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Streaming

  • Netflix replaces star ratings with thumbs, because we’re simple creatures

    I know the biggest issue I've ever faced while binging Black Mirror was extending my brain too far when considering if the episode in which a prime minister is asked to have intimate relations with a pig should get a four or five star rating. I don't use Netflix to think -- and they've finally acknowledged it. The streaming service has announced that it's ditching the star rating system in favour of a YouTube-like thumbs up or down button. As of April, when you're pouring the last of your chips into your mouth, you only need to acknowledge your base emotional response. Nuance be damned. According...

  • YouTube is bringing live TV channels to all devices

    YouTube announced yesterday that its live TV service, set to take on cable, was officially a-go. "It's live TV designed for the YouTube generation -- those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments," reads the blog post. Working with networks and affiliate partners, YouTube has found a way to live stream from channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN -- meaning that viewers will be able to watch live as soon as a new episode of shows like Empire, Scandal and The Big Bang Theory airs.  "Christian Oestlien, Product Management Director, recently used YouTube TV to watch 'The Oscars' live on...

  • 5 Netflix exclusives coming to South Africa this March

    With March comes the inevitable "can you believe it's March already?" small talk, and sometimes it's best just to avoid social interactions all together. So if you're looking to steer clear of conversations about the unstoppable marching of time towards an end we cannot begin to understand, Netflix has you sorted. We've sifted through the Netflix website to find you the best content coming straight to South African devices this month. Still living in February? Catch up with last month's roundup right here. 3 March: Greenleaf The month kicks off as Greenleaf's 13-episode first season arrives to the service. From executive producers Oprah Winfrey (who also...

  • Here’s how to request TV shows, movies for Netflix [Update]

    Netflix is arguably the most popular subscription-based video streaming service around, owing to its substantial library and homegrown content. Not all locales are as well-stocked with content though, forcing many to use region-hopping services. But what if your desired content isn't on Netflix at all? You might not know this, but the streaming service actually has a page that lets you request movies and TV shows to be added to the platform. What happens after you've hit the "submit suggestion" button, then? "If you've already submitted a request for a title, you can sit back and relax -- we've received your feedback and there's...

  • ShowMax expands to Europe, with Poland its first destination

    Africa seems to be just a tad too small for growing South African streaming company ShowMax. The Naspers-owned video-on-demand company today announced that it has infiltrated Europe, with a new service launched in Poland. This is ShowMax's first big foray into Europe, after it initially offered Afrikaans channel KykNET to Europeans, North Americans, Australians, and New Zealanders. To be fair, though, ShowMax's Polish move is a substantial jump from its KykNET offering. "This is a big deal for us, especially coming just 18 months after we launched ShowMax," explains ShowMax head John Kotsaftis. "With more than seven million people paying for online...

  • Netflix knows what you did when your partner was away

    Valentine's Day is over and it's time to come clean. You spent the day spoiling your partner, but they deserve to know the truth. You cheated. I know it. You know it. Netflix knows it. You promised them you wouldn't watch that series without them, and then you went and did it anyway. At least you're not alone. Netflix has released a survey that compiles how often people cheat, why they cheat, and with which shows. If you're in Brazil and you haven't Netflix-cheated, then I have some bad news for you: your partner probably has. 58% of Brazilians surveyed reported that they had cheated...

  • Watch the controversial Netflix trailers shaking the web

    Netflix is no stranger to going against the grain. They take stories that other studios wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole and turn them into cult phenomena. But could they take that autonomy a step too far? Yesterday, Netflix released multiple teasers and date announcements on its YouTube channel -- sparking outrage by some on Twitter. The teaser for Dear White People stars a young college student detailing what is acceptable costuming for white people on Halloween, removing herself (and blackness) from the list. Right-wing Americans took to Twitter to express their anger, and called for all to cancel their Netflix...

  • ShowMax Select is now available in South Africa

    ShowMax, on the back of its SEACOM announcement last month, has today revealed a new partnership with Vodacom. The company, alongside the telecoms giant, is bringing its mobile-centric ShowMax Select service to South Africa. The service, which focused on distributing local content to mobile devices, debuted in Kenya last year. "Available exclusively to Vodacom customers on an add-to-bill basis, ShowMax Select is a new internet TV service designed for use on smartphones and tablets," the company explains in a press release. ShowMax Select is the company's mobile-first, hyper-local streaming offering that debuted in Kenya in 2016 The service will be charged as an...

