It’s a streaming world these days – and fans of quality TV and movies have never had it so good! Gone are the days of flicking through the channels hoping to run across something that grabbed your interest. If you loved a show, you had to be home to watch it, remember to record it, or just miss out. It seems so primitive now.
We’re really spoilt for choice these days – and at a cost which is relatively cheap. When Stan arrived in Australia with Netflix coming in hot on its heels, the way we watch TV was changed forever – and oh boy, didn’t our broadband plans know it! So don’t spend your time watching the loading symbol on your streaming tv account. Here are the top broadband plans worth considering:
What to look for in a broadband bundle plan?
Suddenly we’re streaming everything. Dark dramas like Black Mirror and Mindhunter or acclaimed award-winners like The Crown and Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Cutting-edge action comedy like Get Shorty, the poignant Jim Carrey comedy-drama Kidding or the weirdness of Twin Peaks on Stan. Brilliant sci-fi drama like The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime. And if you’re signed up with Foxtel, you can stream a vast array of shows and movies, including the entire HBO
What content do you enjoy watching?
There are now millions of Australians using streaming services every day for their TV and movie entertainment. The content each service has to offer is continually evolving and changing – there are new arrivals almost every day.
Just working out what shows and movies are on what service can be an almost impossible task since their web sites are designed more around exploration – not a bad thing in itself, but what if you want to know exactly what’s on offer on each individual service? Luckily, we’ve got that covered.
Netflix’s vast range of content alongside its original movies and shows keeps people coming back for more, with people constantly talking about what they’ve been watching on the world’s biggest streaming service.
Kayo Sports is Australia’s newest sports streaming app hosting the largest range of sports with the most functionality built into a low monthly cost and no contract.
Amazon Prime Video
With nearly a century worth of classic films and animations, Dinsey Plus is a major streaming force. The platform features exclusive content from its range of sub-companies such as Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
How often you watch TV at home?
All this streaming uses data, obviously. And despite massive advances made in compressing high-quality video, streaming can still use a lot of data. If you spend any time with your favourite shows and movies on Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime or even Foxtel from Telstra (where you get free streaming access to almost everything they have to offer, in crisp HD) then you’ll have realised long ago that your cheap “works most of the time” broadband simply isn’t gonna cut it. That 100GB monthly download limit seemed like so much data until streaming arrived to eat it all in days. These days, you want a broadband plan that offers unlimited data, so you can stop stressing.
One of the most important things to remember about any streaming service is that no matter what you watch, it’s going to consume part of that monthly download limit – and sometimes to quite a hefty amount. The big streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Amazon have spent a lot of effort in trying to limit the amount of download data their streams use, and the actual download speed varies not just between shows, but even between episodes. Services like Netflix even have multiple tiers of download speed for each quality level (HD, 4K etc) so it can seamlessly adapt to your connection without interruptions.
So it’s no longer easy to quote even a rough estimate of how much data you’ll use per hour – but as a very rough ballpark, if you’re viewing at home in 1080p HD, you can expect to be using around 3GB of data per hour. 4K streaming, of course, uses a lot more – anywhere from 7GB to 10GB per hour.
And now we’re in the age of mobile phones that support HD video and above, it’s good to be wise to those numbers. Because while 3GB per hour might not mean much on your home broadband’s data limit (if it has one), on mobile, those shows are going to chew up your monthly allowance in half an evening. For mobile, always download shows over Wi-Fi first – the big streaming services now all allow this.
Get Netflix through your Telstra customer account. Add it today and manage your monthly payment through your Telstra account.
What time of day you watch TV?
Of course, there’s also that annoying problem with streaming that’s so often complained about – buffering. If you sit down to stream your favourite stuff of an evening and find that it keeps stopping and starting, trying to stream far enough ahead to make things seamless but failing, you may be a victim of the dreaded “peak hour slowdown”. Basically, your internet provider has signed up too many users and not paid for enough capacity to serve them all – so when a whole bunch of users all get online and start streaming stuff, a data traffic jam happens and everyone has a bad time.
Streaming in HD or 4K might come with vague speed recommendations – but don’t think that just because they say you should have a connection of 7Mbps to stream HD that it’ll be guaranteed problem-free.
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Choose your NBN Speed Tier
As you may have seen when browsing providers, the NBN divides plans up into “speed tiers” which you, as the customer, get to choose from. This is probably the most important decision you’ll make when it comes to your broadband plan if you’re planning on doing a lot of streaming. The recommended speeds quoted by providers like we mentioned above aren’t the whole story, either. All broadband connections have overhead that uses data of its own, you never get the full speed of your connection all the time, and anything else happening on the connection can cause the streaming video to buffer or drop in quality.
With that in mind, we’d recommend that you ignore NBN plans at the NBN 12 speed unless the price is really an issue. NBN 25 and up will be fine, though if multiple household members are going to stream at the same time, aim for NBN 50 instead. The golden rule of streaming is that you can never have too much speed – or too much data.
|NBN 12||Single user, streaming to web browser or tablet. HD streaming possible but not guaranteed.|
|NBN 25||Single user, streaming to high-quality devices lie smart TVs and streaming boxes. Problem-free HD and 4K streaming.|
|NBN 50||Multiple users – a family or share house with several people watching streaming content at one time. HD and 4K streaming to multiple devices at once.|
|NBN 100||Able to handle anything streaming services can throw at you, to multiple users while others are downloading or uploading files or doing work. Very fast, but expensive and not available on all connections.|
The best way to solve streaming pain is simply to choose the right internet provider and get yourself a broadband plan that’s designed with streaming and entertainment in mind. In many cases, that can be a real win for you as the customer. There are some great bundles out there which give you everything you need, from a fast and reliable broadband connection to the hardware which lets you stream like a champion.
