The bamba tv decoder is ratailing for Ksh3200 in Nairobi

Bamba decoder review HDT2-208A-CA Free Digital TV and where to buy in Nairobi

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Here it is, finally the review. Where do you buy one? I got this one from a shop in Agro House, the building in between Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya street in  Nairobi’s CBD, near Afya centre. I called this number 0711046046, the Bamba TV customer care number and they directed me there. Alternatively, you can  Get the Bamba TV Decoder here for Ksh3299. At first I was expecting a very big branded Bamba shop, only to find a small stall that you can easily pass. The decoders price is Ksh3299 and right before I got this one, I encountered a customer complaining that the decoder he had bought was not working. I wonder if the exchanged decoder worked but my suspicion was a poorly installed aerial. Because this is a free to air decoder with no monthly payments at all, how will the Company make money? I mean it will reach a point where these decoders will become saturated in the market with very low sales figures.

Let us get confused a little bit

Radio Africa Group has been heavily advertising this decoder on its radio stations as Bamba TV, but the Set Top Box itself is branded as Bomba TV. The remote control is also branded as Bomba TV, but the box housing the decoder is Bamba TV. To makes matters a little bit more complicated the other bigger box containing a bunch of these decoders is labelled as Bamba TV. So Radio Africa Group tell us if its Bamba or Bomba? This type of confusion will have a negative effect in the streets because consumers will think that they are being sold fake products.

Whats in the Box

The HDT2-208A-CA decoder, this is the Model Number

One Power Adapter

Remote Control

RCA cable

Manual with Warranty Card

But notably missing is the HDMI Cable.

The physical features

The Bamba/Bomba decoder (don’t know which one to use) has all the essential buttons on the front of the decoder itself. If only other set top box manufactures could emulate this. The essential buttons are the navigational buttons for channels and volume, the menu button and exit button. On top of this there is an OK and a standby button. I mean if you temporarily lost your remote control, you could manipulate almost every single feature of this decoder with comfort.

At the back the Bamba TV decoder has a HDMI port (you remember I said that no HDMI Cable is supplied), composite video out port with the audio ports too (the normal Yellow, Red and White ports), One USB port, Antenna IN port and lastly the RF OUT port for connecting to older Television sets that do not have the HDMI or the composite video ports.

 

The decoder is very light probably due to the plastic housing and separate power source.

Powering the decoder and connecting the Antenna

The Bamba TV decoder comes with a 12Volts 1Ampere 3 pin adapter as the power source. Due to the fact that the decoder is supplied with 12 Volts DC voltages directly, you can use it with a car battery directly. Just buy the correct cable and do not interchange the polarity. This means that it can be comfortably be used with a solar battery as well as be hooked to a Black and white TV (read Greatwall)in places with no access to Electricity.

After powering the STB it took about 1 minute to boot up and the message Empty STB channel list was displayed. I pressed enter and in less than 30 seconds the decoder had searched all the channels. This is the fastest auto search I have ever seen and also the complicated because it had technical parameters such as Frequency, Bandwidth and Data.

The user interface is very colourfull but the menu page has two items that do not work, the Games and Easy Living (do not know what it is).

So this is how Kiss TV will be making money

Press any button on this decoder and you will see an advertisement. In fact if you press the menu button this is what you will see

an advert on the bamba decoder menu page

What channels does Bamba TV Free Digital Television has to offer

The first channel that started playing after the scan was Kiss TV, of course was expected because this is a product of Radio Africa group. Now at this time Bamba has not yet launched all their “world class channels” but this s what I saw after scanning

  1. Kiss TV
  2. NHK World
  3. Kass TV
  4. Nollywood Movies
  5. France 24 English
  6. Aljazeera
  7. Justice TV
  8. I Film English
  9. EWTN
  10. AMC
  11. CARS TV
  12. Movie Club
  13. Fashion TV
  14. DW TV
  15. Smile TV

 

All signet and Pang TV channels are free as well, whether the mathematics add up to 50 World class channels we will have to wait and see on New Year’s day 2015. At the moment some channels like Movie club, Cars TV and fashion TV have not yet launched. Another point to note is that the channels on this list are freely available on free to air satellite. To us guys who are used to receiving free to air satellite channels from all over the world, there is nothing new on this package but if a name like Fashion TV interests you then get this decoder.

