Netflix or Showmax… That is the ultimate question when it comes to streaming services that we  have in South Africa, yeah I might have spoken in the past about Viu but then I do not see it having a bigger piece of the pie due to the content they have at their disposal. So with this article I am going to only concentrate on the two big guns in our shores which are Netflix and Showmax.


Netflix has a tiered strategy where you find that their price range from R99 to R169 as the main prices and on the side they were busy testing a R239 Ultra package late last year which is said to have superior sound when compared to what we have at the moment maybe that might become available for all of us in the future. So with the three main packages which I have used at a certain point of my year or so of using Netflix and they are Basic at R99, Standard at R139 and Premium at R169. When you sign up you get a 30-day trial.



Showmax, as far as I know, has only one tier which is their R99 package and on top of that, you get a three months trial offer when you are on dstv thereafter it remains free if you are on DStv Premium and R45 if you are on DStv Compact or Compact Plus and if you are not on DStv you will only a 14-day trial and at the end of that trial you pay the full R99.


The other thing about these tiers is that each tier has an amount of devices that you can use on at the same time with Netflix limiting you to 1 device on the cheapest one and then allowing you up to 4 devices on the Premium package and then with Showmax on the other hand, saying that you can register up to 5 devices and then with those devices you can only use up to 2 at the same time.

Video Quality


Netflix with their different tiers use different quality standards when it comes to visuals and those are as follows SD for Basic, HD (1080p) for Standard and Ultra HD (4K) for Premium.

Showmax only delivers its content in HD (720p).


Platform Support


Netflix has an Application for almost every other device out there from your iOS, Android, Xbox One, PS4, and Windows. Showmax on the other side has Applications for PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS and I been struggling with the fact that they do not have an application for Windows unlike with Netflix meaning you only watch their stuff online by means of a browser when using a Windows Device like a Laptop or so.


Usability of Apps


I have used Netflix and Showmax on a PS4, Android phone, and a Laptop and with the hours I’ve raked using those services on those devices I’ve deduced that Netflix is far more superior than Showmax when it comes to their usability because for some reason Showmax looks like it’s all over the place meaning for me I only use it when I know what I want to watch whereas with Netflix everything looks clean and very organized. As mentioned above I do not like the fact that with Showmax they do not have an Application for a Windows based device which makes the whole thing look inferior to its competition when watching something via Google Chrome or Maybe Microsoft Edge.




With content, if you want stuff you haven’t watched before then I suggest you go the way of Netflix as they have a variety of shows  you can watch due to their Netflix Originals Films and shows. Those stuff range from Special Stand Up Comedy to Anime and everything in between whereas on the other side Showmax has a lot of shows you would normally get on DStv like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and a bunch of other shows you would only get on Dstv and then something I like above Showmax is the fact that at times they show, shows way before it gets to Dstv a prime example being Marvels Cloak and Dagger.




I started using Showmax early last year as part of my DStv Premium package and I’ve got to say I enjoyed using it very much. However when I then heard of 13 Reasons Why I then tried out Netflix. I enjoyed watching shows on Netflix so much that I actually stopped watching DStv for a good 6-7 months I only got back to DStv due to my wife wanting to watch certain shows that we couldn’t get on Netflix So out of the two products, we have in our hands I’ve got to say Netflix takes the trophy due to the visual quality limitations that Showmax on the other hand has, their applications which when you open look like they are all over and then the fact that they do not have an application got Windows devices is a thorn for me as you might have noticed above.

So yeah that’s my take when talking about the two services above. Now the question gets flipped to you. Which of the two do you prefer let’s talk in the comments section or maybe via Twitter.


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About the Author Thabang Modau

The name is Takalani Modau but for some reasons I go by Thabang, I'm from Soweto. I'm a huge music fan, it doesn't matter what you bring to me as it's great I will bump to it. I live with my wife, son and my younger sister. I have a full time job as a uhm lets say Data Capturer. I spent most of my day with headsets on if I am not listening to something on Spotify then I am watching something on YouTube or Netflix. I have been blogging on and off since 2012, it started as a means of me sharing my views on certain things to people in general and so forth. . I hope you enjoy reading my blog. if you want to get in touch please hit me up on twitter.


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