- Which streaming provider should you choose?
- Do I need a fast connection to stream content?
- Do I need to lock myself into a contract?
Entertainment has become digital. It’s easier to access nowadays through streaming services, which allow us to also bring our favourite shows with us anywhere with our smartphones and tablets.
However, due to the popularity and the increasing demand for these services, there are dozens of streaming services to choose from. Even Australia has its own home-grown services that have become popular among Aussies.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What you want doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working for others. Meaning if you like Netflix, your friend might not.
Nevertheless, it’s time to end the battle once and for all and know which one is the best streaming service for you.
Netflix is perhaps the biggest streaming service in the world. It’s popular globally and has local versions, such as Netflix Australia. The local versions guarantee that the content they’re putting out fits the demographic.
Netflix is available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, computers via a dedicated app or straight from the browser, streaming devices, and smart TVs.
The service has three different plans with three different price points. Each plan is based on how many screens can simultaneously play videos, how many devices could download shows for offline viewing, and video quality. The payment happens monthly, but Netflix does provide a free 30-day trial for new sign-ups, giving people a longer time to see whether the service is for them.
Here are the available Netflix Australia plans you can get:
- Basic - $9.99 per month - Standard Definition resolution, one screen at a time, and downloads on one device only
- Standard - $13.99 per month - High Definition resolution, two screens can play videos simultaneously, and downloads available for two devices
- Premium - $19.99 per month - Ultra HD at 4K resolution, four screens can play videos simultaneously, and downloads available for four devices
The streaming service has thousands of content, including Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV series. It also has children’s shows and an account specifically for kids, which only allows them to access child-friendly shows.
Netflix also has exclusive content, including popular series like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Umbrella Academy, Mindhunter, The Good Place, Black Mirror, and more. There are also exclusive movies like Extraction, The Old Guard, 6 Underground, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and more.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video comes from the biggest company in the world, Amazon. This streaming service has been out for a long while, but it’s relatively new in Australia, and during its first few months, the content was limited. However, the platform has continuously included new shows, so now it has a significant amount of movies and TV series that its users can enjoy.
Viewers can watch their favourite shows through smartphones and tablets, a Windows or Mac computer or laptop, streaming devices, and selected smart TVs.
Perhaps the best thing about Amazon Prime Video is that it’s relatively cheap, making it a good choice for people who don’t want to spend that much each month. You can even pay for a whole year upfront, and it will be cheaper once you do that. The service also offers its new subscribers with a 30-day free trial, so you’ll know whether the service is suitable for your needs and wants.
Here’s how much Amazon Prime Video costs:
- $6.99 per month
- $59 only per year if paid upfront
Due to its price, Amazon Prime Video is a clear winner for people on a budget. You can also cancel anytime if you wish. But is the content worth it?
As with Netflix Australia, Amazon’s streaming service does have tons of popular TV series and Hollywood movies. But their selection does tend to be a little old. Some of the shows you can catch are Good Omens, Star Trek: Picard, American Gods, Mozart in the Jungle, The Grand Tour, and more.
Stan is one of the home-grown Australian streaming services, and it’s co-owned by Fairfax and Channel 9. For those who love Australian content, Stan is an excellent choice as they have a wealth of it. But besides local shows, Stan also has international partnerships, which allows its users to watch popular TV shows and movies.
As with most streaming services nowadays, this Aussie platform is also investing in its exclusive content.
Stan can be watched on smartphones and tablets, computers and Mac, streaming devices, and selected smart TVs.
When it comes to pricing, Stan is pretty much at the same level as Netflix. It also has three price points, with each price based on the video's quality and how many devices can stream simultaneously and download videos for offline viewing.
The prices are as follows:
- $10 per month - Standard Definition resolution, only one screen at a time, downloads available for one device
- $14 per month - High Definition resolution, three screens can stream simultaneously, downloads available for three devices
- $17 per month - Up to 4K resolution, four screens can stream simultaneously, downloads available
Stan has a pretty good library of both local and international shows, so it’s no surprise that Aussies will find something they love. Some of the shows you can watch are Sherlock, Better Call Saul, Twin Peaks, Bloom, The Other Guy, Romper Stomper, and more.
Foxtel Now is another streaming service available in Australia, which is basically the digital version of the traditional Foxtel subscription. One of the key features of Foxtel Now is that they offer Live TV. However, you can only catch shows based on the channel packs you have chosen.
The streaming service is available in Australia on smartphones and tablets, PC, as well as streaming devices like Foxtel Now Box and Chromecast.
When it comes to pricing, Foxtel Now can be a little expensive--and you don’t get to have access to all of its contents. If you do want to see everything the streaming service has to offer, you’ll have to pay $104 per month. However, you can choose your package with varying channel packs that are available for $25 per month.
Those who want to see whether it’s the right fit for them can sign up for a 10-day free trial.
For shows, Foxtel Now is one of the only two Aussie streaming platforms that will let you watch HBO hits, such as Westworld and Game of Thrones. So, if you love these shows, you can check out this streaming service.
Binge is a newer streaming service, but it already has a promising array of content, especially if you’re a big HBO fan. It has the most extensive library of HBO shows, so it’s a must-try for those who are craving to watch their shows, such as massive hits like Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Chernobyl.
Since they are fairly new, their content isn’t exactly as comprehensive as the aforementioned streaming services, but it’s highly likely that they will continue providing new shows for its viewers. Perhaps by the time you read this, they have added another 10,000 hours worth of content. They’re also adding new features soon.
However, you do have to bear in mind that you can’t download videos for offline viewing, unlike various other streaming services. That means you need to have a constant internet connection to binge-watch your favourite shows. Plus, it won’t work if you travel outside of the country.
For now, Binge is only available on iOS and Android devices, as well as on streaming devices.
When it comes to pricing, Binge is on the same range as Netflix and Stan, meaning it starts with $10 per month. The service also has three price points, which are the following:
- Basic - $10 per month - Watch shows on one screen at a time with Standard Definition resolution
- Standard - $14 per month - Watch shows on two screens simultaneously with High Definition resolution
- Premium - $18 per month - Watch shows on four screens simultaneously with High Definition resolution
For those who want to try Binge, the service is offering a 14-day free trial for new members.
Other shows you can watch are Modern Family, Seinfield, Parks and Recreation, Watchmen, Succession, and more.
The Best Broadband Plan
If you’re planning on streaming and binge-watching shows, you’ll definitely have to upgrade your internet connection to an unlimited broadband plan, if you haven’t already. It’s now available even on the NBN.
This is the best choice, as streaming can be a costly hobby if your data is capped. You can easily consume gigabytes of data per hour of streaming, especially when it’s on Ultra HD resolution. Once you go beyond your monthly date subscription, you’ll have to pay more.
For speed, most of these streaming services are playable on NBN 12Mbps plans. But if you want to stream Ultra HD videos without problems, or you have more members simultaneously streaming videos, among others, you can upgrade to the NBN 25Mbps or 50Mbps plans, but do expect that they’ll be more expensive.