DStv extra view explained – definition, cost, setup & problems

You are here because you have a question or two on DStv extra view. So, I took some time to describe the idea of DStv Xtraview in detail.


In this article, I explain DStv Xtraview, cost, decoders you can use, how to install extra view and problems one can expect in an extraview set up. So, without wasting time, let’s get on with it.

What is Extra View?

DStv Extra View
Connect 3 Decoders on XtraView

Extra View is an economical and convenient way of watching different channels on different decoders under one DStv subscription. So, instead of having multiple DStv subscriptions for each decoder, you can link the decoders under one DStv subscription.

To put it in simple terms, let’s assume that we have family members who may want to watch different TV channels at the same time. This can cause family members to squabble over the remote control. So, extra view solves this problem by allowing each family member to watch a different channel.

To add to that, you and your family can record different shows on separate decoders. When using Extra view, you can watch up to 3 live TV channels at the same time.

What is the 2020 DStv extra view price?

In order to use DStv extra view, you have to pay your regular DStv subscription fee plus a monthly access fee of R100 per month for each extra decoder in the setup.

How much does it cost to install extra view?

The cost of installing a DStv extra view varies with the complexity of the DStv set up. On average, the cost ranges between R300 and R350 if you have all the required accessories. However, the type and number of decoders determine the price. In some cases, you may need to use splitters if you have a mixture of old and new decoder models in your extra view setup. As a result, this may increase the cost of your extra view installation.

The latest decoder models require less cabling than old decoders since they do not use the communication cable. In this situation, the communication between the extra view decoders goes through the smart LNB. So, if you have the latest decoders, the prices tend to be cheaper.


How does extra view work?

Extra view works by linking one or two secondary decoders to a primary decoder. This enables the decoders to share a single subscription. But, you can only link a maximum of two secondary decoders to a primary decoder.

The primary decoder sends a heartbeat signal to the secondary decoder every 90 seconds through a communication cable or a smart LNB.

If you are living in a building that uses a single dish or a communal system then you might not have access to the smart LNB. In such a case, you can use a DStv smart switch to link your decoders.

If the secondary decoder does not receive the heartbeat signal it displays an E143 error message. But what exactly is a primary and secondary decoder?

Primary and Secondary Decoders

The primary decoder is the main decoder that has the subscription. Likewise, the secondary decoder is the decoder that shares a subscription with a primary decoder.

So, secondary decoders in an extra view setup can watch the same TV programming that is available to the primary decoder. For example, if a primary decoder has a premium DStv subscription then the secondary decoders will also have access to the DStv premium subscription.

How to install DStv Extra view?

In order to successfully install your extra view, you need to know basic DStv set up connections. If you are techy then you will find it easy to do the job without any hassles.

Otherwise, leave us a message on our contact form and we will send you a reliable DStv installer to help you with the set up.

What type of decoders can you use for Xtraview?

You can use all the new and old decoder models from Multichoice for extra view connections. That is all Explora, HD, and SD decoders. However, for the triple view set up, you cannot use HD PVR and SD decoders.

As a general rule of thumb, if you want to connect three decoders in an extra view set up then one of the decoders needs to be an Explora. However, there are instances where I have seen three HD decoders connected in an extra view installation.

What type of LNB can you use for Extra view?

If you have the latest decoders (Explora 1, 2, or 3 and HD decoders 5s or 6s) then you can either use a smart LNB or a smart switch for your extra view set up. But, for old decoder models, use a universal twin LNB or a DStv smart switch. Also, make sure that you are using an 80cm dish for the best signal reception.

How do you connect DStv extra view cables?

DStv extra view installation diagram
DStv Extra view installation diagram

The picture above shows the DStv extra view connection diagram for a smart LNB. Each decoder needs to receive good DStv signal strength and quality for extra view set up to work.

First, connect the coaxial cable of each decoder to the smart LNB. If you have recent or newer decoder models then use the uni-cable ports on the smart LNB. Otherwise, if you have old decoder models then you can use the universal port. Remember Explora decoders use the uni-cable ports. HD decoders can use both uni-cable and universal ports.

The Heartbeat Connection

Once you connect all the decoders to the LNB, proceed to link the decoders using a heartbeat or communication cable. The primary decoder uses a heartbeat cable to send a heartbeat signal every 2 – 3 minutes to a secondary decoder to confirm the connection. If there is no heartbeat signal then the secondary decoder will display the error E143.

If you are using a smart LNB then you don’t need to connect a heartbeat cable between the decoders. Here is why: all new decoders can send and receive the heartbeat through the DStv smart LNB or smart switch. This set up is known as Uniview installation. So, don’t freak out when you see decoders that do not have an RF-out port at the back.

If you are using a universal twin LNB then you will need to connect a communication cable from the RF port of the primary decoder to the RF ports of the secondary decoders. If you want to link 3 decoders and additional TV points then you can use a triple view splitter.

Remember the primary decoder should always be on at all times for the extra view to work. Otherwise, the secondary decoders will display an error message that says “waiting for communication from the primary decoder“.

How do I activate DStv extra view?

Make sure that everything is working correctly before you begin the process of activating your DStv extra view. First, check if all the decoders are playing channel 100. Then check if the primary decoder is sending a heartbeat signal to the secondary decoders after every 2 – 3 minutes. Likewise, the secondary decoders must be receiving the heartbeat signal coming from the primary decoder. Otherwise, the secondary decoders will display the error E143 which means there is no communication between the decoders.

You can easily check the extra view status of a decoder by doing the following steps:

  • Press the “Help” button
  • Go to “General Information
  • Then go to “Extra View

If everything is working fine then call Multichoice on 011 289 2222 (South Africa only) to activate your DStv extra view. Otherwise, call the nearest DStv agent in your country to activate your extra view.

If you need technical help in setting up your extra view then contact our accredited installers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Error message E143 “Waiting for communication from primary decoder”.

This type of error message means your secondary decoder is not receiving a heartbeat signal from the primary decoder. A faulty communication cable or incorrect decoder settings can cause this issue. In order to fix the problem make sure that the primary decoder is switched on. Also, make sure that the heartbeat cable is attached correctly on both decoders on the RF ports.

What is DStv Xtraview?

DStv Xtraview is a way of linking 2 to three decoders under a single subscription. You pay an additional R100 for each decoder in the extra view. All decoders can watch different channels at the same time.

Which decoders are XtraView capable?

All new decoder models are capable of Xtraview. That is all versions of the Explora decoder and HD decoders. Older decoder models may present problems.

Can I connect 3 DStv decoders?

Yes, you can connect up to 3 decoders in Xtraview. It can be any combination of Explora or HD decoders.

Explora Decoders losing pictures intermittently

If you are using Explora decoders for your extra view and the signal comes and goes then there must be a problem in the setup of the decoders. Each decoder is supposed to use different userband on the LNB. So, if your setup is done incorrectly then your decoders will clash and lose the signal. This can easily be fixed by correcting the userband numbers the settings menu. However, when using the latest decoder models, use the installation wizard to specify the decoder number.