Ultimate TV Streaming Showdown: ShowMax Vs DSTVNow and Netflix


ShowMax announced that its on demand Internet TV service has been rolled out to several African countries and Uganda is included. Their presence in the country obviously battles other streaming services like the recently launched Netflix and Multichoice’s DSTV . As we’ve seen before, the advent of Neflix and ShowMax bare no particular threat to DSTV’s satellite offerings, it directly competes with DSTV Now, Mulichoice’s internet on demand TV service. DSTV Now is the home of DStv on the move. Unlike Netflix and ShowMax, DSTVNow subscribers can watch Live TV,  and enjoy also DStv Catch Up content at your convenience on a variety of devices, from desktop and laptop computers, to a multitude of Android and iOS-based tablets and smartphones. DStv Catch Up is a feature of DSTV Now and it is a video on demand service, available exclusively to DStv Premium customers with an active PVR subscription.  The subscription price for both Netflix and ShowMax is the same but Netflix comes with more original programing than ShowMax. What all of them lack, are deals with local carriers to integrate special data bundles for video streaming, and ShowMax and Netflix lack mobile money integration an easy an convenient way to pay for goods and services in Africa due to the huge number of the un-banked. Here’s a quick and easy-to-read comparison of ShowMax Vs Netflix Vs DSTV Now, showing all their their offerings and local prices.


Content duration
Over 30,000 hours of content including Netflix original titles
Content is typically available between 7 and 28 days from date of first broadcast. Plus local content
Over 20 000 episodes
Maximum devices per account
6 devices
Unlimited as long as you pay PVR Access fee
5 devices
Simultaneous streaming on multiple devices
1 device for Basic plan / 2 for Standard plan / 4 for Premium plan
Unlimited as long as you pay PVR Access fee
2 devices
Live TV
Streaming quality
SD for Basic plan / HD for Standard / UHD for Premium
Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD). But DStv Catch Up videos are currently only available in SD
Content is delivered via adaptive streaming up to HD (720p). We chose 720p as the best realisable resolution based on common connection speeds.
Per hour data usage
0.7 GB for SD/ 3 GB for HD/ 7 GB for UHD
0.8 GB for SD/ 1.2 GB for HD
As as estimation 1GB per Hour for HD streaming
Number of downloadable content for offline viewing
Not available
You can Remote Record. This is a free service for South African DStv customers.
There is a limit of 25 complete downloads per account, across all your devices.
App availability
PC, Android, iOS, XBOX, PS
Android, iOS
Android, iOS, Smart TV
Telco perks (special streaming bundle)
Free Trial
1 month
Doesn't apply
1 week
Countries Where to access service
Worldwide apart from China,North Korea, Syria and Crimea
Only African countries where DSTV airs
Several African countries including Uganda
Monthly Subscription
UGX 27,0000
Free DStv Premium customers with an active PVR subscription
UGX 27,0000
Payment MethodVISA, PaypalVISA, Mobile MoneyVISA, Paypal


Summary of advantages:


  • Ability to download 25 shows
  • Has African based shows
  • Available on virtually any device with Internet connection
  • Available worldwide for frequent travelers
  • Uses less data for SD content


  • Includes Netflix original titles
  • Can stream up to 4 devices simultaneously
  • Can stream HD and UHD (4K) resolution videos
  • Available on virtually any device with Internet connection
  • Available worldwide for frequent travelers
  • Uses less data for SD content


  •  Includes local content via Live TV
  • Free for existing DSTV subscribers
  • Unlimited devices connected and streaming as long as you pay Access Fee
  • Pay Via Mobile Money on your DSTV premium account

Based on the comparison, whichever service you choose seems to have its pros and cons, whereas Netflix promised original content , DSTV Now compensates with Live TV.  ShowMax and DSTV have local African content. And for the soccer fans, Netflix and ShowMax both have done nothing to lure you away from DSTV yet. The conclusion of most showdowns are all similar and this will be no different, at the end of the day it comes down to the costumer’s choice and what they can afford.

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Roger Bambino
The love for gadgets and technology is deeply rooted in his DNA, he is a blogger and really obsessed with cool devices. Roger is the EIC at Techjaja and also he loves creepy movies, and takes you very, very seriously. May be!!