Dendy Direct has ceased operations effective May 14, 2018. For any enquiries or concerns, please contact their customer service directly.
With a rapidly growing range of online streaming services becoming available in Australia, Dendy Direct is a niche offering targeted mainly at movie buffs, but offering something for all tastes.
Dendy Direct is an on-demand movie and TV service (where you pay per transaction – following the same model as Google Play and iTunes) from the cinema chain which is perhaps best known for hosting art-house and international movies. It is described as “a service created by film lovers, for film lovers”.
Dendy offers many of the same first-release and recent-release titles that are available on streaming services such as iTunes and Google Play; with the pricing fairly similar also. Nearly all content is available in HD, a huge bonus for those wishing to watch on the big screen. (We did find a few blockbuster titles such as “Interstellar” and “Avatar” that are only available in SD on Dendy Direct, while other on-line stores offer them in both HD and SD. Dendy tells us that this is a restriction imposed by Warner, the Australian distributor.) Most importantly Dendy Direct stands out for its range of niche content that can be harder to find on the mainstream services – think of its content range as being similar to SBS rather than Channel 7, 9 or 10.
Where it really shines is in exploring quality dramas, foreign films and undiscovered gems, which can be hard to find elsewhere. (Foreign titles are all subtitled in English.) Browsing the online catalogue by genre will show a smattering of mainstream titles that you see elsewhere (including the local Video Shop, if your area still has one!), but many of the offered titles will be unfamiliar to you, unless you’re a true World Movie buff like David Stratton or Margaret Pomeranz.
Dendy Direct’s recently launched “Marquee” section features movies that have only recently left cinemas, giving you 72 hours to watch your rental without any restrictions on the number of views or devices. It’s only testing the waters with a few titles at the moment, but there’s potential there for a unique service – a “do it digitally instead of trekking to the cinema” service bringing movies to you well inside the usual cinema-to-rental window. This review was updated October 2017.
Other than some late-model Samsung TVs, there are no native TV apps for Smart TVs, so you’ll need to either watch on a computer with an HDMI connection to your TV or purchase an Apple TV or Chromecast (these are relatively inexpensive based on the value of being able to watch on your TV). They also offer offline playback for all purchases on mobile and tablet devices. Anything you own, you can pull down from the cloud and store it on your device for later viewing.
Apple TV: Content is AirPlay supported so you can wirelessly stream via your iOS device directly to a TV via an Apple TV – an awesome win for all us apple devotees wishing to watch on the big screen at home.
Chromecast: Android and iOS users are also catered for via Chromecast. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have an ability to browse the catalogue and purchase content – it is purely a playback app, for content which you have already rented or purchased from your computer’s browser. You can create watchlists for titles which you are interested in, but are not ready to buy / rent just yet, but again your watchlist is not accessible from the mobile app. Dendy will be trying to avoid paying a percentage to Apple and Google for in-app sales here, which is understandable; once you’ve bought or rented a title it’s right there in the app for you to watch without hassle, and who knows – it might save you from those late-night impulse buys!
Dendy Direct sets out to “Inspire, delight and surprise” with new ways to discover and explore movies and TV shows. Most movie fans will make a lot of use of the “Dendy Loves” and “Dendy Recommends” lists, as well as the “Guest Curators” – these are curated “collections” which change frequently, and are bound to throw up new titles to pique your interest. The Guest Curators offer an eclectic mix of new and old content which appeals to them – and it may well appeal to your tastes as well. If you don’t like this week’s suggestions, just check back next week and see what is up for offer then.
There are no standing costs for accessing Dendy Direct – no joining fees, no commitments, and no minimum spend – just set up a free account, and then pay for rentals and purchases as you wish. Rented and purchased content can then be viewed on any computer or mobile device (or Chromecast to your TV).
Streaming TV & Movies Plans
- Set-top Box Included
- 3 Content Genres
- Service Only Plan
- 8 Content Genres
Min Cost - Depending on title
Dendy Direct is one for the movie buffs, especially lovers of quirky foreign titles that can be hard to find elsewhere. Because of the limited catalogue (approximately 1400 movies and 50 TV shows, but this list is expanding all the time), most people would use it as a supplement to other streaming services, such as Netflix or Stan, rather than as their primary service.
As there are no subscription charges, and you only pay for titles that you watch, there is no reason why you shouldn’t sign up today for a free account, and browse the catalogue whenever you’re getting tired of Masterchef or reruns of Friends, and want to watch something a bit out of the ordinary.