Streaming vs satellite

02 August 2019 | People

Who really offers the best value-for-money TV viewing, when it comes to streaming vs satellite?

Living costs are constantly rising and consumers are constantly assessing their decisions, with the aim to get the best possible value out of every cent they spend. Television entertainment is one of the areas, which due to massive shifts in the industry, is currently under review. What consumers are looking for is convenience, cost and content that they love - and in this regard it is not an easy balance to find, and is very dependent on whether they are a sports lover, series binge-watcher, new movie fanatic or local content fan.

It is hardly surprising Namibians are re-evaluating their entertainment needs with all the hype around online streaming entertainment services in Africa like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play Movies & TV. Many are considering these as alternatives to pay television, so it is good to evaluate the differences against a set of criteria such as convenience and cost, as well your personal viewing preferences.

The pros of streaming your video entertainment

For a start, there are no installation fees or equipment to buy upfront. You simply need access to bandwidth (data) and a mobile device or computer or laptop in order to plug in and play.

The speed of your download and associated costs will be dependent on what internet package you have at your home or what data package you have from your mobile operator. Most individual streaming services are seen as being relatively affordable, given that fees come in somewhere around US$20 (N$288) per month for a single, standalone product.

Getting access to content, you want

The next decision is what you want to see: Is it live sport, local content, series or blockbuster movies which have just been released?

Streaming services such as Netflix are more likely to have slightly older catalogue of series and movies in their video libraries than DStv or GOtv, as service providers like MultiChoice negotiate and pay huge fees to obtain the rights to broadcast the latest TV shows from big Hollywood studios and the hottest blockbuster movies.

To be honest, streaming services just do not measure up in this area. Netflix is still running the first and second seasons of some big-ticket shows that are already on season five on pay TV, and its movie schedule - outside of Netflix Originals - is not the most current. Therefore, if old-school movies are what you are after, then streaming movies will probably suit you just fine.

However, if it were not for DStv, we would have completely missed absolute must-sees like Game of Thrones and the year’s most highly-anticipated returning drama Big Little Lies, which premiered on 22 February.

It’s all about the sport

However, if it is sport you are looking for - and we know most Namibians love their sport - then the bad news is that there is no sport offering on Netflix or Amazon, as the world’s biggest sporting events are on live broadcast services such as NBC, DStv or GOtv.

This year’s sporting events are among the biggest in the world - like the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which took place in England and Wales, the just-ended 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which kicked off on 21 June, and the 2019 Rugby World Cup, scheduled to start in Japan in September.

No streaming service - not even the new mobile ones - is ever going to compete with the live and highlights coverage, blow-by-blow analyses, and dedicated pop-up channels with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage that MultiChoice’ s SuperSport channels offer.

DStv subscribers can also watch SuperSport where they can livestream (or download to watch later) up to 11 SuperSport channels, including SuperSport 1, SuperSport 2 and SuperSport 3. Looking at it that way, I think sport fans would be hard-pressed to find the same calibre of sport action and the extent of sport coverage on any other streaming or satellite TV service.

The hidden costs

Unlike satellite or DTT providers, the customers carry the cost of delivering the online or streaming content. Therefore, when calculating the cost of your entertainment one needs to build in the internet or mobile data costs.

Local development and investing in Namibians

The streaming model does not need to rely on people on the ground to make the product work or provide support unlike MultiChoice Namibia, which employs around 160 Namibians to keep all this content on our screens. That is a direct investment of N$58 million into our national economy, and boy do we need it.

Furthermore, MultiChoice Namibia’s multiplier effect extends to the employment creation for its 13 agents, 120 accredited installers and third-party payment vendors including Airtime City, MobiPay and Tusk.

The best value for money

So, to recap, international streaming service providers like Netflix are not regulated and do not restrict viewing for younger viewers, do not employ local people and do not contribute towards our economy. “But that has little to do with the value for money TV entertainment we’re all after,” I hear you shout.

Yes, that is true; so let us break it down and see how Netflix compares to rival DStv in terms of that value for money we are all so desperately seeking. Netflix is going to cost you US$16 (N$230) plus your data - which would cost around N$999, totalling N$1 229. For that you get access to a frequently updated library of TV series and movies, available to watch on your TV, online on your PC or to watch live on or download to a device

DStv currently offers five packages, where you can choose the one that best suits your viewing needs and budget. These range from the budget-friendly DStv Access with 45 channels for just N$125 to the full bells and whistles DStv Premium, which provides 125 TV and 31 audio channels for N$809.

