Some thoughts on DSTV mobile and the Drifta #in

Posted on December 12, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I saw that the DSTV mobile offering was being launched, not having a compatible phone nor having a contract due for upgrade any time soon it was with a little bit of jealousy. Then in the release article was mention of a little device that could connect to a laptop or iDevice – enter the Drifta.

I was rather keen to get hold of one of these devices so the week after launch I looked in the DSTV website, found the participating dealers and went to visit a few of them. Sadly none of them had a clue as to what it was (Yup, that’s you GAME, Pick n Pay, Incredible connection etc). I phoned the DSTV customer care and they couldn’t tell me who had stock either. Eventually I discovered that Makro had them listed and in stock (very useful function on the website). So last Thursday I went and picked one up. R599 later I had one in my hands. Neat little box too.

DSTV Drifta Box

In the box is the install CD, a one page installation leaflet, a USB cable, AC adapter (connects to the USB cable), the Drifta and a battery. Popped the battery in and plugged it all in.

Drifta with usb cable and charger

I installed the software from the CD, had it all set up, the lights on the device were all correctly lit, but I was still getting error messages and no picture. Eventually an error message came up saying the signal was scrambled. At this point my son was reading the install leaflet a little more closely and pointed out to me that the device needed to be activated by DSTV before it could be used. Phoned through to the call centre, took a few transfers before ending up in the right place. Thankfully I already had a DSTV account (which wasn’t active) and they quickly got me set up and running. They stayed on the phone up until I had a picture. Good service. They then offered my a monthly insurance of R5/month on the device. My advise, take it. The aerial is really flimsy and will break soon. More on that later.

So with the Drifta up and running this is what appeared.

Supersport picture at original size

The picture is quite small. I am not sure what i expected, I knew it was meant for mobile devices so expected small, it is really small though. There is a “zoom” option, clicking it gives a little bigger picture, but it is a whole lot more blocky.

The zoomed full size picture

Next to the picture you can bring up the channel list and the schedule of upcoming programs on that channel.

Channel listing and programme schedule

The number of channels if fairly limited. As you can see from the screenshot, channels available include :

  • Africa Magic
  • Channel O
  • Trace TV
  • The eNews Channel
  • SuperSport Blitz
  • SuperSport 1
  • SuperSport 2
  • SuperSport 3
  • Cartoon Network

I mainly wanted it for the sports channels, so to have Supersport 1,2,3 and blitz is quite acceptable. There is also e-news if you want to catch up on news inbetween the sport. As for the rest of the channels, not really much of interest there to me. For the price we will be paying, I think it’s a fair compromise and am quite happy with the value for money.

The player application also has some settings / options. Screenshots of these included below for completeness.

Drifta settings - status

Drifta settings - options

Drifta settings - about

Using it as a mobile device

Now the Drifta is meant to be about mobile TV. While I am using it connected to the laptop rather than as mobile, it does support wireless streaming over wifi to iDevices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad). I had originally though to use the wifi to also connect to my laptop, forgetting that I use wifi for my internet access, so if connecting Drifta this way, no internet access. USB works just fine and keeps the device charged too so Im fine with that. Connecting to the iDevices though means it’s either wifi or Drifta. Probably not an issue for most, be just beware of it. Battery life is quoted as being 3 hours, I haven’t tested that (read updated comment below in iPhone section). With the laptop it’s not an issue for me as it charges while being used.

So find the DSTV mobile application in iTunes :

Drifta iphone application in itunes info

Download it and sync it across :

Drifta iphone application in itunes

Once it’s synched across it’s all good to go. Just turn on wi-fi then load up the app. Turn on the Drifta and it sync’s to the device.  Once I loaded the up it checked the firmware version on the Drifta. Strangely enough, I had done this already from the PC client and it had said it was up to date, however, the iPhone version figured out there was a new version which it kindly downloaded and installed onto the Drifta before rebooting it. Once all done straight into live tv :

Drifta iphone tv picture

I was quite impressed with the picture quality. It actually looks better than what it did on the PC. I’m not a regular iphone user, so excuse the pics, they were taken with a DSLR and cropped down rather than just being screenshots. Still, the picture on the iphone actually looked better than on the laptop.

