You’ve invested big bucks in a TV bigger than your couch and a sound system capable of annoying the neighbours three houses down. But now what do you watch? The chances are you’ve already got everything you need to watch on Internet TV, which means no waiting for your show to be broadcast, no sitting through ads, and no rummaging through the pile of DVDs.
This isn’t known as the Golden Age of TV for nothing – more shows than ever before are being produced. Literally thousands of TV shows and movies available are now available at the press of a button, many of which you can’t see anywhere else
In South Africa, Showmax is one subscription video-on-demand service that offers instant and unlimited access to tens of thousands of top international and local series, movies, kids’ shows and documentaries. The catalogue is updated weekly and there are certain international series you will only find on Showmax, from Marvel’s Runaways (live in April) and Mr Robot Season 3 to the hugely successful Showmax Original, Tali’s Wedding Diary.
While you can access Internet TV on your PC, tablet and smartphone, for the most cinematic experience, you’ll want to hook it up to your home theatre system. All you have to do is get connected, and here’s how.
Use a Smart TV
One of the easiest ways to enjoy VoD services on your TV is to invest in a Smart TV, as the defining feature of a Smart TV is its Internet connectivity and access to applications.
Nearly all smart TVs come equipped with both an Ethernet port and built-in Wi-Fi support, so they should be able to connect from anywhere in your house. Apps for VoD services also come pre-installed on certain TVs, while you can easily download additional ones.
YouTube is typically pre-installed on many Smart TVs, while you can download the Showmax app onto supported Samsung and LG TVs. The Showmax app comes pre-installed on all new supported models of Hisense TVs.
From there, it’s as simple as opening the app and streaming the content you want – just as you would on your mobile device or laptop.
Connect a laptop or PC to a home theatre system
Investing in a new TV is expensive, however, and a much cheaper option is to connect a PC or laptop to your home theatre system using an HDMI cable. Cables are cheap, and you can get good-quality HD pictures and sound in a single lead.
To connect a laptop or PC to a TV using an HDMI cable, just plug the cable into your laptop and then one of your HDMI ports on your TV. If your laptop is switched on, and your TV is set to the correct HDMI channel, the laptop should automatically configure to give you the best settings from here.
You’ll need to position your laptop close to your TV and may need to get out of your seat to pause, however – unless you have a remote app on your smartphone or a wireless keyboard and mouse connected.
Connect a standalone streaming media device
To make use of a wireless connection instead, you can connect a standalone streaming media device to your home theatre system.
Using an Apple TV, a Chromecast or an Android TV media player, you can “cast” or stream content onto a TV that can’t connect to the Internet. These devices can also be connected to TVs via HDMI cables.
With Showmax, you can also use your connected DStv Explora to stream content, and DStv Premium subscribers can watch Showmax for free, while DStv Compact or Compact Plus subscribers pay only R49 per month. The service is normally priced at R99 per month.
Use a gaming console
Many VoD services now have apps for various gaming consoles, so as with Smart TVs, you can download an app and start streaming content. Effectively, your gaming console can act as a media player.
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.
For more information and to sign up to Showmax, visit the official Showmax website.
This article was published in partnership with Showmax.