Holidays are always a welcome relief, but if you’re like some of us and didn’t make any special plans, binge-watching movies and series sounds like a grand plan.
Internet TV is your new best friend
Gone are the days of having to watch whatever you could find on the TV, with internet TV watch what you want, when you want it with no ad-breaks and at an affordable price.
There are three major internet TV services now live in Kenya: ShowMax (Kshs 330 for ShowMax Select and Kshs 880 for ShowMax Premium), Netflix (US$7.99) and Amazon Prime Video (US$2.99 for six months and then US$5.99).
With internet TV, all you need is the right device, like a laptop, smartphone, tablet or Smart TV and access to the internet and you can watch the best series and movies instantly – from Game of Thrones to The Big Bang Theory.
Here’s how to get started for free
- Sign up for a free trial
Holidays are the perfect time to test out internet TV. All services have a free trial when you sign up with credit card. On ShowMax, you also get the 14-day free trial if you use your PayPal details.
No credit card? No problem. In Kenya, ShowMax is the only service where you can pay with M-Pesa. ShowMax has two tiers: ShowMax Select at Kshs 330 per month (only available with M-Pesa) while ShowMax Premium is well, the premium tier, at Kshs 880 per month. Unfortunately, if you pay with M-Pesa you can’t access the free trial.
- Download on Wi-Fi and don’t spend any money on data
ShowMax and Netflix give you the option to download shows and series and watch offline. You will need internet access to use internet TV, but you won’t need any data if you download on Wi-Fi at home or in a free Wi-Fi zone.
ShowMax lets you download everything on its catalogue. Netflix is more restricted. If you go the Netflix route, you could be disappointed if you’d planned to grab a few episodes of Luke Cage before hitting the road.
Both Netflix and ShowMax let you choose a quality setting for your download. Use a lower quality for your older smartphone and higher quality on a large tablet and save data when choosing a lower quality version.
On Netflix, go into the settings menu to change the download video quality and choose either standard or higher. ShowMax is more user-friendly – when you press “download”, it gives you four quality options along with the file size of each. If you’re downloading using mobile data, you’ll want to know how big the file is before you commit.
What to watch?
ShowMax has a wide range of shows from top production companies and is the only internet TV service in Kenya with HBO shows, including all seasons of Game of Thrones. Other series include the 2016 remake of Roots, Billions, Vikings plus documentaries like Senna, about legendary FL driver Aryton Senna and Mandela, a documentary about the great Nelson Mandela.
Netflix has the advantage of a lot of original shows like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Luke Cage and Orange is the New Black as well as older series and movies.
Amazon Prime has the smallest selection of shows, but if you’re a Jeremy Clarkson fan you’ll want to watch the Grand Tour, an Amazon original series.
If you want local content, then ShowMax is the only internet service with Kenyan shows like the very funny Auntie Boss, Hapa Kule News, Naswa, Real Housewives of Kawangare and Samantha’s Bridal.
Basically, there is loads and loads of content to stream right now and this sure does sound like a holiday plan, right?