Since 2003, Quickflix has delivered movies and TV shows through disc rental and streaming to Australian subscribers. Now that Netflix is available, the question is: how do the two services compare?
Join us as we take a look through the pros and cons. We’ll examine the content, features, accessibility and pricing of both services to help you decide.
Netflix in Australia offers a growing range of TV shows and movies to choose from. For TV, offerings vary from older releases like Fawlty Towers to Netflix originals including House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Orange Is The New Black with Taylor Schilling. Movie titles include blockbusters like Gravity, Drive and The Dark Knight Rises; and also cult classics like Pan’s Labyrinth. Locally produced titles include The Time of our Lives, Janet King, and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
At the time this review is updated in October 2017, the Australian grown Quickflix offers mostly Hollywood blockbusters on a pay as you go basis. Subscribers can also choose to rent titles on DVD and Blu-Ray, and have them delivered to their door. This expands the content available out to a whopping 60,000 movie and TV titles.
Worldwide favourite – House of Cards with Kevin Spacey is a Netflix original. Photo: Supplied
Netflix gives subscribers easy access to its content on a massive range of devices. Apps are available for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, modern Smart TVs and even most next-gen gaming consoles. It also supports Macs, PCs and Linux users running modern browsers. In addition, both Chromecast and AppleTV work with Netflix. Subscribers can access this content from an unlimited number of devices. However, the number of screens available for simultaneous screening depends on the subscription package.
In contrast, Quickflix users are limited to 6 devices. But they get to stream to up to 3 screens at the same time straight away – which helps eliminate family conflicts over what to watch. Quickflix also has apps for Smart TVs, game consoles, smartphones, tablets and on HDMI-enabled TVs through Chromecast. Additionally, Quickflix works on the Kindle Fire and modern Windows phones, as well as set top box devices such as TiVo, HUMAX, Kobo and Oppo. It also supports the latest browsers. It should be noted though that there are some limitations on premium content availability for specific Smart TVs, consoles and computer operating systems.
Quickflix’s DVD and BluRay rental is handled exclusively through the Australian postal service. Subscribers put together a list of titles they want to watch and receive the discs as early as the next day. The delivery comes complete with a prepaid return postal sachet. When they are done with the discs, subscribers just pop them back in the post, and get their next delivery shipped overnight.
Netflix adjusts streaming quality based on the connection available. That quality also depends on the subscription package – which we’ll cover in detail later. As with most services, the minimum recommended broadband speed is 1.5MB/s for standard definition. This moves up to 25MB/s for subscribers making use of 4K streaming. While this puts Super HD out of reach for many mobile devices, can you name a phone that supports this level of definition? Netflix also offers a 30-day free trial for new subscribers, which activates during the sign-up process.
Like Netflix, Quickflix adjusts the picture quality according to playback device and bandwidth availability. Under normal conditions, Quickflix content displays as well as SD and HD free-to-air TV titles. They recommend subscribers have a high bandwidth Internet connection of at least 1.5MB/s. Data usage is around 16GB for an average movie, and 350MB of data for a TV show.
You can access Netflix across three subscription levels. The Basic pack lets users watch the catalogue via a single screen for $9.99/month. The next level up is the Standard pack at $13.99/month, which offers streaming to two screens simultaneously. Finally, the Premium pack enables streaming to up to four screens for $17.99/month. And there are no lock-in contracts. But Netflix does limit HD viewing to Standard subscribers and above, and Super HD (4K) for Premium account holders.
Quickflix subscribers get access to the Premium Movie and TV library for no subscription fee. Instead, you pay for each title you want to stream. It costs $5.99 to rent a premium release. In addition, Quickflix gives subscribers access to new-release DVD and Blu-Ray titlesf or $20/month with two discs able to be borrowed at a time. There are no due dates or fees. And just like Netflix, subscribers can renew or cancel their subscription on a monthly basis.
Want to see how it stacks up against other services? Check out the table below!
Both Netflix and Quickflix boast extensive online FAQs that answer common questions. Netflix lets subscribers live chat with a representative over the Internet, or even call up and talk directly, 24/7. In both cases, the wait times are generally under a minute – meaning subscribers can get quick answers to their questions without worrying about calling during business hours. And lost passwords? A simple email form sorts that out quickly.
Quickflix members can schedule a personal phone call by submitting a form with their questions via the Quickflix help section. Customer service hours are weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm, with technical support hours extended from 12 noon to 8 pm on Saturdays. This means that any unexpected issues won’t ruin your weekend viewing plans. As expected, lost passwords are easily recovered using an automated email system.
Netflix gives users a personalised online interface. This displays new offerings in response to what the user has watched, and the rating they give for each title. Subscribers can also put content on a list for later viewing. Netflix even tracks your viewing time, so if you’re interrupted, you can resume playback from the point you left off. As mentioned before, the service cuts buffering out of your viewing experience by adjusting playback quality in response to bandwidth availability.
Quickflix is unique in offering a range of titles across a number of access points. Premium purchases mean you don’t have to wait for a movie or an episode to get released from an airing contract before it becomes available online. In addition, the DVD/BluRay delivery rental option makes it easy to access high-quality content when away from WiFi.
Premium purchases mean you don’t have to wait for a movie to be released from an airing contract before it becomes available online. Photo: Supplied
Should I Choose Quickflix or Netflix?
Both Netflix and Quickflix offer useful services. However, the intent behind the different delivery systems needs careful consideration.
For me, Netflix is the best option if you want multi-platform compatibility with a simple subscription. If you have a solid internet connection and a Smart TV, then it’s a great option. You get intense, cinema-quality definition right there in your lounge room without buffering. It’s also attractive if you’re after single-screen experience, want a cheap entry point, and don’t mind watching shows in SD.
On the other hand, Quickflix is aimed at people who just *have* to see new movies as soon as they come out – and don’t mind paying for the privilege. It’s also handy to have fresh DVDs delivered regularly – you always have something on hand to watch in case the broadband goes on the fritz. If these points strike a chord with you, this likely means that Quickflix is the perfect pick.