Streaming services in Australia

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UPDATE: Presto is officially throwing in the towel on February 1, 2017, but fear not! Amazon Prime Video has finally launched in Australia, and is set to give Stan and Netflix a run for its money – read on to find out how the new contender fares against our established streaming services.

Now that streaming media has become a mainstay in Australian homes, Aussies have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to getting their home entertainment fix.

When combined, Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video offer an enormous range of content that can be instantly streamed into your home. However, if you can only afford one subscription service, narrowing down a definitive choice can be harder than it seems.

As each service brings with it a unique range of television shows and movies aimed at different segments of the streaming audience, not to mention differing price points, device compatibility and streaming qualities, we’ve taken it upon ourselves bring you an in-depth guide to what you can expect from Australia’s three major SVOD platforms.

With the constantly evolving nature of each service discussed in this guide, we will endeavour to keep you updated on any significant changes and updates that may occur to these streaming giants in the future.

Here’s how the Australian streaming situation stacks up in 2016.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon Prime Video: price

Australias best streaming services compared

Probably the best thing about having so many streaming options to choose from, is that it forces each service to be priced competitively.

Last to arrive to Australia, Netflix offers the cheapest stream of the main three, with a single stream in standard definition at $8.99, which, if we’re being honest, isn’t particularly good value, but may appeal to those who live alone and have a poor quality internet connection.

Thankfully, for $11.99 a month you can get a dual-stream subscription that offers HD streaming quality.

If 4K streams are what you’re after, you’ll need to subscribe to Netflix’s premium package, which costs $14.99 a month and allows you to watch the service on four devices simultaneously. This is probably the most ideal subscription for families with differing tastes in shows and movies.

It should also be noted that a proposed Netflix Tax may raise the price slightly in the near in future.

Though Netflix is obviously working off of how it’s priced overseas, Stan has chosen to come out at the low, no-nonsense price of $10 a month.

This kind of price cuts straight to the point – once you’ve tested the service’s 30 day trial, you’re either on board with forking over a tenner each month, or you’re not.

Undercutting Netflix’s pricing substantially, Amazon has a special introductory offer that grants new subscribers access to the service for a monthly fee US$2.99 (AU$4) for the first six months, after which it will renew at US$5.99 (AU$8) each month after that.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon Prime Video: devices

Australias best streaming services compared

For many people, the decision of which streaming service to sign up for may come down to the devices they own.

Netflix has the biggest global reach and has been around the longest, which is why it can be streamed on the largest number of devices.

The Netflix app is available on a wide range of smart TVs from manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense, though you should check your television model to see if the service is supported. Stan is available on all 2013-2015 Samsung smart TVs featuring Smart Hub software, 2014-2016 Sony smart TVs (running Android TV) and all 2014-2015 LG smart TVs running WebOS and Netcast software.

At present, Amazon Prime Video only officially offers its service in Australia through computer browsers, however, the Amazon Prime app has sneakily appeared on a number of 4K smart TVs, such as Sony’s Android TV models. Before settling on Prime, you should check and see if you smart TV has an app for it.

And, while Amazon Prime Video hasn’t officially released console apps in Australia yet, there is a simple trick to streaming the service on your Xbox One.

If your smart TV is of the 4K/UHD variety, chances are that its Netflix app supports 4K streaming. You can also get a 4K Netflix stream for the latest wave of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, such as the Panasonic DMP-UB900 and the Samsung UBD-K8500. Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One S, also offers 4K playback.

The Apple TV also supports Netflix and has features built around service, such as the ability to use Siri to search for titles by voice, which places Netflix titles appear alongside iTunes listings. A Stan app is also available for Apple TV, but Amazon won’t allow its app on Apple TV or Chromecast for business reasons. With that said, you should be able to display Amazon Prime Video on your Apple TV through AirPlay. So far, Siri functionality is only available to Netflix.

Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video are all available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, though some older Android models may not be compatible.

When it comes to game consoles, Netflix has the biggest reach, with apps for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One S, PS3, PS4 and the Nintendo Wii U. Stan has most of the consoles covered but lacks support for Xbox 360 and Wii U.