Now the unknown facts about the Bamba TV decoder

The Bamba TV decoder uses a smart-card, Lancia Digital that is inserted at the bottom of the decoder. It’s very hard to miss it and its very well placed, children cannot withdraw and throw it away like they do with Dstv smart cards.

the lancis media smartcard at the bottom of the bamba tv decoder

Now there is another small paper inside the decoder, I had missed it too but while trying to thoroughly check for a HDMI cable I came across it. In short this is what the paper said after starting with Attention.

You must register your decoder by sending details like your name, ID Number, Phone number, Location, Serial Number and Smart card Number to the email address registration(@)bomba.co.ke.  You can ignore the brackets. After buying the stb it comes preactivated for 60 days only after which you must register the decoder immediately.

This according to me is a genius method of gathering data for marketing purposes. Will Bamba TV start asking for charges? The answer is No and if they start you can sue them. Have you tries registering your decoder? At the moment the email address provided is not working and @bambatvkenya on twitter is not helping, only re-tweeting customers queries.

There are some suspicions that this decoder will turn to a pay TV decoder in the future (perhaps due to the fact that a smart-card is present). But this is just a theory, after all that free for life advertising you can definitely sue if you are asked for a single shilling.

The verdict

All other terrestrial only digital decoders will offer you the free to air channels but the Bamba TV decoder will offer you the Bamba TV package as well as all other free to air digital channels from Pang and Signet for only Ksh3299 forever.  Take for example the Rockdale Digital box it costs Ksh4000 but will lack all the Bamba channels in the future. My opinion is that this is the beast terrestrial only digital decoder in the market today.

 

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  • You can also get the decoder in these other places as well

    http://www.techweez.com/2014/12/29/where-to-get-bamba-tv/

  • mukariza karis

    I was enjoying bamba channels on my hotpoint decoder but it seems I can no longer access them so what could have halppend

    • The bamba channels are currently free so any fta decoder can receive them. Thee was a problem over the weekend with the bamba frequencies and that’s why you could not receive them. But for you to enjoy all the channels in the future , because they will be scrambled you have to buy the bamba decoder.

  • Emilio nderitu

    I have been trying to register my decoder but apparently the address given seems not to be working.it keeps on bouncing back .what could be the reason ?

  • richard

    Have been trying to get my bamba tv box to work but keeps on bringing the same words on my screen ‘No Signal’, what might be the problem?
    Someone help, id really appreciate it.

    • Your antenna is the problem. Get a good antenna like ellies and the best cable Astel and all will be well if installed properly.

      • Owen

        my decoder dosent show kiss tv and several others indicating that its hd channel what should i do about that?

  • john

    can i use a Bamba set box at remote area around 200kms from nairobi

    • techsawa

      I seriously doubt you will receive a signal far away from Nairobi. The signet transmitter at Limuru Transmission station only covers 80Km radius, give or take depending on the line of sight.

    • Not sure but No is the probable answer

      • andrew

        Why do you say not sure? I thought the set top box should also be able to receive Signet and PANG signals wherever they are available.

        • For your info andrew, the bamba decoder first scans the frequencies then scans all other free to air channels available. So unless the Bamba frequency covers an area, you will watch nothing even though pang and signet signals are available

  • Well.. I don’t like it fully

  • geshu

    the registration is my problem. the email address registration@bamba.co.ke is not going through even if i replace bomba for bamba

  • Watson Wandere

    sam station are not talking what could b the problem? from station 86 to 100#!!

    • These guys are still under test for some channels, but the sound is back, right?

  • peter

    i really don’t like the sensitivity of the device, a little wind and there is no signal, also i think they should improve on the signal quality interms of resolution, it appears abit blurred.

  • MKM

    About a month ago I wrote to express my disappointment with BAMBA. I was wrong. After resetting my aerial I received perfect signals. The only issue now is that quite often the video is lost and I have to move between channels to “reset”. I am now happily enjoying EWTN which was mainly the reason for me to go to BAMBA. I however miss JUSTICE TV. What happened (or is going to happen) ? Keep up the good and work, otherwise.

    • Glad to hear you are enjoying your bamba TV decoder. As for justice TV, Movie Club, Cars TV and African Movie channel we just have to sit and wait

  • kelvin

    can the audio output be connected to an external speaker from the decoder? and if so how is the sound quality

    • Hello @disqus_2iSuNCdVl1:disqus, yes you can connect the decoders audio output to an Amplifier (not speaker directly). The sound quality will depend on the type of amp you have as well as what will be coming from the TV channel. I have tried it and the sound quality on my equipment seems fine if not awesome

  • Moses

    I am stuck at a supposed upgrade then it reboots. Never been able to watch anything! How can it upgrade OTA without Internet or satellite connection? Please enlighten me.