The downside to streaming

Long-play video streaming relies on fast, high-quality internet to work. The cost and accessibility of that in Namibia is prohibitive, leaving many TV viewers out in the cold.

You may also require more than one streaming service to meet your viewing requirements, so Disney, Netflix and Amazon. One subscription may only cost around N$230, but multiply that by four and you could be looking at in excess of N$900. That’s more than the top DStv subscription, which covers all the very latest studio series and movies, all SuperSport channels, local news and current affairs, and true local content, like The 3rd Will on Zambezi Magic, Die Spreeus and Maak My Famous on KykNET, and Huisgenoot Ware Lewens Dramas and Minki on VIA.

Decisions, decisions…

While on the surface, looking at price alone, streaming services appear to offer a competitive product, the truth is they do not offer a comparative one. Pay television still offers so much more than streaming does, so comparing these services based on price and not merit is completely ineffective.

Similar News


Clean Kicks for all your shoe needs

3 days ago - 21 January 2020 | People

Michelline Nawatises Clean Kicks Namibia is a business which specialises in the cleaning and repair of all shoe types.The idea was sparked by a...

Destined to inspire

1 week ago - 17 January 2020 | People

Ester KamatiSem Mandela Uutoni’s desire for community development manifests itself in his work and is what drove him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in regional...

Make education your New Year’s resolution in 2020

1 week ago - 17 January 2020 | People

Albin JacobsWith the holiday season drawing to a close it is time to focus on the new year, 2020. Almost everyone makes some kind of...

Fearless manager - Game of Phones

1 week ago - 17 January 2020 | People

Michelline NawatisesLeandro van Wyk, call centre manager at MultiChoice Namibia, started his career in the banking industry in 2001 as a back-office ledgers clerk, after...

Connecting clients to the correct networks

1 week ago - 17 January 2020 | People

Ester Kamati With internet connection, there is no stopping Macveren Kapukare, a telecommunication engineering graduate who is passionate about making a difference in the world...

Leading by example

1 week ago - 17 January 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg A strong leader is able to inspire their colleagues to be the best version of themselves and encourage them to reach their full...

A passion for nutrition

1 week ago - 14 January 2020 | People

ESTER KAMATI After completing high school at Delta Secondary School in Windhoek, Franciscus went on to study architecture at UCT. One year after graduating with...

Moving to what moves her

2 weeks ago - 10 January 2020 | People

Justicia Shipena Passionate about responsible investing, Sara Mezui Engo says she is blessed with an opportunity to steer capital to priority sectors that may unlock...

2020 not for the average mind

2 weeks ago - 10 January 2020 | People

Chaze NalisaDo you remember when you had trouble reading in literature class, how the teacher would make you stand to read a passage, or God...

The marketing world is her oyster

2 weeks ago - 10 January 2020 | People

Michelline NawatisesAnoesga du Toit has been employed at Namibia Media Holdings since 2013, and was a sales representative for classifieds before she became a client...

Latest News

Fishrot bail strategy revealed

4 hours ago | Justice

The six men accused of accepting bribes worth N$150 million in the so-called Fishrot scandal have so far avoided applying for bail to protect details...

N$60m in SA worker funds...

4 hours ago | Banking

A whopping N$60 million belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union National Provident Fund was among the so-called investments that have gone missing as...

The struggle kids conundrum

4 hours ago | Opinion

The issue of struggle kids being prioritised for cleaner and labourer jobs has again reared its ugly head in the form of ongoing protests at...

Jooste handed battle-axe

4 hours ago | Government

The public enterprises minister has officially been handed the power to direct special investigations into the activities of state-owned enterprises if it is suspected that...

Harambee transparency target missed

4 hours ago | Crime

The latest corruption perception rankings by an international graft watchdog show that Namibia has missed the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) target of being the most...

Fishrot Six challenge search warrants

4 hours ago | Justice

The so-called Fishrot Six have filed an urgent High Court application in a frantic attempt to overturn two sets of search warrants on their immovable...

Investing in the people

4 hours ago | Health

Mariselle Stofberg“A new decade signals a time for reflection and focus on new opportunities that lie untapped before us. A decade passed teaches of victories,...

Blazing hot videos

4 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE With three music videos under her belt just 24 days into...

Has music lost its soul?

4 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

It seems many artists have moved away from making music with a message to just endorsing a fake lavish lifestyle. Today, music needs videos for...

Load More