MultiChoice has blocked some Samsung and Hisense TV owners from accessing its streaming service using their pre-installed DStv app.
A MyBroadband reader in East London reported the issue this week, saying he had received no warning that he would lose access.
“The DStv app is no longer supported on this device as it does not meet the technical requirements to run the app. For compatible devices, visit dstv.com,” a notice said on its TV Hisense on October 10, 2022.
The reader said he phoned the DStv call center, but they had no idea why the message was showing.
About 30 minutes later, he received a text message with the message: “DStv: We have an important update reminder regarding your DStv App streaming device. More information: https://dstv.mobi/s/hznRh”
The link points to a page claiming to be a reminder about the end of support for some older Samsung and Hisense devices.
However, the reader said he went through all his text messages and emails, including his spam folders, and found no previous warnings from MultiChoice.
He also said his Hisense TV was not old. He had bought it on December 8, 2021.
MultiChoice then adds insult to injury by trying to sell to affected customers a R1,299 DStv Streama multimedia box.
“We have great news for you! Our new DStv Streama turns your TV into a smart TV — and we’ve got one for you…”
The MyBroadband reader visited DStv’s customer service center in East London to inquire about their “reserved” Streama. He was finally told that the stock would only be available in ten days.
MultiChoice also said it would provide affected customers with a Takealot voucher to use for a new DStv Streama, but the SMS with the voucher code would also only arrive in the next 3-10 working days.
On Friday, five working days after the notice was sent, the voucher code had not yet arrived.
MyBroadband reached out to MultiChoice to find out how much discount subscribers would receive on a new Streama, which TV models were affected, and whether it was killing TV apps as part of its crackdown on password sharing.
The broadcaster did not respond at the time of publication.
Update: MultiChoice provided a statement and answers to our questions.
“MultiChoice recognizes the significant inconvenience experienced by customers whose devices can no longer support the DStv application. If a device is no longer able to meet the technical requirements to run the DStv application, it will not be available on this device, as previously communicated to manufacturers,” the company said in an emailed statement.
“Our customer is our priority, so if manufacturers take the necessary steps to upgrade their devices within a reasonable timeframe, we will consider retrofitting said devices.”
His answer on why he suddenly dropped support for these TVs, and whether it was related to his crackdown on password sharing was as follows:
“As we continue to improve the DStv streaming experience, we release regular updates to the app. The new version of the app allows for better security controls and lets you enjoy the best of our new features. said a MultiChoice spokesperson.
He said devices running on the following software would be impacted:
- Android mobile/TV app versions earlier than v2.4.6
- iOS app versions earlier than 10.19.0
- tvOS app versions below 1.15.0
The following TV models will be affected:
- Samsung 2015
- Samsung 2016
- Hisense U2.5
“In some cases, recently manufactured TVs may contain older chipsets which ultimately affect DStv app support,” the spokesperson said.