Netflix and Stan are also available on Fetch TV, which is quite handy for the hundreds of thousands of Australians currently subscribed to Fetch.

If you don’t have any of the TV-connected devices listed above and still want to watch Netflix, Stan your television, each service can also be streamed to a Google Chromecast, which ostensibly provides regular TVs with smart TV functionality (so long as you have a smartphone or tablet to stream from).

Finally, you can watch Netflix and Stan on the Roku 2-powered Telstra TV media streaming box.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon: kids

Australias best streaming services compared

When it comes to kids shows and movies, each service has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Stan has a wide selection of children-friendly shows that mostly stem from its partnerships with Turner Broadcasting (the Cartoon Network), the ABC and Viacom.

Cartoon Network favourites like Adventure Time, Ben 10, Regular Show, The Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, Generator Rex and Ed, Edd, n Eddy are all ready to stream on Stan.

Likewise, classic ABC titles like The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Guess How Much I Love You and Justine Clarke, as well as overseas titles like Octonauts, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam, Sesame Street and Mister Maker are available to stream on the app, and its Viacom deal brings with it a large range of shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, like Avatar: The Last Airbender; Octonauts, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Bubble Guppies, and popular live-action shows like iCarly, VICTORiOUS, and Drake & Josh.

Like the rest of Amazon Prime Video’s content library, its Kids selection is quite sparse at present. You’ll find a number of Amazon Original kids shows you’ve probably never heard of, like Wishenpoof!, Tumble Leaf and Just Add Magic, alongside some tried-and-true kids movies classics, like The Little Rascals, Casper, Spy Kids and Babe.

Netflix also has a wide-ranging partnership with Walt Disney, bringing with it films and TV shows from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm.

Animation fans will be happy to know that Netflix has also produced some original shows based on classic DreamWorks properties, including Puss in Boots and How to Train Your Dragon.

Deals with other big children’s program distributors Saban, DHX Media and Hasbro Studios have also provided Netflix with numerous incarnations of Power Rangers and My Little Pony.

Special mention should also be given to inclusion of the classic Aussie kid’s show, Round the Twist, on both Netflix and Stan’s respective catalogues.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon Prime Video: TV

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Australias best streaming services compared

A wide and varied range of television shows are available on Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video, thanks to individual deals between each of the SVOD services and their content partners. Because of this, each service should have something for everyone in your family.

While there’s a lot of crossover when it comes to the availability of shows on each platform, perhaps the most important deciding factor comes down to the exclusives and original shows available on each service.

Netflix is without question the leader in this regard, with a large, global slate of original shows that are, for the most part, available in every one of its territories around the world.

The service has achieved huge success with its diverse lineup, which includes award-winning shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, long-form superhero shows like Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, internationally-targeted shows like Narcos, animated sitcoms such as BoJack Horseman and F is For Family, comedies like Fuller House, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None, and countless stand up comedy specials, to name but a small selection from its rapidly-expanding library.

Though Stan is only available in Australia, it has already begun creating its own original content, having produced the improvised comedy series No Activity, the upcoming TV spin-off of Wolf Creek and the second season of Plonk.

Stan is notable for also having a large range of exclusive shows in its stable, with Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Power, UnReal, Community, Lost Girl, Dig, Gallipoli, Ash vs Evil Dead, 11.22.63 and Better Call Saul tied to the service for the entire life of each series.

Australias best streaming services compared

Unlike its competitors, Stan also fast-tracks new episodes of its exclusive shows as soon as they air overseas.

As the newest service to hit Australian shores, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t currently have much a content library on offer, then again, that probably goes a long way to explaining why the subscription price is so cheap for the first six months.

Most people considering a Prime subscription are probably looking to watch The Grand Tour, the new car enthusiast show from the team behind the beloved series, Top Gear. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll happy to know that every available episode of the series is available on Amazon Prime Video in HDR, with new episodes arriving weekly.

Other big Amazon Original shows include Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, though these shows have been available on Stan direct from the US for quite some time. That said, there are others which are only available to stream on Amazon Prime, including The Man in the High Castle, Red Oaks, Hand of God and Bosch.

