While free to air TV continues to provide plenty of entertainment for those who’ve stuck with the traditional way of watching television, these days you’re not going to find all the truly exciting, fresh and talked-about TV and movies by tuning in to the broadcast channels. If you’re looking for the shows and movies that matter, you’re going to find them on streaming services.
The first thing you’ll need to get streaming into your life and lounge room, of course, is a fast and reliable broadband connection. Thanks to the arrival of the NBN, there’s more choice for consumers than ever before when it comes to finding great-value broadband, but if you want to be sure you can stream without hassles (and without the dreaded “buffering”) you’ll want to head for a provider that knows their broadband and has a network fast and large enough to support the big data demands of streaming TV.
What Plans and Services are Available?
Telstra Home Broadband is a great pick for anyone looking for quality internet and smooth streaming, because it gives you access to a network that taps directly into the super-fast connections that form the all-important connections between the streaming services and customers’ home connections.
But even better, Telstra’s current entertainment bundles provide great value for anyone looking to get access to speedy, reliable NBN broadband and get set up for streaming. Top of the list has to be the $99/month “Telstra TV + Unlimited Data” bundle – which does exactly what it says on the tin. You get a NBN broadband connection with no download limit (important for streaming), a home phone line with unlimited calls across Australia (including calls to mobiles) and the Telstra TV 3 streaming box.
With Telstra’s super-fast NBN broadband network giving you access to the speed you need to stream whatever you like, the Telstra TV 3 is the key to accessing that big wide streaming world. A clever device that’s custom-designed to work best with Telstra Broadband, it lets you watch free-to-air TV, suggests content for you to watch, lets you purchase or rent the latest shows and movies from the Telstra TV Box Office – and most important of all, it opens up access to the streaming services that matter.
Last audited 22 September 2020
The Telstra TV Option
One of the best things about the Telstra TV 3 is that it comes with almost all the streaming apps you’ll need pre-installed and ready to go – and extra apps are just a click away in the Telstra TV’s inbuilt app store (the apps themselves are all free of charge, by the way).
So once you’ve plugged your new Telstra TV into your television and connected it to your Telstra broadband service (either via wi-fi or a wired connection, it’s up to you) then you’re ready to get streaming right away. All the major services are there – Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video for exclusive shows and movies, along with smaller, more specialised streaming services such as Hayu (for reality TV fans) or DocPlay (for documentaries). If you’re looking for sports action, you’ll want to head for the Kayo Sports app or, if you want the latest in live premium TV and access to must-see drama from networks like HBO and FX, you’ll want Foxtel Now, which you can also find on the newest streaming service, BINGE.
How to Stream TV for Free
There’s no getting around the fact that even after you’ve paid for your broadband service, the streaming services that you’ll be accessing through it are going to cost you extra – though as millions of Australians have already discovered, the ability to just pay for the services you enjoy and the freedom to cancel them at any time means that you’re never stuck paying for a service you don’t use.
The good news is that you can try all of the major streaming services out completely free of charge by taking advantage of their free trial offers. Exactly how long you get to use the service for free varies, but if you’re after a good long look at what each service has to offer, you can do so without spending a cent – just be sure to make a note of the trial expiry date when you start one, so you don’t get charged if you decide the service is not for you.
Let’s take a look at a few of the major streaming services, what they offer in terms of a free trial, and how easy it is to set up.
Netflix Free Streaming Upgrade Offer
The biggest streaming service on the planet no longer offers a free full month to try out everything it has to offer in Australia. Instead of free trials, new users can enjoy a 30-day upgrade. This means that for those who’ll be signing up for the Basic plan, they’ll get the Standard plan upgrade for 30 days, free of charge. Standard plan users will then get a Premium upgrade, also free for 30 days. Most people will be happy with the Standard plan, which allows streaming in high definition. But if you’ve got a 4K ultra HD television, you can pick the Premium plan, which unlocks access to Netflix’s huge library of 4K content and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
Signing up for your Netflix account is pretty straightforward – just enter your email address, pick a password and enter the details from a valid credit or debit card. To switch between the three different Netflix plan tiers, you’ll need to pop onto their web site from your computer. Sign in with the same account details you entered on the Telstra TV, hover over your username at the top right of the page, click “Account” and then “Change plan.” And this page is also where you can cancel your membership – just click the big Cancel Membership button!
Get Netflix through your Telstra customer account. Add it today and manage your monthly payment through your Telstra account.
