Since this review was published, Quickflix has been through some drastic changes. The arrival of Netflix and Stan, with their massive budgets, was something Quickflix never quite was able to compete with, and ultimately it was bought by a US company and has now almost totally gone back to being a DVD-by-mail service — still at the same $20/month price. There is still some streaming content there — some of it free — but these days, Quickflix has gone “old-school” and found its niche with people who still want to rent discs via the mail..
We’ve left this review intact so you can see for yourself how they — all too briefly — were a player in a local industry that now has millions of customers.
If you live outside of the cities, in an area with poor connectivity, or perhaps you just like to have a solid disc in your hand, Quickflix also offers an option to have DVDs delivered by post.
Quickflix has been operating a disc rental business for more than a decade, and started a streaming services in 2012 — but just how good is it? Here’s the lowdown.
The streaming service Quickflix is a simple proposition with three pricing options. For $9.99/month Quickflix will allow you to stream unlimited shows from their library of more than 60,000 films and series. Granted, the picture quality of what you watch will depend on the speed of your internet connection, but for an instant fix of your favourite drama series, this is the best and most reasonably priced option.
If you live outside of the cities, in an area with poor connectivity, or perhaps you just like to have a solid disc in your hand, Quickflix also offers an option to have DVDs delivered by post. $12.99 allows you to rent one disc at a time, $22.99 gets you two, and for $29.99/month, you can have up to three discs out at once. Postage is included in the price and the discs are usually delivered by the next working day. As three discs can be borrowed simultaneously and there is no limit to the number which can be borrowed per month, Quickflix could actually be losing money on those particularly voracious viewers who use the service to its max.
The deluxe option — costing a whopping $29.99 combines both streaming and DVDs delivered to your door.
Packages can be changed or cancelled at any time, and a free 14-day trial can help ensure that Quickflix is actually a service you would use, before you pay anything.
On the face of it, this seems like a good deal — the front page of the Quickflix website shows stills from the latest American shows such as the latest season of The Walking Dead and Netflix’s own Orange is the New Black — but don’t rush off to grab your credit card just yet.
Of Quickflix’s 60,000 DVD titles, 50,000 were acquired from former DVD-by-post rival, BigPond Movies in 2011. Likewise, the aforementioned Walking Dead is not available as part of a standard Quickflix package, and users must pay extra for “Premium” episodes and movies.
Fees for premium streaming start at $3.99 for a full movie (The front page of the website says $5.99 but is wrong) and $2.99 per episode of a series. As a one off charge, these prices seem quite reasonable, but very few people possess the willpower to sample just one episode of a series. To binge-view the The Walking Dead season 5 in its entirety would cost a staggering $43.99 — it’s certainly not cheap, but if you want to watch it legally and right away, that’s the price.
That’s not to say that the standard Quickflix catalogue is in any way unworthy. Headline TV series include The Sopranos, The Wire, and the slow-paced Danish detective drama The Killing.
Quickflix is available on the wide range of devices and you can register up to six gadgets to your account and stream on three at the same time!
Compatibility is the issue which can make or break a streaming platform. Few people want to watch a feature film on an 11-inch laptop screen, or hunched over their desktop computers. This is the 21st century and big screen viewing is where it’s at.
Fortunately, as well as being accessible through PCs and Macs, Quickflix is compatible with most internet connected Sony devices including the PS3, Blu-ray players, and Bravia TVs home theatre systems. Recent Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players also became compatible, as did Microsoft’s XBox One. In short, if you have a reasonably modern internet connected device in your house, the odds are good that you will be able to stream some high quality Quickflix goodness through it.
Unfortunately, not all features are available on all platforms. On the PS3/PS4 for instance, there is no support for HD playback, personal playlists, or premium access. Interestingly, Quickflix states that the playlist feature is available on Google Android but not Samsung Android. Go figure.
Ease of Use
As we’d expect, Quickflix offers a simple, uncluttered interface, making it incredibly easy to browse through the available shows to see what takes your fancy for a night in on the couch with a bottle of wine and your significant other.
Drop down menus allow the user to select either TV shows, Movies, or DVDs, with each menu further divided into genres such as fantasy, drama, Disney, or “Australian”.
Clickable thumbnails will start the movie, or take you to a further menu of episodes if you have chosen to watch a series. It’s not rocket science, and we found Quickflix browsing remarkably easy.
While we have only tested Quickflix on the PC, we were disappointed with the search facility, which does not offer autocomplete, throws up some fairly random results, and fails to suggest shows which are related to the original search term.
When we tried searching for the US sci-fi series, Fringe for example, the only result was Polar Explorer — A Franklin and friends adventure — which is a premium animated children’s film priced at $3.99. Despite being less than impressed, we gave the Quickflix search function another shot at helping us find what we wanted, but were again disappointed when we searched for one of the best known sci-fi series of the last decade, Joss Whedon’s Firefly and got Fireman Sam and the Great Fire of Pontypandy, which was not what we were looking for.
As a pioneer of streaming on-demand TV in Australia, Quickflix has come a long way, but has further still to go. It’s uncomplicated and offers all-you-can-eat TV and films for a fixed price, but unfortunately, Quickflix lets itself down in a couple of key areas.
Quite simply, the library of TV titles included with the standard package is not nearly as extensive as we expected it be, with almost every popular show we searched for being either premium, or more often, just not there at all.
It’s clear that Quickflix is modelled on and has been inspired by Netflix, but the finesse simply isn’t there.
We love that Quickflix will connect directly from a massive range of devices including TVs and consoles — however we hate that Quickflix is sometimes inconsistent or confusing in telling you exactly what is available, and the hardware needed to stream.
Searching is frustrating and limited, and while what Quickflix offers is good — in our opinion, it isn’t quite good enough to compete with Netflix when it eventually launches in Australia. For now though, Quickflix is one of a few players in a very open field, and is certainly worth spending some time checking out.