How to Convert Your GOTV Decoder to a Free To Air Decoder

I bought a GOtv decoder, about a year ago and I was impressed at what it had to offer at the time. I would say it is mostly because there was no competitor with fairer prices. Even if that was not the case, they used to air premier league matches on Super Sport Select 2, more than they do now.  A couple of months down the line, a lot has changed for the better, except Gotv. Their service support is below par, they have never increased the number of channels, even on GoTv plus and it has now become very rare to catch a live premier league game.

Deal of the Day: Absolutely FTA Decoders & TV at Amazing Prices

GoTV scrapped its FTA clause and replaced it with the GoTV Lite package. You will have to pay Ksh 555 to access this service. This amount is billed quarterly (once every 4 months)

I opted to turn my decoder into a free to air decoder, as they had given this option, instead of paying for what I did not need. At first I was told that I had only to pay Ksh1,800 administration fee (I swear, I have no idea what this means), for my decoder to be converted before I can begin watching free to air channels. The thing is that, their staff is very reluctant to make the change, but I somehow managed to do it. However, if you are not aware, changing your GoTV decoder from pay TV to free to air does not mean that you will stop paying for it. It actually attracts a recurring fee of Ksh1,800 every year, for purposes they can only describe as maintenance.


Nevertheless, I know many people are currently facing a problem that I faced some time back and I would quickly try to help them using a method that worked for me. In a few simple steps, you should have your GoTV Kenya decoder showing free to air channels, in a few hours (Although most Kenyan FTA channels are below par!). Apart from these, the only other GoTv channels that you will receive are Faith TV, Islam TV and GO Channel.


How to Convert your GOtv Decoder

First, you need to top up your account by making payments on the GoTv Kenya Paybill number: 423655. Ensure that you have topped up the right amount (Ksh 1,800) into your account, or else  they will not convert your decoder. Afterwards, you can opt to use their self-care center by dialing *423# and following the voice prompts or you can opt for calling their customer care service on 0711-066-000. If you only pay and fail to use any of the two options above to contact their customer care, your decoder will not be converted.


Before you make the call, make sure that you have your IUC number, as it is essential to associate your account with the decoder. Converting your decoder should be easy unless you find a customer care agent who is not in a good mood to help. Within a short time, your decoder will be showing free to air channels.


How to Clear the E-16 Error Message on GOTv Decoder

I have heard of people who, after converting their decoders to free to air, got an error message (E016-0 – Service is currently scrambled). It is very simple to clear this message. Just send an SMS with the word ‘RESET’ followed by a single space and then your IUC number to 22688. For example, if your IUC number is 1234567, your SMS should look this way without the full stop: RESET 1234567.


I hope you have managed to convert your decoder. Share your experience with us.

165 thoughts on “How to Convert Your GOTV Decoder to a Free To Air Decoder

  1. Wah gotv wll make peaples pour coz malpo kla mwezh aish am disapointed of gotv yangu naichapansha chini gasia

  2. This must have been a down grade when I bought go tv decoder,first of all why dupe us by free to air at a cost of Ksh. 1800.this a corn

  3. Am faith am getting worried av topped up my account and the error things are still appearing whats the problem my iuc number is 2017749453

  4. I subscribed to free toair last year and was showing well,but 5 days ago I cannot enjoy viewing because the message services scrambled appear always, have tried 423,the mobile n the SMS in vain, what’s the problem, have already topped up ksh555,and my IUC number is 2019055188

    1. Please check the comments on this thread. There is a lively discussion that will answer your question.

  5. This people are expensive and their response is slow. Quitti
    ng is the best thing to do. Where can I sell this gotv box?

  6. i have paid a fee of 555 for activation of my gotv FTA but have contacted customer cate with no success my iuc no. 2009338342

  7. I’m regretting why I bought this set box,I can’t pay for this knowing I bought it @3500k in fact u people had been milking me dearly. kwaherini.

  8. hahahaha,funny everyone is complaining of the prices yet at the point of buying such payments were made clear,hehehehehehehehe and bamba was all free but irrespective of knowing that u all went and bought Gotv#happyGotvsubscriber

  9. everybody should quit gotv. one uses around 1k every month coz clearing E 16 errow cost so much plus the 850. gotv is so irriteting. i quit gotv n am making everybody i know quit being a slave to them.