You’ll also find a small selection of classic shows, like The Shield and Justified.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon Prime Video: movies

Australias best streaming services compared

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As with most SVOD services, the titles available on Netflix, Stan and Presto change occasionally according to content licensing agreements. That said, each service has a pretty decent collection of films aimed at slightly different audiences.

Despite what people will tell you about Australian Netflix compared to its US version, the local service has a pretty impressive lineup of blockbuster titles which focus on quality over quantity.

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Netflix’s aforementioned partnership with Disney also extends to movies, with titles such as Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man ready to stream, as well as animated films like Zootopia and Inside Out.

Netflix has also started acquiring and creating its own films under its Netflix Originals banner, with titles like Beasts of No Nation, Ridiculous 6 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword of Destiny already available to stream.

Amazon Prime Video offers a number of classic older films, including Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Jurassic Park, Scream, Serenity, American Pie and more, though nothing too recent is currently available to stream. Its recent Amazon Original film The Neon Demon, for instance, is currently geo-restricted.

Australias best streaming services compared

Unfortunately, Stan doesn’t provide access to any Disney content at all, which does feel like a pretty big hole in its otherwise impressive lineup.

It does however, provide a big selection of Roadshow Entertainment titles, including huge films like Mad Max: Fury Road, The LEGO Movie, The Hunger Games series, Edge of Tomorrow, The Matrix trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and more.

A content deal with MGM also provides Stan with a large back catalogue of classic films, including the entire James Bond series (minus the most recent addition, Spectre), The Silence of the Lambs, When Harry Met Sally and a huge selection of Woody Allen films.

While Netflix’s movie library is more mainstream in nature, Stan is easily the leading streaming service when it comes to art films and world cinema, with its SBS World Movies partnership providing access to films from over 45 countries in more than 70 languages.

Netflix vs Stan vs Amazon Prime Video: streaming quality

Australias best streaming services compared

All three services offer HD streams (unless you’re subscribed to Netflix’s lowest tier), however, Netflix is unquestionably the leader when it comes to streaming quality, as it’s the only service that offers 4K Ultra HD content (top pricing tier only).

Netflix Originals, with some exceptions, are generally available in 4K streaming quality. The service has also started streaming HDR (high-dynamic-range) content, kicking off with the first season of Marco Polo and eventually adding it to more shows in the near future (though you’ll need a smart TV that supports HDR to watch it that way).

The service has an adaptive bit rate that adjusts itself based on the quality of your internet connection. It should be noted that, even if you have a blazing fast connection, Netflix will occasionally fail to reach full resolution during primetime hours due to congestion.

Stan also uses adaptive bit rate technology, however it also offers users the ability select the streaming quality of its shows (where available). The high setting offers full 1080p resolution, the medium setting offers 720p resolution, and the low setting offers up a standard definition stream.

Unlike its competitors, Stan allows users to select the quality of their streams on smart devices, media devices and smart TVs. Simply select the cog icon and choose between Low, Medium and High quality streams. This is especially handy if you’re having buffering problems or if you’re streaming off mobile data.

It’s hard to determine which resolutions Amazon Prime Video currently offers, as the app hasn’t really been made officially available outside of iOS and Android. Browser lets you watching in SD or Auto, which doesn’t necessarily mean HD, though HD streams do appear when watching shows on Xbox One. In the UK and US, Amazon is much more forthcoming about its streaming qualities, advertising 4K HDR content. We will have to wait and see what happens when more device support is officially added for Prime Video in Australia.

Verdict

Though each service has its own strengths and weaknesses, Netflix is unquestionably the winner when it comes to device compatibility, original content and stream quality.

Its library of Netflix Originals continues to grow and maintain a generally high level of quality, with the service producing the kind of content that gives HBO a run for its money when it comes to premium programming.

Netflix is also technologically superior to its competitors in every way, offering its subscribers 4K Ultra HD and HDR content that isn’t available anywhere else.