BINGE Free Streaming Offer
The latest addition to Australia’s growing list of streaming services impresses with a catalogue of content ranging from top-tier HBO Originals to many of television’s classics and long-time favourites. New customers are given a 14-day trial to road test the service, although you can score a lot longer than that if you’re a Telstra postpaid consumer. Along with your home internet or mobile plan you become eligible to get up to three months of BINGE streaming for free, either on the Basic or Standard Plan. The former lets you watch on one screen while the higher-tier plan allows you to stream on two screens simultaneously. The Premium Plan, which lets you stream on up to four screens, is offered at a discounted rate of only $4/month for three months. Apart from its binge-worthy content, BINGE also makes streaming fun and easy with such features as Surprise Me! and Binge Centres. You can even search for a show or movie by mood, theme, actor, events, and more.
Try BINGE for 2 weeks FREE!
Stream a huge selection of new and classic TV shows, movies, and documentaries from the likes of HBO, BBC, FX, Cartoon Network and many more…
Free BINGE for 3 months for Telstra mobile customers!
Kayo Sports Free Trial Offer
The “Netflix of sports” now has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and if you love your footy, cricket, tennis, Formula One and more, you’ll feel right at home with Kayo Sports – check out our full review to find out about what it has to offer and its innovative special features.
Kayo Sports offers the first two weeks of full access completely free and without limits, so you can dive into the vast range of live and on-demand sport that’s on offer, streaming in full high definition and custom-tailored for the Telstra TV 3. The best part is that you have the option to have your Kayo subscription added to your Telstra bill if you like, a seamless add-on to your broadband that you can manage directly from your Telstra account.
To kick off the two-week trial all you need to do is download the free Kayo app from the Telstra TV app store (on some models it may be pre-installed) and click on it. Select “Join Now” and follow the prompts to create your Kayo account, and be sure to create a password so you can access Kayo on other devices and the web. With the streamlined set-up, you’ll be ready to pick your sports and start streaming within minutes, and you’ll have two weeks to explore before deciding whether it’s worth your money (we suspect you’ll want to stick around!)
Sign up to Kayo’s FREE 14 day trial offer
Live sport returns to Kayo, with every game and every round from the NRL and AFL, action from the Super Rugby, UFC and V8 Supercars – all available on Kayo’s 14 day trial.
Foxtel Now Free Online TV Offer
The Telstra TV box that comes with your Entertainment bundle is a versatile little thing, with the ability to handle a vast range of streaming services, let you watch free to air TV – and even give you access to Foxtel’s premium channels, via the only streaming service with live TV – Foxtel Now.
Instead of signing up for a satellite Foxtel installation (which can be inconvenient or even impossible for some) Foxtel Now lets you stream Foxtel’s vast range of channels – movies, drama, lifestyle, sports and more – via your broadband connection, via an interface that’s near-identical to that on the satellite Foxtel boxes. It works beautifully, and you also get full access to the vast Foxtel on-demand library of shows and movies.
To check out what’s available on Foxtel Now and see what the various channel packs have to offer, you can try the entire service with every channel unlocked for 10 days, free of charge. Like Kayo, you can sign up directly from the Foxtel Now app on your Telstra TV box and have the subscription added to your monthly Telstra bill if you’d like; there’s also regularly a longer trial available for Telstra customers, typically a full month with all channels available.
Once your trial period is up, if you do decide to keep Foxtel Now, it’s important to hop onto their web site and sign into your account to choose which channel packs you want to keep. For many people, the base Essentials pack is all they need, offering access to most of Foxtel’s premium dramas like Game of Thrones, Outlander and much more. But for those who want more, it can be worth keeping some of the other packs as well.
Stream the best TV, Live and On Demand. No installation, no lock-in contract, no waiting.
Stream the world’s best dramas, latest entertainment shows, live sport and Hollywood blockbusters.
What About Disney Plus?
At the moment, the one streaming service that’s missing from the Telstra TV box you’ll get with your broadband bundle is a high-profile one – Disney Plus. The reason for this is simply that Australia’s one of a handful of countries to get the service early, with Disney still working on tweaking the apps they have and developing apps for more and more platforms. Telstra has promised that a Disney Plus app for the Telstra TV is very much on the way. That’s not surprising, since one already exists for the popular Roku streaming boxes in the US, and all three generations of Telstra TV were designed by that very same company. Once Disney Plus does arrive on Telstra TV, you’ll certainly have more entertainment choices up for grabs, though new users won’t be initially trying it for free since Disney Plus recently removed their 7-day free trial.
Keep Streaming for Free!
The above streaming services as well as many others all let you try out the full service without spending a cent, but only for a limited-time trial. And that’s fine – it gives you a great chance to see first-hand which services are going to be worth your money, and if you don’t want to pay for any of them, you don’t have to.
And don’t forget, there are some completely free streaming services available for your Telstra TV as well. Along with YouTube’s vast array of content (now including big-budget original shows available for free) there are services like Tubi (weird and wonderful shows and movies supported by occasional ads) and Kanopy (movies and docos completely free with your local library membership).
But if you’re new to streaming, we’d recommend you take advantage of the free trials and test-drive the future of television. There’s plenty to see, and trying it’s free!