Review: Best Movie Streaming Service for Australia


best movie streaming service

Whilst the rest of the world has been drowning in streaming movie options for years, it’s only relatively recently that we’ve gotten to splash around with some of these Streaming Video On Demand Services (SVODs). So, which is the best serviceout there? Perhaps more importantly, which one meets your particular needs?

Arriving at a conclusion isn’t quite as simple as it may seem. Is it the service with the video library so large that you’ll never leave your home again? Or the one which will actually put your 52 inch high-definition plasma TV through its paces? Allow CompareTV to be your helmsman as we navigate the deep and occasionally baffling waters of movie streaming. If you’re looking to stream TV shows live with ease, you’re in the right place.

Netflix

Price
Range
Ease of Use

Netflix launched in Australia in early 2015 after months of anticipation, with over 1,100 titles in its library. Although the initial offer of movies and TV shows wasn’t as generous as in the US, it’s been steadily growing since launch. Plus, the service still provides subscribers with thousands of quality streaming titles. Moreover, users get access to Netflix’s highly acclaimed original content – which includes shows like Jessica JonesDaredevilSense8NarcosOrange Is the New BlackHouse of CardsStranger ThingsThe CrownBlack Mirror, 13 Reasons Why, and more.

Netflix’s basic membership is the cheapest on this list – only $9.99/month to stream content in standard definition, to one screen at a time. The service comes with a one-month free trial and without any contracts, so users can cancel their subscriptions at any time. As for compatibility, it runs on just about any platform, with ease.

Cost: three tiers, basic ($9.99), standard (HD, $13.99), premium (4K Ultra HD, $17.99); no contract.

Platforms: PC/Mac, tablet, mobile, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fetch TV, Playstation, Xbox, Telstra TV, Smart TVs.

Screens: unlimited devices; 1 stream (basic), 2 streams (standard), 4 streams (premium).

Key content: Netflix Original content including House of CardsStranger ThingsThe CrownOrange is the New BlackBloodlineThe Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtGrace and FrankieSense8Jessica JonesDaredevil and more, plus first-run streaming rights to films from the Disney and Marvel catalogues. In Spring 2017, Netflix users can stream Stranger Things Season 2, Haters Back Off Season 2, as well as weekly episodes of DynastyDesignated Survivor, and Star Trek: Discovery.

Trial period: 30 Days Free

Foxtel Now

Price
Range
Ease of Use

This streamlined IPTV service from Australia’s biggest cable TV company is the ideal option for people who are interested in what Foxtel has to offer, but prefer to avoid signing a contract for a cable subscription. In this case, all you need to do is sign up for an account on the Foxtel Now website and choose a package that best suits your streaming needs. You pay on a monthly basis and you can cancel or change your subscription from month to month.

The price for the service starts at $10/month, depending on the content packs you opt for. There are five basic packs – Lifestyle, Kids, Docos ($10/month each), Drama and Pop ($15/month each or $25/month both). Foxtel Now also offers two premium packs – Movies, at $20/month and Sports, at $29/month. Foxtel Now, formerly known as Foxtel Play, should be the perfect pick for Game of Thrones fans, since the cable company owns the rights to screen the series in Australia.

Cost: tiered by genre ($10-15/month), premium Movies $20/month, premium Sport $29/month.

Platforms: PC/Mac, tablet, mobile, Chromecast, Telstra TV (HD), PS4. The old Foxtel Play app still available on selected smart TVs, Playstation 3, XBox One.

Screens: 3 devices; 2 streams.

Key content: first-run episodes of Game of ThronesWestworldFear The Walking DeadThe 100SuitsPretty Little LiarsLast Week TonightRay Donovan, in addition to Foxtel Originals like Wentworth and The Real Housewives of Melbourne, plus up to 69 linear streaming channels including live sport. In Spring 2017, new shows available on Foxtel Now include A Place to Call HomeSupergirlThe FlashMr. Robot, and The Walking Dead.

Trial period: 2 Weeks Free

Want Foxtel Now? Check Your Options!

