What is the Best TV Decoder in Kenya? – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Let’s cut the chase. Go straight to our list of 7 FTA decoders you should consider buying

Digital TV sits on a pedestal superior to the now extinct analog TV. The perks range from high-quality images to the flexibility of choosing what you want to view. The high-quality images come free. Subscribing to a digital set-top box of your preference will give you this. The problem in choosing the best TV decoder in Kenya, however, is in what you want to view.

The difference between FTA and Pay TV

Local channels like NTV, KTN, Citizen and the like are a good source of local content and news. Anyone who has tasted the true fun of a reasonable pay TV subscription like Dstv or Zuku would attest that local channels will never fill up your day – especially if you are a heavy watcher.

Free to air channels, in my opinion, are similar to our veteran KBC, NTV, KTN and the like. They will do the job just fine if all you need is some news, a couple of ill-placed old movies and some amazing local talent.

Why pay TV

Expecting to find interesting stuff like Discovery TV, SuperSport channels for football and the latest international TV shows on these would be futile. Such programs come on a resell basis. The decoder service provider must buy the program owner, for instance, CBS if you want some American TV series, before airing them to you. Since the decoder is in business and has to make profits, they pass on a fraction of these charges to you, in the form of a monthly subscription.

Pay for quality, average content is free

I think you get the drift right now. Your best TV decoder in Kenya right now lies with your preferences. Knowing what you want from the word go ensures that you throw lot with the right vendor. Good foundation = no regrets in future.


  • If you want entertaining high-quality content, think of subscription decoders like Dstv, Startimes, Zuku or GoTv.
  • Pay TV tends to have better customer care. It’s simple. You are paying us to take care of you, so we got to do it right.
  • FTA is just interested in selling you the hardware. Once you have their decoder, they really have no business listening to you. Though they will try to support you, you shouldn’t expect as good a response as you would on pay TV.

Look at what customers say

Since there are several options for each category, it wouldn’t do any harm to hear what other customers say about different decoder providers. Be on the lookout for any complaints and complements. These will help you make informed decisions. Our forum would one great place to begin this.

Stay up to date

Decoder terms and conditions will change over time. A simple example would be on GoTV’s FTA clause. First, subscribers didn’t understand the fact that it would require a yearly subscription. The second trick was they very people knew it was an offer that could be scraped in future.

That is why many GoTV decoder owners are still searching for ‘how to make my decoder FTA.’ The reality is you can no longer do that. The best you could do is subscribe to the GoTV lite package.

Knowing the terms and conditions of any offer before jumping in will save you from such disappointments.

It’s either hot or cold; never both

Your decoder is either FTA or paid. It can never be a mix of both. I think GoTV drove this point home with utter finesse. Make your decision before buying the decoder.

Adverts are just, well, adverts

A Bamba TV advert on radio would make you think Bamba TV is the biggest thing in town. It will convince you that you MUST never pay for TV, before presenting itself as the ultimate free source of entertainment for your home. They even have an apparently brilliant kid marveling at the presence of some “Smile of a Child” channel.

As interesting as adverts might sound, taking the time to know what actually airs in the offered channels will make you a better buyer. What cartoons? What Nigerian movies? What Mnet movies? Which SuperSport channel and what does it show? Find the answers to these channels before making a call.

What is the best TV decoder in Kenya – An opinion

If I want an FTA decoder, I would be looking for a way to create a digital TV out of my cheap analog TV. I wouldn’t expect any fireworks after the transformation. I’ll just expect to watch news and browse through a bunch of astonishingly ‘emotional’ channels. If I want true entertainment, I will get some reasonable pay TV decoder, perhaps Dstv, Zuku or Startimes, get a bouquet I can afford and commit to paying to be entertained as I please.

3 thoughts on “What is the Best TV Decoder in Kenya? – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

  1. Beatrice wavinya Mwongeli


    Mine is a quiz, I bought my tv in Dubai and was told that it’s digital so no need to buy a decorder.B4 all channels were showing buh after sometime some channels are nolonger showing what can I do 4 them to start showing? ??? Will appreciate much if u reply back to me

  2. I don’t know which is good, but I know bamba TV is worst. Inaharibika ovyo ovyo, no service centres only one at westlands Nairobi with arrogant attendants.

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