Safaricom has today revealed that it has a “new” Android TV box on offer for its customers, especially those subscribed to its fibre-to-the-home service, Safaricom Home Fibre.
The Android TV box in question is the DV8235 from consumer electronics brand Ematic. The brand’s media streamers have been popular in South Africa for a while now.
The Ematic DV8235 is not exactly new in the local market.
While Safaricom is only making the official announcement today, the media streaming box has been available on sale through the network operator’s online store, Masoko, and on its retail stores across the country, for at least 3 months now. The company has equally been aggressively pushing the box to customers via SMS marketing campaigns over the same period.
The significance of Safaricom’s announcement today, given that it is not exactly strange to see it sell competing products in its stores – physical and online – is that it comes at a time when its own branded streaming device, the second generation Safaricom Big Box, is in dire need of an update much as it continues being on sale at a Kshs 10,000 (take away a few shillings) price tag with the occasional price drop. The Ematic 4K Android TV streaming box is going for Kshs 7,000.
The Safaricom Giga Box, as Safaricom would have us refer to that device, has had its own fair share of shortcomings, top of it being its lack of Widevine certification which has meant that users are not able to access Netflix on it even though its impressive feature set includes support for 4K video streaming.
The Ematic Android TV box, unlike the Giga Box, lacks all the features that would make it appealing to those who would need to invest in a wireless router to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot (“MiFi”). That makes sense because it is primarily targeted at Safaricom Home Fibre subscribers/those with broadband internet in their homes.
The Ematic Android TV box’s features and specifications include the ability to stream video in 4K, a quad-core processor and a 5-core graphics card, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, Widevine certification (translation: you’ll have no issues enjoying Netflix on it), Bluetooth for pairing with various accessories (including the remote), a pair of USB ports, an ethernet port, an HDMI port and a memory card slot.
Like most Android TV boxes out there, it is powered by Android 9 Pie (no 10) and includes Android TV features like built-in Chromecast and access to many apps through the Google Play Store.
Photo: Ematic South Africa