Review was updated on 25th July, 2019
Stan made it to the Australian streaming market ahead of the curve — beating Netflix to local launch and going toe-to-toe with them to attract subscribers with a huge range of all-you-can-eat programming. Stan has carved out a niche for themselves, with a huge and loyal customer base despite a looming Netflix’s dominance.
Stan boasts a range of “Thousands of Hours” of entertainment, although they don’t say exactly how many titles are available (we aim to please by providing you with the full Stan Movie and TV Library). Going through the genres you soon realise this is one jam-packed listing — there really is something for everyone. From classic Australian comedy like Frontline and We Can Be Heroes to brilliant US series like Sweetbitter, Billions, and iZombie, from blockbuster to art-house, the sheer diversity of options presented just on the front page is extremely welcoming and incredibly inviting.
Going through the genres you soon realise this is one jam-packed listing — there really is something for everyone.
What does Stan Deliver?
Stan has a key deal with Sony, which included the first run of dramas such as Better Call Saul (a spin-off from the popular Breaking Bad), Mozart in the Jungle and the highly acclaimed Transparent. They also feature popular shows such as Orphan Black, Heart of Dixie, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear (BBC Worldwide), Ray Donovan, Dexter, The Good Wife, and Californication.
Stan has secured a number of content deals that cover titles from studios such as Warner Brothers, Starz, Amazon, Hulu, and Showtime, bringing on board first-run shows (often fast-tracked weekly) like iZombie, Billions, UnReal, RuPaul’s Drag Race and the hit show Younger.
Stan also features a number of ABC dramas, such as Rake, Jack Irish, and Janet King, as well as factual titles such as The Killing Season.
Moreover, Stan has a lot of programming for kids and families such as The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Bob the Builder, Rugrats, Thomas and Friends, and Fireman Sam.Stan doesn’t list its content up-front — as the pool of content is constantly changing, with new shows and movies added as others reach the end of their license period. Instead they present highlights that are based on categories. There really is something for everyone in Stan’s library — it’s like a feast for the eyes when you land on the homepage, and everyone in the family will enjoy adding to their faves list. Oh, and let’s not forget about Stan’s acclaimed original shows — like Wolf Creek, Romper Stomper, and No Activity.
How’s the Stan User Experience?
Stan’s web interface is simple and easy to use. Signing up took seconds and went smoothly. All you have to do is enter your personal details, contact info, password and credit card details.
Once you are in, you are ready to watch in a matter of seconds. Genres are grouped by categories: TV, Movies, and Kids. Simple drop downs enable you to jump to popular subgenres from the main navigation or you can scroll down the page through images of the titles grouped by subgenres, and scroll left and right to browse the subgenre titles. Simple.
Information overlays with a brief synopsis, plus the year, rating, length, and “Add to My List” option, which are all helpful. One click on the title gives you a full listing of information on the title; but noticeably there is no review and ratings data like with Netflix, to help you make a decision about whether to watch or not. TV series have a handy list of season titles in chronological order, and viewers can browse various seasons easily.
“My List” holds selected titles chosen during your browse for later viewing. We noted that changes to My List on a browser were updated on our iPhone app instantly. There is also a Watch History function, but it’s unclear how useful that is, particularly for films.
We also installed the Stan iPad app and had a play. We have to say it’s fantastic and definitely leads the field at the moment. The interface is easy to use, fast, and well-constructed. It’s easy to find the content you want to watch and there’s plenty of it. The app connected seamlessly to my TV via Google Chromecast and the picture quality was perfect HD. There was very little buffering and it all felt pretty instantaneous.
With usability, it’s often the little things that count the most. Stan has a nice indicator that shows you which episodes of a series you have watched, as well as a tracker, to see how far into each show you’ve watched. Not having to hit play when switching shows also makes usage very seamless.
What Devices work with Stan?
Stan is compatible with many recent iOS and Android devices on tablets, mobiles, and PC/Macs.
It works well and is designed to be compatible with Google Chromecast; plus, it has a native app in the menus of Apple TV (including 4K support on the Apple TV 4K), Telstra TV, and Fetch TV. It’s also now playing friendly with Samsung, Sony Android, and LG Smart TVs, as well as game consoles like the XBOX One, PS3 & PS4.
Compatible browsers include: Chrome v42 or above, Firefox v34 and above, IE v10 and above, Safari v7 and above, and Microsoft Edge.
How much do Stan plans cost?
Stan prides itself in its simplicity, with no contacts and an all-you-can-eat model, with both TV and movie streaming, all for a mere $10/month in SD. Or, you can get the Standard Plan for $12/month to watch in HD and on multiple devices at once. The Premium Plan is $15/month and allows you to enjoy some of your favourite TV shows or movies in 4K Ultra HD — though at the moment the amount of content available in 4K is extremely limited compared to Netflix.
Stan’s $10 price point, therefore, offers great value for money, and at that price, it’s definitely worth a trial. Speaking of trials, Stan has a 30-day trial so you can see for yourself. Signing up for this trial is a no brainer and takes less than a minute. Make sure you are on a low cost or unlimited broadband plan though. If you plan to watch a lot of streaming TV, the data could add to the cost.
Check out how Stan compares to other streaming video service providers:
Streaming TV & Movies Plans
- Service Only Plan
- 8 Content Genres
Min Cost - Depending on title
- Service Only Plan
- 6 Content Genres
- Service Only Plan
- 7 Content Genres
Video Quality on Stan
As you might expect, the video quality entirely depends on just one thing — how fast your internet connection is.
Stan needs at least 3Mbps for the best SD playback (or 8Mbps for HD); it auto-adjusts picture quality to match the data speeds and looks pretty bad on slower internet connections. You can choose HD or SD easily in the player view, but you will definitely need HD to get a decent viewing experience on an average size TV. HD will drop to SD at times if your internet connection slows down, but this is not in their control, as it all comes down to your ISP and area. For UHD 4K, you’ll need a connection of at least 15Mbps.
The mobile app viewing quality was really decent and had HD even on non-WiFi connections via 4G — although we don’t recommend this if you don’t want to receive a hefty data bill. The app lets you download shows to your device, though, so you can watch them on the go without using up your precious mobile data allowance.
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Stan – The Pros and Cons
Stan Summary: It’s a Contender!
Stan is an extremely well-priced TV and movie streaming service. The pricing structure is simple and everything is included in the $10 price except HD and 4k Ultra HD quality, which is worth paying extra for if you’re a fan. The application user interface is great and super easy to use. The signup and installation process takes just a few minutes, and the service’s compatibility with a wide range of devices is great, especially for streaming on TVs. But why not decide for yourself? Stan offers a 30-day free trial of the service and you can start watching in minutes.