Computers & Technology

By Darryl Budge

Video-on-demand: spoiled for choice

Australians now have four low-cost streaming services to satisfy their appetite for on-demand TV and movies. Most offer free 30-day trials (15 days for Quickflix) but all are priced well under the minimum $25 per month for Foxtel pay TV.

Streaming VOD
Australian service
Monthly Price
(no contracts)
Top Content
(as of early April 2015)
Required net speed
(megabits/sec) & quota
Netflix.com
~1500 titles
vs. 6000 on Netlix
USA. Best interface.
To watch 60hrs
UHD content
requires 4K TV or
player with 'HEVC'
$9 = 1 SD
stream
$12 = 2 HD
streams
$15 = Four 4K
UHD streams
Streams = no. of
devices allowed
Show exclusives: House of
Cards, Marco Polo, Sense8
(which are all UHD titles).
Orange is the New Black,
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Movies: Roadshow
Entertainment, Beyond
Distribution, ABC and Disney
Requires min. 0.5Mb/sec
3 Mb/s = SD (1GB/hr )
5 Mb/s = HD (3GB/hr)
16 Mb/s = UHD (7GB/hr)
UHD needs 4K TV/player
with HEVC decoder.
Unmetered on Internode,
iiNet, Westnet, Adam, Optus
Stan.com.au
Partnership of
Fairfax & Nine
Entertainment. Has
Ch. 9 TV + movies,
and a PIN-lockable
large selection of
titles for kids.
$10/month
Max. 6 devices
& 3 streams at
once


Shows: Breaking Bad, Better
Call Saul, Community S6,
Transparent, Mozart in the
Jungle, Dig, Lost Girl S4 & 5
Movies: James Bond licks,
Lego Movie, LOTR-based
licks. Studios: MGM, Sony,
Roadshow + Nine, SBS, ABC
Auto quality adoption:
2.5 Mb/s (1 GB/hr) for
SD (480p).
Min. 3.5 Mb/s (1.5GB/hr)
for HD (720p).
Min. 6.5 Mb/s (3GB/hr)
for HD (1080p)
All ISPs count net quota
Presto.com.au
Partnership of
Foxtel & Seven.
SD only but the
most movies of all
the services.
TV $10/mth
Movies $10/mth
Both $15/mth
Max. 4 devices
and 2 streams at
once
Is similar to Foxtel Play.
Covers most movie studios,
plus Foxtel and Seven
content, but not hits like
Game of Thrones, Veep, nor
Foxtel’s new release movies
Needs min. 3Mbps
Only SD ofered
= 1.3 GB/hr
Unmetered quota on
Bigpond or Foxtel
Broadband ISPs.
Quickflix.com.au
Streaming package
+ pay-per-play (or
season) for under
1-year-old titles.
(Also has DVD
post-back service
from $13 p/month,
with no late fees)
10/month
Max. 6 devices
& 3 streams at
once.
“Premium” new
release movies
are $6 each.
“Premium” TV is
$3 per episode.
“Premium” Shows include:
The Walking Dead, Orange
is the New Black, Game of
Thrones, Scandal, Mad Men,
Veep , Orphan Black.
“Premium” Movies: Before I
Go to Sleep, Fury, Guardians
of the Galaxy, The November
Man, Maleficent
Needs min. 3 Mbps
Max. 6 devices
& 3 streams at
once.
1.5 GB/hr for SD
2.5 GB/hr HD (5Mbps)
All ISPs count net quota

HOW TO WATCH:

(1) A computer browser (tip: connect PC to TV via HDMI cable);

(2) Download service's app on your smartphone or tablet via its app store;

(3) Google Chromecast (plugs in TV HDMI port, controlled via Android or iOS app);

(4) Some services support Apple TV, some smart TVs or set-top boxes or Blu-ray players, Fetch TV box, Telstra T-Box, and Xbox and PlayStation game consoles.

See each website's 'help' section, and compare the offered TV shows, movies and the supported devices via this website: compareozstreaming.com. TIP: On Netflix, control quality and view stats with keyboard shortcuts Control+Alt+Shift+S, or +L.

summary: For movies, try Presto, while Stan and Netflix offer more TV content.

NEXT ISSUE: What does 4K Ultra-High-Definition and the HEVC codec offer

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