Are you looking for an answer to the Showmax vs Netflix data usage question. Netflix and Showmax are the two favorite video on demand streaming options for South Africans. The homegrown Showmax has been around for a while now and it has been steadily growing since it’s launch. Then there is Netflix. This global VOD giant now has a firm toehold in South Africa, with about 350000 subscribers. Most South Africans get torn when it comes to choosing between Netflix and Showmax. Which one should you go for? In this article, we compare them in terms of data usage.
Comparing Netflix and Showmax data usage
Our investigations show that Showmax uses slightly less data that Netflix, based on an hour of usage. When streaming in standard definition (SD), Showmax will use up to 0.7GB per hour, while Netflix will use up to 1GB of data per hour. In HD, Showmax uses up to 2GB of data per hour, while Netflix uses up to 3GB per hour. Netflix also streams in Ultra HD (UHD), where data usage can be up to 7GB per hour. Unfortunately, Showmax has no UHD streaming. In fact, their streaming quality is limited to 720p.
|1GB per hour
|0.7GB per hour
|3GB per hour
|2GB per hour
|7GB per hour
So, who wins the battle?
To be fair, it may appear at face value as if Showmax wins the Showmax vs Netflix data usage contest. However, that is hardly the case. We have just noted that Showmax offers lower video quality.
With Netflix, you can stream up to 4K in video quality. That’s Ultra HD. Showmax is limited to 720p, which is entry level HD. That’s probably not good enough on really big screens.
Fact of the matter is, when it comes to streaming, you are going to need a lot of data. You can see the eye watering amounts of data that you need when streaming in UHD on Netflix.
Even Showmax’s 2GB per hour is a lot. You need an unlimited data plan to make it work. Otherwise you are going to run out of data pretty soon.
Let’s assume that you stream for the standard 3.2 hours per day. You would need 6.4GB per day on Showmax. That means you need about 300GB of data per month. It
Showmax is more flexible in term of data than Netflix
One thing that we have to say is that Showmax is more flexible in terms of data than Netflix. With Netflix, you don’t have that many options to save data. Yet, you get lot’s of data saving, but not as much as on Showmax.
With Showmax, you can set up your connection to use about 100MB of data per hour. That’s a lot less than what we have been talking about here. However, it’s only going to do if you are watching on a phone or tablet.
On bigger devices, SD should be the entry level. If you try to stream on anything lower, you will soon hate streaming altogether.
Summary: Showmax vs Netflix data usage
In this article, we gave a Showmax vs Netflix data usage comparison. We noted that Netflix offers a bit more flexibility in terms of how you can play around with the settings to reduce data usage.
One thing to note, however, is that data usage probably shouldn’t be the biggest of your considerations when choosing between the two.
Yes, it’s important to save data, but if you are going to be doing video on demand, you need to be well aware that you will need lots of it. One option is to try out Rain’s unlimited data plans.
We have previously looked at the amount of data that you need to watch a movie on Netflix. You can see from the article that you need a lot of data.
What do you think of the Showmax vs Netflix data usage debate? Is it a worthwhile debate? Personally, we would go for Netflix because it has more of what we prefer. But if you are into local South Africa shows, Showmax is the way to go.
If you have something to say, leave a comment below. You can also post any follow up questions on our Forum.