How much data does ShowMax use ?

How much data does ShowMax use ?

How much bandwidth and data does ShowMax use ?

When given the option to read a news article or read a how-to manual verses pushing the Play button to watch the same content in a video format, most people opt for the latter.

“Why read and when you can push play ?” is how we think today as we gravitate towards YouTube in order to learn a new skill, understand the latest tech, watch a review  or just be entertained with cats doing stupid things. (Check out my YouTube Channel for those things minus the cats)

In order to watch little 5 minutes video clips, a simple internet connection is required. However, when it comes to watching high-definition movies and TV series, broadband is ideal.

As more of South Africa’s streets and sidewalks are being dug up to allow for Fibre cable to be laid,  neighbourhoods are finally getting connected to real-internet speed.  Telkom is also doing their bit to upgrade exchanges to allow for VDSL which is much faster than traditional ADSL.  Coupled with this mass connectivity, are companies who are offering internet services at much cheaper prices than ever before which result in more people being able to afford even the basic but decent internet connection.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the scene is set and the timing is right for localised video services and to answer that call, South Africa’s latest Video on Demand service called ShowMax has entered the market.

What is ShowMax?

ShowMax is a Video on Demand service that allow customers to watch videos and TV series from any device. No need to download the movie or torrent it (coz that’s illegal)

What kind on content does ShowMax have ?

ShowMax has more than 10 000 hours of video content from the latest TV Box series to movies with the Best of British shows, KykNET,  kids channel and local South African content.

Is there any sport content on ShowMax ?


Can I watch ShowMax outside of South Africa ?

officially no.

How can you watch ShowMax ?

You can access the ShowMax system via your computer at or you can download the ShowMax app onto your mobile phone or tablet. It is available on Android, iOS and Smart TV devices such as the LG and Samsung

How much does ShowMax cost ?

There are two options:

  • ShowMax Basic – This package gives you limited access to the ShowMax library.
  • ShowMax Premium – This package gives you unlimited access to your favourite movies and series.

The Basic is FREE and the Premium subscription costs R99 per month and you get 7 day-trial which you can watch everything with no limitation.

You can pay for the service with your credit card or with a PayPal account.

What bandwidth is required to watch ShowMax ?

In order to have a decent experience with ShowMax content you need at least a 1mb line to stream content on one device. If you want to stream content in high-def and on multiple devices you will need a 2Mb or 4MB line. Essentially, the better your line the better the experience.

How much data does ShowMax use ?

This is the big question. I ran some tests on my 8mb ADSL line using my home WiFi and here is what I discovered:

I watched 10 min of Season1 / Episode 1: The Norwood Rapist on the Criminal Minds and it consumed 119mb. A normal TV series episode is around 22 minutes as we are watching it without the adverts and therefore it would be around 250mb. If you watch that in full HD then the data would be around 400mb.

A Movie in High-def would be between 1GB and 1,5GB as an estimate depending on quality and length of movie.

By way of comparison: a 10 min YouTube clip is around 50mb.


How much bandwidth and data does ShowMax use ?

note: without a sanitised test-bed environment, these figures are estimates and based on my connection with my WiFi but do offer a representative quantity in a “normal” household. Many factor can sway these numbers such as your internet connection type, how close you are to the exchange, what else is being downloaded on your network at the same time, if you are wired verses using the WiFi etc.

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter

19 thoughts on “How much data does ShowMax use ?

  1. This ain’t giving us solutions to reduced piracy… It still costs (data consumption). I’d rather download a torrent and keep it forever.

  2. Well, started with SowMax last night , really looked forward to it, I used a 10Gig ram, i7 fast laptop, with Telkom ADSL subscription 10 Mbps & 100 Gig data pm line – sounds more than adequate??? reality is we normally never see more than 3.4 Mbps out of that 10 on Tekoms internet speed test and being Saturday eve reception so poor the speed test could not even connect at times never mind even reflecting the reason for making My first experience of showmax a FrustrationMax and ShowNix event , so goodbye Naspers and suggest you kick Telkoms but to what been a nice experience.

  3. I have signed up already a month ago and paid R 99. Since yesterday I cannot sign up on my computer. The message is “secure Connectioin Failed”. I do not know where to go for assistance. Any idea?

  4. Easy to say contact showmax. Where can you contact them any person that can help
    On my mobile I have a 1,-110 code. What does it mean. Can’t complete the episode

  5. Im running out of data fast when watching a movie I can’t even finish it if one would ask that 99 I pay monthly what is it for if I’m going to use my data please help

  6. Agree with previous point. If I stream 1 hour 45 on YouTube it used up 350mb. 1 episode of breaking bad on showmax cost over 1gb. Something going on with showmax data consumption but no one to call. Might go on hello peter

  7. Showmax is great but is costing us a lot of data,it cost R99 per month but actually is costing more than that,showmax do something.

  8. I am not good with technology. I want to know that if I want to watch a serie on Showmax, say episode three, do you have to download the entire serie and then watch it whenever you wavt, or how does it work? Is it not better to download say early in the morning and then you can watch at 8pm when lines are overloaded, but you don’t have to worry about the speed?

  9. You guys are complaining about data consumption and your R99 you have to pay. If you’re so un happy go pay 800 for a dstv acount..stop whining and show a little appreciation

  10. @ test: For R800(Dstv) I can watch for the whole month, try 5hrs on SHOWMAX and see how much data + R99 you use and get back to me.

  11. I have had showmax for three weeks. Using LTE broadband, speeds of 10-20 Mbps. I connect to my tv from my iPad using an hdmi cable and play through the showmax app. Problem is: very very poor picture quality, pixelation, and often just “hanging”. I contacted showmax and they said it is because an hdmi cable connection is not supported, only an Apple TV story would work. Does anyone have a suggestion??

  12. get uncapped fiber its cheap and you don’t have to worry about what its going to cost, and yes R800 a month for DSTV to watch repeats 99% of the time? Please SABC is alost better tan DSTV at this stage

  13. I have been using showmax for 5 months now on a uncapped slow 1mb line on a 32″ led screen through hdmi using my google chrome on my media centre, and i have little to no problems playing anything on showmax as long as no other devices are connected to my wifi

  14. I got Showmaxfor 2 weeks now, with 2mbps DSL uncapped Telekom linewith Wif. The show keep on freezing even if we watch in SD. I think we are going to cancel Showmax! Does anybody have advise?

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