07/06/2018 18:04 SAST | Updated 13/06/2018 09:29 SAST

Explained: What’s The Deal With Showmax And DStv?

SA’s most asked questions about Showmax and DStv are answered right here.


Ever wondered what the connection between Showmax and DStv is? These FAQs might answer your questions.

1. Is Showmax a channel on DStv?

No. Showmax is an internet streaming service that offers a catalogue of over 30 000 series episodes, movies, documentaries and kids' shows, all available at any time and accessible through the Showmax app or website from any internet-connected device - laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, gaming consoles and the DStv Explora.

A single Showmax subscription can be used to watch two different shows on separate devices at the same time. Up to 25 shows in total can also be downloaded at any one time for watching later offline.

Subscribers can download shows and movies onto their smartphones and tablets through the app to watch offline later, such as while travelling.

2. Do I need DStv to get Showmax?

No, Showmax is available to everyone. The difference is that DStv subscribers get great deals on the monthly subscription fee of R99.

DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax for free, and DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers get it for only R49 per month.

To get these deals, DStv subscribers need to add Showmax to their DStv bill by following these steps:

  1. Go to www.showmax.com and sign in.

  2. Go to Manage Account and click on Manage Subscription.

  3. Select "DStv add to account" as your payment method.

  4. Enter your South African ID number.

  5. Confirm your mobile phone number. A one-time pin (OTP) will be SMSed to this number to verify your account.

  6. Enter the OTP and accept the T&Cs. Your entire family can start watching Showmax on up to 5 devices.

  7. Get watching!

Don't have DStv? Go to www.showmax.com to sign up for a 14-day free trial. After the free trial, Showmax is billed at R99 per month. Showmax can be cancelled at any time, with no penalties.

3. Does Showmax use data even on the Explora?

Yes, Showmax needs data to work as it's an internet service. For DStv customers with a DStv Explora, Showmax will only work on the Explora if it's connected to the internet. Find out how to connect your Explora here »

If there is Wi-Fi available, Showmax won't use any mobile data, and shows that are downloaded onto subscribers' devices won't use any data when they are played offline. But subscribers will need mobile data or Wi-Fi to first download the app and the shows.

That said, Showmax has a couple of nifty tools to save data when streaming or downloading. Bandwidth capping prevents too much data being chewed up, and built-in video quality settings are designed to save data. The lower the video quality, the less data is used. Low and medium quality settings are perfect for watching shows on small screens such as on smartphones or tablets.

4. Does Showmax cost money?

That depends.

For DStv Premium subscribers, the answer is no. They get the full Showmax service for no additional cost, so for them, it's free.

DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers get Showmax for only R49 per month.

To cash in on these deals, they need to add Showmax to their DStv bill. Go to www.showmax.com/dstv for more.

Anyone else can get Showmax for R99 per month, as well as a 14-day free trial to test out the service. Go to www.showmax.com to register and sign up. (Showmax will ask for card details, but if the service is cancelled in the free trial period, no charge will be deducted.)

Showmax is also payable through Showmax vouchers, which are available at most major retailers, such as Pick 'n Pay, CNA and Game, as well as through most banks' loyalty schemes, such as FNB eBucks.

Showmax does require internet access to use.

5. Do I need a DStv Explora to watch Showmax?

No. Showmax is available on any internet-connected device if there's a Showmax app available for it, from Android and iOS phones and tablets to gaming consoles. It's also available on laptops and computers through the web player.

DStv connected Exploras are just one of the devices that Showmax can be watched on. The advantage of having Showmax on the Explora is that shows and movies are streamed directly to big-screen TVs without having to use any other device.

Wondering how to get Showmax on your Explora? Read more here.

6. Are there movies and series on Showmax that aren't on DStv?

Yes! As well as the hit Showmax Original Tali's Wedding Diary, Showmax is the only place to watch critically acclaimed series including Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, Marvel's Runaways, sexy romcom Younger and HBO series including The Deuce, The Young Pope and Animals S1-S2.

It's also the only streaming service in South Africa streaming Hulu Originals The Handmaid's Tale, Harlots, Casual and Difficult People. That not enough? Look out for full boxsets of fan favourites including Game of Thrones, Friends, Sex and the City, Insecure, Ballers, Girls, Downton Abbey and multiple seasons of Grey's Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory and more.

When it comes to documentaries, Showmax has launched a number of gripping doccies first in South Africa including Birthright: A War Story and Conor McGregor: Notorious.