Touch the screen while the tv channel is playing and it pops up some info :

Drifta iphone status pane

Click again on the screen and you can pop up the channel selector and the programme listing screens :

Drifta iphone channel list

Drifta iphone programme listing

Overall the iphone app was simple, slick and worked really well. Can see this being a real gem for those who are out and about on the move and wanting to stay in touch with whatever sporting events are happening.

The range of the wifi signal is quoted as being around 15m and in practice I found this to be the case. The wifi signal is a little prone to interference, and when watching in the kitchen I did lose picture whenever the Microwave was turned on. It reconnected quite rapidly (within 5 seconds or so) once the microwave was switched off.

Battery life of the iPhone (3GS) wasn’t that great. I seem to get around 2.5 hrs of use out of it from a full charge. The battery life actually seems pretty similar to that of the Drifta device itself. From a full charge the iPhone battery died before the Drifta, though the Drifta was close to being flat too.

Final thoughts

Having now been using the Drifta for 4 days, and had it running for probably 8 hours each of those days, I must say I am really impressed. Changing channels is a little slow, taking maybe 6-8 seconds to retune each time, less than the 15 seconds I had heard others quote. Also once tuned in the picture and sound are very stable, hardly ever losing synch. The sound quality was really great, with no breakup at all as I would have expected if it was an IP based streaming service.

It would have been nicer if the Drifta has an LCD screen and speaker/headphone socket. It would have increased the usefulness significantly, but i guess the cost would have gone up too. I would have paid a couple hundred extra for that, but maybe DSTV can do something like that next time.

As I alluded to earlier, there is a little bit of an issue with the design of the aerial. It really is flimsy when fully extruded. The design is a little strange, in that unlike a normal extension aerial, where the base is thick and the tip is thinner, it works in the reverse here with the thinnest end connected into the Drifta. When fully extended I really expect it to snap off at any time. Take a look in the pic below :

Drifta fully extended aerial

Thankfully here the signal strength is sufficient that I can leave the aerial only partially extended. This way the thickest part remains in the Drifta and the whole affair is a whole lot more solid and less likely to snap off. Would definitely recommend trying it in stages and leave it as solidly connected as possible.

Drifta arial partially extended

Well done to DSTV. This is a really nifty little device and I’m most glad to have it. It will be interesting to see if any further channels are added when it goes into a fully paid service. Still, even with those on offer I am delighted with it.

Updates :

Resolution of the transmission:

The native resolution of the transmission is 320×240, and is limited to this by the bandwidth available in the DVB-H spectrum. While the application allows a zoomed in view, it just doubles the pixels. There is no full screen mode available. You can use the windows magnifier to zoom in further but it looks terrible. Better just to watch in the smaller window and enjoy it for what it is – a mobile service. Don’t expect an upgrade in the resolution any time soon, it seems this is not technically possible.

Coverage:

Drifta coverage map

The map isn’t that clear. There is coverage across :

  • Durban
  • Capetown
  • Johannesburg
  • Pretoria
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Bloemfontein

You can visit the DSTV website for the interactive map where you can put your address in and see what coverage is available in your area :

Link to interactive map

Update 2 :

This review has elicited an overwhelming response, way beyond what I had expected. I have taken many of the questions and answers from here and put them into an FAQ document which can be found here. DSTV mobile/Drifta FAQ Thanks to everyone for the contributions.


Tags: , ,

Categories: Mobile


164 Responses

  1. Dstv Drifta Mobile:

    […] you can check the official site @ dstvmobile Or better and more comprehensive independent analysis @ jj.co.za Tags: Drifta, Dstv Mobile, […]

    31.05.2012 13:05 Reply

  2. gideon kannemeyer:

    will i be able to use it in Angola

    11.03.2012 15:35 Reply

    • Nantes Venter:

      any news on coverage in angola on the plans?

