Startimes, the electronics and media giant has invaded the solar power market in Kenya with affordable Solar Home Kits.
The digital and satellite television service provider is now selling solar systems across the country using the pay-go (Lipa Polepole) model.
Pay-go is an installment-based payment model that allows clients to obtain the solar system and thereafter pay for it in daily, weekly or monthly installments.
The Startimes Solar panel has a power output rating of 30W and has 90 cells, while the lithium phosphate battery is rated at 90Wh.
Apart from lighting and powering the digital TV, the system can also power DC appliances like music systems, fans, blender, etc.
Startimes Solar System Components
The S100 Startimes Solar Home System comes with a 30 Watts Solar Panel, a Lithium Phosphate Battery, 4 bright LED lights, and a 24 inch Digital TV.
The system also comes with necessary accessories such as mobile chargers and TV power cables.
24″ REAL High-Definition TV
The system comes with a 24″ Startimes Digital TV with either aerial or dish, depending on your needs and budget.
The 24″ Startimes Digital TV boasts of a slim, sleek LED design with high definition graphics, yet low power consumption.
The TV comes with an inbuilt decoder, giving you non-stop entertainment.
This TV also features a 720p resolution (1366 x 768 pixels) which means that you will enjoy high-quality videos and pictures.
Additionally, it comes with USB and HDMI connections which allows you to connect your external devices.
The TV also comes with two –inbuilt speakers which give you quality sound ensuring you get every speech with much clarity.
The StarTimes Digital TV boasts of a Dolby sound effect, giving you an assurance of excellent entertainment experience.
On matters compatibility, the Digital TV features two USB2.0 ports and two HDMI inputs, making it possible to hook up your TV with any Digital device.
With these diversified entertainment capabilities, you are not restricted to only watching TV, but you are at liberty to listen to music and play video games.
On matters content, Startimes scores better than any other Paygo TV Service Provider in Kenya, with a collection of 80+ Premium channels available to the Solar Home System clients.
Not to forget that Digital TV has a built-in decoder, granting you an opportunity to enjoy the many interesting TV shows and movies without the need for a decoder.
30W Solar with 90Wh Battery
The Startimes Solar Home Kit comes with a 30W solar panel and a 90wh lithium phosphate battery.
The battery is able to power and sustain the 24-inch Digital TV and any other DC accessories such as subwoofers.
You are also assured of enough power to charge your mobile phones and run the four bright lights.
Worried about the runtime?
Well, the system’s battery will charge to full capacity within 4 hours.
When fully charged, the battery will sustain the 24-inch Startimes Digital TV for up to 9 hours.
You are therefore assured of uninterrupted entertainment for the better part of the night.
And if you are using the system for lighting and phone charging only, you are assured of up to 48 hours runtime with a single full charge.
Of the four bulbs, two are linkable extended reach, ensuring that your entire homestead is well covered.
The system is powered by a long-life lithium phosphate battery, that will offer excellent service for more than 5 years without the need for servicing or replacement.
The battery features an LCD interactive display that makes it easier to plan for your power needs.
The long-lasting battery also features two USB ports that will charge multiple mobile phones simultaneously.
Plans & Prices
The Startimes Solar kit is custom made to suit different needs and budgets, with a number of payment options available.
Startimes Solar without TV
If you only need a solar home system without a TV, you can get it at Ksh. 27,999 cash.
Still, if you prefer paying in installments, you can get the Solar panel, battery, and lights by paying a deposit of Ksh. 2,999 and thereafter weekly installments of Ksh. 385 for a period of 76 weeks.
Depending on your income schedules, Startimes allows you to also pay in easy daily installments of Ksh. 55 for the same period of 76 weeks.
The monthly mathematics for salaried clients is Ksh. 1,650 per month.
If you choose the installments model, you will have paid a total of Ksh. 32, 259 at the end of the 76 weeks.
Startimes Solar + TV + Antenna
If all you need is the solar system, the 24-inch digital TV, and a few channels, this plan is the most suitable.
For Ksh 54,999 cash, you get the 30W solar panel, battery, a 24″ TV + antenna, and the Nyota bouquet.
If you prefer paying in installments, you are required to pay a deposit of Ksh. 5,499 and thereafter weekly installments of Ksh. 700 for a duration of 82 weeks.
