Your All-Australian Streaming Video Device Showdown

Welcome to your new guide of all things streaming video – let’s get ready to download!

Do you remember a time when the only way you could watch videos on the internet was with a dedicated desktop station?

Then along came laptops. Then smartphones.

Today I can watch cat videos in line at the post office. I can even binge on whole episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries while waiting (and waiting) for my driving license to get renewed!

But it hasn’t stopped there. Australians now have a growing range of streaming devices dedicated to getting this online content onto the big screen.

That’s right! There are boxes designed specifically to let you watch cat videos on your TV!

Okay, that’s not all they do. There’s actually a staggeringly diverse range of functionality across these devices. Which makes picking the right one for you quite the challenge.

But that’s where we come in! The hard work’s already done – we’ve researched, interviewed, trialled and tested every streaming video device on this list.

So which one is right for you? Read on to find out, and take a moment to Compare Australian Video Streaming services.

 Apple TVChromecastFetch TVPS4Telstra TVXboxOne
CostApple TV: $239 or $299Chromecast: $59Fetch TV: $149 or $399PS4: $469.00Telstra TV: $109XboxOne: $499 or $549
ProcessorApple TV: Apple 8 dual-core 1.5 GHzChromecast: Dual core ARM Cortex-A7 (1.2 GHz)Fetch TV: Dual core Broadcom 7413 (400 MHz)PS4: 8 core x86-64 AMD (1.6 GHz)Telstra TV: Dual core ARM A9 (1 GHz)XboxOne: 8 Core AMD (1.75 GHz)
MemoryApple TV: 2GBChromecast: 512MBFetch TV: 4GBPS4: 8GBTelstra TV: 512MBXboxOne: 8GB
StorageApple TV: 32GB or 64GBChromecast: 2GBFetch TV: 4 GB flash memory or 1TB HDDPS4: 1TBTelstra TV: 256MBXboxOne: 500GB or 1TB
HDMIApple TV: YesChromecast: YesFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
USBApple TV: No (service and diagnostics only)Chromecast: Micro-USBFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
Memory CardApple TV: NoChromecast: NoFetch TV: NoPS4: NoTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: No
WiFiApple TV: YesChromecast: YesFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
GamesApple TV: YesChromecast: NoFetch TV: NoPS4: YesTelstra TV: NoXboxOne: Yes
NetflixApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
StanApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
Foxtel PlayApple TV: NoChromecast: NoFetch TV: NoPS4: NoTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
QuickflixApple TV: Coming soonChromecast: CastingFetch TV: NoPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
iTunesApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: NoPS4: NoTelstra TV: NoXboxOne: No
App StoreApple TV: YesChromecast: NoFetch TV: NoPS4: NoTelstra TV: NoXboxOne: No
ABC iViewApple TV: YesChromecast: YesFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: No
Plus7Apple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
9NowApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: Yes (requires login)PS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: No
TenPlayApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: YesPS4: NoTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
SBS OnDemandApple TV: YesChromecast: CastingFetch TV: YesPS4: YesTelstra TV: YesXboxOne: Yes
Local media playbackApple TV: AirPlay onlyChromecast: CastingFetch TV: Record and replay (Mighty only)PS4: USB, local networkTelstra TV: USB, local network, SD card, MiracastXboxOne: USB, Miracast
Cost (rrp): $239 (32GB) or $299 (64GB)

What it does: Apple TV streams music, videos and more. It also lets users download content and apps (including games) from the iTunes Store and the App Store.

Usability: 4/5

Pros: excellent remote, Siri voice search, intuitive interface, access to purchases on App store and iTunes, fast load times, universal search delivers results from a wide range of providers.

Cons: Relatively high cost, does not support much choice outside the Apple ecosystem, does not allow much in the way of local media playback, lacking complete free-to-air catch up services.

This is for you if: you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, you only want one streaming device, you don’t need a dedicated gaming station, and you have the funds to invest in an Apple product.

Cost (rrp): $59

What it does: Chromecast is a plug-n-play media device designed to stream almost any content from almost any device on the big screen.

Usability: 5/5

Pros: cheap, compatible with a huge range of devices, avoids locking in with a single provider, can stream almost anything.

Cons: lacks many built-in features, can require a bit more work to use, requires app + streaming device to work, not always easy for un-tech-savvy family members.

This is for you if: you want a simple, cost effective way to stream your own choice of content on the big screen.

Cost (rrp): $149 Mini) or $399 (Mighty)

What it does: Fetch TV offers two set top boxes – the Mini and the Mighty. Both draw together options from a range of sources – free-to-air programs, subscription TV channels, catch up TV services, and a proprietary movie/TV program rental service. The Mighty also acts as a digital video recorder.

Usability: 4/5

Pros: growing video library, built-in free-to-air program, 1TB of space for digital video recording (Mighty), add-on subscription channels available, family-friendly remote.

Cons: unit cost, ongoing subscriptions optional.

This is for you if: you want a one-stop shop hub for all your free-to-air shows, catch-up services, Netflix, YouTube. And you don’t mind paying for the convenience of subscription channels, movie and TV rentals

Cost (rrp): $469

What it does: The PS4 is a gaming and home entertainment platform featuring connectivity with a number of other entertainment devices and services.

Usability: 3/5

Pros: Stunning stutter-free visuals, simple interface, intuitive controller, fast launch and load times, proprietary subscription channel (PlayStation Vue) available for $50/month.

Cons: Media player codecs do not support all file types, test model presented with connectivity issues, less viewing options than some other platforms, local media playback options limited, does not natively support free-to-air TV

This is for you if: you like slick performance from an easy-to-use platform that is a gaming station first and a media centre second.

Cost (rrp): $109

What it does: Telstra TV is a streaming platform delivers pre-installed access to a wide range of streaming content – as well as your own videos, music and photos – right from your TV.

Usability: 4/5

Pros: easy for first-timers to set up, simple menus, quality remote, comprehensive free-to-air catch-up services, easy accessibility for local content.

Cons: must have Telstra broadband, apps can lag on load, no way to add media apps, no universal search.

This is for you if: you have Telstra broadband, you have or want Netflix/Stan/Foxtel Play, you love Australian content, you want to move these streaming options from a laptop or tablet to the big screen, and you want a simple solution to get streaming media on the big screen.

Cost (rrp): $499 (500GB) $549 (1TB)

What it does: The Xbox One is a videogame and entertainment console developed by Microsoft that integrates motion tracking and voice recognition – via the Kinect unit – in addition to a traditional graphical user interface.

Usability: 4/5

Pros: easy to navigate with the provided controller, powerful multimedia playback, wide selection of media apps, can change the channel/volume etc using gesture/voice controls, can switch seamlessly between live TV and games, can act as set-top box (minus recording feature)

Cons: controller can be difficult for new console owners, user interface is a little tricky to navigate, the Kinect’s voice/gesture commands are inelegant and not foolproof, cannot natively record free-to-air TV.

This is for you if: you want a gaming console that supports nearly all of your media files, and you want to feel like you’re in a (slightly glitchy) sci-fi movie.

What’s the final word in streaming Australian content?

As you can see, your choice comes down to how you see yourself using the device – or devices.

If you want games, then you pick a gaming console. Or maybe an Apple TV if you want a casual session.

If you want movies and more, then go with one of the set top boxes. That way you can record and replay your favourite Miss Fisher Moments whenever you like.

And if you just want to stream what you want, when you want, then the Chromecast stands out above all.

Google Chromecast

Stream your favourite entertainment providers to your TV!