When the giant US television network CBS grabbed the chance to buy Australia’s Network 10 recently, it was the first time a US network had taken direct ownership of an Australian TV brand. CBS, one of the “big three” free-to-air networks in the States, was one of the first networks there to take the usual network catch-up web site and turn it into a paid product – CBS All Access. Of course, once CBS took possession of Ten, there was much speculation that they’d do a version of All Access here in Australia.
And that’s exactly what they’ve done, with 10 All Access launching quietly at the tail end of 2018. However, the market they launched into here in Australia is a very different one to the US – we love our catch-up services and apps here, and 10 already had a great one in the form of 10play (you can read the Tenplay review for the full details of that one).
Now, 10play is hugely popular with viewers, and an intrinsic part of 10’s Freeview platform – in other words, it’s not going away just because 10 All Access has arrived. But if that’s the case, and Network 10 is going to have two apps to choose from, what’s the difference? And which one’s better?
The thing that makes 10 All Access stand out compared to its free sibling is pretty apparent right from the moment you land on its home page or fire up the app. The design is totally different to 10play – and so is the list of available shows.
10 All Access TV Shows
A more or less direct port of the CBS All Access platform, the 10 All Access streaming service features a curious mash-up of content that includes a whole lot of shows from CBS, and quite a few shows from Network 10 – but not all of them. CBS produced original shows for its All Access service (just like Netflix does for its customers) and those series are here waiting for you to discover them – the only place they can be seen. One Dollar, Tell Me A Story (from Vampire Diaries creator Kevin Williamson) and Strange Angel are high quality productions, to be sure, and they’re joined by The Good Fight – a brilliant show that’s also on Amazon Prime Video here, but should be exclusive to 10 All Access for its third season.
Aside from those, you get access to 36 complete seasons of Survivor, a whole bunch of sitcoms and dramas from the US, and a handful of shows from 10, including Neighbours, I’m A Celebrity, The Bachelor TV show, and Dancing with the Stars. All can be watched, of course, without ads – but crucially, not every 10 show is here to watch (yet, at least).
Also included – and updated the same day they air – are the popular US talk shows featuring Stephen Colbert and James Corden with many high-profile guests.
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10play TV Offerings
Better than it’s ever been after many years of catch-up TV, and a review of 10play reveals it’s much more focused on simply streaming that episode or two you might have missed the other night, rather than binge-watching whole seasons. Not that there aren’t whole seasons here – in fact, with shows like Masterchef there are multiple – but mostly this is just a “what you missed on TV this week” service, easily streamable on devices, on the web or on your TV with no fuss. It’s paid for by frequent ad breaks, and the picture quality is serviceable but not great (and there’s a giant 10play logo permanently on screen).
But if you’re looking for literally anything that aired on one of Network 10’s multiple channels that you missed – whether that be last night’s news, an episode of Judge Judy or The Project – you’ll find it here. Some content requires you to sign up for a free membership to view it – a hint that perhaps in future, that content will be moving to the 10 All Access service instead.
Ways to Watch
For both 10 All Access and 10play, apps are available for popular devices – though as a newer service, 10 All Access currently has limited device support, but promises to expand. You’ll find it on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, Apple TV (we think that’s the best way to watch it) and Android TV (including recent Sony smart TVs) as well as Chromecast via the mobile apps. 10play, meanwhile, is available on those devices along with a range of others, including Telstra TV, any smart TV featuring Freeview Plus, Xbox One, Fetch TV, older Sony smart TVs and some other legacy devices.
Costs and Features
The big difference between these two tightly related services is, of course, larger than just the app designs and the content. 10 All Access is a subscription service that’s operating in the same realm as already-massive players such as Netflix, Stan, Prime Video and the newer Australian sports streaming service Kayo. They’ve kept the cost simple and low – a reasonable $9.99 per month – and for the price you get access to the entire library (still growing) in high definition with no ads, watermarks or other distractions. There’s also a 10 All Access free trial, for those who want to take the streaming service for a test run before deciding.
10play, meanwhile, is completely free – but in return, you’ll have to watch regular, unskippable ads, and put up with poorer picture quality. You can’t beat free, of course, but everything free has a price – and here it’s ads, logos, and the need to sign up for some shows.
As 10 All Access grows into its Australian home and continues to add new shows, it becomes better and better value – and its monthly price is going to seem a bargain if you’re into talk shows, reality TV and especially Survivor! Picture quality is generally superb and there’s stuff here you can’t get anywhere else. 10play, meanwhile, makes a lot of quality compromises but is perfect for a quick catch-up, featuring a lot more shows but a lot less of each. If you’re one of those who likes to settle in for a binge, you’ll be wanting to road-test 10 All Access.