Still, you are at liberty to make monthly payments of Ksh. 3,000 or daily payments of Ksh. 100, depending on your income schedules.
You are required to pay a total of Ksh. 62,899 with the installment plan.
The Startimes Nyota bouquet that comes with this package, normally charged at Ksh 299/month for normal subscribers, has more than 40 TV Channels.
|Local TV Channels||KBC, NTV, K24, MBCI, ELIMU TV, BAITE TV, MCTV, The Health Channel, Border TV, CTN TV, NURU TV, KTN HOME, Ebru Africa, Citizen TV, Njata TV, Focus TV, ACE TV, Raia TV, Gikuyu TV, PPP, Rembo TV, and Capuchin TV|
|Religion TV Channels||Faith TV (Nairobi), IQRAA, GOD TV, Family TV, Times TV.|
|Movies and Series||ST Zone, ST Sino Drama, E-Stars, ST Kung-Fu, ST Real Time, ST Swahili.|
|Sports and News||ST Sports Focus, CGTN, Aljazeera.|
|Kids TV Channels||Smile of a child, JimJam.|
You can still get a few more paid channels by paying the price difference for any other Bouquet of your choice.
Startimes Solar + TV + Dish
If you need more paid channels and a dish instead of the antenna, then you have to pay a little more.
For Ksh. 59,999 cash, you get a solar panel, an 89.6Wh battery, 24″ TV + Dish, and the Startimes Smart Bouquet.
If you prefer paying in installments, you are required to pay a deposit of Ksh. 5,999, and thereafter weekly payments of Ksh. 840 for 88 weeks.
If you prefer making daily payments, you will part with Ksh. 120 daily for the same duration of 88 weeks.
With the installment plan, you will have paid a total of Ksh. 79,919 at the end of the 88 weeks.
|Local TV Channels||TBC 1, Salam TV, Border TV, Clouds TV, Dove TV, KTN, MTV Kenya, ITV, Star TV, Kass TV, Lolwe TV, Kameme TV, KBC 1, K24, Channel Ten, MTV Uganda, 3 Stones TV, Ebru Africa, Citizen TV, EATV, KTN News, Inooro TV, Kiss TV, STN, Rembo TV.|
|Religion TV Channels||Deen TV, EWTN, Iqraa TV, Emmanuel TV.|
|Music TV Channels||ST SA Music, ST Naija, ST Gospel, Nigezie, Wasafi TV, Trace Mziki.|
|Movies and Series||ST Rise, ST Zone, Fox Life, ETV, ST Africa, WAP TV, ST Swahili, Magic 1 HD, Star Life, ST Bollywood, ST Novela E1, ST Sino Drama, ST Realtime, ST KungFu, AMC Series, AMC Movies, E-Stars, ST Dasin Kowa.|
|Sports Channels||ST Sports Focus, ST Sports Arena HD, ST Sports Life, ST World Football HD, ST Sports Premium HD.|
|News TV Channels||BBC World News, France 24 E, TVC News, CNC World, Sky News, Al Jazeera, CGTN News, Africa News.|
|Kids TV Channels||ST Kids, Nickelodeon, Da Vinci, Jimjam, Smile of a Child, Mindset Learn.|
|Documentaries||Nat Geo Wild, CGTN Documentary, Animaux.|
Startimes Solar Full Specifications and Price in Kenya
|Solar Panel Rating||30W|
Battery & Lamps
|Runtime||Five daytime hours running 24-inch TV, plus five night time hours (on battery only) running 24-inch TV, 4 lamps, and Mobile chargers.|
|Available Daily Energy||180 Watt-hours per day|
|Battery Control||LED charging indicator displays charging effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5 to help optimize panel placement. LED battery indicator displays battery power remaining.|
|Battery Life||5-year maintenance-free lifespan|
|No. of Lamps||4|
|Screen Resolution||HD (1366 x 768)|
|Rated Power Consumption||36W|
|Audio System||Dolby ® 5Wx2|
|DC IN||12V DC*|
|Signal||DVB-T/T2 +S/S2 (Terrestrial, Satellite)|
How to get the System in Kenya
To get the Startimes Solar Home System in Kenya, contact Biashara Place on 0721114689.
A Startimes Agent close to you will get in touch and the system will be delivered to your location.
