UPDATING: Stan has raised the price of his Premium package, giving you $ 17 a month back, which is a $ 2 increase over the original $ 15 tier monthly amount. Updated article below.
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 solution.
Combined, Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video and Foxtel Now offer a huge range of content that can be streamed directly into your home. However, if you can only pay for one subscription service, it may be more difficult to limit a final choice than it seems.
Because each service brings with it a unique range of television shows and films, targeting different segments of the streaming audience, not to mention different price points, device compatibility and streaming qualities, we have taken on the task of offering you an in-depth guide what you can expect from Australia's four major SVOD platforms.
With the constantly evolving nature of each service discussed in this manual, we will endeavor to keep you informed of any major changes and updates that may occur in the future for these streaming giants.
Here you can see how the Australian streaming situation will accumulate in 2019.
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Probably the best thing about having so many streaming options to choose from is that it forces every service to be competitively priced.
Netflix offers the cheapest main three stream, with a single standard definition stream for $ 9.99, which, if we are honest, is not really a good price, but can appeal to people who live alone and have internet from poor quality connection.
Fortunately, you can get a dualstream subscription for $ 13.99 per month that offers HD streaming quality.
If 4K streams are what you need later, you need to subscribe to the Netflix premium package, which costs $ 17.99 per month and allows you to view the service on four devices simultaneously. This is probably the most ideal subscription for families with different tastes in shows and movies.
Although Netflix clearly works on the way it is priced abroad, Stan has chosen to come up with the low, no-nonsense price of $ 10 per month. That is for everything the service has to offer at a maximum resolution of 1080p.
However, if you want to use your 4K TV, you can upgrade to a Premium Stan subscription for the new price of $ 17 per month, which is a slight increase over the original monthly rate of $ 15.
So far, Stan has a steadily growing 4K content line-up, including shows such as Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Preacher and Wolf Creek, and films such as Ghostbusters, Taxi Driver, Arrival and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.
This kind of price cuts right away: once you have tested the 30-day service test, you are either on board with five euros each month (or an extra fiver), or you are not.
Substantially undercutting Netflix prices, Amazon has a special introductory offer that gives new subscribers access to the service for a monthly fee of $ 4.99 for the first six months, after which it is extended by US $ 6.99 each month.
Foxtel Now is different because it offers a number of different content packages (split into Starter packages and Premium packages), so that the user can tailor their subscription to their viewing behavior.
The minimum price for Foxtel Now has been increased to $ 25 per month, including the Pop and Lifestyle packages.
You will probably have to log in on at least a few packs to get a decent selection of the shows. As we have already mentioned, Lifestyle and Pop have now been bundled together, while the separate Kids and Doco packages have been completely scrapped. If you want that content back, you need to create ponies for the bundle of $ 104 All Packs.
Fortunately, the Drama package is still available and still costs $ 15 a month (although you get a $ 5 discount when you sign up).
The Movies package still resets you $ 20 a month and the Sports package remains unchanged at $ 29 a month. Since you are required to sign up for the Pop and Lifestyle packages, the minimum costs for watching sports on Foxtel Now have been increased to $ 54 per month.
For many people, the decision to sign up for the streaming service may come from the devices they own.
Netflix has the largest global reach and has been around the longest, so it can be streamed on the largest number of devices.
The Netflix app is available on a wide range of smart TVs from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense, although you need to check your television model to see if the service is supported. Stan is available on all current smart TV ' s from Samsung, Sony Smart TV ' s (with Android TV) and all LG Smart TV ' s with WebOS software.
Stan is also streaming on Hisense smart TV ' s from 2015, and we are seeing the app appearing more and more in sets of manufacturers. In short, if you buy a new smart TV locally, chances are he will play Stan.
At the launch, Amazon Prime Video only offered its service in Australia via computer browsers, but the Amazon Prime app has now appeared on a number of 4K smart TVs, including models from Sony, Samung, LG and more. Before you go to Prime, you must check and see if smart TV has an app for that.
If your Smart TV is of the 4K / UHD variant, there is a good chance that the Netflix app supports 4K streaming. You can also get a 4K Netflix stream for the latest golf Ultra HD Blu-ray players, such as the Panasonic DMP-UB900 and the Samsung UBD-K8500. The newest console from Microsoft, the Xbox One S, also offers 4K display.
The Apple TV also supports Netflix and has service-based features such as the ability to use Siri to search for speech, making Netflix titles appear alongside iTunes listings. A Stan app is also available for Apple TV, but Amazon has not allowed its app on Apple TV or Chromecast for business reasons. With that said, you should be able to view Amazon Prime Video via AirPlay on your Apple TV. Up to now, the Siri functionality is only available for Netflix.
Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video are all available on smartphones and tablets with iOS and Android, although some older Android models may not be compatible.
When it comes to game consoles, Netflix has the largest reach, with apps for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One S, PS3, PS4 and Nintendo Wii U. Stan has covered most consoles but does not support Xbox 360 and Wii U.
