit

DStv also offers a mobile app for mobile and tablet devices, along with PC to control DVRs and parental controls and allow access to recorded content and video on demand services.


  1. ^ "DStv rakes in subscribers, but they're spending less on average". techcentral.co.za. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  2. ^ "our-history". naspers.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  3. ^ Television | Saint Helena Island Info: All about St Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean
  4. ^ "Compare DStv Packages". www.dstv.co.za. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  5. ^ Drifta – decoders

External linksEdit