OVHD Free Channels Giving Zimbabweans & SA Better Alternative To Exorbitant DStv

The much flooded OVHD decoders have provided Zimbabweans and South Africans alike a far better cheaper and most of the times free channels to watch something DStv has failed to do.

The DStv versus Openview — channel and price comparison has seen the majority opting for OVHD.

While MultiChoice’s DStv is the dominant pay-TV broadcaster in South Africa, its EasyView package faces competition from eMedia’s Openview offering, and the latter is more affordable over time than DStv’s entry-level packages.

Critics in Zimbabwe and abroad including MyBroadband compared the cost of paying Openview’s once-off decoder and installation price to installing a DStv decoder and paying the monthly subscription fees.

MultiChoice-owned DStv offers two packages that can be described as entry-level — DStv EasyView and DStv Access for R29 and R129 per month, respectively.

It should be noted that MultiChoice has kept the price of its EasyView package at R29 for several years. However, it increased the pricing of its Access package by R9 (7.5%) on 1 April 2023.

“These nominal adjustments help DStv to ensure that both Zimbabweans back home who pay using South African accounts or someone in South Africa to pay for them as well as South Africans continue to enjoy the best value and unrivalled access to entertainment, anywhere, anytime, and at the most affordable price,” said MultiChoice.

DStv’s Access and EasyView monthly subscription fees are in addition to the R899 price tag of buying and installing DStv’s most basic HD decoder.

On the other hand, Openview doesn’t charge a monthly subscription. Instead, it sells its decoders for R699, and installation brings the cost up to approximately R1,499.

However, the eMedia service is limited regarding the number of channels it offers.

Openview customers get access to 21 channels, with the list being dominated by E-tv channels like eExtra, eMovies, eMovies Extra, and eToonz.

It also offers channels like The Home Channel+, Starlife, and several SABC channels.

The broadcaster added the option for customers to add subscription bouquets for a monthly fee in March 2023.

Dubbed Ultraview, the company currently offers two add-ons: the Spice Bouquet, which focuses on Hindi and Indian programming, and the Edge (stylised eDGE) Bouquet, which gives customers access to the OUTtv and FUSE channels.

The Spice Bouquet is priced at R119.99 per month, while the Edge Bouquet costs R74.99.

DStv’s EasyView gives customers 33 channels, while Access offers 80 channels, with a broader range of content types.

The table below shows the price and number of channels of Openview HD and DStv’s EasyView and Access packages.

DStv and Openview prices and channels
Package # of channels Decoder and installation Subscription fee
DStv EasyView 33 R899 (single-view HD decoder) R29
Access 80 R899 (single-view HD decoder) R129
Openview 21 R1,499 Free
Affordability comparison
While viewers may be deterred by having to pay R1,499 up front, eMedia’s Openview is more affordable than DStv’s entry-level packages over time, thanks to the lack of a monthly subscription fee.

This is especially true for DStv Access. The monthly fee of R129 for the DStv package quickly brings the accumulative cost of the package higher than Openview within five months.

However, there is a significant trade-off as the DStv Access package provides nearly four times the number of channels offered with Openview.

DStv’s EasyView subscription is more aligned channel-wise with Openview. However, it will still become more expensive within two years.

After one year of paying for DStv EasyView, customers will have spent R1,247 (assuming no increase) — R252 less than the once-off cost of Openview.

However, the cost of EasyView overtakes that of Openview by month 21.

The chart below shows the accumulative costs of paying DStv’s monthly subscription fees and installation for EasyView and Access to the upfront cost of Openview.

Ross Moyo

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