How to fix StarTimes Free-to-Air decoder TV Set-top box ‘NO ACCESS NO SERVICE’ problem

In gesture to phase out analogue TV broadcasting system, different TV set top box decoders were introduced in Kenya as the key devices to be installed with the ordinary colour TV in order to access the TV digital signal channels.

Amongst the popular brands of the TV set top boxes are StarTimes, bambaTV, GoTV, Crystal TV, DSTV etc. Unfortunately, each of the set top boxes mentioned above usually come with problems that are not covered in the user manual troubleshooting section.

Startimes decoder happens to have a version of set top box that comes with two options; the paid-to-view channel and FTA channels option- thus standing out as the best choice for unfortunate Kenyans who might sometimes fail to raise monthly subscription fee.

As indicated in one of my previous posts, I had some little trouble setting up the FTA startimes decoder set top box- the problem couldn’t even be solved by following the instructions given over the phone by the startimes customer care tech representatives.

The trouble I was having began exactly after the expiry of the decoder trial period of one month. Under the trial period, the customer is usually allowed access to all the available TV channels both free to air and the paid to air. And the decoder worked fine in the period indicated.

After the trial period, it is expected that free-to-air channels would continue showing while the paid-to-air channels are cut, unless the customer pays subscription fee required. But it was not the case with my new FTA decoder.

In fact, the TV displayed ‘ATTENTION! NO ACCESS NO SERVICE’ after the completion of the auto channel search. The same displayed on every channel, which was not right because I believed it was supposed to be so only to paid-to-view channels.

Since I couldn’t find the reliable solution from the customer care reps I spoke with over the phone, I decided to take it back to the dealer. The technician fumbled with it for some time trying to figure out the root of the problem. It still displayed ‘NO ACCESS NO SERVICE’ and the channel search couldn’t turn out with any received channel.

While the decoder was powered, the technician removed the smart card and returned it, then resumed the channel search. Unbelievably, the decoder successfully searched and received over 100 TV channels- and it seemed like the issue was solved even though the technician herself wasn’t sure.

Anyway, it has become a periodic adjustment in the sense that; whenever the subscription period expires (after each month of resetting), the same thing happens, and I have to REMOVE AND RETURN the smart card while the decoder is running, before resuming auto channel search. Then everything would be fine. Remember, removing the smart card while the decoder is powered is one trouble shooting warning the user manual restricts.

It is kind of ridiculous when what is warned against turns out to be the source of the solution. If this solution fixed my decoder problem, I believe it can work for anyone having similar trouble with startimes FTA set-top box.

6 Responses to “How to fix StarTimes Free-to-Air decoder TV Set-top box ‘NO ACCESS NO SERVICE’ problem”

  1. irene jerusa says:

    my star times decorder does not show some channels

    • henry says:

      There might be the problem with your antenna. It has to be installed as described on the user’s manual. Or try purchasing there own recommended antenna.

  2. Patrick says:

    My startimes decoder is no longer working because once I try to open it, I find the message saying that ‘channel list is empty’, so if there is someone who would advise me for what to do in order to fix it. He or she is welcome.

  3. Kiyeng Edwin says:

    How do subscribe to star times payment for free to airtv

    • henry says:

      I don’t thin k there is any form of subscription needed. There is a Startimes free-to-air set top box decoder just purchased as such- capable of airing all local TV channels besides a few international. It is different from the old version which is strictly paid-to-view. The free-to-air is a bit expensive and has the option to subscribe for paid channels too.

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