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Internet TV means you can watch what you want, when you want, and say goodbye to ad breaks and week-long waits between episodes of your favourite shows.

It’s TV on demand, wherever you are. All you need is a subscription to an internet TV service like Showmax, and a device that can connect to the internet – a smartphone, tablet, laptop or smart TV.

Sound expensive? Let’s look at how little it actually costs.

How much does the subscription cost?

Showmax costs R99 per month – that’s less than what you’ll pay for a trip to the movies. And considering a large cappuccino from Vida e Caffe costs R28 these days, you only have to skip four coffees a month to more than cover your Showmax subscription!

  • Showmax R99
  • Two movie tickets R130
  • McDonald’s Sharebox Chicken with McNuggets R145
  • Gautrain ticket from Sandton to OR Tambo R151
  • A DVD on iTunes R169
  • A cup of coffee every day before work (@ R20/cup) R400
  • Case of South African beer R220
  • Game of Thrones DVD R396

And if you’re a DStv Premium subscriber, you get Showmax included in your Premium subscription at no extra cost. DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers pay only R49 per month for unlimited access to Showmax. Read more here.

With the monthly subscription, you get access to over 35 000 series episodes, movies and kids’ shows including local favourites like Becoming Mrs Jones and Binnelanders, hit shows from HBO, including all seasons of Game of Thrones and the boxset of The Wire, as well as series you will find only on Showmax and nowhere else, such as the first Showmax Original Tali’s Wedding Diary and gems that include the very fresh, very adult SMILF and Nordic thriller Jordskott.

Plus, stream on two devices simultaneously – set up Kids Profiles on different devices so you can binge on grown-up shows like The Affair and Ballers on the laptop while the kids watch Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol on the tablet.  Browse all series and movies here »

Data costs

Since you need to connect to the internet to access internet TV, you’ll need to pay for data. But there are ways to make sure you don’t spend too much on data.

Showmax offers two options – watch online (called “streaming”), or save (“download”) a show or movie to watch offline.

Streaming means you’re using data while you watch. Stream all the shows and movies you like with Showmax, but watching two hours a day will use at least 3GB a week. Considering the cost of data nowadays, that can add up quickly.

Cut the data cost of streaming from Showmax by adjusting your quality settings.

The better the quality setting you use to view, the more data you’ll use. Showmax has a bandwidth-capping function that reduces data costs by letting you select a lower streaming video-quality level. Check the calculator to figure out how much you need »

Shopping around for the best-value internet service provider will help you save on data, too.

For example, Telkom has great deals that give customers plenty of data for free or at dramatically reduced costs to use specifically for streaming video at home and on their mobile. Check out for more.

Downloading instead of streaming will save you a lot on data when you use the Showmax app for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.

It lets you download up to 25 series or movies at a time and keep them for up to 30 days. You can then watch them offline, meaning you won’t use any data.

But you’ll need data to do the actual downloading. Always try to download while you’re in a Wi-Fi zone (shopping malls with free Wi-Fi/the airport/your rich aunt’s house), where you won’t use your own data to download, so it won’t cost you anything. This way, all you’ll pay is the R99 subscription fee per month – your data costs will be pretty much zero.

If you do use your own data to download from Showmax to watch offline, though, the costs are pretty similar to streaming. You’ll use between 100MB to 500MB, depending on the quality, to download a 30-minute show.

So you see, all it will cost you to get internet TV is R99 per month (unless you’re a DStv customer, in which case you’ll pay nothing extra if you’re on Premium and only R49 if you’re on Compact or Compact Plus), plus your data costs, which are easy to keep tabs on and reduce when you need to.

Still not sure?

Go to to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Start my free trial now

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