DStv USB Drifta Unboxed

Posted on July 29, 2011

DStvs Public Relations company were kind enough to send me a USB Drifta to review. My love/hate relationship with DStv mobile is well documented on this site. I don’t hold back when they mess up, and try to be fair at other times. I am still “banned” on their DStv mobile forums. So kudos to the PR department for moving past all of that and sending through the device for review. After some delays to the courier (snow, roads closed between Jhb and Dbn) the device finally arrived. Below are the unboxing pictures. The detailed review will follow in due course (detailed review available, click here).

The couriered parcel




The parcel arrived from the courier double bagged and in a sealed envelope.





Letter and bow covered box



Inside the parcel was a personalised letter saying how the DStv mobile team would love me to try out the USB Drifta and providing instructions on whom to call to get it activated.

The box itself was tied up in cute red ribbons.





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As predicted, new DSTV Mobile Decoder released (USB Device)

Posted on July 14, 2011

As predicted back on the 4th June (based on firmware contained in the last Windows 1.3 client released), DSTV Mobile have now come out and announced the availability of a brand new decoder, known as the “Dstv Mobile USB Drifta” decoder.

This uses the same DVB-H functionality as the wifi drifta, it just comes in a much smaller an convenient package for those who don’t need to use WiFi connectivity (to iPhones/iPads/Ipod’s) and just want to use it with their PC’s.

The device plugs straight into the USB port, doesn’t need charging, pairing or any of the complications. It is claimed to be available now at a price of R399. Good deal if you are only ever wanting to use it with a laptop. The device is available on Kalahari.net already, with an 8 day delivery time.  It may be coincidence or could explain the half price Drifta special that was available yesterday. They are back to full price today :)

In addition to the new decoder, DStv mobile also announced the launch of the M-Net Series channel to the DStv mobile lineup. Im not sure which channel is to be dropped (since they claim to be using up all channels allocated to them by ICASA), but we shall see. Hopefully it is the full channel and not a gimped version full of week old repeats as Cartoon Network is.

Sadly there is still no news on the Blackberry or Android client software for the existing Drifta. Just how serious are DSTV about sorting out the problems with the existing product if they are launching new ones? Your guess is as good as mine.

The press release is available here on the www.dstv.com website.

I have updated the Drifta FAQ to include the new USB Drifta. Find it here.

Drifta client 1.3.1 released : Includes Mac OS X client?

Posted on June 08, 2011

DSTV Drifta client version 1.3.1 has now been released.  This time there is no associated firmware update. Compared to version 1.2.11 there is one interesting difference.

When opening up the .zip file downloaded, there are two folders

  • Decoder_1.3.1

Not having a Mac I wasn’t able to install this and see whether there is relief to those Mac users out there who have been begging DSTV to provide a Mac client without any luck. Someone want to give it a go and see if it works?

Update : After a bit of googling and playing with the zip file it seems that the .ZIP was created on a Mac, and OSX creates the _MACOSX as a internal (hidden Mac) file for storing attributes. Sadly doesn’t seem to actually contain the OS X installer. False alarm, damn. Bit of a stretch to assume that the developer is using a Mac and therefore a Mac version is soon to be delivered, but hey, we can hope.

Update 2 : I have seen and played with the OS X version. It is real, it is coming soon :)  Little more info here : http://j-j.co.za/2011/09/a-most-interesting-hour-with-the-dstv-mobile-team/

Other than the MacOSx folder, the Windows installer folder now has a .DS_Store file in it (haven’t yet worked out the purpose of this – another OS X hidden file it seems) and the windows decoder.exe has been updated (Dated 27/5/2011). There are no firmware or any other changes.

You can download the new version here : http://apps.dstvmobile.com/decoder/windows/Decoder_1.3.1.zip

P.S. There is also a new version of the iOS client available on iTunes (V1.01.02). The FAQ section has been updated with a link to a patched version to allow it to work on Jailbreak devices.

Pure Speculation : New DSTV Drifta decoder to be launched? #in

Posted on June 04, 2011

Updates :


A new version of the DSTV Drifta software was released recently (1.2.11). Doing some simple sleuthing around in the install reveals some potentially very interesting news. Is a Drifta2 about to be launched?

The following were the only files updated / added in the new installer:

1.2.11 vs 1.1.0

Existing files:

  • Decoder.exe  2011/05/10 06:57      1 512KB
  • infcopy.exe    2010/12/06 02:34          79KB
  • tvnb.bin           2011/04/20 08:39    8 288KB

New files:

  • IPSetup.exe      2011/03/18 06:21         58KB
  • tvnb_usb.bin   2011/05/03 02:09    5 840KB


The really interesting bit is in the new tvnb_usb.bin file.

The tvnb_usb.bin has an interesting identification string “Drifta2(DVB-H) 2.1.277 2011/05/03-14:09:23 ”  vs the older style tvnb.bin identification string “Tivit(DVB-H) 2.1.266 2011/04/20-17:03:51″.

Is this a hint at a new Drifta decoder to come?

Share your thoughts, on or off the record.

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