I have monitored the Smart TV service for a while now, having obtained the Smart TV receiver two weeks ago. The following review is based on my personal experience using the service.

What is Smart TV?
Smart TV is a pan-African brand providing tailor-made and affordable pay TV solutions to consumers across Africa. Currently Smart TV is available in Ghana and is on the verge of commercial launch in Kenya and Uganda. Smart TV is a brand owned by Next Generation Broadcasting AB (NGB) and has been brought to Ghana by Next Generation Broadcasting Ghana Ltd., in collaboration with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

A Smart TV receiver

A Smart TV receiver

How to connect
If you are within the coverage area of Smart TV, you can pick the Smart TV receiver from any of their distributors.

The Receiver
The device itself cost 133 GH cedis and was picked-up from one of Smart TV’s distributors in Accra. It comes with the following features:

  • MPEG-4 SD & MPEG-2 SD compatible: it can handle free-to-air standard definition broadcasts compressed in MPEG2 or the newer MPEG4 formats
  • Conax CAS embedded: this technology handles conditional access since Smart TV is a pay TV service.
  • 288MHz High Speed CPU
  • Digital audio bit-stream output: it can push digital audio signals to a compatible home theatre system, for a crystal-clear sound output.
  • 7 day & full Electronic Program Guide (EPG) for on-screen channel information
  • 256 Color On Screen Display (OSD) with Multi-Language
  • OTA (DVB-SSU) Support: the device software can be updated over-the-air whenever the broadcaster releases an update.
  • OSD Teletext & DVB Subtitle
  • It can handle up to 1000 channels
  • Video output: it has ports for AV out, as well as SCART

The content
The services comes with 18 local & international TV channels in the following order:

  1. GTV: the state broadcaster takes the number one spot, beaming Ghanaian news and entertainment programmes.
  2. NET2: News and general entertainment.
  3. TV3 & eTV Ghana: this channel is alternated between TV3 and eTV. Both are news and general entertainment TV channels broadcasting from Accra.
  4. TV Africa: news and general entertainment with a pan-African outlook.
  5. Viasat1: general programming with focus on entertainment.
  6. GTV Sports Plus: a sports TV channel from the state broadcaster GTV. It constantly screens playbacks from the African Cup of Nations, FIFA World Cup as well as some Football League matches.
  7. Aptly named “Music”, this channels offers Kiss TV, a 24-hour music video channel from the UK.
  8. News: this channels offers AlJazeera English, the 24-hour news channels from Doha in Qatar that attempts to balance perspectives offered by the western media.
  9. Movies: this channel offers SILVER, a 24-hour movie channel from Sweden.
  10. Entertainment: this channel is home to Star!, an entertainment news channel.
  11. 1 Sport: Sentata Africa, a sports TV channel lives here.
  12. Homebase: this channel constantly screens Ghanaian movies and entertainment shows.
  13. Hi Nolly: a general entertainment channel offering nollywood movies and other entertainment shows from the stable of HiTV in Nigeria.
  14. Fox Entertainment
  15. Showtime
  16. BBC World News: a global news broadcaster
  17. GOD TV: a Christian-themed TV channel broadcasting from Jerusalem in Israel.
  18. KidsCo: a TV channel targeted at children. Much of the programming are animations.

Coverage area
Smart TV is presently available in Greater Accra Region, Ashanti Region, as well as parts of Central Region and parts of Eastern Region.

The good

  • Free, low cost: the service is currently free from now till early 2011. If you are not sure about if Smart TV is good for you, simply buy the receiver and try it between now and early 2011. I am told that the subscription will not exceed 20 GH cedis monthly even when they start taking fees.
  • Visual & audio clarity: since this is digital TV service, most of the TV channels are reasonably clear. With the BBC World News channel for example, one can hardly detect any difference in quality with the BBC offered via DStv.
  • Signal quality: the signal is so strong, I was able to detect it with a lowly “rabbit ears” antennae from a location outside Accra. Of course, its best to use an external antennae, where possible.
  • Variety: the service offers enough variety to meet the needs of just about anyone in Ghana.

The not-so-good
While some of the factors listed below might be outside the control of Smart TV, they do take some shine away from the service.

  • Limited coverage: the service currently covers the most populated areas in Ghana, but 6 other regions are still left out.
  • Adding other local TV channels on a more permanent basis would have made the service even more attractive.
  • The visuals of some of the local channels are less than perfect.

Verdict
Its hard to say if this service is ideal or not, for everyone. Individual tastes vary widely. Choosing to stay with free TV or pay a little for Smart TV is an individual decision one would have to make, given the facts at hand.

About the Author

has written 2807 stories on this site.

Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet entrepreneur with strong interests in web design & hosting. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.

46 Comments

  1. yaw says:

    i want to know the best satellite to buy as in strong dreambox astra which one do you think is the best

  2. yaw says:

    hey folks have got a samsung series 5 32 inch i think iis the asia edition i want to know how i can change it from analogue to digital

  3. john says:

    I have been trying to get a decoder without success for more that one week now from the dealers in North Kaneshie and Awudome. The dealers do not return my calls.

    This is bad for commerce!

    • Spencer Churchill says:

      Hello John. Please look no further than Cadmus at Osu Re opposite Rabito Clinic or a strong dealer opposite Frankies at Osu Re, Oxford Street.

  4. James Kwakye Twum says:

    I want to be an agent of the Smart TV. I am in Kumasi Manhyia, what are the qualifications and the procedure to follow? Thank you.

  5. James Kwakye Twum says:

    Spanish Laliga is now the most attractive league in the world, because of the current performance of Barcelona and Morino factors. I will therefore appeal to the management to try to add to the sports channels.

