Streaming Services in South Africa

By 26th Jan 2016 Oct 18th, 2016 6 Comments
streaming services in south africa

*As of the 26th Jan 2016, the Vidi service is unavailable. On the 3rd of Feb their website was still up. 

South Africa is moving more towards streaming based entertainment services. With the introduction of Netflix into our country, we have realised we need to do a comparison of the services. In this blog post we will compare the services of Netflix, Showmax, Vidi and DSTV Now.

What comes to mind, as Nerds, is the importance of streaming quality and options available. We also want to know the selection of content that the services offer and at what price. The table below outlines this:

Name of Service Quality Content Price Connection Required
Netflix  Standard and  HD. Internet  speed in South  Africa is not  suitable for  UHD.  +/- 750 titles

231 series

500 movies



 Currently priced in dollars. There are 3  per month options:

1.       $7.99 (+/- R140)

2.       $9.99 (+/- R170)

3.       $11.99 (+/- R200)

 0.5 Megabits per second – Required  broadband connection speed to 25  Megabits per second for UHD  viewing
ShowMax  Standard and  HD  +/- 1000 titles

400 series

600 movies

 R99 per month  3 Mbps uncapped or faster for an “improved  viewing experience”.
Vidi  Standard  +/- 300 titles

2 500 episodes

170 movies (100 come  with the subscription)

 R5 per day

R99 per month

R25 per movie rental

 A minimum of 1MB speed is  required but the higher the speed  the better the experience.
DStv Now  HD. Standard  for older titles  126 series and 26 reality  TV titles

142 movies

Allows for live streaming  and has talk shows such  as The Daily Show. 13  Show titles available.

Sport matches available  as well.

Constantly updated with  fresh and newer content


 R899 per month with the Explora. Only  Premium PVR and Explora clients can  access DSTV Now.

R27 for a box office movie title. You  must be a subscriber to access this  feature.

 You can use DStv Now on any  broadband Internet connection,  including ADSL, 3G/HSDPA,  4G/LTE or Wi-Fi.  We recommend  a minimum connection speed of  2Mbps, but for the best experience,  we recommend a 4Mbps line or  faster.

*Figures as of the 15th January 2016. All can work on a 2Mbps line, however we do recommend a 4 Mbps line. Please be aware that even if you are on a 4Mbps ADSL line you may not get that speed.

If you need to upgrade your line, we can help! Contact Dial a Nerd today!

But how good is the content on these streaming services?

The best value for money in terms of amount of titles is definitely Showmax. All services update their content so that is a given, however DStv uses the Now service as an add-on for current subscribers. So if you already have a DStv subscription, this is a great added value service, available on Android, iOS, Windows and online. All the services can be streamed through your Internet browser.

Netflix offers many interesting documentaries, well-loved and new series and movies. DStv appears to have the most recent content, but Showmax has the most variety. In terms of local content DStv Now, Vidi and Showmax have local titles. This is Netflix’s biggest weakness, with literally no local titles available.

Our suggestion is to look at what your family needs and wants. Netflix is great for people wanting to watch new things, whereas Showmax has very recognisable and good quality titles. Vidi and Showmax have older titles, but their variety of movies you can rent is much larger than its competitors. Vidi’s rental movies include new releases and old movies. DStv’s box office has only select few new releases. If sport is of huge importance, DStv Now is great, however Netflix does have streaming options overseas for this, so perhaps South Africa will follow.  For the kids, DStv, Showmax and Netflix have the better quality content.  Netflix also has a “safe-mode” for kids where there is only child friendly content. You can switch back to adult content when you are ready.

You can stream all services using a CloudGate Circle (Android) and CloudGate Square (Windows) device. Contact us today to order yours.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • ulla de la Chaumette says:

    I’m not sure if you are the right people but I am at my wits end with ALL service providers – we live at 46 Plantation Road which is in Eastleigh Edenvale Johannesburg. All we are looking for is uncapped internet which runs at about 20 average and that won’t KEEP dropping and to be with a provider that has ACTUAL customer service.
    PLEASE assist as we feel like we are living in the dark ages
    many thanks

  • Catherine Rich says:

    Dear Dial a nerd, I have recently cancelled my DSTV Prime service and opened a Netflix account which I am happy with. DSTV though is still charging me R 90 per month for the pvr function, although I have moved to the R 25 package on which I really don’t need pvr. When I called to cancel this additional function (which I presume is what allows one to pause and rewind shows/tv) they didn’t know if cancelling it will affect me ability to pause/rewind Netflix shows. Do you know if I can safely remove this function (and the cost!) and still use my Netflix account happily, rewinding and pausing shows?

  • RIAAN says:

    Good Afternoon

    Through which app can i stream ESPN?

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