When you ignore its standard definition pricing option (and we ignore it pretty hard around these parts), Stan’s flat $10 subscription fee is definitely more appealing for people who want access to a HD stream, but when you consider how many original shows Netflix produces, a couple of extra bucks a month is hardly a deal-breaker.

Though it’s great that Amazon Prime Video has made its way to Australia, it still has a long, long way to go in terms of growing its content library and list of compatible devices. At present, unless you’re a die-hard fan of the Top Gear boys, there’s no real reason to sign up.

Thankfully, the service is quite inexpensive at the moment, so if you want to try it out for yourself anyway, you can do so without breaking the budget.

Still, when all is said and done, there’s no denying that Netflix truly is the king of streaming media in Australia.

Australias best streaming services compared

Source: feedproxy.google.com

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17 thoughts on “Streaming services in Australia

  1. So I’d like some help on the stan front… A Walk Among The Tombstones and John Wick are most certainly not on the movies list… I don’t know how you guys found this information out, but I can’t find them. Someone please let me know if I’m missing something!

  2. I watch Stan using Google Chrome on my Windows 7 PC and it works fine? I think it uses Silverlight…

  3. Netflix all day long. I suspect the rest will be playing catch up for a long time, but we’ll see…

  4. Thanks for the information Vaughan. I’ll do just that!

  5. It’s not, I’ve heard from a lot of people. Might as well keep your VPN and continue to sub to American Netflix if you want that.

  6. As an American living in Australia, for a few years now, and a long time\n customer of Netflix in America, I can tell you the Australian version \nof Netflix is horrible! I will most definitely not be continuing with my\n subscription. Very disappointed Netflix! I will most likely switch to \nStan as they seem to be the closest to what the American version of \nNetflix is.

  7. I’ve done the free trial with Stan and $10 a month for HD included is hard to beat. The only thing I hate is Exetel REALLY sucks during peak times and Stan does not buffer the movie while you pause, so for most ADSL 2+ connections in Australia that suffer during peak hours you will get bad streaming issues and a lot of pausing. I’ve heard Netflix does not suffer from this same problem so will give them a run with their free trial see how it goes.

  8. All I mentioned about Quickflix still holds true.\nFew days back, I thought to give Netflix’s free 30 days a try during my son’s easter holidays.\nI have now discontinued Quickflix subscription.\nReason being, Netflix’s library it seems as if it is made for me and my family’s interest. I like those documentaries and discovery programs. Netflix has got so many good programs that despite I have watched quite a few, I haven’t even covered 5% of them.\nMoreover, World Cinema collection of Netflix is much better compared to Quickflix. Probably 10 times better or more.\nIn Quickflix, I had to go and select my Genres of choice. I have to admit that it didn’t work. I used to still get those programs and types of movies that I and my family don’t care.\nWhile in Netflix, it appears automatic. The more I watch, the more it is adding programs of similar categories. I love it.\nWhile Quickflix is available on multiple devices, they are trying to be good at their service and they are reasonably priced, they seem to have missed on understanding buyer needs and wants to a certain degree. At least for my family.\nI discontinued from Quickflix, because with Netflix now I don’t see a need of that DVD option.\nReality for my family is that we watch more TV (i.e. Netflix programs) now. Whereas with Quickflix we used to watch may be once every second day. (That is due to poorly aligned selection of available programs. Most of the movies were so old that we didn’t care watching them.)\nAll in all, I’m going to pay a little less than Quickflix. Which is a plus.\nI’m also thinking of giving STAN’s 30 days trial a try in coming months. Who knows that’s even better than Netflix.

  9. I signed with Netflix Aust and then discovered that if accessing Netflix USA through a VPN, it still recognises your Aust subscription but gives you US content as it assumes you are travelling. Not sure if it is full US content, but certainly more than here.