After installation, you will pay the required deposit and the system will be unlocked for use.
Note that Startimes does not accept any payments for the Solar Home Kits before delivery and installation.
Startimes Solar Advantages
|Longer Battery Life||
|More TV Channels||
|Excellent Customer Service||
How to Pay for your Startimes Solar
- Go to your M-PESA Menu
- Select PAY BILL
- Enter 585858 as the PAYBILL NUMBER
- Enter your 10 digit Device ID No. as the ACCOUNT NUMBER
- Enter the Payment plan AMOUNT
- Enter your M-PESA Pin and Select OK
- The control unit will automatically power on after payment.
- Still, you will receive a 15 digit activation code via SMS
- If the battery did not automatically detect the payment, enter the received code by pressing on the digit remote control.
- The system will then be unlocked.
PLAN A (Solar Home System without TV)
|Loan Duration||76 Weeks|
|Total Amount||Ksh. 32,259|
|Cash Price||Ksh. 27,999|
PLAN B (Solar + 24″ TV + Dish kits + Smart Bouquet)
|Loan Duration||88 Weeks|
|Total Amount||Ksh. 79,919|
|Cash Price||Ksh. 59,999|
PLAN C (Solar + 24″ TV + Antenna + Nyota Bouquet)
|Loan Duration||82 Weeks|
|Total Amount||Ksh. 62,899|
|Cash Price||Ksh. 54,999|
Startimes Solar in Nigeria
The new Startimes Solar Home System is also available in Nigeria.
The 30W Solar Panel with the 90Wh battery and lights but without TV costs 115,000.
If you would like to get the solar home system with the 24″TV + Dish, you are required to pay 226,000.
This package comes with a FREE DTH Nova Bouquet for one year, after which you can subscribe to a bouquet of your choice.
If the Nova bouquet is not good enough for you, you have the option of getting the package with a Smart Bouquet for 236,000.
Still, if you need more content, you can obtain the solar home system with a DTH Super Bouquet for a total of 256,000.
The good news is that you can pay for the system upfront or in easy installments.
To get the system in Nigeria, you are required to visit the nearest StarTimes office for details and installation arrangements.
Startimes Solar in Uganda
The home kit is also available in Uganda, on both cash and installment terms.
If you choose the installments plan, you are required to pay a deposit of 239,000 Ugx.
You are thereafter required to pay 21,000ugx weekly or 90,000ugx monthly, for a period of 730 days, after which you completely own the system.
Let’s have a look at how the StarTimes Solar TV compares with other similar products in the Kenyan market.
|Dlight X850+||SunKing Home 400||Startimes S100|
|Deposit (with 24 inch TV)||5,500||5,000||5,500|
|Deposit (without TV)||2,650||–||3,000|
|Daily Payments (with 24 inch TV)||114||110||100|
|Cash Price (With 24 inch TV)||59,200||55,000||54,999|
|Cash Price (Without TV)||34,500||–||27,999|
|Battery Runtime||6 hours||6 hours||9 hours|
Startimes Solar vs. Mkopa Solar
Let’s compare the features and prices of the new Startimes Solar and the now-famous M-Kopa Solar.
Gone are the days when people in the rural areas depended on kerosene lamps for lighting.
Solar energy is indeed changing lives and giving people with no access to electricity above-average connectivity.
To make it easier for more people to access solar power for home use, several companies have adopted the LIPA POLE POLE model, commonly known as the pay-go model.
This model allows customers to obtain solar home systems and pay for them in installments.
They completely own the systems once they pay the agreed amount in full.
This model has revolutionized the solar energy industry in Kenya, with more companies adopting it to tap into the growing market.
Startimes S100 vs. M-Kopa 600
Choosing the best solar home system is as important as obtaining the system to take care of your power needs.
M-Kopa is one of the pioneers in the sector, having begun full operations in the year 2012.
The company prides itself of having brought solar power to over 150,000 households in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Startimes is just a few months old in the solar power business and takes advantage of its reputation as an established TV content provider in Kenya.
As a consumer, the availability of several options to choose from is a big advantage.
And so, let’s have a look at what the two companies offer, just in case you need to make a decision.
We will compare the new Startimes S100 with the popular MKopa 600 since their prices and features are within the same range.
