Review of the iDrifta for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch

Posted on June 24, 2012

Full disclosure : I have no affiliation to DSTV, DSTV Mobile or Multichoice. I write this blog in my spare time with no payment from any providers. The review unit was provided to me by the marketing agency working with DSTV Mobile and I thank them for it. I pay the monthly subscription fees on the Drifta devices I am using – including the iDrifta. 

The iDrifta is a cute, small, convenient little device. As a Drifta for the iPad / iPhone / iPod touch (referred to as iDevice), this is brilliant. It is however restricted to just those devices.

I have in the past reviewed the original (wifi) Drifta and the USB Drifta. This review now focusses on the iDrifta. If you are wanting to use the Drifta with your PC, Blackberry, Mac, Android and your iDevice then right up front this is not for you. Take a look at the table over here to see which devices work with which Drifta’s to make that decision. If however your are primarily wanting a Drifta to use with your iDevice, then read on.

The iDrifta is about the size of a matchbox. On the top it has an Apple connector, on the bottom it has a micro USB for charging, with a soft loop of aerial around the port.  Just above the micro USB is a single LED which lights up when the device is being charged.

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Guest review : Using the Nokia DVB-H adapter with the E7

Posted on September 11, 2011

Johan posted this fairly lengthy comment in response to my post “A most interesting hour with DStv mobile team” . It makes good reading and deserves better exposure than languishing within the comments, so with his permission, a mostly unedited version is presented below. I have included a few of my own comments (all italicised). 

I am using the Nokia DVB-H adapter with my Nokia E7 and must say I am really happy just carrying 1 device with the benefit of “using” Internet on the device (when you switch to the mobile TV app it does stop, but downloads are not interrupted in the background when watching DSTV). For all Nokia’s “faults”, true multitasking and excellent hardware have kept me on the platform. My N900 did unfortunately pack up, but the E7 has been a worthy replacement (for me at least).

The wifi drifta is however a more “versatile” device. It can now be used with PC, iOS, “Android” (currently 6 devices) and hopefully soon OSX (although the Drifta allows only one device to connect at a time).

In terms of the Nokia Mobile TV software it does have some benefits over the Drifta software. A really nice feature is the REMINDERS functionality (only for the next 18 hours for which the EPG is displayed for). Once set, the reminder pops up even if you do not have the dvb-h headset connected. 1 click and you can watch the program (once you connect the headset).

My main gripes are (mostly Nokia specific – I don’t have a Drifta)

  1. The E7 can only be charged via USB, but the dvb-h adaptor takes that spot – so you can’t charge and watch at the same time. But I have watched about 4.5 hours on a full charge. The older N8 can be used for longer (has older charger plug allowing charge and view) but the “pop-up” screen of the E7 does make it easier to view…
  2. You HAVE to “subscribe” via 3G / Wifi EVERY month (only takes 5 mins, but it is a pain)
  3. SuperSport 4 just would NOT want to work. Says loading but nothing. Lots of fiddling and then SS4 now working (after resetting Mobile TV from within the app). It then re-scans for channels. You have to then “purchase” again, but it remembers that you already have a subscription and within a minute you can watch the channels again.
  4. Could for the life of me not get it to work in Strand, Stellenbosch, Blauwberg, SomersetWest end last month. Just kept saying no signal… But when I landed back in Gauteng worked instantly… (Coverage across the broader Western Cape does seem a bit spotty. This is reflected on the DStv Mobile coverage map on their site.)

But overall I think it is a great service (yes “better” channels would be nice, but for R36 per month you get SS1 and SS2 “always” with you.

Thanks Johan. Great to get some insight into other options. You certainly seem to be getting a better battery life than what I get with my wifi Drifta, or my HTC Desire. And between them they have two batteries (which both have to be charged). The reminders feature is one that is sorely missing from the Drifta.

 The all in one option of the E7 with headset seems like a great alternate, especially if you have a compatible cell phone. 


Guest review : What is Minecraft ? (1.7.3)

Posted on September 10, 2011

Minecraft is a sandbox type game where there is no purpose but just to experiment (and survive) to build and advance your world as far as you can. The basics are that you start on an island, find some trees, make a temporary (or permanent) shelter and then find some coal to make torches to light up your home. There are 4 difficulty modes:

  • peaceful, where no mobs (enemies) will spawn that will attack you,
  •  easy, where all the mobs spawn but they have less health and deal less damage then the other difficulties,
  • normal, the average mode  where the mobs are have slightly more health and damage then in easy, and of course
  • hard mode where the mobs are the most difficult to kill (deal the most damage and have the most health).


There is no actual storyline or anything that you are trying to do besides survive and advance to higher technologies such as pistons and mine carts.

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My thoughts on the USB DStv Drifta (Review)

Posted on August 05, 2011

Update :  The new iDrifta has been released (iDevice only) – unboxing here. Review to follow.

First reactions from my son :

  • Aww Dad, it’s so cute. Look how tiny it is compared to the old one.
  • Dad, I can’t plug in the memory stick next to the Drifta.

That, in a nutshell, sums up the new USB DStv Drifta. It’s small and cute, not quite the size of a memory stick (just  a tad fatter), so overlaps a second USB slot when plugged in (a cable is supplied to solve this). It works, and well, but doesn’t really cure any of the inherent problems with the first Drifta. That said, in the right scenarios it is a great device.

USB Drifta with Aerial extended

Onto the review proper :

Back on 14 July 2011 DStv announced (officially) the new USB DStv Drifta (release here).  The release and the pictures made the device look interesting. A week later their PR team mailed me and offered me a Drifta to test out and review (well, they just offered to send me one, my assumption it was to test and review).

This review doesn’t intend to rehash all of the detail from my review last year. This in many ways 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 itself.

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