What Happens to Recorded Shows when you Downgrade your DSTV Subscription?

Can you watch recorded content after missing DSTV subscription payments?

This is really an interesting question that many have asked at one point or the other. Say you have a DSTV Explora and have been subscribing to the DSTV Premium or Compact bouquets. These are the bouquets for which DSTV offers the PVR functionality. Now, for one reason or the other, you wish to downgrade to the DSTV family bouquet. Perhaps, you have even decided to cancel your DSTV subscription altogether. What happens to Recorded Shows when you Downgrade your DSTV subscription?

How many hours recording are there on the DSTV Explora?

The DSTV Explora 2 and 3 have 1TB of storage. This allows you to record up to 110 hours of content. The original Explora actually had greater storage capacity. It could accommodate up to 220 hours of content.

DSTV Explora 3

What happens to your content if you cancel your subscription or downgrade?

When you downgrade or cancel your DSTV subscription, you lose access to all your recorded shows. So, the shows are only available on condition that you keep up your subscription.

Not really fair

To be frank, this appears to be rather unfair and arbitrary. If I have shows recorded on my decoder, then it follows that the shows are legally mine. I should then be able to keep watching them even when I cancel my subscription. It’s not as if any of the shows are stored on DSTV’s servers. And it’s not like the decoder in my house belongs to DSTV!

Why you can’t watch recorded DSTV shows after cancelling your subscription

Apparently, the reason why it’s not possible for people who have cancelled their subscriptions to watch recorded shows on their DSTV decoders has to do with the fact that all the shows are encrypted using the Smartcard Conditional Access System. The moment you stop subscribing, your decoder no longer receives the relevant key to decode the content. So, you go out of the loop, as it were. As soon as you make the appropriate payment, the shows become accessible.

5 thoughts on “What Happens to Recorded Shows when you Downgrade your DSTV Subscription?”

  1. This is absolute bull shit. I cancelled my subscription for various reasons but mostly because I got a TV box. I hated repeats.
    I have Rugby World cup games recorded, which only after tonight I realized I cant watch anymore. They are my recordings and it belongs to me. This just angers me more and glad I got rid of this device in the first place. RIP DSTV…

  2. I recorded my favorite programs while paying for DSTV. They belong to me as I have paid for them.
    Why cant I watch them anymore after cancelling my DSTV subscription?

    • Yah. That’s a point. But this is what exists on the ground. You will have access to your shows once you have paid your subscription. Otherwise there is no access.

  3. I have just downgraded from Premium to Family package and found an error code when I tried to watch a recorded show on my PVR. I have two Explora decoders linked through Xtra View. I went online to DSTV chat and after waiting quite a while, the PVR functionality was restored to both decoders with all previously recorded shows available to watch.


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