Startimes Vs. M-Kopa: Cash Prices
One of the key benefits that come with choosing a product from these two companies is the availability of a discounted cash price option.
This is not available with several other pay-go solar companies in Kenya.
Paying in cash is good for people who would like to pay less for the system, and therefore own the product immediately.
The cash price for the MKopa 600 with a 24″ TV is Ksh. 54,999. If you would like to get the MKopa 600, still with a 24″ TV but with a Zuku Dish, then you will pay Ksh. 69,999.
That’s an extra Ksh. 15,000 for the Zuku Satellite TV option, which gives you the benefit of access to more TV channels.
We will be comparing the available TV channels later, first let’s see the cash prices for the Startimes solar and TV.
To get the Startimes S100 with a 24″ TV, you are required to pay Ksh. 54,999 in cash. This is exactly the same amount as the MKopa 600.
Startimes also comes with an option to get the Solar System with TV and a dish instead of the antenna.
Just like the Zuku Satellite dish, Startimes’ dish has the benefit of better signals and more TV channels.
The cash price for the Startimes S100 with a 24″ TV and a dish is Ksh. 59,999. This is Ksh. 10,000 less than MKopa’s Solar with a similar TV and the Zuku dish.
One would, therefore, be right to say that the Startimes Solar home system is cheaper than Mkopa, and by quite a big margin.
The beauty of these solar home systems lies in the ability to enjoy their systems as you pay for them in easy installments.
One would be right to say that both Startimes and MKopa have manageable installments for their solar products.
If you choose the MKopa 600 with the 24″ TV and aerial, you are expected to pay a deposit of Ksh. 5,999 and thereafter daily payments of Ksh. 100 for 590 days.
This means that at the end of the payment term, you will have paid a total of Ksh. 64,999.
If you would like to get the same system but with the Zuku satellite dish instead of the aerial, you will have to pay a little more.
After paying a deposit of Ksh. 6,999, you are expected to make daily deposits of Ksh. 135 for a duration of 590 days.
This means that at the end of the payment term, you will have paid a total of Ksh. 86,649.
To get the Startimes S100 with a 24″ digital TV and aerial, you will pay a deposit of Ksh. 5,999 and thereafter weekly installments of Ksh. 700 for a duration of 82 weeks.
This means that at the end of the term, you are required to pay a total of Ksh. 62,899 with the installment plan. And that’s Ksh. 2,000 less than it’s MKopa equivalent.
If you would like to get the same Startimes S100 system but with a dish instead of aerial, you will pay a total of Ksh. 79,919 in 88 weeks.
This is after making a down payment of Ksh. 5,999 and weekly installments of Ksh. 840.
Again, this is Ksh. 7,000 cheaper than the MKopa equivalent. It’s therefore true that Startimes delivers almost similar solar products as MKopa at a cheaper price.
Battery and Accessories
MKopa is so much secretive about the battery ratings of its products.
This is probably due to the low battery capacity for all MKopa products, as compared with products from other PAYGO solar companies.
Any MKopa user will tell you that the maximum run time you can get at night with a fully charged battery is 2 hours when watching TV.
The Startimes S100 comes with a lithium phosphate battery rated at 89.6Wh. Taking them for their word, this is good enough to run both the 24″ TV and the lights for 6 hours.
An advantage that comes with MKopa 600 is the additional rechargeable torch and mini Radio. These are not available with the Startimes Solar home system.
Compatibility with other Products
The compatibility of the system with ‘foreign’ appliances is something you must consider before making your final decision.
Startimes Solar scores well on this important aspect. The StarTimes battery unit has three 12V ports that can run ANY appliance with the same rating, provided they do not exceed the maximum 5A output current rating.
The implication is that you do not need to buy a Startimes TV when you already have another solar TV.
The system will also generously run other 12V DC appliances such as music systems, blenders, fans, etc. Running such appliances will however reduce the battery runtime.
On the other hand, M-Kopa scores poorly on this aspect since it is impossible to use a non-M-kopa TV or Radio on the M-Kopa battery unit.
MKopa vs. Startimes Solar Panels
Both the Startimes S100 and Mkopa 600 solar panels have a maximum power output of 30watts.
This is good enough to recharge the respective batteries in a matter of 4 to 5 hours.
The new Startimes Solar Home System scores better than M-Kopa solar on several key aspects.