The Cheapest Digital Set Top Box in Kenya

Before you continue reading you might want to check The Thyword Digital combo Set Top Box that has the highest number of Digital TV channels available.

Comparing the HBOX Decoder that costs Ksh3850 and the Hotpoint Decoder, DVB-T2 Digital Set Top Box HSTB301 - USB, HDMI which costs Ksh3195. Which is of the best quality and which is not worth buying? First of all before anything, its obvious that the Hotpoint HSTB301 is the cheapest of the two. But is it a quality product worth investing in?

As you already know the Kenyan Market has already been flooded by very cheap set top boxes bearing the brand names of CCK Authorized Set Top Boxes. Some of these decoders even have exactly the same user interface and Remote controls. This means that the only difference is the plastic or metallic body and a sticker logo. Some decoders have even been programmed to show the logo Authorized by CCK on booting.

Take care of yourself and buy decoders from authorized vendors. So how do you know who a valid authorized vendor from a joyrider is out to make quick cash selling substandard counterfeits? The answer is on the Digital Kenya Website List of authorized Vendors and approved Set Top Boxes. There you will find the full list plus contacts of vendors. Take their number or email address and contact them or better still they have physical addresses listed, you can visit them yourself.

So I have given you very valuable tips, but are the authorized dealers selling Good quality Free to Air decoders? Back to the topic now; which is the cheapest good quality set top box in Kenya? The Hbox or the Hotpoint Kenya Decoder?

Is Hotpoint the same as LG? Here you will read an article answering the question are Hotpoint Kenya Products really Quality Products? Before you continue reading click on this article from a local forum that will make you think otherwise.

Firs of all the HBOX. This is how its sellers and distributors are marketing it. My verdict is at the very bottom of this page.

the hbox decoder Ksh3895

I must agree it has some pretty nice features for that price tag.

HBOX TV/Radio Function

HBOX has the capacity to support viewership of up to 4000 television and radio channels if available.

Press the TV/Radio button to switch between the TV and Radio channels.

Enjoy the Radio in real time.

 

 

USB Function

Your receiver can be more fun and useful than the basic TV receiver when using the USB function. This function provides options to play back music, photos and movies when you connect your USB to the HBox.

It can support MP3, WMA, music files, JPEG & BMP photo files, AVI, MPG, DAT, MOV, WMV, 7 TS video files.

PVR Function

This function is based on the USB interface with a flash disk, where the receiver can be used as a Digital Video Recorder. During recording, you can enjoy watching another channel. It also has time shifting which is a special technical feature, whereby you can pause the program that you are watching on live TV and resume watching it later. You can catch up by fast forwarding to get real time programming.

HD Function

Full High Definition images with impeccable clarity. HD is video of higher resolution than is standard

And Now the Hotpoint DVB-T2 Digital Set Top Box HSTB301 - USB, HDMI

This decoder too according to its seller has some very intetresting features. Actually both decoders are HD but no single Kenyan channel on the digital platform is offering their content in Glorious HD format.

hotpoint decoder Ksh3195

DVD-T2 FREE TO AIR DIGITAL SET TOP BOX
*Switch on Multiple FREE Digital TV & Radio Channels
*No Monthly Charges
*High Definition (1080p) playability
*USB Playback (Movies, Music, Picture) -MP3,FLAC,JPG,JPEG,MPG,MPEG, VOB,AVI,TS,TRP,M2T,M2TS,MP4,MKV,MOV,DIVX
*USB Recording Capabilities (PVR)
*Electronic Program Guide
*Subtitle & Teletext Support
*Parental Control
*HDMI / AV / RF / Coaxial Output
*No Satellite Dish Required
*Excellent Signal Quality
*CCK APPROVED
*Video Decoder: MPEG-2/H.264/MPEG-4 Supported
*Audio Decoder: AAC/AC3/PCM Supported
*Video output ratio-4:3/16:9/auto
*Video resolution – 1080P
*Multiple OSD Languages
*Record through USB HDD

My Verdict

It may seem like the Hotpoint decoder is the cheapest but is it of good quality. Comparing an Ordinary Hotpoint DVD Player with an LG DVD Player made me conclude that the Hotpoint DVD Player is of inferior quality. I know because I have repaired (or attempted to repair) a couple of Hotpoint DVD Players and in my own honest opinion, I did not like what I saw? The PCB (or Motherboard) was one of those that are mass produced for other fake DVD Players, the only difference being the software loaded to display the desired logo and user interface. As an example the same PCB can be used to display SQNY (not SONY) with just different software loaded on the microchip.

Applying the same logic even without touching the Hotpoint DVB-T2 Digital Set Top Box, my conclusion is that it too is of inferior quality. People often associate Hotpoint Products with LG products which is very wrong.

For now just go with the HBOX which costs Ksh3850, it’s of believable quality. Or is it?

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Written by Gichane
Wednesday, April 2, 2014