Kwesé Play, a streaming set top box offering Netflix etc, launched in South Africa


Kwesé TV announced the launch of Kwesé Play, starting in South Africa, which had been announced as coming months ago. Kwesé Play is a Roku powered streaming box, similar to Apple TV and Chromecast. That means you need an active internet connection, preferably uncapped to watch content. It is basically just a Roku set top box with Kwesé TV content and branding added whilst some U.S content is removed.

If you’re familiar with Roku you may know about their streaming boxes and dongles and the channels available on their streaming devices. HBO (Game of Thrones) is one of the popular channels on Roku but due to geo-restrictions not all channels available to other Roku users, in the U.S for example, will be available in Africa. No HBO here unfortunately. 

Netflix however will be available here as will YouTube, TED, NBA League Pass and RED BULL TV among others numbering over 100 channels. In South Africa Kwesé TV is not yet available and so users there cannot subscribe for that content but the free Kwesé content will be available.   


The price though is not as friendly as we would have liked. Users will have to fork out R1600 (~US$123) for the set top box. That seems steep despite getting Netflix free for 3 months. This means the set top box is just an aggregation of streaming services that you would still have to subscribe to. You do get some perennially free channels but to get the best content one would need to subscribe for each of the good services like Netflix and NBA League Pass. That makes the $123 steep indeed.

Factor in the internet access cost and this Kwesé Play starts to look like a service for the rich. The minimum broadband speed needed to run Kwesé Play content is 4Mbps but for optimal viewing 10Mbps would be required. This alone makes it a non-option for a lot of people.

What do you think about this new product? If and when it launches in Zimbabwe would you consider it? Tell us what you think.





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