A Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Digital TV Decoder | Lifestyle | KenyaBuzz

A Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Digital TV Decoder

09 Jun 2015 | By Nasidai Kidali


While choosing a digital decoder for your home there are a 3 things that one should consider;

• Cost
• TV interests
• Quality of service rendered

The cost will cover the buying price of the set boxes and the monthly fee charged to maintain a specific bouquet of your choice.

While deciding on a set box brand one should consider the list of channels offered and whether they suit your interests. For example; a bouquet that promises 80 channels is of no use to a sports fan if none of the TV channels showcase the latest sports events.

The quality of service should be fast and reliable in terms of the signal quality and customer services. For example; when a set box displays an error message it is calming to know that help is only a phone call away.

The top 5 digital decoders in Kenya are DStv, StarTimes, Zuku, The Big Box and GOtv (in no particular order). They are currently taking on an aggressive campaign for their products but don’t get caught up in the hype, try getting something that suits all your long term needs.

star times
Star times has one of the most economical bouquet available in Kenya; the Nyota Bouquet. The customer service is excellent – no holding or redirecting when you make the call. The installation price that include the price of the decoder and the satellite dish is sh6000.

Star Times has 5 Packages:
1 | Basic Bouquet - 37+ channels goes for sh499
2 | Classic Bouquet - 57+ channels goes for sh999 per month
3 | Unique Bouquet - 76+ channels goes for sh1499
4 | Pay TV Convert to Free to Air - This package allows you to convert Pay TV set box to Free to air set box
5 | Nyota Bouquet - 8+ channels goes for sh149

Customer service number: 0719 077 077 or   E-mail: info@startimes.co.ke.

The Big Box
the big box
The Big Box goes for roughly sh10, 000 with 30+ Free to air channels. The icing on the cake with this set box is that it comes with 3G and 4G internet + free You Tube for the first 3 months!

The channel list is not impressive at all especially if you are a fan of international TV station. The deal here seems to favour internet connectivity rather than enticing TV channels.

As for the customer service: It’s no different from Safaricom customer service; the call diverts to a machine then you are directed and redirected to many options right before you on hold for ages!  It actually is quicker if you reach them through social media than calling the customer service number. So if you hate holding on phone; log on to twitter and who knows you might get a retweet from the CEO himself!

Customer service number: 0722 000 000.

go tv
A subsidiary of Multichoice Kenya, the channel list is not at all impressive. The idea here is, (as I imagine) that this is a cheaper version of DStv. The installation cost is sh500 if you have the decoder and antenna.

GOtv has three packages:
1 | 
Go TV Plus: 31+ channels for sh849 per month
2 | Go TV Value: 21+ channels for sh599 per month
3 | 
Go TV Lite: 8+ channels for sh1800 annually

The number provided on the website did not go through, I am hoping that it’s a temporary tech fault but we are watching you GOtv!

Customer service number: +254 204 236555. Email: kenya@gotv.co.za.


Zuku seem to have found a balance between internet packages and TV channels package offering quality TV alongside reliable fibre internet. The installation price is sh3,999 which includes Installation, satellite Dish, decoder and 1 month Free Subscription

The customer service is exceptionally good since Zuku agents make rounds in Nairobi’s estate that have fibre infrastructure already available. Here is a listing of the packages Zuku offers to Kenyans:

1 | Zuku Poa: 53+ TV Channels for sh899
2 | Zuku Classic: 74 Video channels for sh1,299
3 | Zuku Premium: 97+ Video channels sh2,399

1 | 
Residential packages that go for up to sh2,999 + Business packages

Customer service number: 020 5200 025/020 3610 000. Email: customercare@zukutv.co.ke.


It is one of the house hold names in Kenya for it has been around for quite a while. DStv have crammed a system that provides the best quality of service for it viewers. Whether you are in to sports, entertainment or education DStv offers both (depending on choice of bouquet).

We still don’t understand why they don’t offer internet platforms but for now they hold the crown! The only challenge here is that you have to dig a little dipper in to your pocket to keep this decoder going. The installation price is sh13,400.

The packages offered by DsTV are as follows;
1 | 
DSTV Premium: 105 channels for sh8,200 per month
2 | 
DSTV Compact PLUS: 74 channels for sh5,550
3 | 
DSTV Compact: 72 channels for sh3,250
4 | 
DSTV Family: 56 channels for sh1,890

Customer service number: 0711 066 000

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