  10. I have all 4 subscriptions and will give my 2cents worth on what i think is the best.\n\nNetflix Australia: 6/10\nGreat looking app (TV), very fast and intuitive. \nNot enough titles on their site, and few new quality movies added.\n\nNetflix (US) if you can get it: 8/10\nVery fast and well laid out TV application. best of all 4 when it comes to TV shows ie: Family guy, Futurama, 100, Roswell, and all the latest and old shows.\nAlways updating their movie selection. However, even Netflix US movie titles aren’t always the best.\n\nPresto: 4/10\nAwful TV app, slow slow slow. what’s that all about. Movie selection okay at best. TV shows, Big bang theory is awesome to have, but that is about it. If you have Foxtel, then apart from some titles on presto you kinda have presto anyways using Foxtel ANytime. \nPlus Foxtel Premium customers get Presto free for a year. \n\nQuickflix: 4/10\nHave it… never watch it 😀 \nTV app better then Presto, if you like older Movies ie: Superman etc with hardly any new Movies (unless you want pay extra for a Movie Premiunn) then don’t see the point having Quickflix.\n\nStan: 8/10\nWhen Stan first came out, tried it, was OK. no TV app at that time. But recently been giving it another go, and I must admit it is kinda awesome.\nGreat and very watchable selection of Quality Movies.\nTitles load fast and unlike sometimes with Netflix and all the time with presto, no buffering.\nTV app up to par with Netflix. Top Menu bar. Movies, TV SHows, My List, History makes it even more easy to navigable in some respects then NETFLIX.\n$10.00 a month isn’t bad either. I’d say if you luv new and great movies, stick with Stan, you will always be watching great movies.\n\nFinal thoughts…\nif you know how to get US Netflix, then i’d say just for the huge amount of great quality TV drama they have, you may want stay with them. But if you luv movies and great new titles, Stan is probably the place to go.\n\ncheers.

  11. The article really should have included a comparison of all four services against popcorn time or bittorrent. They are all well behind in terms of content, quality and devices. The only way to move the industry forward is to constantly remind them of where they’re failing.

  12. Agree Tim.\nAfter subscribing to Netflix’s 30 days trial, I realised how old Quickflix programs were. (I have now discontinued Quickflix subscription).

  13. I’ve tried Quickflix and it’s the biggest bait and switch going, you really need to make it clear that only content older than 10 years is included in the monthly see, anything worth watching or even relatively new is an extra cost.\n\n\nI leaning towards stand puerly for the HD content, we’ll see what Netflix brings

  14. This is where Quickflix shines as you have mentioned. Majority of Australia has piss poor internet. I used to pay for cable with Telstra, and outside of that and NBN you will suffer when you try to stream during peak congestion periods. I’ve gone back to ADSL 2 + being at uni saving some money and it is just extremely poor how bad the internet quality is here in Australia. If you love movies, want to stream and not able to get NBN, be prepared to have to get reamed by Telstra cable costs or simple don’t bother. (I’ve gone with the latter) And this isn’t regional, I live in Sydney!\n\n\nIt is no wonder torrents are still such a viable option in Australia as you see other people writing everywhere, it is because of the above reason I have given. Google have outlaid FREE 5MB / 1MB internet to those in America…. and $70 a month unlimited gigabit speeds.

  15. I’m using Quickflix (stream + 1 DVD at a time) combo for last 3 – 4 years now. No problems what so ever. New titles keep adding and has grown significantly now. Initially we didn’t use DVD option much. But now my son waits for new DVD to come and gets excited to watch arrived movie. We watch Quickflix on Samsung LED TV, PS3, Samsung Note 10.1, iPad and I even watch pending movies on my iphone based on unavailability of other devices. Just love it.\n\nEach christmas (and may be one more time during some of the other festivals. sorry don’t remember.) Quickflix guys, send 3 x $60 vouchers that we give to near and dears. Get good comments from them especially if they didn’t know about Quickflix. When I subscribed for combo it was $13 and it still is for me. Despite the fact that their combo price has gone now to $20, they haven’t changed my subscription charges. :-)\n\nI remember, when my card got expired, I received email about it, although they continued to send me the next DVD in queue. And didn’t deactivate my online account. Although I updated new credit card immediately so don’t know how long they would have kept my account active.\n\n\n\nWe don’t pay for streaming new titles, instead we add them to the DVD queue.\n\n\nHope this helps.

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