New ShowMax tool promises 75% data savings

ShowMax is trying to woo subscribers with a new data saving tool. (Supplied)
ShowMax is trying to woo subscribers with a new data saving tool. (Supplied)

Johannesburg - Local internet television streaming service ShowMax has launched a bandwidth capping tool that promises to cut data consumption by as much as 75%.

ShowMax launched in South Africa a year ago as an alternative and competitor to international TV and movie internet service Netflix.

But Naspers’ owned ShowMax has said that a recent consumer survey revealed that a factor holding back new sign-ups to internet TV is the “cost of data”.

ShowMax, in a statement, further said the amount of data needed to stream content can be 1GB per hour or more.

Subsequently, ShowMax has lifted the lid on a new data measuring tool that allows users to choose a quality level and the number of hours watched per week to calculate weekly and monthly data usage.

“ShowMax has been actively addressing the data cost challenge, first by introducing the ability to download TV shows and movies to take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots, and now by introducing user-selectable bandwidth capping on most of its apps,” said the company in a statement.

“Subscribers can select either a low bandwidth cap of 0.3 GB/hr, a medium cap of 0.7 GB/hr, or leave usage uncapped.

“The low usage setting equates to a resolution of 360p, the medium equates to standard definition 480p, while uncapped can deliver up to 720p high definition,” said ShowMax.

Do you use ShowMax? What do you think of the service and the video on demand sector in South Africa. Tell us by clicking here.

ShowMax said that bandwidth capping settings can be accessed either via the settings or app preferences menu on most apps, or by using the settings button on the play bar if connecting via a web browser.

ShowMax's new data capping tool adjusts streaming quality. (Supplied)

The company has further said that its bandwidth capping can be adjusted differently for the app versus the web browser version of ShowMax.

“We purposefully made bandwidth capping applicable at the individual app level rather than have a blanket setting for the account,” said Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer at ShowMax.

“This way, it’s possible to chose a lower usage cap for smaller screens – perhaps for the kids watching cartoons on a tablet – while still having the full HD experience on a big screen TV.

“The data cost challenge is greater in Africa than almost anywhere else and ShowMax has been at the forefront of tackling this, first with downloads and now with bandwidth capping. The key to success in Africa is tailoring your service to local needs,” said Ernst.

*Fin24 is part of Media24 which is owned by Naspers.

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