      02.05.2012 16:57 Reply

  3. tisha:

    Can anyone tell me hoe to get my laptop drifta screen bigger than a square inch. Ive tried installing uploads/updates but that too doesnt work

    19.02.2012 13:43 Reply

    • Justin:

      If using windows 7 press control and plus to zoom in, otherwise check the FAQ for solutions on other platforms to do the same thing.

      19.02.2012 18:45 Reply

  4. A (geek) fan preparing for the Rugby World Cup | j-j.co.za:

    […] of Drifta here, USB Drifta here and frequently asked questions […]

    30.08.2011 07:54 Reply

  5. My thoughts on the USB DStv Drifta (Review) | j-j.co.za:

    […] is just a simpler, smaller, cheaper version of the Drifta and it works much in the same way. Go and read that review if you want to understand more about the DStv mobile product as opposed to the USB Drifta […]

    05.08.2011 13:05 Reply

  6. Dennis:

    IF you’ve updated your Software and Firmware, you can still enlarge the DRIFTA window by using a software program called Qzoom.
    Get it here:
    http://download.cnet.com/QZoom/3000-2072_4-10963804.html
    Just install it, double click on the icon at bottom right of taskbar to see instructions. It will fill your Screen! I’m using XP and if you hold “Windows” Key + Alt + ‘ your desktop will “zoom in”. Then position over the DRIFTA window. Note: Leave the DRIFTA window at it’s SMALLEST size before using QZoom to prevent flickering. It work quite well.

    02.06.2011 14:34 Reply

  7. Dennis:

    Benfits? – None that I can see. The same channels are still available and it still takes just as long to change channels. I have seen that the “Decoder.exe” file is now an encrypted file! (It’s been ‘packed’)

    01.06.2011 15:22 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks again, I think i will just stick with the current version until another patch is available. Im sure it won’t be too long.

      01.06.2011 18:23 Reply

  8. Dennis:

    It’s Official – I Updated both the Software & Firmware and here are the results:
    If you Download & install the new Software Version 1.2.11 you MUST upgrade the Firmware to Version 2.1.266 to use the DRIFTA. If you upgrade the Firmware, you CANNOT use Software Version 1.1.0 software; it will NOT run.
    The Window Resize Patch does not work either as it is meant for version 1.1.0. Now to get to work on Patch 1.2.11

    01.06.2011 11:49 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks for the feedback. What are the benefits of the new versions?

      01.06.2011 14:54 Reply

  9. Dennis:

    Hi Justin
    I see a new Software and Firmware is available for the DRIFTA (Version 1.2.11). I created a “Self Extracting” exe to automatically overwite the Decoder.exe file for Screen Resizing for VERSION 1.1.0 This is due to a lot of people not being able to unzip the zip file. If the New software is installed, it forces one to Update the Firmware of the DRIFTA device! The application closes if you do not Upgrade the firmware! Now this leaves me with a slight problem. If I upgrade the firmware, the question is, will one still be able to resize the window?
    When placing Version 1.1.0 of the Decoder.exe file into the folder container all the NEW software, a “Force Firmware Update” is still activated. Has anyone installed the new software and firmware? If so, can the window be resized? A new version 1.2.11 “Decoder.exe” file will be required if the window cannot be resized.I haven’t tried updating the Firmware and using Version 1.1.0 software yet as this might force one to install the new software (1.2.11) and then not be able to resize the window.Since it might take a little time to get these questions answered, I’m sticking to Ver 1.1.0 for now.
    Those still using Ver 1.1.0 and wishing to enlarge the DRIFTA window, download the patch here:
    http://caretech.isotope25.com/Decoder.exe and just run it.It will automatically replace the “Decoder.exe” file, allowing the window to be resizes. The window will keep it’s aspect ratio when dragging.

