The latest iteration of the Seven Network’s catch-up service, 7Plus, offers some much-needed freshness to what was one of the earliest such free-to-air services offered by Australia’s broadcasters.
Enabling viewers around the country to tune into everything Network Seven has to offer whenever and wherever they want, the wide range of shows and flexibility provided by 7Plus makes it an attractive proposition for many TV lovers. And what’s more, it’s available free of charge, giving it an edge over subscription services.
The popularity of free-to-air may be on the decline, but the creation of easy-to-use catch-up services like 7Plus helps these networks to compete with the enormous influx of streaming services which have appeared in recent years.
What makes 7Plus different?
As mentioned, one of the primary benefits of 7Plus is that you get access to an extensive catalog of television without having to pay a cent. The service might not quite have the range of shows available on some of the streaming giants like Netflix and Stan, but that you can use it on your own terms without having to worry about a monthly fee is a massive advantage.
What does 7Plus deliver?
Quite simply, 7Plus delivers virtually everything that is available on Network Seven, live or on-demand. Often, the entirety of the most recent season of a program will be available for viewing through the website or the app, though previous seasons of some shows are also available.
What this means is that, unlike in the past when you would need to be home at a certain time if you wanted to keep up with your favourite shows, now you can catch-up on what you’ve missed the next day – or even later if need be. What’s more, you can now binge in a way that wouldn’t have previously been possible with free-to-air shows, watching entire seasons of the best Network Seven has to offer at your own leisure.
7Plus is the home to shows from Channel 7, 7TWO, 7mate, 7flix and racing.com. That’s a whole lot of content, particularly when considering you don’t need to pay a cent to access it.
Does 7Plus have unique content?
Yes! That’s the beauty of 7Plus – a lot of the content available on it is exclusive to Network Seven, meaning you’ll have access to a huge array of television that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. Old Australian favourites – Home and Away, for example – can only be found on Network Seven or 7Plus.
What about sport?
Network Seven has long been the home of a lot of great sport, and with their recent acquisition of the cricket broadcasting rights, that has never been truer than it is today. Unfortunately, the most popular of the sports aired on the network – namely the AFL and the cricket – aren’t available on 7Plus due to licensing issues, and need to either be watched live on free-to-air or on various other catch-up services.
There is, however, still a multitude of great sport-based television to be found here. There’s a huge catalog of fishing shows, while AFL, cricket, and motorsport documentaries are also available to be viewed at your own leisure.
The 7Plus website has been significantly cleaned up in recent times, after the previously chaotic version was updated to more closely resemble the clean and user-friendly nature of other streaming providers like Netflix and Foxtel Now. The first thing you’ll see on the home page is a rotating list of five popular shows you can watch on 7Plus, while other categories – such as ‘On Now’, ‘Trending On 7Plus’, as well as various genres and specific TV shows – can be found further down the page.
There are also a couple of tabs at the top – the first of these allows you to scroll through all the available programming in alphabetical order, while the second lets you take a look at what’s on Network Seven right now.
There are, of course, also 7Plus apps, which are available on iPhone, iPad and Android, as well as smart TVs and a range of other devices. Everything’s sorted and categorised so you can find it fast, including sections for newly-added episodes and those that are about to expire. You can browse by genres, and keep track of your favourites across devices by signing in with a Seven account – though you don’t need an account to use the service or the apps.
Picture quality isn’t exactly industry leading, and it’s unavoidably a little blurry on a large display, but it’s far from the worst. On a broadband connection the stream upgrades itself to a higher bitrate after a short time. Don’t judge what you see based on the first few seconds after pressing play, as the quality will improve.
Of course, being a free-to-air catch-up services, you invariably have to deal with advertising when streaming on 7Plus. These can’t be skipped, and will generally run before shows and at regular advertising points, but they average out at less than 90 seconds, significantly less than what you have to deal with when watching live on TV.
How to access 7Plus
Accessing 7Plus is as simple as could be. It’s available on a range of devices – for a full list, take a look at the table below. As long as you’re in Australia, you can head straight to the 7Plus website or download the app and start watching immediately. Alternatively, you can create an account – something which gives you a few added benefits, such as the ability to have your favourite shows remembered by the service – though this isn’t a necessity.
7Plus is available on the following devices:
|Android||Devices using Kitkat 5.0 and above|
|Apple TV||4th Generation|
|Freeview Plus certified TVs||Yes|
|iOS||iPhone 5 and above running iOS v10.3 or later
iPhone 6 and above running iOS v10.1 or later
iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini running iOS v10.1 or later
|PCs and Macs||Modern Chrome, Firefox and Edge Browsers|
|Sony Linux TV||Yes|
Summary – Who ever said no to a free deal?
7Plus is a useful thing to have around, updating daily and performing its core function well. The website has seen a lot of improvements and design renovations, and is now easy to navigate – as are the apps. Offering a huge range of popular shows with an element of flexibility not typically associated with free-to-air TV, 7Plus is one of the best ways to get what you want from the world of Seven.