Top 10 Free-to-Air Decoders in Kenya

Looking for affordable TV options in Kenya? Explore our top picks for free-to-air decoders that provide access to local and international channels with no monthly fees.

Jul 26, 2023 - 12:10
Top 10 Free-to-Air Decoders in Kenya
Top 10 Free-to-Air Decoders in Kenya

If you are in Kenya and looking for a cost-effective way to access your favorite TV channels without paying monthly subscription fees, then free-to-air decoders are the way to go. With the digital migration in Kenya, these decoders have flooded the market, offering viewers many channels to choose from. This article will explore the top 10 free-to-air decoders in Kenya, their features, prices, and the channels they offer, helping you decide to suit your needs and budget.

1. Bamba Decoder: The Radio Africa Group's Gem

The Bamba TV decoder, launched by Lancial Digital Broadcast Limited, a branch of Radio Africa Group, is one of the best free-to-air TV decoders in Kenya. Priced at Kshs. 3,299, it grants access to over 50 local and international channels. Register your Bamba TV within 60 days of purchase to avoid deactivation.

2. StarTimes: Pay or Free-to-Air, Your Choice

StarTimes Media International Television Company offers both pay and free-to-air decoders. Opting for the free-to-air option requires a one-time cost of Kshs. 2,500, transforming you into a free subscriber. If you own a pay decoder, this option allows you to switch and enjoy free channels.

3. ADN Decoder: A Tailored Viewing Experience

The African Digital Network (ADN) set-top box was designed to give viewers easy access to free-to-air channels and additional add-ons like internet services. Priced between Kshs. 3,600 to Kshs. 4,500, it offers over 15 channels without the burden of monthly subscriptions.

4. Sonar Decoder: A Pioneer in the Kenyan Market

As one of the first free-to-air decoders in Kenya, the Sonar Decoder has earned a place in the hearts of many viewers. With a price tag of Kshs. 1,741 delivers various television channels and clear, full HD images.

5. Phelister Decoder: Affordable and Feature-Rich

Introduced in May 2018, the Phelister decoder provides a free-to-air viewing experience without any monthly subscription charges. With features like full HD 1080P, USB input, and a personal video recorder (PVR), it ranges between Kshs. 1,400 and Kshs. 2,936.

6. Sky Life Decoder: Enjoy Over 70 Channels

Priced at Kshs. 1,799, the Sky Life Decoder offers viewers access to more than 70 channels. Its standout feature is the ability to record one channel while watching another, ensuring you never miss your favorite programs.

7. The Big Box: More Than Just Basic TV Services

From Safaricom, the Big Box free-to-air decoder stands out with its Android Jelly Bean OS. At Kshs. 4,999 provides over 30 channels and comes with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internet storage, expandable up to 32 GB.

8. Hotpoint Decoder: No Satellite Dish Required

The Hotpoint free-to-air decoder offers a fantastic collection of 28 channels without a satellite dish. Priced at Kshs. 3,195, it comes with a one-year warranty.

9. Technosat Ts 1500 HD: High-Definition Entertainment

Technosat is renowned for designing rugged, high-quality receivers. The Technosat Ts 1500 HD decoder, with its full HD MPEG 4 and blind scanability, supports USB 2.0 PVR.

10. SamsuTech DVB T2: A Diverse Viewing Experience

With over 30 TV channels and numerous radio stations, the SamsuTech DVB T2 free-to-air decoder is perfect for TV enthusiasts. Priced at Kshs. 4,999, it also supports media playback and recording via USB.

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How to Set Up a Free-to-Air Decoder

Setting up a free-to-air decoder is relatively easy, but there are a few things you need to know to get the most out of it. 

What You Will Need

  • A free-to-air decoder
  • A satellite dish
  • A coaxial cable
  • A TV
  • Remote control for the decoder

Step 1: Choose a Satellite

The first thing you need to do is choose a satellite to receive signals from. Many different satellites broadcast FTA channels, so you must research the ones that offer the channels you want to watch.

Once you have chosen a satellite, you must find its orbital position. This is the satellite's location in space, measured in degrees east. For example, the Hotbird satellite is located at 13 degrees east.

Step 2: Install the Satellite Dish

You can install the satellite dish once you know the satellite's orbital position. The dish should be pointed toward the satellite at a height that will allow it to receive the signal. The exact installation process will vary depending on the type of satellite dish you have. However, most dishes come with instructions to walk you through the process.

Step 3: Connect the Satellite Dish to the Decoder

Once the satellite dish is installed, connect it to the decoder. The decoder will have a port for the coaxial cable, and the cable should be connected to the dish.

Step 4: Connect the Decoder to the TV

The decoder also needs to be connected to the TV. The decoder will have an output port for the coaxial cable, and the cable should be connected to the TV.

Step 5: Turn on the Decoder and the TV

Once the decoder and the TV are connected, you can turn them on. The decoder will automatically scan for channels and display a list of them.

Step 6: Select the Channels You Want to Watch

Once the decoder has scanned for channels, you can select the channels you want to watch. You can do this by using the remote control for the decoder.


In conclusion, the Kenyan market offers a wide range of free-to-air decoders, each with unique features and benefits. Whether you opt for the Bamba decoder's extensive channel list or the StarTimes decoder's pay-to-free switch option, there's a decoder to suit every viewer's preferences. Enjoy a seamless viewing experience without the burden of monthly subscription fees.


Are there any subscription charges for free-to-air decoders in Kenya? 

Free-to-air decoders require a one-time purchase, and viewers can access various channels without monthly subscription fees.

Can I switch from a pay decoder to a free-to-air decoder? 

If you own a pay decoder from certain providers, you can pay a one-time cost to switch to a free-to-air decoder and enjoy free channels.

How many channels can I access with the Big Box decoder from Safaricom? 

The Big Box decoder offers over 30 channels and runs on Android Jelly Bean, providing additional features beyond essential TV services.

Does the Sky Life decoder support channel recording? 

Yes, the Sky Life decoder lets you record one channel while watching another, ensuring you never miss your favorite programs.

Which decoder is the most affordable?

 The Sonar Decoder is one of the most affordable options, priced at Kshs. 1,741, and provides a wide variety of television channels.

Do I need a satellite dish for the Hotpoint decoder?

 No, the Hotpoint decoder offers 28 channels without requiring a satellite dish.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on the data available up to the date of writing. The decoders' prices, features, and availability may vary over time. Please verify the latest details with the respective manufacturers or retailers before purchasing.

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