    • lanet

      mine has the same problem,what’s the solution??

    • Decoders can upgrade themselves “Over the air” or OTA if thew software patch is part of the software broadcast. Its not a must for the decoder to be connected to the internet. This is one of the many advantages of Digital TV, because if it were not for the OTA upgrade you would be required to download the upgrade to a flash-disk (from a website that the provider will give), and upgrade the set top box manually. So Moses and Lanet Just do a channel search and all will be well.

  • Dan Morema

    I have been using the decoder for two months now and the other day it started an auto update that it does not complete and displays this error (OTA upgrading information collection failed) what might be the problem?

  • Fundia Kakai

    how is this registration done……

    • As you already know from the comments, no one has yet to register their decoder, just enjoy their channels and forget registering

  • andrew

    I am confused. Why do they say Bamba TV Signal is in Nairobi then here and there. I thought the only signal distributors are PANG and SIGNET for now and so BAMBA should be available everywhere with a PANG or SIGNET signal.

    • Hello andrew, Bamba TV is not using any Signet or Pang frequencies, they have their own frequencies provided to them as free to view

  • Yang

    aside from an antenna, can one connect to previous dish, say zuku dish, to boost connection signal?

    • No a dish will not work only an antenna will. Satellite and terrestrial Digital Transmissions are two very different things

  • Nell

    great work @Domnic_Gichane. time to purchase my own Bamba Deorder

  • zakaria

    i have a W-UTVSTIK tht i use to connect for tv stations…can it be connected with the bamaba decoder?

    • Sorry, I do not know what that is, maybe you could clarify

      • Edu

        Dominic i stumbled in to this blog and I think i am 2 years late, The info here is truly amazing and enlightening, keep on keepin on the good job. Zakaria is reffering to a USB TV Card better known as as TV Stik. which brings me to my query. I own a good dewsktop with a 19″ Dell LCD monitor with HDMi ports at the back. I want to view DVB T2 and DVB S2 via my comp. I have identified The Thy Word 2 in 1 decoder partly due to you review of them. My questions are:
        1. What do you recommend between PCI TV card and USB TV card?
        2. What’s your take on the Digital USB TV Card Dongle already here in Kenya. They sound exciting, going at 6500/=, but the don’t have remotes yet! check this olx link
        http://cbd.olx.co.ke/tv-card-digital-dvbt2-dongle-digital-tv-card-iid-792508777
        3. Is the Thy Word decoder HD, can i use HDMI cable to connect it directly to my monitor considering I’l be using a TV card?
        4. What’s the best satellite size and cost for the decoder because i also need to view FTA movie satellite channels & if need be use multiple LNB like in that Parklands installation you did.
        5. Whats your take on the family media satellite decoder at 3000/= that only receives K24 and Family TV? click
        http://familymedia.tv/news-and-events/newsletter/article/did-you-know-1/
        6. What are your Dish installation charges? Edu 0728011131

        • Hello Edu,
          Between the PCI card and USB TV, the TV combo box is better. Try and get the Combo box that accepts both inputs from Decoder and CPU and displays the result on one monitor.
          As for the Digital USB TV card Dongle I have not yet come across one and so I cannot comment.
          On your third question, the Thyword decoder does not have a HDMI port, so you cannot connect it to your monitor.
          For the installation I did in parklands, I used a 65cm dish to access channels on SES5, Eutelsat 7A and Amos 5 satellites.
          Leave the Family Media decoder alone, the Thyword will do the exact same job plus have access to all dvbt2 channels.
          Thanks for the compliments, I think we talked on the phone about the other issues.

  • Andrew Kimani

    My decoder keeps bring the ‘no signal’ error message. It was working at first but now no signal can be found even after rescanning

  • Lazmo

    The company needs to work on signal strength. AJ is now strong enough but the many others are erratic and unreliable. Better a few channels that work well than the mess it is now. Good effort though.

    • Its true, seems like they are using the internet to stream the TV channels that they eventually broadcast, that’s why there are so many freezes and scratches

  • gitau

    is the nat geo world channel in bamba tv?

  • Hiram

    is bambatv signals in nakuru?

  • Waba Daville

    how long soes it take after sending an email?

    • Don’t stress yourself with registering the decoder, just enjoy the channels. It will work with or without registering

      • Solomon Mwendwa

        Hi Dominic,
        Link me with a supplier of the open box. Do i need a satellite dish or an aerial will do.
        What is the average price?

        • Check your email, I have sent you a contact that will sell you the openbox V8 decoder.