It is also possible to watch Amazon Prime Video on home game consoles, including the Xbox One and PS4, and you can also view the service with the Fire TV stick from Amazon.
Netflix and Stan are also available on Fetch TV, which is pretty handy for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who currently subscribe to Fetch.
If you do not have any of the TV-connected devices listed above and you still want to watch Netflix and Stan on your television, the two services can also be streamed to a Google Chromecast, which apparently provides normal TVs with Smart. TV functionality (as long as you have a smartphone or tablet to stream from). That said, Amazon Prime Video is not supported on Chromecast.
Foxtel now works on iOS and Android devices, Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, PC and Mac and the recently released Foxtel Now streaming box. Finally, you can also watch Netflix and Stan on the Roku 2-powered Telstra TV media streambox.
Content for children
When it comes to shows and films for children, each service has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Stan has a wide selection of child-friendly shows that stem primarily from his collaborations with Turner Broadcasting (the Cartoon Network), the ABC and Viacom.
And now that Stan is Stan ' s new home for streaming content in Australia, subscribers now have access to a huge library of classic Disney and Pixar movies, such as the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Frozen, The Lion King , The Little Mermaid and more along with a wide selection of Disney Channel TV shows.
Cartoon Network favorites such as Adventure Time, Ben 10, Regular Show, The Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, Generator Rex and Ed, Edd, and Eddy are all ready to stream on Stan.
Also, classic ABC titles such as The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Guess How Much I Love You and Justine Clarke, as well as foreign titles such as Octonauts, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam, Sesame Street and Mister Maker are available for streaming in the app, and the Viacom deal brings with it a large number of shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender; Octonauts, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Bubble Guppies and popular live action shows such as iCarly, VICTORiOUS and Drake & Josh.
Just like the rest of the Amazon Prime Video content library, the selection for children is currently scarce. You will come across a number of original Amazon children's shows that you've probably never heard of, such as Wishenpoof !, Tumble Leaf and Just Add Magic, as well as some classics from children's films such as The Little Rascals, Casper, Spy Kids and Babe.
Animation fans will be happy to know that Netflix has also produced some original shows based on the classic DreamWorks features, including Puss in Boots and How to Train Your Dragon.
Agreements with other major distributors for children: Saban, DHX Media and Hasbro Studios have also provided Netflix with countless incarnations of Power Rangers and My Little Pony.
Special mention should also be made of the inclusion of the classic Aussie children's program Round the Twist on the Netflix and Stan catalogs.
Foxtel now offers numerous children's programs & channels that host a large number of Nickelodeon and Disney programs, but the only way to open them now is through the extremely expensive All Packs bundle, which brings you back $ 104 a month.
A wide and varied range of television programs ' s is 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, every service should have something for everyone in your family.
While there is a lot of crossover when it comes to the availability of shows on every platform, perhaps the most important deciding factor comes down to the exclusive and original shows that are available on every service.
Netflix is undoubtedly the leader in this regard, with a large, worldwide series of original shows that, for the most part, are available in each of its territories around the world. And if you want to open your own catalog from abroad, you need to see how you can download the best Netflix VPN from our guide.
The service has been immensely successful with the various line-up, including award-winning shows House of Cards and Orange is the new Black, long-form superhero shows such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones from Marvel, internationally focused shows such as 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 standup comedy specials, to name just a small selection of the rapidly growing library.
In addition, TV series such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Making A Murderer, Mindhunter and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina have also found crossover appeal to the regular audience.
Although Stan is only available in Australia, it has already begun to create its own original content, following the production of the improvised comedy series No Activity, the TV spin-offs from Wolf Creek and Romper Stomper, as well as the comedy series Plonk .
Stan is remarkable because he also has a large number of exclusive shows in his stable, with big hitters such as the Twin Peaks revival, Better Call Saul Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Power, UnReal, Community, Lost Girl, Dig, Ash vs Evil Dead, Angie Tribeca and 11.22.63 are linked to the service throughout the life of each series.
In addition, Stan is the only service in Australia to offer both the complete series & apos; from American sitcom classics Seinfeld and Friends, who are huge for the service. If it ever manages to secure The Simpsons (which is unlikely), it will be offered the sacred trifecta.
Stan also follows new episodes of his exclusive shows as soon as they leave from abroad, a practice that both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have since taken over with shows like Riverdale and American Gods.
As the newest service on the Australian coasts, Amazon Prime Video does not currently offer a huge library of TV content, but that is probably still a long way to explain why the subscription price is so cheap.
Most people considering a Prime plan are likely to watch The Grand Tour, the new car enthusiast show from the team behind the beloved series, Top Gear. If that's what you want to do next, you're happy that every available episode of the series is available on Amazon Prime Video in HDR, with weekly new episodes.
Aside from that, other exclusive draw cards are American gods, a hyped new show based on the immensely popular Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, who Jean-Claude Van Damme as a spy version of himself, The Tick, a comedic superhero series revival, The Man in the High Castle, in which a world is propagated in which the Nazis won World War II, and The Terror, a series of horror anthology based on a bestseller.