    Dennis

    01.06.2011 11:20 Reply

  10. Kevin Lightfoot:

    Rather disgusted. No reseption in Deal Party, Port Elizabeth, where i wanted to use it.

    31.05.2011 11:39 Reply

  11. saudick:

    Hi Justin, i want to set a password protection on my drifta wifi signal, how do i go about doing this?
    I dont anybody else making a connection to my Drifta Hotspot.
    Thanks

    30.05.2011 11:21 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Saudick,
      I haven’t seen a way to do this, no mention in the user manual nor online. Will keep checking and let you know if I find a way. I guess they assume the range is so limited that the likelihood of someone hijacking the signal is low and only one person can connect at a time.
      Justin

      30.05.2011 20:52 Reply

  12. anthony karriem:

    Hi can anyone assist on the download of the DStv Mobile 1.1.0 Resize Patch.zip.

    30.05.2011 08:07 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Anthony
      Drop me a mail on drifta@j-j.co.za and let’s see if we can chat per phone to help you download and install it.
      Justin

      30.05.2011 20:53 Reply

  13. anthony karriem:

    need to dowload theDStv Mobile 1.1.0 Resize Patch.zip, where can i find it, i thought i downloaded the correct software, but it was the the decoder software, send the link please.Thanks

    20.05.2011 08:11 Reply

  14. anthony karriem:

    need to dowload DStv Mobile 1.1.0 Resize Patch.zip, where can i find it

    17.05.2011 08:24 Reply

    • Justin:

      Anthony there are 3 links to the patches on the FAQ page as above. If you can’t find it there let me know and will paste the links directly here later tonight when have access to a pc.

      17.05.2011 16:00 Reply

  15. anthony karriem:

    trying to download the patch, please help

    17.05.2011 08:02 Reply

  16. nwabo:

    does it have memory card slot,bluetooth,make calls,dowloading mxit facebook,

    16.05.2011 01:44 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hey Nwabo
      The drifta is a portable decoder not a phone. It doesn’t have any of the above.
      Justin

      16.05.2011 07:41 Reply

  17. Rudolf:

    Hi, just want to know how the billing will work. On dstv mobile website I see an amount of R36 monthly. For what is that or how does it work. Can you please assist. Thanks

    14.05.2011 22:39 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Rudolf

      Take a look at the general section of the FAQ, there are two answers there which should help.

      In short, upfront you buy the Drifta decoder for around R650, then you pay the monthly fee of R36 as subscription to DSTV, another R5 for insurance on the Drifta (if you choose) and that is it. There are no data charges or other charges and you don’t need a normal DSTV subscription, though if you have a premium one you don’t have to pay the R36 for the next year.

      Justin

      15.05.2011 06:43 Reply

  18. lesiba:

    My drifta dnt allow full screenview on my laptop wt could b the problem? Hw do I install new firmware? Pls snd me the email respons

    07.05.2011 11:02 Reply

    • Justin:

      Unfortunately this isn’t a firmware issue, but is the result of a deliberate choice made by DSTV/Multi Choice. There is no way to maximise the screen on your laptop using the official DSTV software. There are however (unsupported/unapproved) patched versions of the software which can solve the problem for you. Take a look here : Drifta FAQ and specifically at this.

      07.05.2011 16:17 Reply

  19. Francois:

    Where is the link to the patch to make it bigger?

    29.04.2011 11:49 Reply

    • Justin:

      Take a look on the frequently asked questions page, the links to two different versions of the patch are there.

      30.04.2011 08:53 Reply

  20. Greg:

    Hi Justin. Thank you for the great site and review. I could not find the initial patch to increase the screen size and so I downloaded the 2nd option patch. I cannot open the download as it gives me the following error: mfc90.dll missing cannot open file. I have googled and downloaded several service packs from Visual +++ without any success. The file will not open. Any suggestions? All I want is a bigger pic as I am visually impaired. Thanks!

