Stream on for screen choice

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Now you can have entertainment anywhere, on everything from smartphones to internet linked TV screens, what is the right choice for you? Karen Daniels examines today’s onscreen offerings

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Better Call Saul

After much advertising hype, early this year Australia welcomed in the brave new world of  streaming television with the introduction of the US-owned Netflix, the Nine and Fairfax-owned Stan, and the Foxtel and Seven-owned Presto, which joined current players Ezyflix, Quickflix, Foxtel Play and BigPond Movies.

But what do these services offer and what will they cost you? And is this smorgasbord of online entertainment really worth grazing on?

As with any services, you get what you pay for, so while one service may seem cheaper than another it might pay to check out its library content, see if it allows you to use more than one screen at a time or if it streams programs in high definition.  For most people the content will be the biggest pull, and for Game of Thrones fans, Foxtel Play is offering the first run of the new season of the series on its service for a base rate of $25 per month for its streamlined IPTV service.However if you can wait, Quickflix will be streaming the series once it has been on TV.

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Jimmy Smits in Sons of Anarchy

Breaking Bad fans might like to try Stan, owned by Nine Entertainment/Fairfax, which has the original show and its spin off Better Call Saul. Presto has exclusive streaming rights to Modern Family, and streaming rights to Sons of Anarchy, Homeland, and The Americans, while Netflix offers exclusive rights to House of Cards and Orange is the New Black and Quickflix has streaming rights to Orphan Black, True Blood and The West Wing.  A lot of available content is “non-exclusive”, so if you just want to catch up on a series or fancy a second viewing it should be easy to enjoy shows like The Good Wife and Ray Donovan on any service.

For those who don’t want to gorge themselves on television blockbusters, but just feel like enjoying the odd special movie treat or even a full TV series, BigPond or Ezyflix offer pay as you go options. Telstra-owned BigPond Movies is good for those already with Telstra, but it does not offer the most up-to-the-minute content, whereas more popular movies and TV series can be found on Ezyflix, owned by Australian company Access Digital Entertainment.

All these services work on a range of devices, so you can catch up with favourites on your phone, your tablet, your computer or smart TV. With Stan, users can watch on up to three screens at the same time, so you can view with friends. And some services are linked to ISPs offering unmetered data, for example Netflix is obtainable via Optus and iiNet and Presto via Telstra BigPond and Foxtel Broadband.

So what are you waiting for? Pick a service and tune in…

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  Netflix Stan Presto Quickflix Ezyflix  Foxtel Play BigPond Movies
How much will it cost me per month?  $8.99-$14.99 $10 $9.99-$14.99  $9.99, $5.99 pay-per-view for new releases PAYG$2-99-$4.99to rent $25-$50 PAYG  $1.99-$5.99 for movies and  TV episodes
What content will I get?   Disney Beyond Distribution Warner Bros BBC Worldwide 20th Century Fox NBCUniversalVillage RoadshowABC Commercial  Sony PicturesCBS Studios MGMVillage Roadshow NBC Universal BBC Worldwide ABC Commercial SBS (including World Movies) Viacom Turner HBOFoxtel Productions Seven Network 20th Century FoxSony PicturesDisney eOneNBC Universal

 

Warner Bros Sony PicturesNBC Universal MGMDisney Lionsgate eOneHBOBBC Worldwide ITV

 

20th Century FoxDisneySony PicturesNBC UniversalParamount Warner Bros

Village Roadshow ABC Commercial

 

20th Century FoxWarner BrosDisney, Paramount Sony PicturesNBC Universal HBOBBC Worldwide Universal 20th Century FoxSony Pictures
How long must I sign up for? No contract No contract No contract No contract No contract No contract No contract
Trial period  30 days free 30 days free  30 days free 30 days free Register to use 14 days free Free movie on registering
Data consumption per hour  1GB (SD)3GB (HD)to  7GB (UHD) 1GB (SD)  1.5GB (HD)3GB HD plus) 1.3GB (SD)Telstra BigPond, Foxtel Broadband ISPs offer unmetered data 1.5GB (SD) 2.5GB (HD)  0.67-1GB –SD – 7.2GB HD N/A About 1GB an hour. Unmetered for Telstra broadband customers.
Unique content Exclusive rights to House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, Unbreakable Exclusive rights to Better Call Saul, Dig, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Communitythe James Bond library Exclusive streaming rights to Modern Family, Exclusive content from 20th Century Fox, Showtime, HBO, Seven Network. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. New film releases including Dracula, Before I Go to Sleep, Jack & Diane Exclusive film titles before their usual streaming window, including The Water Diviner, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero 6  First-run on Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, Jane The Virgin, The Flash and The 100, plus Foxtel Originals  and sport New releases include film The Water Diviner and TV series Gallipoli
Devices computerssmart TVs tablets smartphonesFetch TVsGoogle ChromecastSony PlayStation 3 and 4 Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Nintendo Wii U

computers, smartphonessmartTVs via Google Chromecast and Airplay via Apple TV computerssmart TVstablets smartphonesTV via Google Chromecast  computerssmart TVs tablets smartphonesPlaystationXBox ChromecastTiVo devicescomputersSamsung smart TVs smartphonesGoogle Chromecast.  computerssmart TVs tablets smartphones (via Foxtel Go) Samsung Blu-Ray PlaystationXBox Users need a Telstra T-Box, or compatible tablet or notebook on many smart TVs

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