    1. I agree with you Anita …. Have given the disadvantages to all my friends…. Can’t take this anymore

      1. i totally has become damn expensive……slow response from customer care team,losing channels all the time….subsricption ends before 30th of the month……….too many problems

  10. the decoder s dated 1900 and earlier, it does not reserved itself after payment, it will do unfrequented scanning and loose some channels where there’s no way of stopping it, receive funny messages in a black screen at news hour, does not recall the station u left previously, It does not belong to today’s technology where even a radio is customizable , am discarding mine

  11. ..and even the much hyped gotv lite where you pay 555 quarterly seemingly is a scan. recently I paid it and the notification I received was that it’s to last a month. stop dribbling your customers, Am very disappointed.

  12. This *423# is just a collabo with safcom to drain more n more money from us coz u will need credit or bundles. Why do I av to removed ur errors at my cost. nkt!

    1. Good question. I never understand why they have to charge so much for the USSD codes. They should either automate the error recovery (it is automated for Zuku) or just do away with the charges

  13. Miichael Cheruiyot


    If you still have issues with your GoTv on changing to FTA, kindly let me know. I can be of help via comments section.

  14. I paid my ksh 1800, to make my decoder free to air, but within a short time iam told that Iam required to pay ksh 849 monthly, if you fail to do something hii decoder nitaivunja na axe and completely forget about it, we have a lot bills to pay

    1. Apparently, GoTv got rid of the FTA clause and replaced it with a GoTV lite package. You will have to be paying around Ksh550 every 4 months. That’s the cheapest it can get – unless you already have the axe, of cause.

  15. Why use a payable decoder where else there free to air deconders?I threw my gotv away since i dnt need it

  16. I’m very disappointed with Gotv, you can charge for the international contents, but why charge for the local contents?


  18. how much do i have to pay to get both local and international free coz truely paying every month is too expensive

  19. Gotv is a nag! Startimes is way better and they have no errors to clear after subscription. Having to pay monthly subscription then enrich Bob Conmemore dialling *423# over and over is enough to spoil your day till Kingdom come.

    1. True that. I don’t understand why you have to dial anything after paying. The system should be automated and capable of unlocking your channel the moment you credit the right amount to your account. If not, they should make the *423# option free so that they can pay for the incompetence. Worst system ever!

  20. ata mimi nimehama am looking for a willing buyer to buy my gotv decorder why is it a problem to clear E16 (*423#) taking to much tym n money .very disappointed with gotv

  21. Gotv iz very expensive to pay 850 per month n y charge local channels n u keep on changing the prices by increasing instead of decreasing I am very disappointed with u guyz

  22. Hmmmm? if parting away with 1,800/- makes my decoder free to air, then what’s this 849/- monthly subscription about? will i still need to pay this? I am having this challenge of receiving funny messaging about having not paid for the services therein. Someone bail me out!

    1. GoTV scrapped its FTA clause and replaced it with the GoTV Lite package. You will have to pay Ksh 555 to access this service. This amount is billed quarterly (once every 4 months) The 1,800/= clause no longer exists

  23. I’m seriously dissatisfied and disappointed with gotv infact I’m opting to buy a free to it decoder can someone tell me pls why they charge for those low quality content the movies low budget
    Very very disappointing. And why charge for the local contents

  24. i do regret why i bought gotv decoder, my advice to them is let the mgt prepare for reselling / winding up the company or bring a remarkable change to the company.else its a shame.

  25. very dissapointed with pay,then clearing the errors becomes a spend much on credit or bundles to get kuhama sasa!!

    1. walai grace these guys are more than disapointers! they are ensureling 2 leav us beggers with alot of inconvinience!” now its time,

  26. I regret buying go tv decoder coz y
    ou keep changing your prices…for once why don’t you find a way where one can pay it once and convert it to free for lifetym…I will shift to another decoder and am sure you will loose a lot of customers

  27. Hi was told that you guys have a 555kshs for three months pay,,is it true,first i was duped that i could convert my decoder to free to air only to end up paying 849 sasa nimechoka,,,,

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