    25.04.2011 07:37 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Greg :

      Try this link to download the runtime libraries for MFC VC++ 2008 : here

      If that doesn’t work you can try the 2010 libraries : here

      Hopefully one of those solves the problem. If not give me a shout and will see what else we can do.

      Justin

      25.04.2011 09:42 Reply

  21. JVD:

    Nice to see a review written by a real person, for use by real people. Nice one. All other reviews I have seen are written by geeky journalists who got it for free, already set up – this one puts the writer in the readers’ shoes. Nice one. Gonna get me one of these.

    10.04.2011 08:26 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I hope to be doing more reviews going forward of the gadgets that I buy. As you rightly point out, I am using my own money and buying these for personal use so I do have a vested interest in choosing the right goodies and giving a balanced and fair feedback on them.

      10.04.2011 19:26 Reply

  22. Riaan:

    Received the mail today and it is only three stations which was added. Boomerang is not on there but it might still be in the pipeline tho.

    06.04.2011 19:50 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks Riaan, saw that mail. The more channels the better though personally I’m not fussed at the lack of Boomerang. Interesting to see where forward from here and when we will get the promised Blackberry and Nokia support. Pain not being able to use it in the way promised especially now we are paying for the service.

      07.04.2011 11:25 Reply

  23. Justin:

    Thanks for the update Riaan. I received the same SMS and also saw a press release earlier in the week (posted on it here). It is interesting that they announced 3 channels and the consultant mentioned a fourth to you (Boomerang). It will be interesting to see on the 4th April after the upgrade exactly what has been added.

    02.04.2011 21:05 Reply

  24. Riaan:

    Justin just some feed back. I received a sms during the week telling me that ekstra channels will be added to the Drifta. I phoned DSTV today for another query and while I was waiting for the system to process the data I asked the consultant which channels it would be. Here they are: CNN, Sony Max, Boomerang and E-Entertainment.

    02.04.2011 19:58 Reply

  25. Bheki:

    The N8 service is not streaming. Nokia Symbian ^3 phones have a special DVB-H headset with a built in DVB-H antenna. Multichocie supports this kind of DVB-H. So normal DSTV mobile subscription will apply with no additional data bundles from your network provider. You will struggle to get a retailer who sells these special headsets. try the online stores.

    28.03.2011 11:53 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Bheki,
      Thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify, the N8 can do DVB-H, but as you say, you need to get the special headset for this to do. That said, the N8 service as advertised on the DSTV Mobile landing page (http://www.dstvmobile.com) and as explained in the FAQ on the DSTV Mobile website is a streaming service – quite confusing to a lot of people.

      To quote from their site : “What is DStv Mobile for Nokia N8? DStv Mobile for N8 is a streaming mobile TV application with 3 free mobile TV channels. It is available exclusively on Nokia N8 cellphones and is downloadable from the Nokia OVI Store free of charge. ” Read more here

      For those struggling to find the headset, check out the FAQ for more details on where to get one : http://j-j.co.za/?qa_faqs=where-do-i-get-the-dvb-h-headset-for-the-n8-or-c7

      Regards
      Justin

      28.03.2011 19:17 Reply

  26. Brian:

    Thanx Justin
    Really appreciate the speedy reply ,and far more clarity on this.
    Keep up the good work!
    Kind regards

    28.03.2011 03:17 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks Brian, always a pleasure.

      28.03.2011 19:31 Reply

  27. Brian:

    Hi Justin.
    Nice read,thanx!
    Left message for multi -choice ,but to date they have not replied.
    Wanted to know if coverage would include areas at any stage in other countries, as I work out in Angola,with very limited access to any information on SA.
    Look forward to reply.
    Regards

    27.03.2011 05:18 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Brian

      The DSTV Mobile website is a bit confusing on this as they don’t adequately differentiate between broadcast and streaming coverage.

