How much data do you need for ShowMax?

Fibre to the home, LTE, 3G, ADSL, VDSL, tin cans and string: the number of ways you can get connected to the internet is increasing fast and, as a result, getting more confusing. Yet all this choice leads to one practical question: is my broadband connection good enough to stream video using services like ShowMax?

And that question really breaks down into two halves. How much data does ShowMax use, and how fast does your internet connection have to be?

And the good news is that the answers are “not that fast” and “not as much as you think”.

Allow us to elaborate.

ShowMax doesn’t require a high speed connection

Believe it or not, ShowMax videos will stream seamlessly over a 2Mbps ADSL connection. A 4Mbps connection is recommended, but the technology for internet video is clever enough these days to adjust the video quality to suit the available bandwidth.

If your line is slow or someone is downloading games in the other room, ShowMax will reduce the video quality rather than pause for buffering.


ShowMax doesn’t use much data

Should you go capped or uncapped? If it’s streaming video like ShowMax that you’re after, you might be surprised how little data it uses. At lower quality, you’re looking at around 300MB for a half hour episode of your favourite comedy.

At full HD quality that might go to over a gigabyte.

Unlike other video streaming services, ShowMax also gives you full control of how much bandwidth you use. Uniquely, you can override the in-app settings to prevent ShowMax switching to higher quality, more data intensive video. You can set it to only stream in low, medium or high definition to conserve your bandwidth.

So what does that mean? Let’s put it in perspective of a light TV watcher (five hours a week), an average TV watcher (23 hours a week) and a couch potato who watches 33 hours a week.

How much data does Showmax or Netflix use per month

Showmax data consumption easily fits into an affordable monthly cap.

You can save money and get better quality with a cap

Given that capped data bundles are generally more reliable than uncapped, because the data isn’t shaped in the same way, you might be surprised to find out that you can watch as much ShowMax as you like on a high quality capped data bundle and still save cash.

The graph above shows that an average viewer can get away with a modest 150GB cap.

Cost: 10Mbps DSL line – approx R399/month* 150GB daytime cap – R299/month Showmax – R99/month Total = R797/month Unlimited LTE – R799/month Showmax = R99/month Total = R898/month 10Mbps ADSL line – R399/month Uncapped ADSL – R797/month Showmax – R99/month Total = R584/month

Cost excludes Telkom line rental (not applicable for LTE)

But wait, there’s more. ShowMax has recently launched a partnership with Telkom, so that if you’re on the right package from that network operator ShowMax downloads won’t be included when calculating data costs and caps.

The only extra cost then is for the ShowMax subscription itself. And because you can download ShowMax video content to watch later – unlike many of its rivals – you can use free WiFi or other internet services to get your shows and view them at home without touching your personal data connection at all.

When you do that math, you’ll stop asking “what do I need to get ShowMax” and start asking “when can I get ShowMax?”.

Don’t believe us? Check out Showmax’ bandwidth calculator here to put your own usage to the test, and sign up for a free trial of Showmax here.

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