For home, then, you’ll want to be looking at bundles and plans with unlimited downloads and fast speeds as key features. Let’s take a look at some of the best bundles currently on offer, especially for streaming.
What are the Best Broadband Plans on the market?
Without further ado, here are the 5 best broadband plans for streaming tv. We’ve done the research so you can now sit back, relax, and never be annoyed again by buffering.
Telstra Broadband – Unlimited + Streaming Bundle + 1 Month FREE
As Australia’s largest communications company – with a vast network as the foundation for everything they do – Telstra has long been one of the go-to companies for fast, reliable broadband. The dreaded peak-hour slowdown was never an issue for Telstra customers since the company actively monitors capacity on their network and tweaks things to make sure your broadband performance is smooth and fast all day long.
This bundle, with unlimited downloads and configured on the 50/20 speed tier, comes with very nice bonuses – one is getting the well-liked Telstra TV 3 box, which will take care of all your streaming needs, and the other being that you get the first month completely free of charge. Netflix, Stan, and of course, Foxtel Now. With the Telstra TV box usually priced at $216, you don’t need to be a maths whiz to realise this is great value.
Another addition to Telstra bundles is the Telstra Smart Modem, a clever little device that takes advantage of the vast Telstra 4G mobile network to provide an instant and seamless backup for your broadband connection. It’s a fact of life that broadband outages do occasionally happen, but with the Telstra Smart Modem, you’ll never be without an internet connection no matter what.
The Unlimited + Telstra TV bundle, now available on a month-to-month plan, includes a home phone line with unlimited local, national and mobile calls – so when you factor the usual cost of a home phone into the equation it’s a pretty stunning deal for fast broadband with no data limit. For customers signing up online, they also get a free connection fee that’d normally cost you $99. What’s more, Telstra is Australia’s Number 1 NBN provider for streaming Netflix, ensuring a totally hassle-free entertainment whenever you want it.
Southern Phone Unlimited Broadband Turbo
There’s lots of flashy advertising and big names being thrown around in advertising for broadband plans and bundles, and you’ll be all too familiar with most of the big players. But that doesn’t mean you should just opt for the provider with the most familiar name – not when there’s an alternative around that’s generating incredible word-of-mouth buzz for some very good reasons.
Southern Broadband is known for their commitment to rural and regional areas. Their profits go back into these communities, while their call centre is based in regional NSW. While this is a great reason to go with Southern, their broadband offerings are pretty crash hot too. Southern Phone Unlimited Broadband Turbo gives you unlimited data on the NBN50 speed tier, speeds that will not flinch when it comes to streaming.
For unlimited internet at top speeds – and for a company that invests considerable money linking some of the more remote areas of our wide brown land – it may then be somewhat surprising to learn that the plans are also great value. The Southern Phone Unlimited Broadband Turbo plan is on the NBN network and will set you back a cool $75 per month. The better news is Southern Phone’s NBN plans are currently offered with $10 monthly discounts, scoring you unlimited data on NBN50 for only $65/month. If the NBN network isn’t available where you are, then try $70 per month for their ADSL Large plan with a 1000GB limit – or the ADSL Unlimited plan is only $80 per month.
When it comes to getting fast internet with no strings attached, trust Belong to deliver. The telco’s NBN100 Premium plan offers average download speeds of up to 80Mbps for under 100 bucks. That’s right — you’ll get connected to Belong’s fastest available speed tier for only $95 with no lock-in contract. It packs unlimited data and $0 activation. Your streaming experience is bound to be conveniently awesome with Belong’s fuss-free arrangement.
Your streaming experience is only as good as your broadband connection. That’s why MyRepublic doesn’t hold back when it comes to giving you the kind of NBN you deserve — unlimited and super fast. Its NBN100 plans are priced from $89 per month, depending on the upload speeds. That’s reliably fast internet under 90 bucks that also delivers typical evening speeds of up to 83Mbps. Apart from the speed, it’s also crucial that your plan is designed for your convenience. With MyRepublic, you can choose to BYO modem with $0 upfront costs or purchase one from MyRepublic for only $69. If you don’t mind the contracts, you can commit for 12 months to score a modem for only $1. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with the telco’s must-have NBN100 plans!
activ8me Sky Muster Plus
For people living in regional and remote areas where no other NBN technology is available, activ8me’s Sky Muster Plus plans serve as a solid alternative to access the best of TV and movies via streaming. From $69.95/month, you’re connected with 100GB of data (50GB peak 50GB off-peak) running on NBN25 or increase your data allowance to 200GB (100GB peak, 100GB off-peak) at $134.95/month. Sky Muster plans configured on NBN12, on the other hand, are also offered from only $34.95/month.
How to Bundle Your Broadband with Streaming TV
Which Internet Provider is right for you?
Which is the best of the bunch? It really depends on your specific needs. With any plan – for TV, phone or broadband – the first step is to understand what you yourself want and go from there. Once this is done, the research process can begin! All the above bundles will serve you extremely well when it comes to streaming all the many and varied services that we now subscribe to – as well as the free ones like YouTube and Twitch.
For sheer speed and quality – as well as access to a bunch of exclusive content (much of which comes data free) – we can’t go past Telstra. Telstra gets you direct access to Foxtel Now, Stan and Netflix, as well as Telstra TV, meaning you’re entertainment options, are multiplied. Their extensive network means you won’t suffer from buffering, while you can rest assured you’re with the biggest and most experienced company in Australia.