      The DVB-H broadcast coverage includes: Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa

      Each country has it’s own channel list, for example Ghana has BBC and CNN which we don’t have in SA. The other African countries also seem to indicate in the FAQs that you have to have a DVB-H enabled cell phone, and they don’t mention the Drifta device at all. I suspect this means each country will need its own subscription so is effectively a different service.

      The website also provides an option for the N8 mobile. They then go on to list +- 50 countries where this service works. This is however a streaming service and not a broadcast service so you PAY FOR THE DATA, which makes it very expensive. It also only has 3 channels: SuperSport Blitz, euronews, SawSee. Angola is also listed for this service, but be very careful of data charges.

      27.03.2011 10:15 Reply

  28. mubeen:

    I just bought my drifta,followed the instructions.but I’m not getting any transmission,phoned the call centre who asked me to reset it,,,I did exactly what they asked me to do but it still doesn’t pick up any channels*nd when it does pickup the channels it gives me an error message? Any help with regard to this woulg be greatly appreciated

    18.03.2011 22:27 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Mubeen. Can you give some more info, which area are you in, what is the signal strength, what is the error message?

      18.03.2011 22:57 Reply

  29. Riaan:

    Hallo Justin.

    I did try to replace the decoder.exe file and it asked if I want to replace the read only file. I said yes and then this appeared
    ‘Password needed
    File ‘Decoder’ is password protected.
    Please enter the password in the box below.
    Password: (space where I can punch in password)

    and on the right hand side I hae the next opstions:
    OK
    Skip File
    Cancel

    So what password is this?

    18.03.2011 20:23 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Riaan

      Interesting. Two thing I can think of, a) the zip file could be password protected, b) windows could be trying to protect the file we want to overwrite. You can try and unzip the decoder zip file to your desktop, that could eliminate option a). Im running windows 7 professional and it didn’t ask for a password to overwrite the file. Are you running windows Vista by any chance? If so it could be asking for your windows password. If that doesn’t work, another option can be to rename or delete the original decoder.exe file and then just copy the new version in there.

      18.03.2011 21:32 Reply

  30. Sanele:

    I just got my Drifta today and I must say it’s working well! I love it. I do wish the screen was bigger though and i cant wait for them to add more channels.

    18.03.2011 14:49 Reply

    • Justin:

      Congrats. Try the patch mentioned earlier in the comments to get the windows decoder software to let you make the viewing window a whole lot bigger. Unfortunately it doesn’t give you a clearer picture, just bigger.

      18.03.2011 17:12 Reply

  31. Riaan:

    Thank you Justin. I have installed it successfully to my Netbook but what confuses me is:
    “Install Instructions: Copy Decoder.exe to C:\program files\DStv Mobile Decoder\ overwriting the existing file. You might”
    want to backup your original file first, in case you want to revert back to the original

    17.03.2011 23:59 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Riaan,

      Step 1, install version 1.1.0 of the offical DSTV Mobile software. It will install to c:\program files\DSTV Mobile Decoder. In that folder will be the file decoder.exe. Make a copy of this file as a backup (Just select it and copy and paste, it will create decoder – copy.exe)

      Step 2, download the patch .zip file, DStv Mobile 1.1.0 Resize Patch.zip, as per link in previous post.

      Step 3, Unzip the patch file and copy the decoder.exe that you unzipped into the c:\program files\DSTV Mobile Decoder folder to replace the decoder.exe file.

      Thats it.

      Run your Decoder.exe and you can now resize your window by dragging the sides of the window and it will resize accordingly.

      18.03.2011 07:13 Reply

  32. Riaan:

    wow WOW WOW!!! What a nice little gadget. No more missed sports for me when I’m at work. Justin thanx for all your advise and feed back.

    If there is one more thing I can ask of you. I’m struggling to get the patch to work. Is there anyway you can help me with it? Not the brightest with these things. lol

    16.03.2011 00:40 Reply

    • Justin:

      My pleasure Riaan. Let me know how far you got with downloading and installing the patch and I can then try give more detailed directions from there.