  6. azumah says:

    what is smart tv doing about the northen,upper east regions

  7. RALPH MINTER says:

    CAN U GET ME THE FREQUENCY AND SYMBOL RATE FOR C R T V NEW 50 CHANNEL STATIONS.THANKS N HOPE TO HEARING FROM U SOON

  8. Abraham Akiti says:

    is smart tv able to show emmanuel tv ?

  9. James Kwakye Twum says:

    I want to be an agent of the Smart TV. I am in Kumasi Manhyia, what are the qualifications and the procedure to follow? Thank you.

  10. John Awute says:

    Enchi ( a town in Western region of Ghana) is almost cut off from Ghana. The only terrestrial TV station we can access is GTV. This makes TV viewing really boring. We will be very happy if SMART TV could be brought to our door step.

    NB:Patronage? do not worry; we will do far better than those in Accra. To be sure, ask Dstv, Multi TV and Strong receivers dealers.
    Thanks.

  11. canal says:

    when is smart coming to the volta regoin?

  12. Ben akornor says:

    I have a stronge decoder can i u use it for smart tv.

  13. Jessica foli says:

    When is smart tv coming to the volta region?

  14. KENNEDY says:

    can you kindly tell me some of the league you normally telecast (live)and how many matches eg. spanish,premiership etc.

  15. prosper paris says:

    I am technician and i use to work market for known Tv stations when go out client used to ask me to get them smart decoders, how can i contact u and be an agent to sell to the whole Accra and beyond. thanks hope u soon ……..

  16. Meshach says:

    Smart tv is being much awaited for in Cape coast.. When at all is it reaching here?.. Can I buy d decoder in Cape coast and receive d signal from Kasoa?.. Is it possible to receive d signals using mpeg4 strong digital decoder (srt 4669x) ?… Please I need answers from anyone having indepth knowledge on the issues.. Thanx

  17. dan degraft says:

    i want to kwon how far smart tv has gone in the deal to telecast the la-liga.To get la-liga on smart tv? is’s a done deal.

  18. chorus says:

    i have friends who have these high definition decoders which is able to pick all the programs the smart tv decoder can,what will happen to them when we start paying monthly,are they going to watch for free while we subscribers of smart tv decoder pay,i want to know

  19. chorus says:

    The channel that show foriegn movies on the smart tv decoter shows very old movies it is too booring to watch.

  20. sterl says:

    Do you have a channel for wrestling.

  21. Abusco says:

    how can i get the smart tv

  22. cash man says:

    i just got scart mini TV box ( terretrial digital receiver) i scanned for channel and i got almost all smart tv channel, but the channels below are locked, can any body help me in watching those channels free;

    Hi Nolly – Locked
    Fox Entertainment – Locked
    Showtime – Locked
    BBC World News – Locked
    KidsCo – Locked
    ASN – Locked

    Please help me.

  23. Kwame Agyemfra says:

    Pls smart tv you are testing the airwaves and you are doing well but most of the programmes are outdated pls the NBA’s the foriegn movies etc just show the latest programme cos if l read most of the comment on your website people are getting pss off sometimes show some of crucial matches from England but always itialia seria A.Pls sit up b4 it get out of hand.

  24. Ahmed says:

    Pls Oluniyi, I don’t understand why the ASN station is on smart TV. It’s the most useless TV station on Smart TV and would be very glad, if that station is taken off or replaced. they only show pictures & old matches. We also hope La-liga is Telecast on Smart TV.

  25. henry Quarshie says:

    i bought this decoder not long ago but most off.english and spanish matches must be added to smart tv to make it lively.

  26. Masud says:

    I have an mpeg2 and i want to swap it with mpeg4. How can i go through with it

  27. noah says:

    how many stations has smart is the coverage at abetifi

  28. Wood says:

    I have a digital decoder from which I get the smart tv station but it is block. The digital have a card slot which can take our local pay tv card, so I to find out whether I can buy the smart tv card to use with my decoder and if I can what will be the coast of it.

  29. Wood says:

    is it possible that i can get the channels of the smart tv if i should use the paid service from smart tv on the digital decoder

  30. Henry Quarshie says:

    i am not happy at all about smart tv and sky.it was promised that if you load the sky card we will get both the sky channels and the old smart tv channels,but load and non is working ecept hombase.iv called the office but am still not getting the sky channels. Ajao, can you please help me?

  31. jonh says:

    Now the price ?

  32. edwin says:

    Plz where can I buy vouchers for my smart tv decoder in north legon,madina or haatso.

  33. If skyy tv will replaced e.tv ghana with e.tv and how can i get viasat 1 tv.i am from takoradi-ewusiejoe

  34. Divine Nibi says:

    Please send me your contact telephone numbers to me. I want to contact you

  35. miky says:

    plse we are not getting any of ur smartTV single from kumasi for almost 7 month now. l like to what happenig?

  36. Ayamba R. Justice says:

    I’am in kumasi and have the smart tv decoder but it is not working for about two years now. Why and when will it work?

  37. paul anazame says:

    please try and give us Islam channels so we the moslems can also enjoy your good service. thank you

  38. Isaac Y Mensah says:

    I was receiving smart tv pictures when in Accra. Now I am in Kumasi. Installers say I cannot receive any picture with my Smart decoder., why and when can I use it. Thank you.

  39. Yao says:

    Where are the outlets or better still who are the retailers? Can we view the world Cup Games in total?

  40. Joseph says:

    i do not get the signal in Ash region although i do hve the smart tv decoder,is it bcos u hve brought in new decoder,bcos i’m using the old type.

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