  • 5 Netflix exclusives coming to South Africa this February

    Netflix doesn't stand still when it comes to content, with new movies and TV shows hitting the streaming service all the time (content also leaves the service, but that's another article). There are services telling us what to expect for next month, but finding SA-bound content can be tricky. So with that in mind, we sifted through the Netflix website to find exclusive content SA viewers can expect next month. 3 February: Santa Clarita Diet The first week of February sees 10-episode series Santa Clarita Diet making its way to the service, starring Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore. "Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore)...

  • Netflix now supports microSD cards for downloads

    It may have been a little delayed, but we were glad to see Netflix introduce download functionality late last year. Following in the footsteps of rivals Amazon Prime Video and Showmax, the downloads feature allowed users to (surprise) store movies and TV episodes for offline viewing. And in a cool move, you could download as much content as your storage allowed. The biggest downside though? Well, that would have to be the lack of support for microSD expansion, leaving you with internal storage only. Netflix is slowly catching up to rivals when it comes to offline functionality, with microSD support being the latest...

  • Crime-drama Sneaky Pete kicks off Amazon’s 2017 Originals roster

    We're pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to series this year. Along with Netflix's strong lineup and ShowMax's South African content, newcomer Amazon Prime is also starting to make in-roads. And it's latest shot, Sneaky Pete, brings with it the backing of Walter White himself. When not reciting Kanye West lyrics on James Corden's Late Late Show, Bryan Cranston also produced a good few shows. For Amazon and Sony, he teams up with Graham Yost and David Shore to launch the crime/drama Sneaky Pete. Sneaky Pete itself tells the story of con-man Marius (played by Giovanni Ribisi) who assumes the...

  • ShowMax now has servers in Kenya, thanks to SEACOM

    Naspers-owned streaming platform ShowMax has announced a new partnership with pan-African data company SEACOM in a bid to improve response times of the service. SEACOM, primarily known for its submarine cable infrastructure spanning the length of Africa's southern and eastern coastlines, will allow ShowMax to host cache servers in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to this, East African users were required to fetch content from Johannesburg's servers, but a server based in Kenya drastically decreases the distance between clients and server. This, in turn, will improve the speed of downloads. explains ShowMax's head of distribution Mike Raath. "The net effect of placing caching servers...

  • Over 90m people now use Netflix worldwide, more shows incoming?

    Netflix was probably one of the only companies who didn't have a wretched 2016. The streaming media company recorded record profits and subscriber figures in the year, and this week, the company outed its final numbers for the previous annum. "We added 7.05 million net new members globally in the quarter, against our forecast of 5.20 million and last year's Q4 performance of 5.59 million. This was the largest quarter of net additions in our history and was driven by strong acquisition trends in both our US and International segments," the company states in a letter to investors. That beat its...

  • Amazon Prime Video: originals to watch in SA?

    Let's be honest for a second... Amazon knows that many people are only tuning into Prime Video for The Grand Tour. After all, the trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May are pop culture icons thanks to their escapades. But what if you don't care for the motoring stuff? Or do you need a bit more justification to subscribe to the service? Here are a few more notable original shows that are available in South Africa. It's worth noting that a few Amazon Originals are still missing from the SA selection though... The Man In The High Castle One of the more popular Amazon...

  • Netflix: this tool tracks which VPNs are blocked

    Many Netflix users are familiar with hopping through VPNs and DNS tools in a bid to access foreign versions of the service. But it can be a rather infuriating process, as Netflix and VPN/DNS providers play 'whack a mole' with each other. Fortunately, a new tool has popped up recently, showing users which VPNs are able to access the US version of Netflix. Dubbed CheckFlix, the tool attempts to keep an up-to-date list of working and blocked VPNs. "Our proprietary software does a complete check of each VPN every hour; giving you up-to-date, accurate information on which VPN you should use to get...