      16.03.2011 07:23 Reply

  33. Kevin:

    Please can you tell me if there is any other cost involved like air time or bundle usage??

    14.03.2011 10:09 Reply

    • Justin:

      There are no data usage costs or airtime costs. You pay for the device and (soon) a monthly subscription fee (fixed fee). The system is a broadcast system like normal TV so it doesn’t use any data networks.

      14.03.2011 19:16 Reply

  34. Riaan:

    Milnerton in Cape Town? Is there coverage in Tableview? I stay 500 meters from Bayside centre.

    11.03.2011 01:39 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Riaan. Yes it was Milnerton in Cape Town. I’m not a local so my sense of direction is not always great, but Im pretty sure we drove through/past Tableview and even past the Bayside mall.

      I took a quick look at the coverage map and there seems to be fairly decent coverage across the whole area so it should work for you. Take a close look at the map and zoom into your house and you can confirm. (Map)

      11.03.2011 06:51 Reply

  35. Justin:

    Yesterday I got stuck in traffic trying to get out of the city centre while the Sharks Super 15 game was on. My son got the laptop out the boot, hooked up the Drifta and I was able to listen to the commentary all the way from there to Milnerton with hardly an interruption on the way. This is the first time I have used the device in the car and was most impressed. Good thing the Sharks won too :)

    06.03.2011 08:51 Reply

  36. Riaan:

    As long as there is hope. lol

    04.03.2011 12:07 Reply

  37. Riaan:

    Great review, I think you helped out a lot of people by doing it. So thank you.

    Do you know if the coverage will be broadened and by when? I want to eventually watch my sports next to the fishing waters. Now that would be the live. lol

    04.03.2011 01:21 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks for the feedback Riaan. Very little real information has been provided by DSTV on the rollout schedule. The only thing they do is keep their online coverage map up to date so just keep checking that to see if the coverage creeps into the area that you want to go fishing. Coverage is mainly in the larger metro areas, so unless you find a bountiful (and clean) river running through one of them it could be a while until you can watch on the banks :)

      04.03.2011 07:09 Reply

  38. Bani:

    Hello all.
    I’ve read in this week on Mybroadband that a guy has taken a normal “bunny ears” antenna and connected that to his Drifta and all of a sudden he got 100% signal in Gauteng. He battled before but now it looks like it’s sorted.
    I’m on my way to get mine at makro for R549,00. Looking very much forward to it.
    All the best

    03.03.2011 08:04 Reply

  39. Jaco:

    Do you need internet connection to recieve this service? Is there anyone in Potch using it?

    27.02.2011 07:09 Reply

    • Justin:

      @jaco : No internet connection is needed. Not sure about Potch, the dstvmobile website coverage map shows no coverage, so it doesn’t look like you are in luck. Anyone in Potch tried it?

      27.02.2011 20:00 Reply

  40. GTR:

    IF you are intending to get an I phone or Ipad and u plan to jail break your device, it wont work with the drift

    24.02.2011 15:43 Reply

  41. Kevin C:

    Found below link that helps you resize window

    http://forum.dstvmobile.com/showthread.php?t=281

    I haven’t tried it (Only now started look at drifta to replace full dstv as only watch sport) so maybe you can test and advise your readers?

    23.02.2011 13:54 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for pointing me towards the patch,

      I downloaded and applied the “unofficial” patch. I include the readme file at the bottom of my reply below.

      The patch is actually quite nice. It doesn’t allow you to just maximise to full screen in a single click, and on my widescreen laptop it doesnt resize to full screen. What it does do is let me drag the window as large as I want, and I can drag it to be the vertical height of the screen, leaving just some unused space to the left and right.

      As indicated by the author below the resolution doesn’t get improved so the resolution is still pretty terrible, however, what it does do is let me leave the laptop on the counter and watch the picture from the distance, as well as let me have a much bigger viewing area more easily when plugging the laptop into my tv.

      The patched version is also unsigned so I have to give windows permission to run it every time I load the decoder software. Not a big deal.

