If you’ve spent most of your life watching free to air broadcast TV and think of television as a set of channels that you tune into at set times of the day, you’re just like the millions of Australians who sit down in front of the screen every night. You’ve watched TV evolve over the years, but the big changes have always just been expansions to what you already had – the arrival of colour TV, of digital TV, or the addition of loads of extra channels.
TV’s always been a pretty one-sided thing – you turn it on, pick a channel and watch shows on their schedule. But the thing that’s shaken up TV so much over the past few years is completely different in a fundamental way – it puts you, the viewer, in complete control. Instead of tuning in at a scheduled time to watch a show, or recording it to watch later, you just start watching at a time that suits you, usually without ad breaks interrupting it. The rapid rise of streaming TV has shown just how much Australians have loved this new-found TV freedom.
But of course, this new freedom comes with a big change not just in the way we view TV, but in what we use to view it. Instead of a TV antenna, you’re getting your TV via your broadband internet connection – and in order to watch, you’ll need to have the right device and the right apps. The various apps act like TV channels used to – each one provides access to a particular set of content.
The device part, thankfully, is pretty easy already. All but the cheapest new TVs tend to be what’s known as “smart” TVs – they have the most popular apps built in and the ability to download others as you need them. If you’d rather hang on to your perfectly good existing TV, there are some easy to use do-it-all devices you can connect to your TV to enable streaming – the popular Telstra TV box, for example.
Streaming TV for Seniors
But what about the apps? What’s available, what do they have to offer – and what do they cost? Because yes, there’s a cost involved – usually monthly subscriptions. But the good news is these app-based streaming TV services are priced low enough for everyone to afford, so while you may find that the availability of discounts for seniors and pensioners are uncommon, the cost isn’t a huge drain on the budget. You can also subscribe to many of the streaming services only when you want to watch them – there’s no contracts involved, so you can use them for a month or two then cancel and try something else.
Compare the Free Trials
And yes, all these services offer periods of completely free access so you can try them out. If you’re an Australian pensioner or senior it’s well worth taking advantage of the free trial periods to get an idea of which services you do and don’t like without paying a cent – and you can watch as much as you like during the free period as well, meaning a whole lot of entertainment you can get without paying a cent as long as you remember to cancel before the trial finishes!
Broadband is Essential
Before you venture into the world of streaming TV, you’ll need to make sure you have a working internet connection at home that’s fast enough to handle streaming TV. Luckily, streaming services work on most broadband connections, adjusting the picture quality depending on how fast they can stream the show or movie you’re watching (as you watch, you’re actually downloading the video in real time).
If you’re planning on watching a lot of streaming TV, we’d recommend you take a look at the all-in-one plans that Telstra has to offer, which you can get with fast, unlimited broadband alongside the home phone with special discounts for seniors and pensioners.
Apps for Everything
As we said, the key to streaming TV is apps, and all you need to do to get started with any of the many streaming TV options is simply to run the app on your smart TV or device. Whichever device you’re using you’ll probably see Netflix prominently featured. That service and local competitor Stan are usually pre-installed on smart TVs and devices, and both offer month-long free trials so you can take a look at the range of shows and movies they have on offer (a range which constantly changes). If you’re fond of classic BBC drama and comedy, Stan has an especially good collection.
But if you’re looking for particular types of shows, movies or other TV, then there are a range of excellent and low-cost options now available.
Kayo – Live Sports TV
With access to the huge resources of Fox Sports, ESPN and others, a review of Kayo reveals that it’s changing the way people approach sports on TV – and if you’re a fan of any sport this one’s a must to try out. Whether you’re a fan of international golf and tennis or Aussie footy and rugby, Kayo’s got access to it. With a combination of live streaming TV coverage as it happens, the ability to stream a game from the start whenever you like, and a whole range of clever features, Kayo is a sport fan’s dream. You can try out Kayo for two weeks completely free to see for yourself what a difference it makes to sport on television.
Get Kayo Sports FREE Trial
Stream over 50 sports including Cricket, Rugby, AFL, NRL, PGA Golf and Supercars Live and On Demand. Get your 14 day FREE trial with no lock in contracts!
Foxtel Now Online
If you’d rather have access to a vast range of extra TV channels without having to go to the trouble of getting Foxtel installed in your home, Foxtel Now is a low-cost alternative that uses streaming to deliver a range of live TV channels as well as a vast library of shows and movies you can watch whenever you want. You pick from a range of channel packs based on what you like to watch – movies, sports and so on. Needing no installation and starting at only $25 per month, it’s a great way to get on to everything Foxtel has to offer – yes, including the final season of Game of Thrones or your favourite sports! Foxtel Now has a free 10-day trial so you can road-test all the channels without paying a cent.
Amazon Prime Video
This one’s fantastic to have around for its huge library of classic movies and television, as well as some truly high-quality original shows that you can’t see anywhere else (such as the acclaimed The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Rather than being a streaming service you pay to use, Prime Video is a free bonus with a membership to Amazon Prime, which lets you shop to your heart’s content on Amazon’s Australian web site and have your purchases delivered to your door for free – and yes, they have everything from appliances to groceries. You can give Prime a try – and start streaming Prime Video, as well as reading free books and more – for a full 30 days, after which it costs a very affordable $59 per year.
10 All Access Streaming
The relatively new online streaming service from the Ten Network has a fascinating range of shows available ranging from brand-new drama and comedy, to talk shows, to classic of American TV such as Cheers, the original Twilight Zone and even Gunsmoke. New shows are being added regularly, and you can try out the $9.95/month service for yourself completely free for 30 days to see whether it’s the sort of television you’d like to add to your viewing menu.
DocPlay – Stream Docos
An Australian-owned streaming service that only shows documentaries – and high-quality ones at that – DocPlay has a fantastic range of material for anyone who loves their docos and is always on the lookout for more. With subjects ranging from music of all kinds to nature, politics, history and more, DocPlay has hundreds of the world’s best documentaries with new one being added every week. With the first month completely free, this is one well worth your attention.
Telstra TV Box Office
If you’ve decided to go for a Telstra broadband plan and get the popular Telstra TV box along with it, you’ll find an app there for Telstra TV Box Office, which is a service that rents out the very latest movies and TV shows to stream direct to your TV. Rentals work just like a video library except you don’t have to go anywhere – just sit back and enjoy the entertainment. The Telstra TV box comes with $125 credit towards rentals on Box Office, enough for around 20 new-release movies. If you love the movies, this one’s for you.
Start streaming on Telstra TV Box Office!
Get access to thousands of blockbusters & new releases, plus full seasons of your favourite shows like The Walking Dead & Game of Thrones. Only pay for what you want to watch, no ads & no subscription fees!
TV At Your Command
The best thing about streaming TV is just the fact that you can watch whatever you like without interruptions, and at whatever time suits you. There are no recordings to set, no ads to wait through and no chance of missing an episode – it puts what’s on TV completely in your control. And with every streaming service offering free trial periods that give you full access, you can get a full taste of this exciting new way of watching TV without paying a cent!