  • caro

    does the bamba decoder come along with aerial? if not , can u sell aerial in case one is interested in buying one

    • No the bamba decoder doe not come with an aerial, but you can buy it separately at your local dealer.

  • WEBS

    Techsawa let me ask you.can u flash the decoder like a mobile phone cause i saw a port inside it with these leters…TX,RX,GND.NC

    • No you cant because the decoder can automatically have its software upgraded OTA (over the air)

  • getty

    my friend was given a bamba decoder ,l think the person bought it long time,channel like EWTN is not able to view

    • Its obvious that these Bamba channels keep appearing and disappearing as others are added. Just be patient and it will return.

  • David Gitiba

    This is a very helpful article. Well written.

  • Dennitex Sohcah

    Hello,does the decoder access local channels?

  • jackson

    i bought a bamba decorder just yesterday but it did not operate. itried using the provided manual but not even a signal was send to the screen. what could be the problem? do i need a different aerial other than that i had been using before the swith-off?

    • Whats your location jackson? Plus did you have the decoder tested in the shop where you bought it.

      • jackson

        i reside in dandora and i have my aerial erected above third floor of the building. i had send someone and he confirmed that it was tested. moreover, this one came very small, have they changed the decorder size

  • Peter Nyabika

    can i be able to warch other local chanel like citizen tv NTV KTN

  • Eric Nyamu

    stop trying so hard to review garbage!

  • Babisho Abalon

    I live in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County. A number of people including myself have bought Bamba Tv decoders. The only problem is that only signet channels are being received and viewed in our area. Should we expect more chanells in the near future?

    • If you are not receiving Bamba TV channels in wundanyi it means that they have not yet launched in that particular area. But keep watching the signet channels as you wait for the many free Bamba TV channels to come.

  • Hellen

    I have a bamba Tv for three months now, it has been working well, but lately it is not working, it stays at boot and does not move from there. what should I do

    • Your decoder is still under warranty and so you should either take it to their offices at Lion place in westlands or if easier the vendor you bought it from. Call their customer care number 0711046046 for more details.

    • francis

      bring it for me to boot for you am capable for that work >>>westlands

  • Augustus Mshila

    i would like to know who proffessor jackton j bama really is.hes alwayz advertisin on the classic 105 channel hillaro
    usly.tell him to kip up.hes so creative

    • Felix Mutisya

      This is the funniest comment I have ever seen here

  • Steve

    Hae im in njoro,
    i have a problem with sound, pictures r clear without sound at all. What cud the problem

    • Felix Mutisya

      Most probably the volume on your tv is zero.

  • Mina Rock

    Hi Gichane. You talk of being used to satellite decoders. where can i get one coz Gotv and startimes have made me hate all terrestial decoders?

    • They are available in most shops in Luthuli avenue but one brand specifically stands out as being the best decoder in the market, the Strong SRT series brand. But in order to enjoy both the free to air terrestrial as well as satellite channels get your self an Openbox V8 decoder. Here is a photo

  • Joy

    I have this Model of Bamba TV decoder but it doesn’t show all channels, what can you advise?

  • Symo Dzi

    I’ve been trying to upgrade my 208A-CA1 decoder but the OTA upgrade option is off. Kindly advice.

  • Racheal Luvuno Kazungu

    I resently bought a LG TV which is connected direct with Bamba Decorder but after some times other channels went missing whats the problem pliz?

  • George Odanga

    Hey,just wanted to appreciate the disqus,its indeed achieving its goal. I just had one quiz,What is the purpose of HD port on a bamba digital box and can I connect my bamba TV on a monitor?

  • jackson

    My decorder searches and gets many channels but only two can be viewed, PANG k24 and KBC. What do i need to do to be able to watch all the channels?

  • donald

    I have tried using my flash disk with the decoder, the visual is okey but there is no sound

  • Alex Maithya

    Hi, i have a BAMBA decoder. my picture display have been showing like they are minimized, others are full screen. This happened a few days ago. what could be the problem?

  • George Cyreme

    HI, I have been enjoying the 3 popular media stations that is Citizen, KTN & NTV, and suddenly now i can not watch them now, when turning to the 3 it just displays SCRAMBLE CHANNEL. What could be the possible reason behind this?

  • 1Charmain Laux

    My colleagues were requiring AL ADoR PPT last year and located a great service that has a lot of fillable forms . If people are looking for AL ADoR PPT too , here’s http://goo.gl/UHavdQ

  • Josephine njui

    Do you do repairs? My decoder in not working. Advice please

  • Vincent Kalooh

    Am confused with the new BOMBA coz mine is written BAMBA everything