Once upon a time I was addicted to watching TV. As long as there was power supply and I didn’t have a good book to read, I was in front of the telly. Over the years, things have changed. I don’t even own a television right now as I depend on internet downloads and streams for my entertainment.
My relationship with Netflix has been a beautiful though wasteful one as I sometimes don’t use my monthly basic subscription. I decided to explore the world of DSTV Now to see if I could start keeping up with some African shows and movies offline.
DSTV Now offers you to the ability to stream and download shows on the go away from your home. You can even watch Live TV shows on the go using the DSTV Now app. Select shows are available for download and streaming after they air via Catch Up though the shows don’t stay long before they are permanently removed from the DSTV Now service.
Under Catch Up, you can filter shows based on several criteria such as whether the show can be downloaded, streamed or both etc.
My major problem with the service starts here. It’s just not data friendly at all especially in these parts where most people don’t have access to unlimited data or huge monthly data caps.
In Other News: Globacom Nigeria recently reduced the data allowance across all Glo Data Plans hopefully 9Mobile doesn’t scrap their 9Mobile BlazeOn Data service soon.
A 20 minutes ad free episode of The Goldbergs zaps 140MB of data. DSTV Now doesn’t offer you an option to download various video qualities. You’re limited to just one. A Netflix 40 minutes SD download uses up this same 140MB without sacrificing much on quality (if you’re watching on an 8 inch and below display).
Sadly DSTV Now’s focus is on streaming only in that when you explore the Settings area you are able to set your streaming quality but not the download quality.
Also the picture quality for their lowest resolution streaming sucks despite consuming as much data as a Netflix SD download/stream. Suffice to say that DSTV Now’s video compression algorithm sucks.
Downloads work just fine and despite the absence of a pause button, downloads are resumable when the internet goes down and comes back up.
Your DTSV Now account can be accessed on only 4 devices at a time. Of these 4 devices you can only stream on 2 at a time. When it comes to offline downloads, your account is limited to 25 offline downloads across all devices. Downloaded shows seem to last just 2 days.
NOTE: When connected to a VPN service I noticed I couldn’t access the service. Disabling the VPN service restored my access to the service. Apparently streaming DSTV Now doesn’t work outside Africa but any offline downloads will work (if you’re not actively connected to the internet) until they expire. You could use an African VPN IP to override this but I’m not sure if it will work or not
In the end, I’ve abandoned the app until such a time when they provide small sized downloads. ShoutOut to Uche. Thanks for the assistance.
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