December, the Friday of the year has arrived and many locals are counting the hours until their offices close for the festive season.

While planning our holidays we realised that something we hadn’t accounted for was entertainment. Yes, we know, you can stream content from almost anywhere these days but our concern is the data we need to do it.

Using Showmax’s handy data calculator we determined that at eight hours of streaming a week (conservative for the holidays we’ll admit) we found we would use about 5.6GB of data per week. That amounts to R299 on Cell C’s network and while that is decent, that’s R299 we could be spending on gifts.

So this December we are going to abuse Netflix and Showmax’s ability to download series and movies on a tablet or smartphone for offline viewing.

It should go without saying but you will of course need an active Showmax or Netflix subscription to download content.

The limitations of our plan

The first issue we have is initially downloading all of the content we want to watch.

To get around this we’ll be using the office’s internet, free WiFi hotspots and the kindness of friends with uncapped internet. We’ll also make use of Night data which operators have started to pair with data bundles. This will allow us to download content at night while we sleep.

The next issue is storage.

Both Netflix and Showmax allow you to download content at a set quality. On Netflix, Standard quality video requires less storage but has lower quality. Over at Showmax, Low Quality will save you space but the definition of the picture will be lower.

Another problem we have is that Showmax doesn’t allow you to download content on a PC. You will only be able to download content on an Android or iOS smartphone and tablet.

You could get yourself an MHL adapter which allows you to plug an HDMI cable into a converter which then connects to your handset but we urge you to check the compatibility with your handset and TV before purchasing anything.

For Netflix users, the app for Windows 10 will allow you to download content onto your laptop or desktop.

How much can you download and how long can you keep it?

Before we dive into how much you can download we need to clarify what you can download.

Not all titles on Netflix are available to download so you will have to search for specific titles while looking for the download icon on the description page.

As far as we are aware all the content on Showmax is available to download.

For how much you can download, with Showmax you are limited to 25 series or movies, to clarify this one episode of a series counts toward that quota.

For Netflix you are able to download 100 series or movies onto your device.

Regarding how long you can keep content on your device, Showmax is the more convenient option here. At time of writing content from Showmax will stay on your device for 30 days. However, once you start watching something you have 48 hours to watch it before it disappears.

Netflix is slightly more complicated in this regard. Each title on the service has different rules for expiration and the time you have left to watch the content once downloaded will be displayed in the app.

Together these two apps should give you enough content to get you through the festive season.

Still looking for entertainment? Try out the YouTube app for Android which allows you to download most of the content on the site. We have experienced trouble downloading music though.

For music, Google Play Music, Deezer and Spotify all offer downloads for offline listening but you will need a subscription to do this. Now might be a good time to take advantage of Spotify’s R5.99 Premium subscription deal.

With all of these options your holiday entertainment should be sorted. Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to slyly use the office WiFi to download Maniac.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]