      Conclusion : I like the patch, it only works with the current version of the software, so I would lose the function when I upgrade to the next version. It will make me think twice before upgrading – I hope the author keeps releasing updates :)

      DStv Mobile 1.1.0
      Video Window Resize Patch
      By Moe1

      Note: This will only work for DStv Mobile v1.1.0 decoder for Windows.

      Install Instructions: Copy Decoder.exe to C:\program files\DStv Mobile Decoder\ overwriting the existing file. You might
      want to backup your original file first, in case you want to revert back to the original.

      Wasted Text: Alot of people have been moaning about the fact that they limited to the video size they can resize the DStv Mobile
      windows decoder screen. Well here is a quick patch to break out of that limit 😉
      I won’t recommend resizing to a very large screen, the resolution gets pretty crappy! (Hence the reason for the limit)

      Enjoy!

      24.02.2011 08:02 Reply

      • Justin:

        Having used this patch for a few days I am even more impressed with it. It lets you drag the screen as big as you like as well as stretch it wide screen. Yes the screen becomes very pixelated but when you watch from a few metres back it is great. Give it a go, certainly no harm in it and no real downside.

        25.02.2011 21:42 Reply

  42. Isak Venter:

    Thanks for the GREAT review, you have just save me R599 and a lot of frustration!

    23.02.2011 11:57 Reply

    • Justin:

      My pleasure, while I do think it is a great little device, the selection of channels and the devices it supports does limit its appeal and it certainly isn’t for everyone.

      24.02.2011 07:48 Reply

  43. wayne:

    what software would i need to run it on a macbook??? please help

    17.02.2011 18:23 Reply

    • Justin:

      Sorry there isnt currently software that lets it work on the Mac.

      17.02.2011 20:03 Reply

  44. wayne:

    will it work on a apple Macbook ???

    17.02.2011 07:07 Reply

  45. Nasris Left Foot:

    Great review dude..thanks
    I just want to know before i buy this device is whether the clarity of the picture is worth the outlay..
    i have an iPad..i dont want to really pay if the pic quality is poor..im not expecting HD but it must be of a reasonable standard..

    15.02.2011 18:34 Reply

    • Justin:

      It is certainly reasonable, thought it isn’t HD or even SD. View the screenshots I took on your iPad. This will give you a great idea of what it will be like.

      17.02.2011 12:38 Reply

  46. Jaco:

    Thanks for your explanation, not being a high tec boffin, I valued your comments!

    14.02.2011 23:09 Reply

  47. Naidu:

    Thanks Justin, Much appreciated.

    10.02.2011 10:10 Reply

  48. naidu:

    Hi DSTV Drifta users, can any one try to connect two devices. My self and my brother want to use the Drifta for our 2 laptops.Is it possibale? Thanks.

    07.02.2011 11:15 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Naidu

      I haven’t seen any way to directly connect one drifta device to two computers. It may be possible through third party software to share the screen that is displaying the picture to a second computer. Haven’t tried this personally though.

      08.02.2011 14:52 Reply

  49. Markus:

    Nice review. I wonder if we are ever going to get it right to work on Linux and I also can’t wait for the Android software to be released. Here is some more thoughts on the Drifta:

    http://www.high-on-it.co.za/2011/01/quick-review-of-dstv-drifta.html

    04.02.2011 07:22 Reply

  50. Gerhard:

    Is there not any other program/software that one can use instead of the software that come with the drifta. (For better reselution and to make screen bigger) – VCL, Nero or whatever. If so, what and how do I tune it in

    03.02.2011 11:53 Reply

    • Justin:

      @gerhard the resolution is hardware limited. Size (zoom) is software limited and could be overcome. I saw a comment saying the size limit was intentional from multichoice. I have seen on other forums people playing with vlc and getting some results. There isn’t a user friendly solution yet and are hacks to change channels etc. Over time someone may code up a neater solution if the demand exists.

      03.02.2011 13:47 Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: