ShowMax has been around for some time now and has been the biggest streaming content provider in SA in terms of shows and movies. Its subscriptions are cheap, and its content is great, but when going head to head against Netflix, we have to take a few things into consideration.
RELATED: Netflix: South Africa Vs America
Netflix comes in three packages, whereas ShowMax comes in one. This is besides the different monthly bundles like the three month and six month sign up options. Netflix is a monthly service which is debited 30 days after signing up. Every new user gets a 30-day trial of the service, this does require credit card information to sign up for when the 30 days are over. The service offers three packages:
1 Screen $7.99 (R135)
This subscription lets you stream on one device at a time, in standard definition only. Anything that has the “HD” sign on it, will be downgraded to SD. This package is ideal for people who have slow internet and will not benefit from any HD streaming.
2 Screens $9.99 (R169)
The 2 screen option lets you stream on 2 devices at the same time. The option also allows for HD streaming, so those with a faster internet connection will be able to stream content in HD, be it 720p or 1080p.
4 Screens $11.99 (R200)
The top of the range package is the 4 screen package. This, like it says, lets you stream content to 4 devices at the same time. The package also comes with HD streaming, as well Ultra HD streaming for those users with super-fast internet.
ShowMax has one monthly package, with no extras like HD streaming and multiple devices. You pay R99 a month. There are 3 month or 6 month subscription that you can purchase at Pick n Pay. ShowMax also offers a 7-day trial of ShowMax Premium for you to test the waters before purchasing anything.
ShowMax Basic – Free
ShowMax Basic is a free package that lets you watch a very select number of shows without the need to pay. Although it is free, the content is minimal which makes it not ideal for anyone.
ShowMax Premium – R99
ShowMax has one package, and it’s its R99 a month package. This package comes in various bundles like a 3 month and 6 month subscription, in which you save money depending on the monthly bundle you purchase.
ShowMax vs Netflix Content
Both ShowMax and Netflix have a wide range of content available for your streaming, and when put them head to head against each other, ShowMax is pretty close in comparison to the local offering that Netflix has.
|ShowMax||Netflix SA||Netflix US|
|TV Shows||+/- 20,000 across +/- 400 Shows||+/- 200||+/- 1123|
|Movies||+/- 1000||+/- 476||+/- 4529|
|Local Content||+/- 200||0||0|
By default ShowMax streams to the most of your internet capabilities, but its highest output is 720p. Netflix is capable of 1080p and 4K where possible.
ShowMax stores all your watched content and listed content on one account, so if you like Teletubbies and your family watch on your profile, then they will be recommended certain shows on your viewing history.
Netflix on the other hand lets you create multiple profiles that each family member can tailor make for themselves, they can save watched content, and slowly get their own viewing preferences in tact by watching the genres that they prefer.
ShowMax has the ability to save content on mobile devices for viewing later. If you know you are going to be out of internet range, then you can download the show or movie you would like to watch, and watch it later on without the need for internet. Netflix has no offline mode at all, you need internet to access the service.
Another major factor is where can you watch these streams? Well, Netflix is available on every smart device, be it on your Smart TV, iOS device, Apple TV, Windows, Mac, you name it. ShowMax is the same, although it is limited when it comes to Apple TV and Chromecast as there is no app available as of yet.
As this is a non-sponsored post and completely from my own point of view, I would have to say that the best product on the market is still Netflix, but the American version.
Do yourself a favour and sign up for a 30-day trial, and make use of the website TVunblocker.com to enable all US content. You cannot go wrong with this.
ShowMax is great for local content as well as an easy-to-use platform that includes British movies and comedy, Netflix SA is a waste of money as we have pointed out before.
This leaves Netflix US, which is the best option, even when it comes to comparing it to the likes of DSTV. It has thousands upon thousands of hours of content, and for the same price of the South African version, it kind of feels like blind robbery when staying in the SA domain.