How to get Showmax on your TV
So you want to watch Showmax, but you don’t want to squint at your smartphone or tablet, you don’t want to set up your laptop on the coffee table, and you don’t want to buy a smart TV? There may be hope.
Here are seven surprisingly inexpensive ways to watch all the series episodes, movies, kids’ shows and documentaries on Showmax on your big-screen TV without upgrading to a smart TV. Because, let’s be real, Game of Thrones (all seasons are on Showmax) won’t be done any justice on your smartphone screen.
Connect your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable.
If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-in port, it probably came in with the Ark and it’s time to get a new one.
Cost: Prices from R100.
Pros: Cheap, you just need an HDMI cable.
Cons: You’ll need to position your laptop close to your TV and may need to get out of your seat to pause GoT while you get more popcorn. That’s unless you have a remote app on your smartphone or a super-long HDMI cable, in which case you’re sorted.
Got an iPhone or iPad? Find a secondhand model of the Apple TV and AirPlay direct from your iThing to your TV.
All the Apple fanboys out there have upgraded their outdated Apple TVs to the latest generation model (Showmax has a new app specifically for the 4th generation model running tvOS 10.0 or higher). That means older models are sitting in cupboards and gathering dust. Time to raid OLX, Cash Converters, or your nephew’s box of discarded technology. You can AirPlay Showmax from your smart device via the Apple TV for the big-screen experience.
Cost: R?… How good are your negotiation skills? If you pay more than R500, you’re doing it wrong.
Pros: With the Apple TV, even the older models, you’ve got other apps to choose from like YouTube, so you can also stream the latest hilarious YouTube cat vs cucumber videos to your TV and blast your Abba’s Greatest Hits album to the neighbourhood.
Cons: Your TV still needs an HDMI-in port for the Apple TV to be plugged into and you’ll need a Wi-Fi network set up at home. For AirPlay to work, both your smart device and the Apple TV need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Got an Android smartphone or tablet? Get a Chromecast.
Chromecast is like an Apple TV for non-sheeple. Basically, Google Chromecast is a media-streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port. You can then open up the Showmax app on your phone and “cast” the shows you want to watch from the app straight to the TV.
Cost: About R1 000
Pros: Simple to use and works with pretty much any Android smart device.
Cons: Google Chromecast devices are as rare as hen’s teeth in South Africa. Best to ask a friend to buy you one as a gift the next time they’re overseas.
Plug your smartphone or tablet straight into the TV.
It’s a little-known fact that many phones and tablets can connect direct to the HDMI port on a TV via Mobile High-Definition link (MHL). You’ll need to do some Googling about your device to see if it supports MHL and then get yourself an MHL cable. If it does, you’re in luck. You can just plug in your phone and your screen will be mirrored on the TV. Some older Android phones have a micro-HDMI output which makes life even easier as they usually come with the cable in the box.
Cost: About R1 000
Pros: Simple to start using – just plug and play – plus no Wi-Fi network is needed.
Cons: Finding the right cable can be a bit of a pain.
Got an Explora decoder? You’re in luck – Showmax is now on the Explora, and Showmax subscriptions are totally free to DStv Premium subscribers.
To get Showmax on the Explora, just press the blue DStv button on the Explora remote, scroll to Watch Now, and select Showmax. Take note though, you’ll need to connect your Explora to the internet to be able to access the full Showmax catalogue. For that you’ll need to buy an ethernet cable to connect your Explora or a DStv Wi-Fi Connector.
Cost: Free – if you already have an Explora connected to the web and a DStv Premium subscription, because DStv Premium subscribers now get Showmax at no extra cost! Get a DStv Explora for R1 499 or as part of your DStv subscription. A DStv Wi-Fi connector is priced from R349 and ethernet cable from R25.
Pros: Quick and easy. Just sign up for Showmax, add it to your DStv bill, and start watching.
Cons: You will need to connect your Explora to the internet to access Showmax.
Not keen on using your phone, laptop or tablet to stream to your TV? Get an Android TV set-top box.
Android TV is a media player that connects to the internet and lets you “cast” 4K (that is, super-HD) content directly to your TV screen. Part of the Google stable, it’s similar to Chromecast, but there are two main differences: one, you don’t need to use your phone or tablet (meaning you can choose to not actually be holding your smartphone while you’re watching TV); and two, the set-top box is more expensive than a Chromecast stick.
Cost: The cheapest Android TV media players will set you back at least R1 000 right now.
Pros: You can use a remote instead of your phone or tablet to stream content to your TV.
Cons: It’s more expensive than a Chromecast device.
Gamer? Get the Xbox One or the Sony PlayStation 4.
Showmax has launched apps for the Xbox One and the PS4, which means you can now watch Showmax on your TV through your gaming console. Both the Xbox and the PS4 act as media players – all you have to do is install the Showmax app from the Xbox or PlayStation Store, and then get your binge on.
Cost: Well, free, if you’ve already got an Xbox One or PS4. But if you’re in the market for a new gaming console and want to watch Showmax on your TV screen without also buying a smart TV, you can expect to pay R5 000 for a new Xbox One or PS4.
Pros: They’re gaming and video streaming consoles all in one.
Cons: This isn’t a cheap solution – but it’s cheaper than upgrading to a smart TV and getting a new gaming console!
Don’t have Showmax yet?
Start my free trial »