Unlike the competition, Foxtel Now also lets you watch live television broadcasts, essentially giving you the regular Foxtel experience on the internet. Apart from this, most of the packages offered, such as Drama and Pop (which contain a lot of HBO content), are usually filled with television programs. Fans of reality TV get a real kick-off from the selection here.
As with most SVOD services, the titles available on Netflix, Stan and Presto occasionally change based on content license agreements. That said, every service has a pretty decent collection of films aimed at a slightly different audience.
When it was first launched, the Australian Netflix had a much smaller content offering than its American counterpart. However, the focus on original content versus licensed material has meant that this problem is largely irrelevant, with a huge selection of quality shows and films that are now available.
Netflix Original films such as Bird Box, Bright and the critically acclaimed Roma have found a much larger audience on the streaming service than they would have if they were released through traditional channels, while unusual film experiments such as The Ballad or Buster Scruggs might never have been made without today & apos; s streaming distribution model.
Amazon Prime Video offers a number of classic older movies, although not many recent blockbusters are currently available for streaming. The recent original movie The Neon Demon from Amazon is currently geo-limited.
Still, fans of B-class cinema, including straight-to-video martial arts movies from the 90s, horror movies from the 80s, and messy grindhouse movies will find plenty to do on Amazon Prime Video. In fact, it blows out all other services in this regard, with a fairly large back catalog of films of this kind.
As mentioned earlier, you need a Movies package to watch movies via Foxtel Now, although that will put you $ 20 a month on top of a $ 10 starter package. Many of the films are new releases and show a lot of the content that you can expect on live Foxtel.
Stan's fantastic collaboration with Disney has given the service a huge head start on licensed content, with access to a wide selection of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas movies.
It also offers a fairly large selection of Roadshow Entertainment titles, although previously available films such as Mad Max: Fury Road have since been deposited. Fortunately, huge franchises such as The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix are present and accounted for.
A content deal with MGM also offers Stan a large back catalog of classic films, including the full James Bond series in glorious 4K quality, along with The Silence of the Lambs, When Harry Met Sally and a huge selection of Woody Allen films.
Stan has always been the leading streaming service when it comes to art films and world cinema, including access to films from more than 45 countries in more than 70 languages, but now you can count mainstream blockbusters as one of the many licensing outlets.
All three services offer HD streams (unless you are logged on to the lowest layer of Netflix), but Netflix is undeniably the leader when it comes to streaming quality, since it has the most 4K HDR content (only for the lowest price range) offers the services listed here.
Netflix originals, with a few exceptions, are generally available in 4K streaming quality. The service has also started streaming HDR (high-dynamic range) and Dolby Vision content for many of the original shows and films.
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 not reach full resolution during primetime hours due to congestion.
Stan also uses adaptive bitrate technology, but also offers users the option to select the streaming quality of their shows (where available). The Ultra setting offers a full 4K resolution, but you will have to subscribe to the Premium package to see the benefits of the Ultra HD upgrade.
Unlike its competitors, Stan allows users to select the quality of their streams on smart devices, media devices, and smart TVs. Simply select the gear icon and choose between low, medium and high quality streams. This is particularly useful if you have buffer problems or if you are streaming mobile data.
Now that Netflix has added offline viewing to its subscription price, making it possible to download a selection of shows and movies to its devices for viewing outside of Wi-Fi networks, the service immediately increased the total value.
Fortunately, Stan has followed his lead and subscribers can now download most of the content. This makes his monthly price of $ 10 even more a bargain than it already was.
Amazon Prime Video also offers 4K HDR content, but with the varying quality of the shows and movies being offered, it is a little tricky to know what & apos; s are available in SD, HD or Ultra HD until you start viewing it. Original shows are for the most part available in 4K.
Foxtel Now is said to offer HD streams, but the quality is mixed. Often the image quality here is blurry or with overly saturated colors, but this is far from what Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video offer. This really changes on a show-by-show basis. Game of Thrones, however, looks pretty clean.
Although each service has its own strengths and weaknesses, Netflix is undoubtedly the winner when it comes to device compatibility, original content and stream quality.
The Netflix Originals library continues to grow and maintains a generally high level of quality, with the service producing the type of content that gives HBO a run for its money when it comes to premium programming.
If you ignore the standard definition pricing (and we ignore it pretty hard around these parts), Stan ' s flat $ 10 subscription fee is certainly more attractive for people who want access to an HD stream, but if you look at how many original shows Netflix produces, a few extra dollars a month is hardly a deal-breaker.
It's great that Amazon Prime Video has found its way to Australia, and while it still has a long way to go in terms of expanding its content library and list of compatible devices, it is constantly adding new content, filling in the content selection with a number of precious stones.
On the positive side, the service is quite cheap at the moment, so if you want to try it yourself, you can do so without interrupting the budget.
We love the huge amount of content available on Foxtel Now (it really lets the competition down in this regard), but if you get a decent selection, it will harm your wallet in the long run.
Yet, once everything has been said and done, it cannot deny that Netflix is really the king of streaming media in Australia.