Before you decide, here is what you need to know:
Firstly let me tell you it’s not for the those that want to keep up with the latest shows that aired last night on US television. It’s more like a catch-up service. If you missed out on top TV shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Arrow, Game of Thrones, Weeds, How I Met Your Mother, or maybe you want to watch a classic like Friends again. Before these streaming services where available in SA, the only way was to buy the expensive DVD’s/Blu-rays or get a pirated copy, illegally downloaded.
For those who have watched top TV Shows episodes back to back will know that it can be far more entertaining than going trough tons of movies trying to find a good one. Both services has got loads of movies too, but don’t expect to see the latest ones. Anyway if this sound good to you let’s get started.
First of all you will need a lot of data, just about 1-3Gb of data for an hour of viewing depending if you are planning to stream standard or high-definition content. If you only have access to capped mobile data like 3G or LTE it would not be viable. You will need an ADSL line. You can either get a large capped package or go for a premium uncapped account. A Home Uncapped is not recommended because it’s mainly for browsing and emails, not streaming. While 2Mbps will do, a 4Mbps or higher line speed is recommended. I would suggest a Premium Uncapped 4Mbps DSL
ShowMax or Netflix?
I had a look at both these services and I know that most people would say that Netflix is the best, simply because it has a larger library. ShowMax has a smaller library of content but they have good quality show and a selection of local and Afrikaans content.
ShowMax has the rights to a number of shows, including Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, True Detective, Girls, Breaking Bad, Blue and Entourage. Netflix also has a number of original shows and movies you won’t find on other services, such as: Hemlock Grove, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Sense8, Making a Murderer, Narcos, Beasts of No Nation, and Master of None.
Furthermore Netflix is great if you know what you want to watch or are doing so from your laptop with a browser like chrome or internet explorer. What if you want to watch from the comfort of the couch with only a remote in hand then it becomes a different experience altogether. Yes, Netflix has got a an app for most smart tv’s, Xbox, Playstation as well as Apple TV and Android TV boxes, but their app is terrible for browsing especially on the new Apple TV. ShowMax has got an app for Android TV and they promised me that an app for the new Apple TV is on the way and should arrive within the next 3 months.
Update: ShowMax has got an app for Apple TV 4 and has updated their app for iPhone/iPad to support Airplay. Only Airplay can be used on older Apple TV’s.
ShowMax puts their best shows on their landing screen where Netflix forces you to browse on your computer to get to the good stuff and then search what you want to watch on your Apple TV or Android TV box.
Still can’t decide which one? Your best bet is to try both services. Netflix has got a month free trial, while ShowMax has got a 7 day trail. Just cancel before your trial is over and you won’t be charged. ShowMax sells monthly vouchers at selected Pick n Pays.
If you still can’t make up your mind, just get both. They are cheap enough. ShowMax is only R99 per month and Netflix starts at $7.99 per month for SD and $9.99 for HD.
To get ShowMax go here: SHOWMAX
To get Netflix go here: NETFLIX
My next article would be on how to choose a device for online streaming. Like our facebook page to keep updated : SilverStax on Facebook