Before signing up, make sure to check this guide on all pay & streaming TV options from Foxtel & other providers to get your favourite sports, TV, & more.
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Stan

stan
Price
Range
Ease of Use

Stan has an extensive collection of movies and TV shows, at a good price – $10/month for its SD-only entry-level subscription (HD is $12 per month, and 4K streaming runs to $15 a month). It’s important to note that users are allowed watch on up to three screens at the same time on the $12 HD plan, (or four screens on the 4K plan) which can be a plus for families or roommates sharing the cost. The service comes with a one-month free trial and no lock-in contracts. Also, it supports multiple platforms – PC/Mac, smart TV, tablet, mobile, Apple TV, Playstation 3 and 4, Telstra TV, Fetch TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. It has a great interface, offers fast HD streaming, and is extremely easy to use.

Another great thing about the service is that it gives users the option to choose the image quality of the stream. There’s an automatic setting that adapts the bit rate according to the quality of the connection. But subscribers can also choose to stream in SD or HD, depending on their bandwidth.

Cost: $10/month SD, $12/month for HD, $15/month for 4K UHD.

Platforms: PC/Mac, smart TV, tablet, mobile, Apple TV 3 and 4, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox One.

Screens: unlimited devices; 3 streams.

Key content: exclusive rights to Twin PeaksYoungerRoadiesBetter Call SaulCommunityAsh Vs Evil DeadiZombieBillions, Power and Preacher; streaming rights to Breaking BadThe BridgeSherlockEye Candy; original content like Wolf Creek, The Other Guy and No Activity, along with stand-up comedy specials. In Spring 2017, Stan subscribers can get ready to stream all 12 seasons of Supernatural, as well as new series White FamousClaws, and the Will & Grace revival.

Trial period: 30 Days Free

iTunes

itunes
Price
Range
Ease of Use

As one of Apple’s biggest money spinners, iTunes offers to supply and remotely store all of your media content and movies.

Unlike Stan or Netflix, there is no all-you-can-eat option for a monthly fee. Instead, iTunes allows you to either rent movies for around $6.99, or buy them outright for around $20-30; while, typically for digital media, not allowing you to lend the titles out or sell them on.

iTunes can stream to most Apple devices and other compatible hardware, with native playback built into everything Apple; Windows PC users aren’t left out, with a fully-featured iTunes client available for that platform as well.

Cost: Movies rentals from $6.99 or buy from $9.99 to $24.99 (no contract) / TV Shows single episodes from $3.49 or buy from $14.99 (no contract).

Platforms: PC/Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iPod classic or iPod nano, TV through Apple TV.

Screens: You can move purchased movies or TV shows between devices as often as you want, but you can only have it on one device at a time.

Key content: Latest seasons of TV shows like HomelandNashvilleFargoThe BlacklistDoctor Who; movies like Ghost in the Shell, The Fate of the Furious, The Martian, Mad Max Fury Road.

Trial period: none.

Google Play

google play
Price
Range
Ease of Use

Apple’s main competitor in virtually every area, Google has made sure to cover the streaming market as well. Like iTunes, Google Play doesn’t offer an all-in streaming option, but instead will rent or sell content to you for a similar price. In case you think we’re Apple bashing here, we have to point out that Google will not allow you to lend out the movies you own either.

It’s worth pointing out here that the Google Play Movies app is available on iOS, and iTunes will run on Android. Aside from being invested into either ecosystem, there is nothing to differentiate the two services.

Cost: Movies rentals from $3.99 or buy from $12.99 (no contract) / TV Shows single episodes $3.49 or buy seasons from $19.99 (no contract).

Platforms: There’s alist as long as your arm – it’s best you visit their supported devices page.

Screens: You can download purchased movies and shows on up to five devices using the same account. You can download movies and shows you’ve rented to one device at a time. Once you’ve downloaded a video to one device, you won’t be able to stream it on another.

Key content: Latest seasons of TV shows like HomelandNashvilleFargoThe BlacklistDoctor Who; movies like Ghost in the Shell, The Fate of the Furious, The Martian, Mad Max Fury Road.

Trial period: none.

Conclusion

We’re not going to come out and declare a clear victor in the grand battle of streaming services, because it really comes down to which of these services best fits your needs.

Sadly, iTunes and Google Play are ruled out due to their rent or buy pricing model.  For people who want to watch more than two films per month this get pretty expensive… ouch!

For the avid movie lover on a limited budget, we’d be remiss if we failed to recommend either Stan or Netflix. They both have unlimited streaming, and are pitched at a near identical price point. But if you’re after live sports and Foxtel content, Foxtel Now is the service for you.

With the catalogues expanding weekly, it’s a game of try before you buy with most of the providers. You may even end up subscribing to two or more services (like us streaming junkies!) to get the exact shows and movies you’re after.