DSTV Explora 3 set to replace Explora 2: Everything you need to know

As it stands, DStv Explora 3A, the newest iteration of the Explora family is set to eventually replace the Explora 2A. As is the case with every new DStv Explora, some features are discontinued when you upgrade. However, it’s more of a give and take. You lose some and win some.

The good news is that the DStv Explora 3 retains most of the features introduced in the DStv Explora 2. For starters, the pricing has remained exactly the same since the first Explora which cost R999 ($68) without installation and R1699 ($115) plus installation.

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Secondly, the DStv Explora 3 still sports a 1TB hard drive introduced in the Explora 2 which offers 110hrs of recording time. This though pales in comparison to the 2TB hard drive in the original Explora which offered double that at 220hrs or recording time.

DStv implemented High-Efficiency Video Encoding (also known as HEVC). HEVC is a high compression technology which results in using less recording space than previously.

Last but not least, the Explora 3A, like its predecessor the Explora 2A comes with 3 tuners: one for viewing, the other recording, and lastly one for Catchup/BoxOffice.

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Here’s what’s new

Form factor: The first visible difference with the DStv Explora 3A is that it’s much smaller than the Explora 2A. The Explora 3A measures 225 x 158 x 50 mm compared to the Explora 2A which measures 310 x 160 x 47 mm. Due to this small form factor, DStv has remixed a number of features out in the open and also under the hood.

Display: For one, the Explora 3 does away with a front panel display in favor of an LED light to show when it’s powered on.

Ports: A solo USB port is still braving on where once upon a time they were four. Add to that, it’s the end of the road for the old-school RF IN and RF OUT ports. These ports are not included in the Explora 3A. The remaining USB port can still allow you to connect a Wi-Fi Connector to connect internet for Catch Up Plus.

Smart LNB: DStv recommends using the DStv Smart LNB LMX 502 for first time Explora installations and Smart LNB LMX 501. The older Smart LNB LMX 500 will no longer be manufactured.

Smart Card: The Explora 3A sports a smaller Smart Card the size of a standard SIM card compared the older ID card-sized Smart Card.

Fan: The Explora 3A doesn’t include a fan, unlike its predecessors. To compensate for this absence, it has a heat sink to cool the internal components.

Explora 3 Full Specs

Recommended Retail Price R999/$68 (without installation)
R1699/$115 (with installation)
Dimensions and appearance Black
No Front Panel Display
225 x 158 x 50 mm
Hard drive/Recording space1TB (110 hours)
Remote controlA7, compatible with A5 and A6
ConnectionsHDMI
Ethernet
Optical
USB x1
Unicable IN
Unicable IN power rating 19V, 500mA
Power12V DC, 2.5A (max)
Gross package weight1.784kg