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DStv vs Showmax vs Netflix : Which service you need to choose


DStv vs Showmax vs Netflix : Which service you need to choose

Streaming has become a popular option for many who want to catch up on the latest TV shows.
DStv as a satellite TV service is now competing with video-on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Showmax.

While all services have their own unique offering, it’s no surprise to see the rise of more people adapting to video-on-demand streaming. In this case, Netflix and Showmax have been two of the popular services in South Africa. This is regardless of DStv Now service, which allows subscribers to stream shows on other devices.



The big difference

Netflix went live in South Africa back in 2016 and offers international tv shows, movies and documentaries. South Africans can only access a number of shows even though their pricing model comes with a free month trial.

And ShowMax can be described as a better option too. The service launched a year earlier (in 2015) and comes with a bunch of local shows, movies and more. ShowMax is owned by Naspers, the same company that owns DStv. Their pricing model is also fair and comes with a free month trial. Further, the service is available for DStv subscribers.

DStv requires much more when it comes to the setup; a decoder and satellite installation. While with Netflix and Showmax you’re set with a good uncapped internet or an Internet-connected smart TV.

DStv requires one to open an account to choose their preferred package and will pay a monthly fee to keep the service running. Netflix and Showmax also require one to setup an account to choose a package and will be offered a one-month trial (Netflix) and 14-days trial (ShowMax) to try out the service.


DStv premium package comes with a heavy price tag of R809 offering only 148 variety of channels. The package offers subscribers an option to watch on up to 5 devices on a single premium account.

Netflix’s premium package is priced at a very competitive R169 and spoils subscribers with over 3500 titles on their catalogue. On their premium package, you’re able to watch on up to 4 devices.

Showmax is priced at R99 per month, and that is the standard fee. They offer up to 683 titles with up to 5 to watch on.


DStv is extreme when it comes to local content, and it’s the reason why subscribers are attached to the service. But besides that, the service has been slammed by many for repeating shows and re-introducing old content. The service is a home to local channels like Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Channel O to name a few. Furthermore, sports channels are the reason why DStv will always dominate – because of their extended coverage of different sports and live games broadcasting.

Although Netflix is dominated by international shows, the service comes with fresh and original content that makes it unique from the rest. Their catalogue comes with a bunch of movies, tv series, documentaries and comedy stand-ups specials. It’s only a tiny of local content you will discover on the service.

Showmax delivers a great balance of both local and international tv series, shows, documentaries, films and more. If you’re a fanatic of local content and still want to dive into international shows, Showmax is the one (might as well call it the local version of Netflix).


Netflix and Showmax will cost you extra because of the internet charges, while with DStv you only pay for decoder, satellite dish and installation as extras apart from the monthly fee.

But for someone who cares about fresh and new content, Netflix wins the part. Showmax is a good option for someone who wants to enjoy a bunch of shows while keeping in touch with local shows. In this case, DStv remains the only option for those who don’t want to migrate to the online streaming services.

Below is an infographic that compares prices:

Infographic by 1Life

Which service do you prefer….?


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