Presto has ceased operations effective January 2017. For any
Presto started out as a purely movies-only streaming service, adding a library of TV shows later to offer a product similar to Netflix. As usual, the consumer was the winner in this case. With a no-contract subscription, it made sense not getting locked in at a price you didn’t like!
Unlike its rivals, Presto’s TV and Movie streaming services were sold separately. The standard monthly fee gave subscribers access to Presto’s standard movie catalogue of films OR TV content. Each subscription was coming at a price of $9.99/month. To get the two in one package, the cost was $14.99. The selections were impressive, we’ll give Presto that.
…the service did a good job at building collections that would appeal to a wide audience.
While Presto didn’t use to advertise exactly how many movies were in its library, there were 10 genres available. We estimated that a monthly subscription would have given you access to about a thousand movies, which were constantly changing. We had a Full Movie and TV Library for details.
The movie selection included titles from the movie channels run by Presto’s parent company, Foxtel. However, there was some delay in the journey from Foxtel broadcast to Presto streaming. Presto had a decent range of films both newer and older – certainly more than enough to keep you entertained on a night in. Notable movie titles included Jurassic World, Insurgent and even Fifty Shades of Grey. At the other end of the spectrum there were modern classics like Shaun of the Dead or The Truman Show. It was a diverse and comprehensive list. Like browsing the shelves of your local video library; titles were added regularly, too.
Presto’s TV section featured full seasons of popular TV dramas including City Homicide, All Saints and Packed to The Rafters from Seven’s stable, along with some acclaimed HBO dramas like True Detective and comedies like Silicon Valley and Girls. The real drawcard, though, were the more recent shows. Some of them, like Aquarius, Mr Robot or American Crime, were seen on Presto before being available anywhere else. All in all, there was a nicely diverse range of shows on offer. Most of them well known and many from US premium cable channels like the aforementioned HBO, as well as Showtime and USA Network. There was very little “filler” in Presto’s library – the service did a good job at building collections that would appeal to a wide audience.
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Streaming TV & Movies Plans
- Service Only Plan
- 6 Content Genres
- Service Only Plan
- 8 Content Genres
Min Cost - Depending on title
Ease of Use
Presto’s web interface was simple and easy to use, with signup being a three step process. It required you to enter your personal details, check your email account and then enter your credit card details.
Once you joined, finding a movie or show to watch was simple. The ‘Movies’ or ‘TV’ dropdowns – accessible from anywhere on the site – were divided into Genres, Recently Added, Trending Now and “Presto Picks”. Clicking on one of the ten genres used to take you to a new page. Titles could either be viewed as thumbnails with descriptions, or as more the more compact ‘thumbnails only’ view.
Search was excellent and accessible from every page. Clicking on the search icon caused a search screen to overlay whatever page you were on. As soon as you started typing, relevant results were shown. We tried searching for the popular comedy Pitch Perfect 2 and had only got as far as entering the second letter before it appeared in the list.
Presto had excellent apps for iOS and Android with native Chromecast support ever since launch. The service also added more device support rapidly – for selected Smart TVs, Apple TV via Airplay, Telstra TV, Nexus Player, Android TV, Telstra T-Box and PlayStation 3 and 4. Browsing through Presto with the iOS apps was a good experience – selecting a TV series and choosing an episode felt intuitive and easy.
The simplest way to watch Presto directly on your TV was via a native Smart TV app available only on select Samsung, LG and Sony Bravia models. Everyone else had a few other options. You could head out and buy a Google Chromecast to send video from the phone or tablet apps to it. And Apple TV users could use AirPlay to send Presto video to their screens. Both Chromecast and AirPlay, as well as most of the device apps, supported full 1080p HD on a good number of shows and movies as well. Support was eventually added for Playstation 3 and 4 game consoles with their own native apps.
As you might have expected, the quality of what was shown on the screen depended on just one thing – how fast your internet connection was. Presto used to recommend at least 3Mbps for the best playback. However, if your connection wasn’t up to the mark, you were still be able to watch without buffering or long load times. The bit-rate of the stream would drop, leaving you with a picture less crisp than it could be. For HD streams, they used to recommend 6Mbps as a minimum.
After an SD-only beginning, Presto added full HD support, with newer TV shows and movies available in 1080p. On a large-screen display the picture quality wasn’t as good as with Netflix or Stan, but that wasn’t much of a hassle. It still looked great on laptops and PCs.
Presto was reasonably priced and offered a decent selection of TV and movies. However, the service closed down at the beginning of 2017. Since then, Foxtel launched another streaming service called Foxtel Now. It’s a significant improvement over Presto. It offers HD streaming and has a low entry point of just $10. Moreover, the platform allows you to both watch Foxtel channels live and binge content on demand. There are no contracts – you can cancel your subscription anytime.
Foxtel Now comes with great device compatibility as well. You can watch on PCs/Macs, mobile devices, Chromecast, Telstra TV, and PS4. Even better, there’s a two week Foxtel Now free trial to experience everything the service has to offer. Grab the offer below and start watching now.