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If you’re one of the savvy Compact or Compact Plus subscribers who have added Showmax to their DStv bill, and are now getting Showmax for only R49 per month, good for you! Even though you’re getting a really good deal, we’re sure you have questions about how to keep your data costs down while streaming all the movies, series, kids’ shows and documentaries on Showmax. After all, you’ve saved 50% on the cost of the Showmax subscription – you deserve to save on data, too. (DStv Premium subscribers, who get Showmax at no added cost, we’re also talking to you, and Showmax subscribers who don’t have DStv will benefit from these tips as well.)

Sign up now »

Once you’re signed up, you will have access to Showmax on your DStv Explora (read our guide here). You’ll notice that when you select the Play Now option on the series episode or movie you want to watch on the Explora, you get to decide whether to watch in SD or HD, based on the amount data you’ll use while watching in each option. So you’ll know exactly what your data use will be, and can choose to watch in SD if you’re worried about using too much.

But you also get Showmax on up to five other devices, including your PC or laptop, smartphone or tablet. Streaming video can use up to 3GB of data per hour, which will end up costing a pretty penny, especially once you start bingeing a show that you just can’t look away from (hiiii, iNumber Number, Deep & Meaningful with Dawn Faith, and Isibaya!).

Here are the best ways to manage your data use on your smartphone or tablet, with Showmax’s nifty data management features:

1. Budget wisely

Estimate how much data you’ll need for your binge sessions by using the Showmax bandwidth calculator. This nifty tool gives you an estimate of the amount of data you’ll need to budget for, depending on your device, your streaming habits and the amount of time you plan to spend bingeing.

2. Use bandwidth capping

When streaming on most versions of the Showmax app for iOS and Android, you will have the option to put a cap on your bandwidth. This will help you to use less data.

On your tablet or smartphone, simply go to Settings, and select Bandwidth Capping.

Select Low capping to use the least data while streaming – as little as 0.3GB per hour – or Medium capping, to use only 0.7GB per hour. No Capping will use as much as 3GB per hour.

Read our guide to bandwidth capping here.

3. Stream in a Wi-Fi hotspot

Watch your shows while you’re on your lunch break at work, when you’re in a coffee shop, or at your friend’s parents’ house. We won’t tell!

4. Download to watch offline later

Download series or movies onto your tablet or smartphone using the Showmax mobile apps for Android and iOS devices to watch offline for free at a later time. This is an especially handy feature if you’ll be somewhere without the internet, such as in a plane or a car.

Read our comprehensive article on downloading with Showmax here.

Download up to 25 shows or episodes of a series at a time, and you’ll have 30 days in which to watch them. (Once you start watching a show, however, you need to finish it within 48 hours.)

Do this while you’re in a free Wi-Fi hotspot so you don’t spend a cent of your own data, or download at a lower quality if you’re using mobile data. Showmax gives you the option to download on four different quality settings. The lower the quality you select, the less data you will use and the less space the file will take up on your device.

Download on Low Quality, Standard Quality or Good Quality as opposed to High Quality to save on data.

Standard or even Low Quality are sufficient for kids’ shows, especially on small screens, and Good Quality is perfect for your own series or movies downloads.

And there you have it! There’s really no need to stress about your data use when you’re armed with these four tools to help you manage your data spend.

Don’t have Showmax yet?

Get Showmax for R49 »

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