We have just come from the long Christmas holidays when we celebrated by spending – both time and money – with colleagues, friends and family. Then we woke up from our holiday reverie to face the tough and challenging month of January, when planning for household budgets effectively is like walking on eggshells.
Even though we’re now done with January, with many people and households heaving a sigh of relief, budgets are still tight. This means that cash is only spent on most essential needs – like rent, food and school fees.
(TOP: The poster of the Handmaid’s Tale, a series making its debut on Showmax this month).
But even during tough economic times, people still need and crave entertainment. And here’s where Showmax, a subscription-based video streaming service, comes in.
Being a streaming service means that once you’ve subscribed to Showmax (from as low as Kshs 250 for 3 months via Safaricom), you still need an internet connection to watch the series and movies on the platform.
And because internet packages are costly, they can limit your freedom to enjoy as much Showmax content as you want this February. And that just won’t do. Here are five ways to keep your internet costs as low as possible when watching Showmax:
- Use public WiFi (or office internet) to download shows then watch later:
We all spend time in areas with free WiFi every week, whether in the premises where we work or in public areas – like restaurants and coffee shops – where we meet friends and colleagues during (or after) work. Now that’s where and when you need to go to the Showmax app on your smartphone or tablet and select, then download your favourite Showmax content for free (in other words, without spending anything on data). You’ll save the series episodes and movies you’ve selected for later, when you can watch them wherever and whenever you are, offline. You can download up to 25 different series episodes or movies at a time, and you can keep each one for 30 days – though once you start watching something, you’ll have to finish it in 48 hours.
Now, next time you’re on your office internet or public Wifi, why not be among the first to download and watch Jordskott, the highly-rated Swedish drama, which made its debut on Showmax last week?
- Control data usage with bandwidth capping feature:
For those who have to purchase internet packages to stream Showmax, it’s advisable to put a cap on how much data you consume, especially when a single subscription is shared by many devices. Remember that a single Showmax subscription can be shared by up to five devices. Now imagine a situation where you’ve purchased, say, a 5GB bundle of data to last you a week, only to receive a notification after two hours, warning you that your data is 95% used, all because four other people in your family were sitting on their devices, streaming movies the whole time! It doesn’t really bear thinking about.
To avoid this, the bandwidth capping feature basically reduces your data usage while streaming Showmax content by managing video quality – by giving you ‘LOW’, ‘MEDIUM’ and ‘NO CAPPING’ options to choose from. The ‘LOW’ and ‘MEDIUM’ video quality options are ideal when watching Showmax from smartphones on the mobile app while the ‘NO CAPPING’ option is better used by subscribers with unlimited data subscriptions to watch content on smart TV screens. In value terms, ‘LOW’ streams at 300MB per hour, ‘MEDIUM’ at 700MB per hour, while ‘NO CAPPING’ streams at 1.42GB per hour.
Here is the video tutorial showing you the process for selecting and using the various bandwidth capping options:
- Use Safaricom Home internet:
Safaricom clients on the home internet package can now stream Showmax content more flexibly. This is because the telco has introduced two new packages for its Safaricom Home customers – that is Easy30 at Kshs 3 500 for 30 GB (valid for a month) and Easy50 at Kshs 6 000 for 50 GB per month (valid for 45 days).
- Subscribe to Surf@Home bundles:
The Surf@Home service provides home internet users with monthly unlimited WiFi access, allowing them to either stream or download content of their choice. The bundles are available in three packages – Surf@Home SMALL (with speeds of up to 5Mps at Kshs 1,000), Surf@Home MEDIUM (speeds of upto 10Mps at Kshs 2,000) and Surf@Home LARGE (which comes with speeds of up to 20Mps at Kshs 4,000).
The service is being rolled out gradually within major urban centres in Kenya.
- Take advantage of Poa! Internet network:
Unlike other service providers who package their bundles according to the amount of data that can be used during the subscription period, Poa! Internet gives its clients access to unlimited data for a specified duration – either one-hour, one-day, one-week, or one-month cycles. The one-hour bundle costs Kshs 10, the one-day costs Kshs 50, the one-week costs Kshs 350 and the monthly bundle is Kshs 1,500. With these options, one is then able to stream or download new series making their debut on Showmax including American Crime, Handmaid’s Tale, The Cleaner and Under the Dome, a series based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, without worrying about obscene data costs.
All these internet options should indicate to you, as an existing or potential Showmax subscriber, that you don’t have to forego your favourite shows just because of tight budgets. Because even before you subscribe to any data package, you can sign up and watch Showmax for free, for a whole 2 weeks.