Streaming services are gaining popularity and they seem to be popping up all over. DVDs seem to be quickly phasing out, which I can understand; especially considering I have children. DVDs take up a lot of space, not quite as much as my books but still a lot. DVDs also seem to be a magnet for children in my house so they tend to get scratched easily and sometimes you only watch it once or twice and it takes up room in the library forever.
Take a step into the new craze for movies and TV and avoid all of those dramas. Now, you can stream content straight from the internet to your smart TV and other supported devices. There are a few different connectors you can get for your TV to make it support streaming like the Chromecast, Apple TV and Telstra TV.
Streaming is simple to set up and you can sign up with a number of android or apple devices, gaming consoles as well as your computer.
Streaming services offer you a huge library of movies and TV shows at your fingertips whenever you want them, for a flat monthly fee. So, for a little less than the price of two new releases rentals from the video store you have unlimited access to a huge library for an entire month.
You need high speed Internet and a decent amount of data. Streaming services are not for prepaid broadband internet, you would be through your data in hours. The connection speed you need does tend to vary a little. Netflix needs a minimum speed of 0.5 megabits per second but you may want it higher to improve the quality of the video. For standard definition Presto need 3Mbps, high definition requires 5Mbps. Stan starts at about 2Mbps but depends on the definition you are looking for. There is a great speedtest here to see what you are working with: www.speedtest.net
All of your streaming services will use up your internet data so it is worthwhile to do a bit of research to work out what will work the best for you and your Internet bundle. Presto offered me a 6 month free trial with my Telstra internet, and Presto usage is unmetered with Telstra when used at home through your broadband. If you use it out and about on your phone the data is metered.
It seems all three of these streaming services offer you a free one month trial so there is no reason you shouldn’t sign up to all of them and work out what works best for your family. The prices are similar across the services. Stan is $10 a month, Netflix has 3 different plans and starts at $8.99 for Basic and rises to $14.99 for Premium while Presto also has 3 options so you can go just TV ($9.99), just movies ($9.99) or both ($14.99).
The content is quite varied across the three services so it is definitely worth looking at what you want to watch and all have a very similar selection of movies.
Presto: has a great range of Australian made TV shows, it is home of the exclusive Home and Away special event and talks are already in place for more.
Stan: has everything you need to binge watch this summer with shows like iZombie, Ash vs Evil Dead, Transparent, Community, Selfie and Better Call Saul.
Netflix: There are a wealth of great TV shows on Netflix and they have a number of exclusive shows also. Some of their great shows are: Daredevil, Tyrant, House of Cards, American Horror Story, Mad Men, Jessica Jones and Orange is the New Black.
If a variety of TV and movies are what you want at your fingertips these school holidays it might be worth signing on for a free trial of all three, live a little and see what you love. Just remember to make your decision before the trial period is up.
School holiday viewing may mean you are a little more interested in what is on offer for the children…
Stan: The core children’s programming comes from deals with the ABC and Viacom, giving access to Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels. Some of the programs include Avatar: The Last Airbender; Octonauts, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Bubble Guppies, and popular live-action shows like iCarly, VICTORiOUS, and Drake & Josh as well as ABC favourites The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Guess How Much I Love You and Justine Clarke, as well as overseas titles like Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam, Sesame Street and Mister Maker. Stan is lacking in the Disney movie titles available on the other sevices.
Presto: This venture comes from Seven and Foxtel who also have a deal with Viacom and show SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Deals with other distributors give an extensive range of shows great for the whole family as well as classic Disney films like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story and Tarzan as well as the newer family hits Frozen, Ice age 2, UP, and A Night At the Museum.
Netflix: There is a wealth of popular content for kids and specific settings and a child friendly interface allow children to independently browse a massive catalogue of titles that includes Mako Mermaid, UP, Wall-E and a host of favourite characters. Netflix has a great reputation for a solid level of kids content in Australia and intends to maintain it. They have deals in place with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm for the distribution of children’s titles in Australia.
Have you got a streaming service? We’d love to hear your rants and raves in the comments section below.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!