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If you’re suddenly drowning in video streaming services and have no idea what the differences are, you’re not alone. Ever since the launch of Netflix Australia was recently announced – a service that has been a long time coming in Australia, as for years thousands of Australians have been using a VPN/DNS server to access America’s impressive Netflix catalogue – a smorgasbord of other services have popped up on billboards and banners all around the country.

41% of American homes have access to video on demand services. 57% of people watching TV shows online watch on desktop computers, while 31% watch on smartphones and 12% watch on tablets.

Given the importance and perpetual rise of video streaming services in homes around the world, we thought we’d look at the differences between Australia’s offerings, so you can make an educated decision on which to go for if free-to-air TV just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Netflix

  • Price tiers per month: $8.99 (single stream, standard definition), $10.99 (two streams, high definition), $14.99 (four streams, ultra high definition)
  • Commonly regarded as the video streaming service, Australian Netflix will reportedly only have 1/8th the content the US service has (we predict VPN/DNS server users will continue to use the US service for this reason).
  • The catalogue still has over a thousand titles and has more than both Stan and Presto – you’ll be able to watch shows like Orange Is The New Black, House Of Cards, Suits, Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother, amongst other shows.
  • You will likely get some Australian movies and TV show titles that US Netflix does not boast, such as Summer Heights High, Rabbit Proof Fence and Redfern Now.
  • Netflix is available on more platforms than its competitors – most people use it on Apple TV, while you can also use it on Fetch TV, Chromecast, iOS, Windows, Mac and Android operating systems.
  • If you are using a VPN/DNS server, you can theoretically switch regions and access different catalogues.
  • Optus and iiNet have announced that Netflix Australia usage will not be deducted from their data usage quotas.


Presto

  • Price per month: $9.99 (for each movies or television), $14.99 for both
  • Presto is Foxtel’s offering – but they also offer Foxtel Go for mobile users and Foxtel Play for people who aren’t Foxtel subscribers.
  • There’s been a bit of discussion around Presto as you get far more if you simply subscribe to Foxtel for $25+ a month. You do get exclusive access to HBO, though Game Of Thrones is not included here.
  • Presto doesn’t offer HD content.
  • You can only have four devices registered at once and only two devices streaming at once through Chromecast, but if you use a desktop, tablet or mobile, it counts the device and the Chromecast as one stream each, effectively using up your two simultaneous streams.
  • If something goes wrong with your streaming, Presto can lock you out for ten minutes at a time.
  • Because Foxtel and Telstra are inexplicably tied, if you’re a Telstra broadband customer you don’t get charged for the data you use using Presto. Telstra T-Box owners also get six months free.


Stan

  • Price per month: $10 (three streams running simultaneously, high definition)
  • There’s no ultra high definition option, unlike Netflix.
  • You can stream Stan through iOS, some Android devices, Windows, Mac, Chromecast and Apple TV (only if you Airplay through your iPad/iPhone/Mac).
  • You need to use the Microsoft Silverlight browser to stream on your desktop – a downside if you are used to using Google Chrome or Firefox.
  • Stan is co-owned by Fairfax Media and Channel Nine, which means it’s fairly likely there will be some local Channel Nine exclusives as they are aired.
  • Stan doesn’t have any arrangements with any internet service providers like Netflix has.

 

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